Top 8 Complications of Gout – What to Expect?

complications of gout

I personally know that there are a lot of different complications when it comes to gout. In some cases, you can expect a single gout attack which is painful, but it will pass. These attacks are not very dangerous and they won’t cause complications. But, if you develop chronic gout, meaning that the attacks will appear frequently, you will develop one of many complications. Complications of gout can be severe or less severe, as I will explain below.

Complications of gout

1. Sleep disruption

The first two things I will mention here is that gout attacks can interfere with your lifestyle. Because frequent gout attacks will appear during the night, in most cases, they will affect your sleep quality. We all know that a good night sleep is mandatory to have a proper health and for those who want the best recovery.

Let’s face it, when we are in pain, in a case of a gout attack a severe pain, we cannot sleep. If these attacks occur too frequently, they will cause insomnia, which is a severe condition and it must be treated. At the same time, you will have to treat gout! So the first complication gout attacks will cause is sleep disruption.

sleep disruption

2. Movement

The second type which will become an issue is the difficulty with movement. When under pain, you will have a hard time move around a house or walk, so you can develop a variety of additional issues. We all know that moving and walking is important for the overall health, so this is a more severe issue than most of you believe.

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gout in the foot

3. Tophi

I know that gout can cause far more or better said more severe health issues if it isn’t treated properly. One of them is mild but painful! It is called tophi and basically, it refers to the tiny crystals consist of uric acid which will appear in the hands, legs, feet, ankles and etc. This is normally a minor issue which won’t cause any pain not it will be visible. But, in a case of a gout attack. These bumps under the skin will become inflamed so they will hurt, a lot!

Keep in mind that you should check the areas I have mentioned frequently to make sure there are no crystal buildups which will be painful at some point. At the beginning stage, they are almost harmless, but if you wait for a longer period of time, tophi will grow and they will start damaging the tissues and surrounding joints. This is a more severe condition which must be treated and in some cases, it will require a proper, medical help.

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tophi gout

4. Dry eye

Additionally, you will want to know that gout can cause cataracts or several issues which will affect your vision. For example, dry eye is one of the most common issues caused by chronic gout. Just to repeat, all of this refers to chronic gout, meaning that you have frequent gout attacks. If not, then this doesn’t concern you.

dry eye

5. Uric acid crystal in the lungs

A separate matter that must be mentioned includes appearance of the uric acid crystals in the lungs. It is extremely rare and only a small number of people get it over the years, but it is a bit more severe. You should check for the crystal formation in or on your lungs when you are heading to the doctor. The effects or better said side-effects of the issue can be massive or more severe than most of you will ever imagine, so they are something you will want to eliminate as soon as possible.

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More severe complications of gout

All of which I have mentioned by now are less-severe complications gout can cause. They are almost harmless and there won’t be any more complications with the mentioned issues. But, I also know that there are more severe issues, which must be mentioned as well. Keep in mind that these complications may cause permanent damage to your body and they will have to be treated as soon as possible.

6. Deformity of the joints

In a case you suffer from frequent gout attacks which are not treated, you will probably develop joint deformity. This is one of the most common and the most severe issues which will appear and it is entirely linked to gout. What happens is that crystals appear in higher and higher amounts and they cause damages to the surrounding tissue all around the joints. So, eventually a joint will become unaligned or even immobile!

This condition must be treated as soon as possible. It is a bit complicated to treat, but it will help you and it will make you live a happier life, but only if you start as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you must start as soon as the first 3-4 gout attacks appear. After that, the size of the crystals and the frequency of the attacks will increase, so you will probably develop a more severe gout condition which must be treated or stopped on any way you can use.

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deformated hand
By James Heilman, MD [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons

7. Kidney stones

Gout is linked to the kidney stones issue. This is one of the most complicated complications and it deserves your full attention. Why? Kidney stones are basically made of uric acid, phosphorus or calcium. When mixed together, they are extremely hard and they look like actual stones, therefore the name. Smaller ones will cause pain because you will have to eliminate them, form your body through the urinary tract. Bigger ones are more complex and more severe. They can damage the kidneys and the urinary tract, so they must be removed with the help of a doctor.

The main concern here are the sharp edges of the kidney stones. As they move through the kidneys they can damage the tissue. The same applies to the other parts of the urinary tract. If you feel a burning sensation and notice blood in urine, these are the first symptoms that the kidney stones must be treated. Some are so big that they cannot move through a kidney. As such, they require immediate medical attention in order to break down them into smaller pieces and to extract them from the urinary tract!

Suggested article: Gout And Kidney Stones (Relations Between Gout And Kidney Stones)

Gout patients have 60% higher risk of developing kidney stones

8. Kidney disease

Some doctors believe that kidney disease may be linked to gout and it may cause it. Others believe that gout causes kidney disease. All of this means that kidneys will be damaged and kidney failure will come! It is up to you to choose what you want to believe, but I personally believe that gout can cause kidney failure.

As I have explained earlier, gout causes kidney stones. As they move through the urinary tract, they cause tissue damages and they will cause scaring tissue all over the kidney’s interior. When that happens, kidneys are impossible to recover, so they will fail!


Complications of gout can be divided into less severe and more severe issues. Keep in mind that it all begins with one gout attack. If you have the second one, it is time to start reacting with the matter and to start changing your lifestyle. Gout attacks must be prevented at any cost, or you may develop one issue of these ones I have mentioned here.

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