What is gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis in which tiny crystals form in joints, tendons and surrounding tissue.
It is estimated that 2% of people suffer from gout, increasing to 10% of those aged 50 and over. It primarily affects men over the age of 30 and post-menopausal women.
Left untreated, gout can lead to permanent joint damage or further complications such as kidney stones.
Gout can cause excruciating pain and be extremely debilitating.
What are the signs and symptoms of gout?
Any joint in the body can be affected by gout, but it primarily affects the ankles, fingers, knees and toes.
The symptoms develop quickly over a few hours and can last from anything between 3 and 10 days.
The primary signs and symptoms of gout are:
- Severe pain in one or more joints
- A hot and tender feeling in and around the affected joint
- Inflammation in and around the affected joint
- Red and shiny skin over the affected joint
Nearly everyone suffering from gout will experience multiple attacks within a year.