Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Gout diagnosis

1-minute read

Often, the diagnosis of gout is obvious, especially if a person has had gout before. A red, hot, painful swollen big toe joint in a man over 40 is usually gout.

However it could also be an infection in the joint or bone, or an unusual condition known as pseudo-gout. So if you have not had gout before or you are not sure what is causing the symptoms, see your doctor.

The doctor may confirm the diagnosis by taking a sample of fluid from the joint with a thin needle and sending it to a laboratory, where urate crystals can be seen in the fluid through a microscope. A blood test may also show elevated levels of uric acid in the blood (although it is possible to have high uric acid blood levels and not have gout). X-rays aren't usually used to diagnose gout, but they may be used in people with recurrent gout to assess how much damage there is to the affected joint.

Last reviewed: December 2017

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Uric acid - Lab Tests Online AU

Why and when to get tested for uric acid

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Gout - Lab Tests Online AU

Gout is a condition caused by uric acid crystals forming in the body. When the crystals deposit in joints, inflammation results in severe pain, especially in the feet.

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Gout (uric acid buildup) information video | myVMC

Gout is caused by uric acid accumulation in joints. Gout symptoms like pain can be relieved with gout treatments and avoiding uric acid foods.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Gout | Arthritis Australia

What is gout? Gout is a common and painful condition that affects the joints. Small crystals form in and around the joint, causing inflammation, pain and swelling. These crystals are made of one of the body's normal waste products, uric acid. Normally the body rids itself of extra uric acid through the kidneys into the

Read more on Arthritis Australia website

Learn about gout, symptoms & treatment - MSK

What is gout? Understand more about your musculoskeletal condition, how you can manage, where to find support & how MSK can help you.

Read more on Musculoskeletal Australia website

Synovial fluid - Lab Tests Online AU

Why and when to get tested for synovial fluid analysis

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Kidney stones -

Kidney stones: find out the causes, symptoms (including renal colic), tests and treatments. Also, how to prevent kidney stones from recurring.

Read more on myDr website

Healthy eating | Arthritis Australia

Is there a diet to cure arthritis? No diet has been proven by research to cure arthritis. Be very cautious of special diets or supplements that claim to cure arthritis. The best diet for arthritis is a healthy, balanced one to maintain your general health and prevent other medical problems. The best diet for arthritis

Read more on Arthritis Australia website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo