How long can i last

How long does a gout attack last?


An untreated flare-up of gout can last up to 2 weeks. The pain, which usually occurs in the joint of the big toe, reaches its maximum intensity after just a few hours. This article summarizes current data on the duration of gout attacks and shows what you can do now to get your gout under control over the long term.

Duration and course of a gout attack

A gout attack lasts untreated 3 days to 2 weeks. [1] The length of a gout attack can vary from person to person, but it can also change as the disease progresses. If gout and the elevated uric acid levels on which it is based are not treated, chronic gout is at risk. This can lead to gout attacks lasting several weeks that affect several joints and sometimes never stop.

Exceptions: Only in a few cases does an untreated gout attack last less than 24 hours. [2] Even longer than two weeks is atypical for a “normal” gout attack. Under certain circumstances, the joint pain is not gout, but another disease, such as spondyloarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, activated osteoarthritis, lupus, other forms of arthritis or the consequences of an injury. One helps with the clarification Visit the right doctor.

Source [2]

How long does the pain from the gout attack last?

Unfortunately, a typical feature of gout attacks is that the severe pain in the joint increases very quickly and reaches a maximum. The metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe is most often affected, so that the big toe starts to hurt extremely within a few hours. Other joints, such as the knee or wrist, can also be affected in later gout attacks.

The maximum pain threshold of a gout attack becomes average within the first 12 hours In about a third of those affected, the pain in the joint increases to the maximum pain level within the first 4 hours.

Source [2]

How severe is the pain during the duration of the gout attack?

Pain is perceived very differently, but can be compared using a pain scale. Unfortunately, a gout attack is one of the most painful experiences one can go through. On a scale from 0 = no pain to 10 = worst imaginable pain (e.g. the birth of a child in women), an attack of gout has an average value of 8, with a range of 7-10.

Can you shorten the duration of the gout attack?

Yes, you should definitely do something about the attack of gout. With the right treatment, you can get the pain and inflammation under control quickly and shorten the gout flare-up. This is not only nice to get rid of the pain, but also very important to protect the joint from permanent damage.

The first time you suspect a gout attack, you should definitely get one Family doctor and seek advice. During the attack, several medications can be used to relieve the duration and symptoms of the gout attack: the right painkillers (so-called NSAIDs), colchicine, or cortisone.

More background information on the Gout treatment at the doctor, to Medication for gout and Home remedies for gout are also compiled in another article.

How long does it take for a gout attack to come back?

Until the next flare-up of gout Weeks to months pass away. In between, the joint appears symptom-free. However, this can be a deceptive peace: The next attack of gout comes completely unexpected, often stronger and longer.

This depends on a number of factors, most notably the level of uric acid in the blood. An exact one Prediction is not possible, not even based on the uric acid level. But: a low uric acid level lowers the risk of further gout attacks.

Prevent / shorten the next gout attack

When the diagnosis of “gout” has been made and the acute gout attack is over, you should devote yourself to preventing the next gout attack in the meantime. It is crucial that Lower blood uric acid levels. There are a number of measures that those affected and their relatives should be aware of:

  • the right medicationthat the family doctor can prescribe
  • Diet change on a low-purine diet (see Diet for gout)
  • Natural remedies such as concentrate from Montmorency sour cherries
  • Refrain from alcohol (see drinks at gout)
  • If you are overweight: Slow weight loss and moderate exercise

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1. Engel, B. et al. (2017). Therapy options for gout. Deutsches Ärzteblatt Int 2017; 114: 215-22; URL: https://www.aerzteblatt.de/archiv/187305/Therapielösungen-bei-Gicht Retrieved October 2019.

2. Taylor, W. J., Fransen, J., Jansen, T. L., Dalbeth, N., Schumacher, H. R., Brown, M.,… Neogi, T. (2015). Study for Updated Gout Classification Criteria: Identification of Features to Classify Gout. Arthritis Care & Research, 67(9), 1304-1315. https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.22585. Accessed October 2019.

Further articles

Treatment with the right doctor

What are the benefits of a doctor's visit for gout? How does the specialist make the reliable diagnosis of "gout"? What medication treatment can help against gout if home remedies don't work? And how long is a sick leave valid for an acute gout attack? The most common questions about gout treatment at the doctor's, explained quickly and easily.

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Home remedies for gout

In the case of an acute gout attack, help is needed quickly because the pain in the joint increases rapidly. Before going to the doctor, tried and tested home remedies can alleviate the symptoms of gout. Certain medicinal plants - and sour cherries - can also help in the long term to lower uric acid and prevent gout attacks. Here is an overview of what you can do and what really helps.

Read more