Symptoms associated with gout can vary based on which stage of the disease one has.  First stage most people have no noticeable symptoms, though the blood level of uric acid may be elevated.  Second stage joint pain and swelling occurs and can escalate quickly.  Gout most commonly affects the big toe but symptoms may also be felt in the foot, knees, ankles, hands, elbows and fingers.  Third stage symptoms often decrease in intensity temporarily but final stage permanent joint or kidney damage may occur-called Chronic Tophaceous Gout.