In the initial stages of gout there are no symptoms whatsoever, so there is no way to tell that the crystals are building up and lodging themselves in the sufferers joints. The first symptoms appear when the attack starts.
The most common symptom of a gout attack s, excruciating pain in the joints, normally in the big toe and various other movable joints in the body.
The joints then become inflamed and redness appears around them. The surrounding skin of the affected joint feels hot when touched. The ball of the foot also swells up and starts aching, this pain is also felt in the arch of the foot. The gout attack thens spreads to the ankle, which also becomes inflamed and starts to ache.
The gout attack eventually spreads to various joints in the body, the fingers, knuckles, elbows, knees, wrists and all similar joints are affected. As a result they all become swollen and the sufferer can feel numerous sharp and sudden pains throughout his or her body.
After the first attack it is very likely that a person will suffer another gout attack in the coming months and in some cases years, because gout is a recurring condition. However if a person suffers from chronic gout the attacks occur consistently one after another.
When a doctor is trying to find out if someone has gout they will look for three symptoms, pain inflammation and swelling. Swelling is actually a better indication of gout than the other too because they are inconclusive, pain and inflammation accompany many different conditions.
Another gout symptom is discoloration of the skin, the skin surrounding the joints of a gout sufferer normally turns a shade of purple. Skin discoloration plus pain and swelling is usually a good indication of a gout attack, however if you notice any of these symptoms it's a great idea to visit your doctor immediately, because if gout is not treated quickly medication can become ineffective.