What are the symptoms? / What is a gout attack? / Characteristics of a gout attack / Common sites of gout attack

  A gout attack usually occurs after a number years of buildup of uric acid crystals.

A gout attack often occurs at night.

Pain may be so intense that even light touch from a bed sheet is intolerable.

Pain lasts for a few hours of the night and then eases during the next few days.

As the gout attack subsides, the skin around the affected joint may peel and produce itching.

A gout attack can be triggered by other diseases or after surgery.

  Gout may progress to chronic gout without episodes of acute gout attack.

It is particularly difficult to distinguish chronic gout in old people from other types of arthritis (rheumatoid or degenerative arthritis).