According to WebMD, the symptoms of gout can vary depending on the severity of the condition but typically include swelling; warmth and pain of the foot, ankle, knee, wrist or elbow joints; inflamed or purple skin surrounding the affected joints; peeling skin and itching. While gout can affect many joints, it most commonly occurs in the big toe joints. Gout pain ranges from mild to severe.
Mayo Clinic explains that acute gout attacks often strike at night, causing sufferers to wake up in excruciating pain. Gout pain is typically more intense during the first 24 hours of an attack, but sufferers may also experience lingering joint pain. Gout is a type of arthritis that is most common in men but can also affect women, especially those who are post-menopausal.
According to Healthline, gout is caused by high amounts of uric acid in the blood. The excess uric acid creates crystals that build up in the joints of the feet, wrists, hands ankles and knees, which in turn causes painful inflammation. Untreated gout can lead to permanent joint damage. Medical conditions, such as leukemia, psoriasis and lymphoma, can cause the body to produce high levels of uric acid, which can lead to gout in certain cases. The condition can also be triggered in individuals with kidney damage caused by medications, such as diuretics and drugs that suppress immunity.