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How do I know if I have Gout in my Big Toe?

How do I know if I have Gout in my Big Toe? We tell you!

Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It is characterised by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in one or more joints, often in the big toe.

The most frequent is to suffer attacks of inflammation in the first metatarsophalangeal joint, that is to say, the one that joins the big toe to the rest of the foot, mainly in its external face. It is usually an acute and very painful process that starts at night or first thing in the morning, and with such intense swelling and pain that it can even wake you up and make even the slightest friction annoying. An attack of gout can occur suddenly and can often cause you to wake up in the middle of the night with the feeling that your big toe is on fire.

The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of a bed sheet may seem intolerable. It is often accompanied by erythema or redness of the skin surrounding the joint. The attacks may initially be short-lived and milder, but if no remedy is provided to cure gout, they tend to become increasingly intense and long-lasting.

So, signs and symptoms of gout may come and go, but they almost always occur suddenly, often at night. These include:

  • Severe joint pain. Gout usually affects the big toe, but can occur in any joint. Other commonly affected joints include the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers. The pain is likely to be most severe within the first four to 12 hours after it starts.
  • Persistent discomfort. After the most severe pain goes away, some joint discomfort may remain, which may last for a few days or weeks. Later attacks are likely to last longer and affect more joints.
  • Swelling and redness. Affected joints become swollen, tender, warm and red.
  • Limited range of motion. As gout progresses, you may not be able to move your joints normally.

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