Duration of Gout and Gout Attacks: How Long Does Gout Last?

Shahid Iquebal   by Shahid Iquebal, M.Pharm.    Last updated on September 27, 2019,

how long does gout last

How long does gout last?

Gout is characterised by attacks of sudden pain which heightens about 8-12 hours after its onset. It is quick and frequently happens at night. It is extremely painful condition and first 24 hours are usually the worst.

Gout attacks last for 7-10 days and resolve even without treatment but manifest again. But the answer to the question “how long does gout last?” is complex and in majority of the cases it’s a lifetime condition.

You should remember that your gout problem doesn’t appear suddenly but actually been with you for quite some time, possibly years. It is caused by continuous uric acid build-up in your blood.

In view of these facts, the answer to your question - how long does gout last, largely depends on three factors.

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Your gout symptoms

First, you should be able to define gout, for which you will have to visit a doctor, at least for the first attack.  Swelling of the joint, inflammation, redness, and sore skin are the symptoms associated with gout but these conditions can be associated with other diseases, too.

Although, gout is a lifetime condition, however, the good news is that medicine and diet can make a difference in its frequency and severity.

Proper treatment can help in reducing the frequency, length, and severity of individual episodes to a greater extent. Many gout sufferers never experience second episode of gout attack but untreated gout is more likely to return.


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Your self-help and home-based gout treatment

Another factor is how you are managing your gout condition at home. You can generally alleviate gout symptoms at home. Prescribed medicines are important in controlling gout over the long run, but your main goal is to ride it through via treatment and diet once it appears.

You should consume plenty of fluids and water and consider using an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) for the pain.

Know Which Foods Cause Gout Attacks

Third, whether you are taking medicine or not, you will have to make changes in your diet in order to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. You should learn and note which items in your diet cause flare-ups, and avoid foods that cause gout symptoms to manifest. Avoiding these foods that cause gout is far easier than enduring another flare up.

Some of the foods that are known to cause gout include:

  • sugary soft drinks
  • beer
  • alcohol
  • tomatoes
  • beef
  • pork
  • lamb
  • liver
  • tuna
  • smelt

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How long does a gout attack last?

The answer to this question is not so simple. Usually, gout attacks and gout pain can last from days to weeks depending upon its severity. It depends on the stage of disease you are in. Diet, lifestyle and treatments all come into play as well. If you have had several untreated attacks, further attacks are likely to last even longer.

Gout attacks are intensely painful in the first 12-24 hours, and afterwards, the pain starts to subside completely with daily incremental improvements. The duration of an average gout attack ranges from three days to a week but for some a gout attack can be quite stubborn and can even last for weeks. Frequent gout attacks for various lengths of time can happen if gout is left untreated.

If you don’t control your uric acid levels to below 5 mg/dl, you should expect more and frequent gout attacks. Since gout is a progressive disease, it will harm your joints in same manner and can lead to a serious damage and even deformity.