A gout attack may happen in any of the joints in the human body. However, it is most often in the big toes where gout symptoms of intense pain, redness and swelling are manifested. The fingers of the hand, because of the presence of many joints of various sizes and complexity, are a good candidate for gout attacks. A significant characteristic of gout in fingers is that the fingers are not usually the first gout attack location. A gout incident will probably have occurred in other body joints before it makes an appearance on the fingers. Gout is caused by the formation of needle like uric acid crystals in the joints. The uric acid is usually deposited in the joints in the form of tiny urate crystals. Over time, the urate crystals form into hard lumps on various joints. When gout attacks any of the joints in the fingers, chances are the urate crystal formations will have already been present in the other joints of the body for some time. The uric acid levels in the body will probably be already high at 9.0 mg/dL or above.
If this were the case, gout treatments would have been put in place but without much success. Therefore, the gout in fingers can take a much longer time to control. Some long-time gout sufferers report that gout in finger attacks last longer than, for example, gout flares in the big toes or other parts of the feet and ankles. Again, this can be because the gout conditions have been present in the body for a long time already. One of the more unfortunate characteristics of gout is that the longer you have it, the longer the duration of the attacks become. The average gout attack may last anywhere from 3 to 10 days. On the other hand, the average gout in finger attack will probably last a few days longer. Some gout sufferers report attacks that last for three weeks and some even as long as two years. More bad news is that a gout in finger attack may happen simultaneously as an attack in another part of the body. This is medically called polyarticular gout, another sign that the gout condition has just gotten worse. A polyarticular gout attack is a real warning that you must try everything that you can to get the gout under control. This should include regular uric acid tests. The first gout attack is always (or should be) a signal to make major changes in one’s lifestyle.
Consistent with the idea that a gout in fingers attack is a sign that gout is already entrenched in the system, is the fact that these attacks are more common among the older people. This is because they have had more time for the uric acid to build up in the joints in their bodies. Gout in finger attacks are especially common among post- menopausal older women.
Any of the fingers in the hand can be attacked. A curiosity noted by many gouty folk is that gout in finger attacks only in the same fingers. The thumb and index in some or the middle fingers in others and so on. It may begin in one finger and move on to another. The gout in fingers may have its favorite joints.