Generally speaking, an attack of gout can last anywhere from 3 to 21 days, sometimes even longer. 7 to 10 days could be the average for most people.
But a lot depends on how quickly it is diagnosed, how quickly treatment is started, the type of treatment used, and its location in the body.
But there are also other determinants for how long a gout attack can last: for example, gout may last longer in:
- patients who are overweight
- people who consume high-purine diets
- those who drink alcohol excessively
- folks with certain underlying medical conditions
- and even some medications
The big toe is the most common location for gout, but you can also get gout in the knee, the ankle, hand, and so on. Basically any location where uric acid crystals can accumulate…
You see, the common denominator in gout is high uric acid blood levels; a condition called ‘hyperuricemia.’ This condition can then lead to the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints. It’s generally assumed that ‘high uric acid’ is anything over 6 mg/dl. However, it has been known for some people to have levels over 9.0 mg/dl and not suffer from gout. Equally, gout has been known in patients with levels as low as 6 mg/dl. Much depends on the individual. But, as a general rule of thumb, maintaining your levels below 6 mg/dl is a good target.
The symptoms are pretty straight forward: redness, swelling, inflammation, stiffness, warm to touch, and excruciating pain. Many first-time sufferers assume that they have an ‘injury’ even although they can’t figure out where it happened. And often they don’t find out that it is indeed gout until they go to their doctor.
The symptoms of gout can be reduced through the use of medications such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) which help to reduce the inflammation and so relieve the pain. And there other classes of anti-inflammatory drugs such as Colchicines and Corticosteroids.
But these medications can only moderate the symptoms, they cannot get rid of the root cause of your gout which is the high uric acid in the blood. Fortunately, there are other drugs, such as Allopurinol, which can lower high uric acid and so help to prevent future attacks. But because these only work whilst being taken they are usually a very long-term solution. And it goes without saying that all drugs have negative side effects.
For those of you who don’t like taking drugs, especially long-term, there are natural ways to address both gout symptoms and high uric acid. Some of the most popular and effective of these are specific dietary changes to help reduce uric acid production; certain fruits and vegetables that can help to reduce inflammation and lower uric acid, herbal remedies, natural supplements, lifestyle adjustments, and so on. You can find information on these throughout this website.
But of course, you don’t have to use one or the other, you can use both medication and natural approaches. Although it’s always best to consult with your doctor beforehand.
Whichever route you decide to take, it’s true to say that your gout won’t last as long with treatment as it would if left untreated. So if you have the symptoms go get diagnosed straight away. If it is gout then the quicker you start treating it the shorter the episode will last.
- Gout can last anywhere between 3 and 21 days, sometimes even longer.
- Symptoms are; swelling, warmth, inflammation, stiffness, redness, great pain.
- The cause of gout is crystals of uric acid in the joints caused by too high uric acid levels in the blood.
- You can treat it with drug-based medications that are pretty effective although they can have side effects.
- You can employ natural remedies for gout to reduce the inflammation and pain but also to lower uric acid levels.
- You can combine the best of both medication and natural remedies but talk to your doctor first.
- Never leave your gout untreated as the episode will last much longer.