A gout attack can affect different body parts

Gout occurs when excess uric acid is deposited as needle-shaped crystals in tissues or joints of the body. The first symptom of gout is excruciating pain and swelling in the big toe, often following illness or injury.

Subsequent attacks may occur on and off in other joints. In the majority of cases, joints of the foot and knee are affected first before the disease becomes chronic.

Signs of a gout attack in the knee are:

  • The knee is very painful;
  • The knee might be red, swollen and hot to touch;
  • The knee might be extremely sensitive to the touch;
  • Other symptoms such as fever, headache or weakness may occur.

How long can a gout attack last?

If left untreated, a gout attack can last from 3 days to 2 weeks, until the inflammation reduces and the pain passes. The skin over the affected joint is usually itchy and peels off.

If you suspect you have gout or have had a gout attack, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

The early diagnosis and treatment of gout make a difference in the course of the disease.

You may also be interested in the following content

What is gout?

About gout

When uric acid levels in the blood rise above 6 mg/dl, or 360 μmol/l, this can lead to the formation of uric acid crystals...

Learn more
Gout attack

Gout attack

The first gout attack usually occurs at night, triggered by a sudden increase in the uric acid level, for example from eating a great deal of meat or drinking a lot of beer…

Learn more