Do You Have Gout?

So you are experiencing pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints -- especially the big toe; some things seem to make these symptoms worse, like certain foods; and these problems appear to come and go. Do you have gout?
Possibly. Gout is actually a type of arthritis, so it shares similar symptoms, such as joint pain, redness, and swelling or heat in the joints. However, gout is unique in that symptoms often come on suddenly and can be intense. Such attacks often occur at night and can be triggered by alcohol, stress, or certain foods, although these are not direct causes of gout, per se.
People who experience an initial gout attack have a 50 percent chance of experiencing another one. These attacks may be months -- even years -- apart at first, but will gradually increase in frequency and severity as damage to the joints continues.
(For more information, click Gout Symptoms. This article explains in detail the possible signs of gout, with information on why it often targets the big toe and a specific description of what an attack feels like.)
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