How long do symptoms of untreated acute gout last?

Updated: Jan 26, 2021
  • Author: Bruce M Rothschild, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Gout attacks begin abruptly and typically reach maximum intensity within 8-12 hours. Affected joints are red, hot, and exquisitely tender; even a bed sheet on the swollen joint is uncomfortable. The onset of symptoms in pseudogout can resemble acute gout or be more insidious and may occur over several days.

Untreated, the first attacks resolve spontaneously in less than 2 weeks. A history of intermittent inflammatory arthritis, in which the joints return to normal between attacks, is typical of crystalline disorders and is characteristic of gouty arthritis early in its course.


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