Gout Symptoms

An episode of gout is called a gout attack. During a gout attack, symptoms in the affected joints may include:


  • Intense pain.
  • Redness.
  • Stiffness.
  • Swelling.
  • Tenderness, even to light touch, such as from a bedsheet.

Joint pain usually begins during the night and peaks within 24 hours of onset.

Affected areas

  • Big toe – 50% of gout cases
  • Heels
  • Knees
  • Wrists
  • Fingers
  • Elbows

How long does a gout attack last?

For acute gout, symptoms come on quickly from the buildup of uric acid crystals in your joint and last for 3 to 10 days.

These painful attacks usually subside in hours to days, with or without medication.

Between gout attacks you may have no symptoms at all.

How often do gout attacks happen?

Some people have gout attacks frequently, while others go years between episodes.

If gout isn’t treated, attacks may become more frequent and last longer. Gout attacks can happen over and over again in the same joint or affect different joints.

Most people with gout will experience repeated flare-ups over the years.