How Can I Manage My Gout And Improve My Quality Of Life
Gout affects many aspects of daily living, including work and leisure activities. Fortunately, there are many low-cost self-management strategies that are proven to improve the quality of life of people with gout.
For gout in particular:
- Eat a healthy diet. Avoid foods that may trigger a gout flare, including foods high in purines , and limit alcohol intake .
CDCs Arthritis Program recommends five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms. These can help with gout as well.
Distinct Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia
The symptoms of fibromyalgia resemble the symptoms of many other conditions. But the pain in fibromyalgia is widespread and tends to occur on specific tender points.
These points are located in symmetrical pairs on the:
- back of the head
- trouble with memory, often called fibro fog
- sensitivity to temperature, loud noises, or bright lights
- numbness or tingling
Doctors use different techniques to diagnose RA and fibromyalgia. In each case, youll want to give your doctor as much information as possible about your medical history and the symptoms youre experiencing.
Inflammatory And Noninflammatory Arthritis
Arthritis can be divided into two broad categories: inflammatory and noninflammatory . The presence of joint swelling, erythema, prolonged morning stiffness , and symmetric pain even at rest is suggestive of inflammatory conditions.36 On the other hand, weight bearing and movement worsens the pain of noninflammatory arthritis conditions, such as osteoarthritis. Noninflammatory arthritis typically causes less than one hour of morning stiffness. Weight-bearing joints in the lower extremities are likewise more commonly involved in an asymmetric pattern. A symmetric presentation suggests an underlying inflammatory arthritis condition.2
Signs of systemic inflammation include rashes , oral and genital ulcerations, Raynaud phenomenon, serositis with pleurisy and pericarditis, sicca symptoms of dry eyes and dry mouth, eye inflammation, bowel inflammation, neurologic symptoms, and ischemic symptoms . These signs are integral in correctly diagnosing systemic inflammatory arthropathy.
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Ways Gout And Pseudogout Are Different
Both gout and pseudogout cause sudden joint pain, swelling, and redness, making the two diseases difficult to tell apart. Understanding what makes each condition unique can help when diagnosing, treating, and preventing flare-ups, ultimately minimizing permanent joint damage.
Pseudogout is also known as acute calcium pyrophosphate crystal arthritis . This page describes four ways gout and pseudogout are different.
Half of all gout attacks affect the joint in the big toe. Learn more:Gout Symptoms
Gout Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis, commonly abbreviated as RA, is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation. While RA primarily affects joints, inflammatory responses may also occur in the skin, heart, lungs, and other organs. Though some hypotheses exist, there is currently no known single cause for RA. Gout is a form of acute arthritis that has a known cause, namely the buildup crystalline uric acid deposits in the blood and joints. These crystals cause an inflammatory response, often in a big toe.
RA and gout can be very painful disorders, but gout tends to be more treatable and has a better prognosis in most cases. To diagnose the presence of either RA or gout, a physician must perform a series of diagnostic imaging tests. To differentiate between gout and pseudogout, fluid may also be drawn from inflamed joints for testing.
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Gout Causes And Symptoms
On the other hand, gout is an inflammatory type of arthritis that is caused when there is too much uric acid in the body. Uric acid, a normal waste product formed during the breakdown of certain foods, is usually eliminated by the body as urine. But if too much uric acid builds up or cannot be filtered by the kidneys, acid crystals form in the joints. Our immune system sees the crystals as foreign bodies and attacks them as it would a splinter, causing local inflammation, redness, heat, and a lot of pain.
CreakyJoints recently conducted a comprehensive survey of people with gout and their caregivers that revealed how much of an impact this condition has on people living with it, as well as on their loved ones.
- Employed gout patients surveyed reported missing an average of 6.3 days of work in the last year because of painful gout attacks.
- Caregivers who are employed missed almost five days because they had to provide care or assistance to a loved one experiencing a painful gout attack.
- Nearly 70 percent of patients surveyed said gout has a negative impact on their family 74 percent of caregivers agree.
These shocking findings make it clear that gout not only impacts patients, but it also takes a toll on caregivers.
Is It Rrheumatoid Arthritis Or Gout
If your physician didnt know about your previous problems, gout can look a lot like RA, Learn more about the common signs of symptoms for the most common types of arthritis at WebMD.Take notice of any joint pain, joint spaces, reduced range of motion is a common sign ofViews: 99KIf you have a family history of arthritis, pain, & Diagnosis
The pain and redness of gout can look like an infection or other conditions, joint swelling, RA is an autoimmune condition, such as, you may have a higher risk of developing knee arthritis, If youve already been diagnosed with gout and you have an attack, Men are more likely to have gout, This leads to the typical symptoms of arthritis, stiffness and/or damage progresses within joints, touch your big toe and see if it feels sensitive or painful, Depending on the type of arthritis you have, heat, its not surprising he diagnosed your condition as rheumatoid arthritis, On the other hand, while women are more likely to develop rheumatic arthritis.Views: 453KThis could mean you have an infection inside the joint , The crystals formed in this condition are made of calcium Estimated Reading Time: 3 minsSymptoms of gout arise from the deposition of uric acid crystals within joints, Pseudogout is another form arthritis, Read more about diagnosing gout and treating gout.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Vs Gout
We dont know the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis, but we know that changes in some of the bodys proteins can set off activation of the immune system, which leads to the release of multiple inflammatory chemicals that cause joint inflammation and damage, with swelling, warmth, tenderness, and discomfort.
The Similarities And Differences Between Gout And Ra
Like gout, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, meaning it cant be cured as of this writing. Like gout, RA sufferers experience intermittent bouts called flares. The disease may be continuously active for some RA sufferers but others can enjoy long periods of remission where they do not experience any disease symptoms whatsoever. Like gout, RA may eventually lead to joint destruction, organ damage, damage to cartilage, tendons, and ligaments and even disability!
Like gout both diseases may cause redness, swelling and pain in the joints but in RA it can also become painful but wont always be red or swollen. A difference between gout sufferers and RA sufferers is that the symptoms of RA varies from person to person and can even change on a daily basis, the pain, inflammation and swelling may come from any part of your body. Gout will usually occur in the foot and more commonly at the base of the big toe whereas rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the any joint on either side of your body and is more apparent in your small joints like the hands, wrists and feet.
Rheumatoid arthritis pain also varies in intensity sometimes its mild and other times the pain is very excruciating. Its easy to see how one can confuse rheumatoid arthritis with gout and vice versa. What you should know as a fact is that rheumatoid arthritis and gout may occur together.
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The Sharp Pain During A Gout Flare Can Usually Help Distinguish The Two
At first glance, it might seem like gout and rheumatoid arthritis arent so different. Both cause pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints that can limit your range of motion. However, the cause differs. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means the bodys own immune system attacks the joints, whereas the pain of gout is due to elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. But despite some similarities in symptoms, rheumatologists usually dont have much trouble telling the two conditions apart.
Cases of gout are often clear-cut because the flash of pain patients experience during a flare is so dramatic, says Kelly A. Portnoff, MD, a rheumatologist at The Portland Clinic in Portland, Oregon. It feels like a hot poker in their joint. Whereas if you have RA, the pain kind of creeps up on you.
A patients age also provides clues. While rheumatoid arthritis can affect almost anyone, it most often first appears in women in their reproductive years. Gout tends to arise in one of two life stages: the late twenties/early thirties and the seventies and eighties.
When gout strikes earlier, its often due to lifestyle factors that promote high levels of uric acid, such as meat-heavy diet and excessive alcohol intake, Dr. Portnoff says. When gout appears later in life, its more likely the result of kidney damage or health conditions that increase the risk of gout, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
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.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis And Gout Complications
Rheumatoid arthritis increases ones risk for a number of other conditions, including osteoporosis, rheumatoid nodules, dry eyes and dry mouth, infections, abnormal body composition, carpal tunnel syndrome, heart problems, lung problems, and lymphoma. If rheumatoid arthritis is not well managed the risk of these complications rises dramatically.
Gout complications include reoccurring gout , advanced gout , and kidney stones, which can cause damage to the kidneys if they reoccur.
What Increases Your Chances For Gout
The following make it more likely that you will develop hyperuricemia, which causes gout:
- Being male
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Gout Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis: Differences Based On Treatments
Treating Gout includes resting the joint and applying ice, NSAIDS, Corticosteroids, painkiller like Colchicine, medications that target uric acid production or excretion, healthy diet that is low in purines.
Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis include NSAIDs, Steroids, Corticosteroids, Antimalarial like Plaquenil etc.
Common Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis
The symptoms of PsA can differ from person to person and depend on the type of psoriasis you have. For some, PsA may just involve the skin while others may have joint or even spine involvement. In 10 to 15 percent of cases, people get joint pain before having psoriasis skin plaques.
Classic psoriatic arthritis symptoms include:
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Arthritis / Acute Gout Attack
Gout is a form of arthritis, hence it causes pain and discomfort in the joints. A typical gout attack is characterized by the sudden onset of severe pain, swelling, warmth, and redness of a joint. The clinical presentation of acute gouty arthritis is not subtle with very few mimics other than a bacterial infection.
The joint most commonly involved in gout is the first metatarsophalangeal joint , and is called podagra. Any joint may be involved in a gout attack with the most frequent sites being in the feet, ankles, knees, and elbows.
An acute gout attack will generally reach its peak 12-24 hours after onset, and then will slowly begin to resolve even without treatment. Full recovery from a gout attack takes approximately 7-14 days.
An accurate and colorful discription of a gout attack was elegantly written in 1683 by Dr. Thomas Sydenham who was himself a sufferer of gout:
The Role Of Imaging Tests
Both RA and gout can cause joint erosion, so rheumatologists will order X-rays to look for this. X-rays can also detect the beginnings of tophi, but Dr. Portnoff says theyre not an essential part of the diagnostic process for gout because a patients clinical history, physical exam, and uric acid testing will identify gout.
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Do Ra And Gout Have The Same Cause
Rheumatoid arthritis and gout both are types of arthritis, but the underlying causes are completely different. RA is an autoimmune condition. It happens when your bodyâs immune system attacks the tissue that lines your joints. This attack causes painful swelling, inflammation, and joint deformity. Since RA is an immune system disease , it can affect other parts of the body, too, including the skin, eyes, and heart.
Gout affects people with too much uric acid in their blood. Your body creates this type of acid when it breaks down certain foods, including meat. Your kidneys normally get rid of it when you pee. But when thereâs too much of it in your system, the uric acid can form crystals. These needle shaped crystals build up in joints and surrounding tissue where they can cause pain and inflammation.
How Is Gout Treated
Gout can be effectively treated and managed with medical treatment and self-management strategies. Your health care provider may recommend a medical treatment plan to
- Manage the pain of a flare. Treatment for flares consists of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, steroids, and the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine.
- Prevent future flares. Making changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as losing weight, limiting alcohol, eating less purine-rich food , may help prevent future attacks. Changing or stopping medications associated with hyperuricemia may also help.
- Prevent tophi and kidney stones from forming as a result of chronic high levels of uric acid. Tophi are hard, uric acid deposits under the skin. For people with frequent acute flares or chronic gout, doctors may recommend preventive therapy to lower uric acid levels in the blood using drugs like allopurinol, febuxostat, and pegloticase.
In addition to medical treatment, you can manage your gout with self-management strategies. Self-management is what you do day to day to manage your condition and stay healthy, like making healthy lifestyle choices. The self-management strategies described below are proven to reduce pain and disability, so you can pursue the activities important to you.
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Location Of Gout Symptoms Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect similar joints on both sides of the body if one knee joint is affected by RA, for instance, the other one will likely be affected as well. RA can affect any joint in the body, as can gout. However, the two tend to affect certain joints more frequently than others. RA often starts by affecting the small joints in the hands and feet, whereas gout typically develops in the large joint of the big toe.
MyRAteam members report experiencing gout symptoms in a variety of joints. The gout started in my ankles, wrote one member, who shared that their pain was particularly intense. Another member shared that they are dealing with gout in feet, ankles, and knees. As one member admitted, I never even thought gout occurred anywhere except for the big toe and thats one place I dont have it!
If you experience symptoms of either of these forms of arthritis, seek medical advice from your rheumatologist. They will be able to diagnose the cause of your symptoms and provide you with the right treatment.