Is It Swollen Joints Or Tophaceous Gout?

Swollen joints or tophaceous gout is the fourth step in the I Have Gout program. Earlier, we created an extended list of personal signs of gout with expectations about our diagnosis. Then, in the previous step, we listed all our symptoms of gout. Now we need to list all joints that are affected with those symptoms, including any parts of the body affected by unexplained lumps.

People often think that gout only affects the big toe. Nothing is further from the truth. Gout can affect any joint. It normally starts with those joints that are most exposed to cold. This is usually the big toe, but your lifestyle or your job can influence this. My ankle was affected first, which I put down to a lot of driving, where the ankle is often most exposed to cold, and it is usually the lowest center of gravity.

This page covers the fourth step in my Personal Symptoms Assessment and Diagnosis Plan for gout sufferers called I Have Gout. It is a 7 step program for creating your own personal gout symptoms plan, and links to all steps are at the end of this swollen joints explanation.
  1. Signs Of Gout
  2. End Acute Gout and More
  3. Your Symptoms Of Gout
  4. Is It Swollen Joints Or Tophaceous Gout?
  5. Uric Acid Test To Start
  6. Gout Diagnosis At Last
  7. Ignorance Causes Gout

Gout will eventually spread to all joints. However, it is unusual in the early years of gout for it to effect more than two joints at a time. The most likely explanation for this is when crystals form, the uric acid they contain is no longer dissolved in the blood stream. Once a certain quantity of uric acid passes from solution into crystals, no more new crystals form, so joints stop being affected. Many gout sufferers, including myself, have noticed a sensation of “moving gout.” For example, gout starts in the knee, followed by the elbow, followed by the ankle, etc. This is a series of gout attacks in different joints. There is no way of knowing which joint will get attacked next.

What Are Your Swollen Joints?

Though the most common symptom of gout is painful swelling, remember from the previous step, that redness, numbness, itching, etc may also be present. When you study your joints for symptoms of gout, please list all joints affected by each gout symptom.

Finally, uric acid crystals are not restricted to joints – they can form anywhere. As well as listing swollen joints, you should also list any unexplained lumps. These could be tophi, and when we get to the next step, your doctor may want to test for tophaceous gout.

Swollen Joints: Next Steps

In this step, you have extended your list of gout symptoms. You have described which joints are affected, and which areas of your body are affected by tophaceous gout. If you are unsure about joints or tophi, you can discuss them in the gout support forum.

You are now ready for I Have Gout 5: Uric Acid Test To Start. However, if you are unsure, you can return to previous steps and reinforce any points you are not confident about.

Leave Swollen Joints to browse other steps in the I Have Gout program

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Medical Disclaimer: The pupose of GoutPal is to provide jargon-free explanations of medical gout-related terms and procedures. Because gout sufferers need to know what questions to ask their doctor. Also, you need to understand what your doctor tells you. So this website explains gout science. But it is definitely NOT a substitute for medical advice.

Information on this website is provided by a fellow gout sufferer (Keith Taylor) with an accountant's precision for accurate data. But no medical qualifications. So you must seek professional medical advice about gout and any other health matters.

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