You were sleeping soundly in a cold night and suddenly you could feel there was an intense pain on your feet. When you switched on the light and you were shocked to see that your big toe is swollen and hurts badly. You hop and crawl to the medicine cabinet with the hope that the pain will go away after you swallow some aspirin. You were rolling left and right on the bed the whole night trying the end the pain while flashing back your memories wondering what have you kicked recently that caused the painful swollen big toe.
If you are like many of the first timers who went through the same situation, the pain is very annoying and unbearable. Continue to sleep looks like a mission impossible . Since it is inconvenient to goto the hospital to see a doctor in the middle of the night, you end up sitting in front of the computer or holding your smart phone Google around why your big toe is swollen and hurts.
If you are very sure you did not accidently kick on anything recently and there is no any insect bite mark around the swollen big toe, then chances are very high that you are suffering from a gout attack for the very first time. If you are a big fan of meaty diet and alcohol or recently you have been busy attending parties eating and drinking all you can, then it is confirmed that you are suffering from gout.
I know it is hard to accept the fact you are becoming a gout patient, especially if you think you are still young, fit, and healthy. Do not worry. It is not the end of the world. You are not alone. There are many young people out there suffering from gout too, and have gone through the same shock. This is due to the change of diet habit of modern people towards foods that are high in protein and acid such as meat, seafood, beer, soft drinks, etc. Long term consumption of these foods will cause the rise of uric acid level in the body and when the uric acid level reaches saturation point, uric acid will crystallize to become sharp tiny urate crystal that float within the joints (usually starts with big toe joint) .
When you body detects the occurrence of this solid urate crystal, the immune system perceives that as foreign invader and will call for immediate immune reactions that lead to inflammation that gives you the unbearable pain. Now you know why your big toe is swollen and hurts. What you can do now is to try to soak your feet in warm water to help improve the blood circulation around the affected area, this can possibly help to melt away the urate crystal. DO NOT soak your painful foot in cold water or apply ice bag on it to numb the pain. Low temperature will only increase the rate of urate crystal formation which will make your condition worse in the long run.
If you can not stand the pain, then goto see a doctor the next morning and get a prescription of Colchicine or some painkiller to deal with the hurtful inflammation. If you do not want to go to the doctor to pay for a quick fix and if you can bear with the pain, then just relax at home and drink plenty of water. Try to minimize any extreme movement of the affected foot. Usually the pain will gradually subside in a matter of days.