Do Doctors Treat Ra And Gout The Same Way
Neither RA nor gout is curable. But there are treatments to help manage your symptoms. Some are the same for either condition:
- Pain treatments. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen can help with either condition. A medication called colchicine can also ease gout pain.
- Inflammation treatments. Corticosteroids like prednisone can help with inflammation and the pain it causes.
When it comes to treating the underlying disease, doctors focus their efforts on treating the cause. RA treatment may include drugs that suppress the immune system.
Gout treatment usually includes medications that prevent the buildup of uric acid crystals.
What you eat can also affect the levels of uric acid in your blood. If you have gout, take these steps to prevent an attack of gout:
Do Gout And Ra Have The Same Symptoms
Both gout and RA can cause pain and stiffness in multiple joints. But otherwise the two tend to follow different patterns.
Rheumatoid arthritis. This condition usually starts in smaller joints like your hands and feet. Theyâll feel tender, swollen, and warm to the touch. Then it usually moves to other, larger joints like your wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles, knees, and hips. Itâs rare, but you might also have fatigue and loss of appetite or a fever, though thatâs less likely.
Most people have similar symptoms on both sides of the body. That means if one shoulder hurts, the other one probably does, too.
RA can make your joints feel stiff when you wake up in the morning. The pain may get better with activity over the course of the day.
Gout. Unlike RA, it usually starts with a sudden attack of pain. The pain can be severe. It isnât unusual for a person with gout to feel like their joint is on fire. It might feel like thereâs a hot poker in the joint.
Gout usually affects only one joint. The big toe is a common spot, but gout also can affect ankles, knees, elbows, or wrists.
The affected joint also might look red and swollen. It may be warm to the touch. Sometimes a gout attack can cause a fever.
About Dr Stuart Weisman Md
Rheumatology Department Boulder Medical Center
Dr. Weisman opened his rheumatology practice at Boulder Medical Center in 2002. Rheumatology is a sub-specialty in internal medicine that is devoted to diagnosing and treating arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Weisman treats the full range of rheumatic conditions including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Read Also: Can Gout Affect Your Whole Body
How Are Warm Joints Diagnosed
Your doctor will begin by taking a thorough health history and listening to your symptoms. Questions your doctor may ask include, When did you first notice your symptoms? and What makes your symptoms worse or better?
Your doctor will physically examine your joints, watch you move the affected joint, and touch the joints to determine a possible source of pain and discomfort.
Your doctor may order several blood tests if they suspect you may have RA. This includes testing your blood count for the presence of rheumatoid factor, an antibody that people with RA have.
In some instances, your doctor may sample the synovial fluid around your joints. Theyll use the fluid to test for the presence of bacteria, crystals, or a virus that could cause your joints to be warm.
Is Knee Pain Due To Gout Or Something Else
Most people with gout in the knee experience intense pain during a gout attack. Swelling may also be noticeable during an active flare, as well as redness and warmth.
The pain may develop in the night and hurt continuously for up to two weeks before the flare subsides, with the most intense pain in the first 24 hours. But if gout is not treated, typically with medication to lower uric acid levels, gout flares will recur and over time and affect more joints, including the knee.
Doctors cant say for sure why gout flares occur more often at night but, according to a 2015 study, it might be because your body temperature goes down at night, which could make uric acid more likely to crystallize.
Although the pain of a gout attack is distinct, there may be other reasons for your knee pain you should be aware of.
Your knee pain could be caused by buildup of different kinds of crystals called calcium pyrophosphate . Doctors can examine fluid in your inflamed knee to determine if the crystals are uric acid or calcium pyrophosphate.
Don’t Miss: Gout Causes Symptoms And Treatment
What To Do If You Think You Have Pain Due To Gout
The good news is that there are effective medications to treat gout, Dr. FitzGerald says. In some mild cases, gout can be self-managed with lifestyle changes, such as weight loss if needed and eating fewer high-purine foods .
However, many people with gout should be on a preventive medication to lower uric acid levels and stop flares from occurring. According to the 2020 gout treatment guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology, uric acid-lowering medication is recommended for people who:
- Have two or more gout flares a year
- Have gout tophi
- Have evidence on X-rays of joint damage due to gout
The guidelines, of which Dr. FitzGerald is a coauthor, recommend a treat-to-target strategy, which means treating gout with medication until a target uric acid level is reached.
Unfortunately, gaps in quality care for gout continue to persist and many patients do not take uric acid-lowering medication, which can leave people suffering the intense and persistent pain of gout without relief. This is why it is important to seek medical care if you experience pain that you think could be gout, Dr. FitzGerald stresses.
Gout can be diagnosed several ways, including:
- Removing fluid from the joint to identify urate crystals.
- Using ultrasound to identify several common characteristics of gout, such as collections of crystals in or around joints.
- Using dual-energy CT to detect urate crystal deposits in cases that are more advanced.
Managing Gout Foods To Avoid
If youre prone to gout, the foods you eat and dont eat, as well as your lifestyle choices can be key in controlling the disease, Dr. Weisman said. Foods that are high in purines, a natural substance that increases the production of uric acid in your body, can trigger gout attacks. Some foods to avoid:
- Sugary foods and beverages
- Organ meats such as liver or tongue
- Red meat, including beef, lamb and pork
- Beer, wine and liquor
The worst types of seafood are anchovies, herring, sardines, trout, tuna and shellfish, said Dr. Weisman. Alcohol exacerbates gout by increasing uric acid production and decreasing excretion of uric acid. In addition, beer adds purines to your blood.
Don’t Miss: Does Gout Cause Burning Feet
How Does A Doctor Diagnose Gout
If you have sudden or severe pain in a joint, you should talk to your primary care provider . Your PCP may send you to a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in gout and other kinds of arthritis.
Healthcare providers consider several things when confirming gout:
- Symptoms: The provider will ask you to describe your symptoms, how often they happen and how long they last.
- Physical examination: Your provider will examine the affected joint to look for swelling, redness and warmth.
- Blood work: A test can measure the amount of uric acid in your blood.
- Imaging tests: You may have pictures taken of the affected joint with X-rays, an ultrasound or MRI.
- Aspiration: The provider may use a needle to pull fluid from the joint. Using a microscope, a team member can look for uric acid crystals or a different problem .
Living With Bursitis Of The Hip
If you have chronic bursitis, try to minimize flare-ups by stretching each day to increase range of motion. And avoid activities that you know will result in pain. Repetitive-motion activities are especially bad for bursitis. If you do have a flare up, remember that resting your hip is important. Without proper rest, healing is delayed.
You May Like: Is Banana Good For Gout
Preventing And Treating Gout
When you first come to AllCare Foot & Ankle Center with gout symptoms, we conduct a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment. We typically prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help control symptoms and prevent further joint damage.
If youve already had or continue to have multiple gout attacks, it can lead to a variety of health complications, including the erosion and destruction of your toe joint and the development of kidney stones. This is why preventing future gout attacks is essential for your overall health and wellness, not just for relieving the pain in your toe.
We recommend the following to help prevent future gout flare ups:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Limit or avoid alcoholic drinks
- Reduce meat, poultry, and seafood in your diet
- Consume more low-fat dairy products for protein
- Lose weight, if necessary
The common symptoms of gout arent something you should ignore, and we can help you get it under control. Give us a call at our Arlington or Dallas offices, or request an appointment online today.
You Might Also Enjoy…
How Is Gout Treated
Unfortunately, theres no cure for gout. However, its possible to manage your symptoms with prescription medications. The type of medication youll most benefit from depends on the severity of your condition. Your doctor might recommend:
- Over-the-counter painkillers
If you regularly experience gout attacks, your doctor might also recommend a prescription medication to block the excess production of uric acid.
To learn more about your treatment options for gout, make an appointment at Precision Podiatry today by calling the office nearest you.
Read Also: What Is The Best Supplement For Gout
Whats The Outlook For People With Gout
Untreated gout can lead to permanent joint damage. The buildup of uric acid in the joints and soft tissue is called tophus. Some people with gout can also develop other health problems, such as severe arthritis, kidney stones and heart disease. Its important to discuss your symptoms with a healthcare provider.
What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Gout
Consider asking your healthcare provider:
- What is causing the gout?
- Do I have any joint damage?
- What can I do to prevent future attacks?
- Can any gout medications help me?
- How long will I need to take gout medications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Gout is a painful form of arthritis. Extra uric acid in your body creates sharp crystals in the joints, leading to swelling and extreme tenderness. Gout usually starts in the big toe but can affect other joints. Gout is a treatable condition, and the uric acid level can be decreased by medication and lifestyle changes. Talk to your healthcare provider about medications that can reduce uric acid levels. They can also discuss changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle to prevent and reduce gout attacks.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/15/2020.
You May Like: Does Oatmeal Good For Gout
Lifestyle Modifications Can Prevent Gout Attacks
The good news about gout is that lifestyle changes can help prevent attacks or at least lessen the severity. A few suggestions from Dr. Weisman:
- Hydrate water helps remove uric acid from the body and lubricates your joints
- Maintain a healthy weight this can lower uric acid levels and significantly reduce the risk of gout attacks
- Include nonfat and low-fat dairy foods in your diet
- Eat lots of vegetables
- Get regular exercise if you are not exercising now, ask your doctor about a plan that is right for you
Dr. Weisman added that one study showed cherries might reduce the risk of gout attacks. Another suggested that high doses of regular or decaf coffee four cups a day or more can be helpful. Ask your about lifestyle changes that might be helpful.
What If I Don’t Get Treatment
If you don’t get treatment, a gout attack can last for days or even weeks. If you keep having more attacks, more joints will be affected, and the attacks will last longer.
If you have gout attacks for many years, you may develop tophi . These are soft tissue swellings caused by uric acid crystals. Tophi usually form on the toes, fingers, hands and elbows. You may also get kidney disease or kidney stones. Over time, the bone around a joint may be destroyed.
Also Check: What Does Gout Look Like
Causes Of Gout In The Knee
High uric acid levels in the blood can cause gout.
The body produces about 66% of uric acid naturally. Uric acid also forms when the body processes purines, which are organic compounds found in some protein-rich foods.
The kidneys usually help control the levels of uric acid by filtering it out of the blood.
This may occur if the kidneys do not filter out uric acid properly or if the body produces too much of it.
When a person develops hyperuricemia, excess uric acid may leave the bloodstream and form microscopic uric acid crystals in soft tissues or joints. These crystals may form around or in the joints because the temperature in these areas tends to be lower.
The immune system recognizes uric acid crystals as foreign particles, causing inflammation that looks and feels similar to that from an infection.
However, not everyone with high uric acid levels develops gout. Around 66% of people with hyperuricemia do not experience the condition.
Be Aware Of The Common Signs And Symptoms Of Gout
Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, is a particularly painful condition that affects millions of Americans. The pain is caused by inflammation in the joint induced by the deposition of sharp uric acid crystals. Uric acid is created when purines are metabolized or broken down by the body. Uric acid in and of itself is not harmful it only becomes worrisome when the body is unable to properly process the acid or if the body is experiencing unusually high levels of the acid.
One of the most distinguishing signs of gout is its sudden onset in the middle of the night in the large joint of the big toe. Although, much less commonly, gout can occur at any time during the day and in a variety of other joints such as the ankles, knees, and wrists. Gouty arthritis is unique in that it primarily only affects a single joint at a time. However, if left untreated for long periods of time, multiple joints will likely begin to be implicated.
Gout symptoms include intense joint pain, redness, swelling, warmth, and a limited range of motion at the affected site. Gout often causes the joint to become so sensitive that it is difficult to walk, wear shoes, or even have a sheet resting against it. Read on to learn more about gout signs and symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Gout In Your Calf
Podiatrists Located In Round Rock Cedar Park & Austin Tx
Its estimated that about 8.3 million Americans have gout, a painful type of arthritis that usually affects the big toe. Left unmanaged, gout can negatively impact your quality of life and prevent you from participating in your favorite activities. At Precision Podiatry with three locations in the Round Rock, Cedar Park, and the River Place neighborhoods of Austin, Texas, the licensed foot and ankle specialists regularly diagnose and treat gout. To request your consultation today, call the office nearest you.
Risk Factors For Gout
Obesity, excessive weight gain, especially in youth, moderate to heavy alcohol intake, high blood pressure, diabetes, and abnormal kidney function are among the risk factors for developing gout. Certain drugs and diseases can also cause elevated levels of uric acid. Also, there is an increased prevalence of abnormally low thyroid hormone levels in patients with gout.
Don’t Miss: Can Young People Get Gout
How To Treat Gout In The Ankle
The following are various remedies for gout in the ankle. By addressing gout in ankle symptoms before they get out of control, it can help mitigate pain and swelling. It is recommended to speak to your doctor about particular distressing pain caused by gout as they can provide better-tailored gout ankle treatment.
Feet Feeling Cold But Warm To Touch
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.
You May Like: Veggies To Avoid With Gout
What To Do During An Attack
- take any medication you’ve been prescribed as early as possible after you notice an attack this should start to have an effect within two or three days
- rest and raise the limb
- avoid knocking or damaging the affected joint
- keep the joint cool remove surrounding clothing and apply an ice pack, such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel
- ensure you’re well hydrated
Apply the ice pack to your joint for around 20 minutes. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin and don’t apply it for more than 20 minutes at a time because this could damage the skin.
If necessary, you can keep reapplying an ice pack to your skin during an attack, but you should wait until your skin has returned to a normal temperature first.