The symptoms of gout include severe joint pain, persistent discomfort, inflammation, redness and restricted movements, according to Mayo Clinic. Most people experience gout symptoms unexpectedly at night without any warning signs.
Gout is a type of arthritis that primarily affects men and postmenopausal women, states Mayo Clinic. A gout attack can wake up a person at night due to intense pain. Gout sufferers often feel as though their big toe is burning.
Individuals with gout suffer pain in the large joint of their big toes, but the pain may also affect the entire feet or the ankles, knees, hands or wrists, explains Mayo Clinic. Many people experience the most intense pain within four to 12 hours after the start of the symptom. Once the extreme pain diminishes, a person may experience joint discomfort that persists for several days and up to a few weeks. Subsequent gout attacks often occur for a longer period and involve more joints.
Gout sufferers often have swollen, tender or red joints, and they become less mobile as gout worsens, says Mayo Clinic. A person should seek prompt medical help if he notices a sudden, acute pain in a joint, as untreated gout may cause more pain and damage the joint severely. Anyone who has a fever and a hot or inflamed joint should also contact a physician, as these are likely signs of infection.
Medical conditions, medications, a family history of gout and certain lifestyle factors, such as excessive alcohol intake, all increase the risk of developing gout, according to Mayo Clinic. Some people with gout develop recurrent gout, advanced gout and kidney stones. Gout is diagnosed with a joint fluid test or a blood test, and treatment for gout typically includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids to control inflammation and pain. For people with recurrent gout, medications to block uric acid production and medications that expedite uric acid removal are used to control gout.