Early Symptoms and Precautions for Gout

Modern medicine views gout as a chronic disease caused by a disorder in purine metabolism. Its primary clinical characteristic is the overproduction of uric acid in the body or a reduction in the kidney’s excretion of uric acid, leading to elevated blood uric acid levels, resulting in hyperuricemia, as well as recurrent acute gouty arthritis, tophi (gout stones), chronic gouty arthritis, and joint deformities.

In summary, the symptoms of gout often appear in one joint and last for several days before gradually subsiding and the joint function recovers. Generally, there are no symptoms between gout attacks. However, if the condition worsens and gout is not actively treated after an attack, it can lead to more frequent episodes that may affect multiple joints, causing permanent damage to the affected joints.

What are the early symptoms of gout? Let’s discuss the knowledge related to the early symptoms of gout in detail.

Early symptoms manifest as hyperuricemia without clinical signs of arthritis, gout stones, or kidney stones. Joint pain: The initial onset of gout often presents as sudden, severe pain in a single joint, commonly seen in the big toe. Subsequent attacks may involve multiple joints, such as the ankles, knees, wrists, and elbows. The pain often occurs during the patient’s sleep at night without any prior warning and may also occur after excessive alcohol consumption.

Other symptoms: In addition to joint swelling and pain, other symptoms in patients with gout include increased heart rate, chills, and general malaise. Uric acid deposited in the skin, known as tophi, appears as white nodules under the skin, mostly occurring on the hands, feet, elbows, and outer ear cartilage.

Symptoms during remission: The first attack of gout typically only lasts a few days, but if untreated, subsequent attacks may last several weeks. Eventually, the symptoms will disappear, and the patient’s joint function returns to normal between attacks. As the disease progresses, the symptom-free period becomes shorter, and the number of attacks within a year increases. Most patients experience multiple attacks throughout their lives, with some never having another attack after the first. The interval between attacks for most patients is six months to a year, while a few may have intervals of up to 5 to 10 years.

Joint swelling: The pain gradually intensifies and is often described as throbbing or tender. This is followed by inflammation, with the affected joints becoming red, swollen, hot, and painful. This is one of the early symptoms of gout. Sometimes, the pain is so severe that patients can hardly bear the weight on the affected joint.

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Gout Brings a Series of Ailments

Gout is primarily characterized by redness, swelling, and pain in the joints. As a metabolic disease, gout can cause a cascade of harm to the body.


The uric acid that the body cannot metabolize forms urate crystals that damage pancreatic cells, reducing the body’s sensitivity to insulin and increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Studies show that 26% of people with gout also have diabetes.

Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Diseases

Urate crystals can irritate the walls of blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis and ultimately causing coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and other cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.
A study involving over 70,000 participants showed that compared to those who maintained lower levels of uric acid, those with consistently higher levels had a 42% increased risk of myocardial infarction.

Kidney Disease

Excessive uric acid excretion can easily form crystals, which can lead to urinary tract stones. More seriously, long-term deposition of urate in the renal parenchyma can cause chronic interstitial nephritis, leading to chronic kidney damage.

If a large amount of uric acid crystals are deposited in the renal tubules and interstitium, causing acute urinary obstruction, it can induce acute uric acid nephropathy, and even suddenly lead to oliguria or anuria, resulting in acute uremia.

Erectile Dysfunction

Research found that compared to the general population, patients with hyperuricemia have a 59% increased probability of experiencing erectile dysfunction.

Sleep Disorders

A survey by the University of Alabama in the United States revealed that about 23% of gout patients suffer from sleep disorders, with sleep apnea accounting for 17% of the total number of respondents, a figure significantly higher than that of the non-gout population.

Lowering Uric Acid: Self-Management is Key

Dietary structure and lifestyle are central to treating gout. Experts say, “Good living habits can not only reduce uric acid but also decrease the probability of urate crystal deposition induced by other factors, thereby lowering the risk of gout flare-ups.”


The diet should follow the principle of “high carbohydrates, moderate protein, and low fat.”
✦ Carbohydrates such as rice and flour should account for 55%-60% of total calories, which can reduce ketone production from fat breakdown and facilitate urate excretion;
✦ Protein should account for 11%-15% of total calories, typically with a daily intake of 0.8-1 grams per kilogram of body weight;
✦ The remaining calories should come from fat, usually 40-50 grams per day.
At the same time, avoid alcohol, seafood, animal offal, and other high-purine foods, eat more fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water. It is recommended to drink at least 1700 milliliters of water per day, but those with renal insufficiency or abnormal cardiopulmonary function should follow medical advice regarding water intake.


Studies show that engaging in 3-5 sessions of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as jogging, yoga, Tai Chi, or Baduanjin, can effectively lower uric acid levels and reduce gout attacks.

Stretching exercises are also beneficial, such as frequently moving fingers, toes, elbows, knees, etc.

Weight Loss

Losing weight is an important task in treating gout. Research indicates that a weight loss of ≥4 kilograms reduces the risk of hyperuricemia by 56%; a reduction in waist circumference of ≥6 centimeters decreases the risk of hyperuricemia by 55%.

How To Identify Gout: 5 Common Symptoms

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!