Do your joints feel like they have some prickly pains in them when you move? Are you struggling to get around during the day because you’re just aching? Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when crystals begin to form in the joints. This happens because your body cannot properly dispel the acids that build up from the foods we eat.

If you’re thinking that you might have gout, here are some ways that you can be able to quickly identify the problem.

Did you wake up with a painful, swollen joint? Many acute gout attacks occur in the middle of the night because of the prone sleeping position. The most common way that gout attacks is through the primary joint of the big toe, but it can affect almost any joint in the body as well. Gout causes the joint to swell and this creates soft tissue inflammation that is very painful to the touch. Many people wake up because the sheets cause enormous amounts of pain.

Did you take an aspirin to relieve pain and it made your condition worse? Aspirin is an effective pain reliever, but not for gout. Aspirin increases the amount of uric acid that is in the body, the acid that is responsible for gout.

Is the swollen joint warm to the touch? The swelling of a joint that is affected by gout often turns red because there is an increase in heat generated at the joint. In many ways the experience of touching a gout joint is similar to the feeling of an infection that has started to spread. Just be careful when touching swelling that could be affected by gout because it can create intense pain.

Has your joint turned purple? Although red joints are the most common side effect of gout, sometimes the joints can turn a purple hue as well, similar to a bruise.

Do you have peeling skin around the affected joint? For a lucky few, gout doesn’t cause any pain at all, even when swelling is involved. That means one of the primary ways to identify gout is to look for peeling skin around the joint that is affected. Sometimes the joints can itch as well, but this tends to get better as the gout attach recedes.

Do your joints ache all of the time? Although acute gout is the most common that is treated, chronic gout can cause limited movement and pain just like any other form of arthritis. It may also occur after a prolonged or severe illness or after a surgery.

It is important to note that there are a number of other conditions that are similar to gout that have these same symptoms. If you have a painful joint that is swollen and red or extremely sensitive to the touch, it is important to seek medical attention to confirm the diagnosis. This is often done by extracting fluid from the swollen joint and then looking at it to see if uric acid crystals are present.

Being able to identify gout is important because it needs to be treated. Medications can help acute attacks, but the best changes come from alterations in lifestyle habits. Use this guide to identify gout today so that you can take whatever steps are necessary to receive the treatment you need!