After a first attack of gout, MedlinePlus reports that people generally go a long period of time with no symptoms at all, although symptoms may eventually return after a period of months or years.
Treatment with medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, colchicine (a toxic natural product used to treat gout and other arthritis-like problems) and/or corticosteroids relieve the pain of an acute gout attack within 12 to 48 hours, according to MedlinePlus.
Several lifestyle changes can limit gout symptoms. MedlinePlus recommends eating a low-purine diet, limiting the size of meals and avoiding fatty foods and alcohol, eating plenty of carbohydrates and losing weight slowly, if necessary.
Poorly managed or untreated gout can become chronic, or recurrent. Treatment for chronic gout may include, according to MedlinePlus, the drugs allopurinol and probenecid to reduce uric acid in the blood.
Advanced gout can cause nodules called tophi which may be tender and swollen during gout attacks, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The Mayo Clinic reports that people with gout may develop kidney stones as a result of a buildup of urate (a salt derived from uric acid) crystals.