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Arthritis happens when there are problems in joints, causing pain to the sufferer. Gout, a type of arthritis, happens when small crystals form inside and around joints. These can grow when a waste product, called uric acid, builds up in the body causing pain to intensify. Being overweight, having diabetes and high blood pressure all increase your risk of developing gout. These four symptoms could be a sign of gout, according to the NHS. Sudden attack of severe pain The national healthcare provider says that this is the “main symptom” of the condition. It can be described as “a sudden attack of severe pain in one or more joints, particularly in your big toe”. These attacks are more likely to occur at night, develop quickly over a few hours, and last between three and ten days. Tender joints If you have a joint that feels “hot” or “very tender”, this could also be a sign of gout. The NHS says the feeling could be “to the point of being unable to bear anything touching it”. Swelling in joints You should also watch out for an expansion/enlargement of your joint, which could indicate the condition. Skin changes Your skin may become “peeled”, “itchy” and “flaky” if you have gout. It may also become “red and shiny” over the affected joint. These symptoms can affect anywhere on the body, but may be more likely in the big toe, mid foot, ankles, knees, fingers, wrists and elbows. “The intense pain can make getting around difficult,” continued the NHS. “Even the light pressure of a bed cover or blanket can be unbearable.” “If gout is left untreated, it’s likely to affect more joints over time.” The Arthritis Foundation, says that the first symptom of gout is often “excruciating pain”. “Gout usually affects one joint at a time, but if left untreated it can affect many joints. “Joint pain that used to resolve in a week to 10 days could become a milder, but constant pain,” the American organisation added.