Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gout have a great deal in common. The medical community deems them as kinds of arthritis. Meaning both cause pain, swelling, and joint stiffness. However, there are important variations among them, too.
Those variations include the reason they happen. There are also indicative variations in their symptoms that help to recognize the two. Since the cause of them are different, doctors also manage and treat them differently.
Are RA and Gout Caused by the Same Thing?
Rheumatoid arthritis and gout are both kinds of arthritis, but the primary causes are totally different. RA is an autoimmune disorder. It occurs when your body’s immune system attacks the tissue lining your joints. Those attacks can cause painful swelling, soreness, and joint abnormality. Because RA is an immune system disease it can impact other parts of the body, also, including your eyes, skin, and heart.
Gout impacts those with an excess of uric acid in their blood. Your body produces this kind of acid when breaking down specific foods, including meat. Your kidneys usually rids your body of it when you urinate. However, when there’s an excess of it in your system, the uric acid can produce crystals. These needle-like crystals build-up in joints and adjoining tissues in which they can cause pain and inflammation.
Do Gout and RA Have the Same Symptoms?
Both gout and RA is the cause of pain and stiffness in several joints. But otherwise, the two tend to conform to different patterns.
Rheumatoid arthritis. This ailment usually begins in smaller joints such as your feet and hands. They are going to feel swollen, tender, and warm to the touch. Then it typically moves to other, larger joints such as your shoulders, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, and hips. It’s uncommon, but you might also suffer from fatigue and appetite loss or a fever, though that’s rare.
A lot of individuals have similar symptoms on each side of their body. Meaning if one shoulder hurts, the other one usually does, too.
Rheumatoid arthritis makes your joints feel stiff when waking up in the morning. The pain might get better with activity throughout the day.
Gout. Different from RA, it typically begins with a sudden pain of attack. The pain can be extreme. It isn’t uncommon for an individual that has gout to seem like their joint is on fire. It could seem like there’s a searing poker in their joint.
Gout typically impacts just one joint. Your big toe is a common area, but gout also can impact ankles, knees, wrists, or elbows.
The impacted joint also might appear red and swollen. It could be warm to the touch. Sometimes gout attacks can be the cause of a fever.
Are Doctors Going to Treat RA and Gout the Same Way?
Neither RA nor gout has a cure. However, there are treatments to help manage their symptoms. Some are the same for both conditions:
- Treatments for Pain. Over the counter pain relievers such as naproxen and Tylenol can help with either condition. A medication known as colchicine could also relieve gout pain.
- Treatments for Inflammation. Corticosteroids such as cortisone can help with inflammation and the pain caused by it.
In relation to treating the underlying ailment, doctors put their efforts for treating the cause. RA treatments might include medications that subdues the immune system.
Treatment for gout typically includes medications that hinder the increase of uric acid crystals.
What you’re eating can also impact the levels of uric acid in your blood. If you have gout, take these measures to prevent gout attacks:
- Restrict alcohol
- Limit meat consumption
- Keep a healthy weight
Can You Have Gout and RA?
The bad answer is yes. Doctors used believe think that individuals that have RA did not get gout. But they’ve now realized that is not the case. The 2 are unmistakable conditions. So, it’s possible for an individual to have both.
Should you or a loved one have joint pain and don’t know the reason, it’s wise to see a doctor. They can examine your joints and take a blood and joint fluid test to discover the cause and choose the next steps.
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