Doctors warn that gout can be incredibly painful, and if not seen to immediately it will only get worse.Contrary to popular belief, gout can strike at any time, and for no specific reason. It is not always linked to consumption of rich food and wine, and women can be affected too, especially after the menopause. However, the condition does tend to affect middle-aged men and some people find an attack follows eating foods such as anchovies, sardines or liver. Typically gout affects the big toe joint which becomes hot, red, swollen and very painful.
But gout affects other joints too and if it is not treated it will leads to permanent joint damage. There are effective medications for gout that both relieve the pain and stop the condition from recurring. So if you get a sudden joint pain, consult your doctor - you may be experiencing an attack of gout.