What are gout symptoms? These symptoms are hard to mistake for anything else and can come with complications. They may be mild in some people and worse in others and not all people get every symptom. However, usually a person settles down for the night feeling good, only to wake up feeling incredible pain, usually in their big toe in the middle of the night. But that is just the beginning!
The pain that wakes you up could start like someone has thrown a bucket of extremely cold water over your joint, but very quickly it graduates to a horrific and agonizing feeling that your joint is being torn, stretched, tightened and pressurized by something unknown. Even touching the skin on the outside of the joint is excruciating, meaning that your bed sheets just brushing the joint or even someone walking nearby may make it feel bad. As the hours progress, the swelling extends from the joint to the rest of your foot, making wearing shoes impossible. You may even get a minimal fever. However, this is not the worst. It can last for up to ten days, so waiting to see if it will go away should not be left any longer than a day before you should go to your doctor for help. You will most likely get another attack within the following year and as time goes on, the attacks increase in number, lasting longer. They will begin to attack more of your joints as the years go by. Your joints may become deformed and permanently damaged. The uric acid crystals may begin building in other tissues outside of your joints, appearing as lumps of chalk beneath the skin of your outer ear, heel, elbow, toes and fingers. In very severe cases, these pyramid type lumps can create skin sores, ulcerations and even poke straight through your skin!
Generally, gout symptoms include a sudden and terrifying onset of these events in one or more of your joints at the same time – ankles, knees and the big toe. Pain can be excruciating, crushing or throbbing and starts usually at night. Your joints will feel and look red and warm, so tender that nothing can touch them, and you could have a fever. Whatever the case, do not leave this to chance and hope it will simply go away on its own because it will not. Eventually it will strike again and if you have acid crystals building in tissues elsewhere in your body, they can appear anywhere. Do not assume that this just will be limited to around the joints affected.