About 2 years ago, my big toe was red, swollen and I was in a lot of pain. I finally went to the doctor and he simply said “you have gout”. I thought it was from a time I stubbed my toe. He then said, “does this hurt?” and squeezed it. It did not. So, he retracted and x-rayed it instead and said it was probably sprained. Thinking back now, maybe it was gout? It did not burn like everything I read describes. Now, about 2 months ago, I had a horrible fever and was in the hospital on IV for 4 days. Nothing showed up other than a 9mm kidney stone. I went to a urologist and he thinks it’s uric acid, because it was invisible on the x-ray, but visible on ultrasound. Since then, I have been very active, jogging, biking, canoeing, etc., with no issues. Suddenly, last week, I had all of my major joints swell (knees, elbows, wrists and ankles – nothing in the toes or feet) and the balls of my fingers (in the palms). I could barely get out of bed. Then, small masses (about the size of a bottle cap) started popping up in my legs. I went to the doctor and had blood work (they thought Lyme – but came up negative, as did the test from 2 months ago). Everything was “normal”. My uric acid was 6.8. After reading some things on this site, I see that being 6.8 vs 7.0 is not necessarily normal. From everything I am reading, putting the kidney stone and this joint flare up together, I am really thinking it is gout. The pictures of the lumps on the web and this site are hideous. Mine were barely visible and if I massaged them, I could make them almost go away. Also, when my joints flared up, massaging them felt good, whereas most of the things I read say gout patients are in pain just from the bed sheets touching them. My toes were perfectly fine, which I am reading is a misunderstanding now. I checked out clean for RA, Lupus, and everything else I see in my blood test.
I know I should ask my doctor more, but this site seemed very helpful and if it is gout, I will probably wind up bookmarking this site for tips on diet, etc.