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Is gout serious?

In some people gout may lead to serious complications such as recurrent gout, whereby gout symptoms keep returning, and advanced gout. In advanced gout uric acid crystals collects under the skin in lumps or nodules called 'gouty' tophi. The lumps can appear on your fingers, hands, feet, elbows or the back of your ankle. The lumps are not usually painful. However, they can swell up and become tender during episodes of gout. If you have gout, the high concentration of uric acid in your blood can also increase your chance of developing kidney stones. Kidney stones are small, solid masses made up of uric acid crystals that form in the kidney. As they make their way out of the body through the urine, they can get stuck in the thin tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder and cause extreme pain.

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About this article

Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 24 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Votes: 126 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Gout


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