Common Gout Related Questions

We get plenty of people that visit our site, curious to know more about what gout is and how to treat it. Some of these questions include…

  • Will gout go away if untreated?
  • Will gout kill you?
  • Will gout cause swelling?
  • Why does gout affect the big toe?
  • Will gout make you tired?

Will gout go away if untreated?

Not likely. If you have frequent gout attacks and you do nothing to treat your condition, chances are these attacks won’t go away. Gout can affect you for a number of different reasons including your weight, diet, and how much you exercise. Therefore gout occurs largely due to your lifestyle choices.

In turn, gout will go away if you do one of two things. The first thing you can do is you can start to take medication for your gout. Alternatively, you can make certain lifestyle adjustments such as increasing your exercise and changing your diet. Regardless, gout likely won’t go away if you do nothing.

joint pain-jpeg


Will gout kill you?

It certainly could kill you but not directly. Gout has been linked to the risk of a heart attack. Although there is not a large amount of evidence to conclude that gout likely will result in heart attacks it is certainly worth considering.

You should be more worried about the uric acid crystals that can build up if gout is untreated. Similar to kidney stones, uric acid can develop into tough, rock-like clumps called tophi. These tophi can become infected which can kill you in the long run. Gout won’t kill you right away, but if you let it fester, over time gout certainly can become extremely damaging to your health and can even kill you.

Will gout cause swelling?

Yep, it most certainly can. Gout, like almost all arthritis, results in inflammation to some degree. Often times, gout will not cause any noticeable swelling. However, if untreated gout can cause extreme swelling that can leave the area extremely tender and even elevated from the skin.

This often occurs on the feet. When you have severe gout, the inner side of the foot can become raised and even can turn red due to the inflammation. This can be extremely problematic because wearing shoes can become extremely painful and even walking without shoes can become unbearable.

joint pain elbow-jpeg

Why does gout affect the big toe?

When uric acid crystalizes it causes gout that we all dread. However, uric acid crystalizes more easily in colder environments. Ultimately, because the toes are some of the furthest parts of the body from the heart, the toes tend to be the coldest area of the body. In turn, the toes and most commonly the big toe is one of the most susceptible areas of the body for gout.

This, of course, is why gout doesn’t develop in joints closer to the body as often such as the knees, or elbows.

Will gout make you tired?

Yes, gout can indirectly make you tired. Pain is tiring- anyone who has had a toothache knows that dealing with constant pain can really drain you of energy. The same idea is true for gout pain particularly if the gout is on your feet. If you are constantly in pain every time you take a step forward, you will most likely be fatigued by lunchtime.

Of course whether or not gout will make you tired also comes down to your pain tolerance. If you are an individual who has a high pain tolerance you might not feel tired at all. On the other hand, if you are sensitive to pain you likely will become tired much more easily.