What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP may ask about your diet and if you drink alcohol.
They may refer you to see a specialist and arrange a blood test and scan. Sometimes a thin needle is used to take a sample of fluid from inside the affected joint, to test it.
The blood test will find out how much of a chemical called uric acid there is in your blood.
Having too much uric acid in your blood can lead to crystals forming around your joints, which causes pain.
Gout Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis
Gout and rheumatoid arthritis both cause bumpy, painful joints, but they couldn’t be more different. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks itself, causing damage to tissue and organs while gout has nothing to do with the immune system. “Unfortunately, when chronic, it can involve many joints making it difficult to distinguish from rheumatoid arthritis,” Dr. Nathan Wei, a rheumatologist and director of the Arthritis Treatment Center in Frederick, Maryland, told Live Science. “Obviously, if the patient has a high level of rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP, that helps. However, a few patients may have concomitant RA and gout.”
Six Conditions That Gout Can Be Confused With
The type of inflammatory arthritis known as gout usually affects the joints in the big toe, but thats not the only place where it hits. Moreover, gout can imitate other conditions, raising the risk for misdiagnoses. Patients in Kentucky should know about the following conditions because they can all be misdiagnosed as gout or vice versa.
First, there is pseudogout. Like gout, it involves the depositing of crystals in a persons joints the difference between the two lies in what the crystals are made of. Gout is caused by an elevated level of uric acid, but pseudogout is caused by crystallized calcium pyrophosphate. Doctors can distinguish between the two while a patient is having a gout flare-up.
, otherwise known as an infected joint, is another condition confused with gout because both result in fever and a spike in ones white blood cell count. Or, patients may have a bacterial skin infection, which causes areas on ones skin to become red, swollen and hot.
When gout affects several joints, it can be mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. All three can lead to visible bumps around the joints. When its gout, the bumps are called tophi. Testing the fluid in the nodules can help in diagnosis. Lastly, people with a broken toe may think they have gout.
Also Check: Is Onion Bad For Gout
Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Colchicine is used to prevent gout attacks in adults. Colchicine is also used to relieve the pain of gout attacks when they occur. Colchicine is also used to treat familial Mediterranean fever in adults and children 4 years of age and older. Colchicine is not a pain reliever and cannot be used to treat pain that is not caused by gout or FMF. Colchicine is in a class of medications called anti-gout agents. It works by stopping the natural processes that cause swelling and other symptoms of gout and FMF.
Getting The Right Diagnosis
If you experience joint issues, receiving a timely, accurate diagnosis from a rheumatologist is essential. You want to be sure you receive proper treatment and prevent long-term damage or complications.
We will use all the tools we have to get an accurate diagnosis, says Zhanna Mikulik, MD, a rheumatologist at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. Your rheumatologist will look at what joints are affected, what the pattern is, and how it started.
You May Like: Is Almond Bad For Gout
If You Have A Painful Bump On Your Big Toe It Might Not Necessarily Be The Bunion You Think It Is
Bunions are one of the more common problems podiatrists see in their practice. While bunions may look like a growth at the bottom of your big toe joint, bunions are actually the result of a misalignment of your bones, which causes your big toe to point inward and the metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of your big toe to shift outward.
Bunions may be genetic or the result of an injury to the big toe. They can be exacerbated by wearing shoes that dont fit well or have a high heel or narrow toe box. Bunions may not cause much discomfort in the early stages, but if they become persistently painful, red, and swollen, you need to see a doctor.
As bunions get worse, they can cause problems such as hammertoes and pinched nerves like neuromas, and worsen flat feet, so you shouldnt ignore them, says Timothy Curran, DPM, director of the podiatry program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
Seeing a doctor is also important because theres a chance your bunion may not actually be a bunion. The symptoms and appearance of bunions are similar to several other conditions that affect the foot, so your doctor will want to rule out those out. Plus, even if it turns out that you do have a bunion, it may be a sign of more serious condition. Here, Dr. Curran discusses what other problems podiatrists may consider when a patient complains of a bunion.
What Can Increase Your Risk
A high level of uric acid in the blood is the main factor that increases your risk of developing gout. However, it’s still uncertain why some people with a high level of uric acid in the blood develop gout, while others with an equally high level don’t.
Other factors that may increase your risk of developing gout are outlined below.
Recommended Reading: Is Pistachio Bad For Gout
What Is The Difference Between Gout And Pseudogout
Gout and pseudogout sound very similar. What do they have in common?crystalline arthropathiesDoes having pseudogout mean kind of having gout? Who gets gout and pseudogout? What are the causes? Are the same joints affected?GoutpodagraPseudogoutHow are gout and pseudogout diagnosed? urateWhat else can be confused with gout and pseudogout? infectionosteoarthritisrheumatoid arthritisHow are gout and pseudogout treated? Are they treated the same? I think I have one of these problems! How can I find a hand surgeon to help me? Find a Hand Surgeon toolRyan Zimmerman, M.D. is a Hand, Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a member of Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder and an Attending Surgeon at the Curtis National Hand Center. user agreement and disclaimer.
Is It Gout Or Something Else
The pain and redness of gout can look like an infection or other conditions.
- Pseudogout is another form arthritis. The crystals formed in this condition are made of calcium pyrophospate, not uric acid. But like regular gout, the attack comes on all of a sudden. Joints become swollen, warm, painful, and stiff.
- Reactive arthritis is a reaction to infection that has similar signs.
- Psoriatic arthritis and infectious arthritis can look like gout, too.
You May Like: Is Almond Bad For Gout
Signs And Symptoms Of Gout
Any joint can be affected by gout, but it usually affects joints towards the ends of the limbs, such as the toes, ankles, knees and fingers.
Signs and symptoms of gout include:
- severe pain in one or more joints
- the joint feeling hot and very tender
- swelling in and around the affected joint
- red, shiny skin over the affected joint
Symptoms develop rapidly over a few hours and typically last three to 10 days. After this time the pain should pass and the joint should return to normal.
Almost everyone with gout will experience further attacks at some point, usually within a year.
Read more about the complications of gout.
How Do I Prevent Gout
Preventing gout means addressing the cause of your uric acid build-up as well as any personal risk factors identified by your healthcare team. This means investigating any metabolic disorders and kidney function, as well as promoting lifestyle measures like diet and exercise. Your doctor may also put you on urate-lowering therapy, which looks to medically manage your urate levels to help reduce the likelihood of a flare.
Here at My FootDr, we help our patients by providing them with the right tools and support to maximise their comfort for when their flares do arise. Many of our patients must still continue to work during their flare, and when your occupation involves being on your feet , having some offloading to give you relief by redistributing the pressure away from the big toe and to the lesser toes can make a big difference to your quality of life and ability to work.
Don’t Miss: Almond Milk And Gout
Who Is Affected By Gout
Gout can affect anyone. It usually occurs earlier in men than women. It generally occurs after menopause in women. Men can be three times more likely than women to get it because they have higher levels of uric acid most of their lives. Women reach these uric acid levels after menopause.
People are more likely to get gout if they have:
- Obesity, or a lot of extra weight.
You are also more likely to develop gout if you:
- Consume a diet high in animal proteins
- Consume a significant amount of alcohol
- Are on water pills .
Diseases That Mimic Rheumatoid Arthritis
A number of diseases can be similar to rheumatoid arthritis . There is notable overlap between symptoms of RAjoint pain, stiffness, fatigueand those of RA-like rheumatic or autoimmune diseases, other types of arthritis, and some viral and bacterial infections.
Ruling out other conditions that mimic RA, such as Lyme disease, lupus, and fibromyalgia is part of diagnosing RA. This process relies on a combination of your physical examination, medical history, laboratory test results, and imaging studies.
Even after you’ve been diagnosed with RA, your healthcare providers may consider other conditions if your symptoms are still not improving, despite treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs .
Research published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that more than 40% of people who were diagnosed with RA actually had a different condition.
It’s also possible that you could have RA and another condition.
Verywell Health / Hilary Allison
Read Also: Black Cherry Juice For Gout Cvs
How Will Gout Affect Me
Attacks can vary from person to person. Some people only have an attack every few years, while others have attacks every few months.
Without medication attacks tend to happen more often and other joints can become affected.
Having high urate levels and gout for a long time can lead to other health problems, including:
- narrowing of the arteries – which can lead to an increased risk of stroke or heart attacks or other heart problems
- osteoarthritis, which occurs when the urate crystals and hard tophi cause joint damage.
- an increased risk of developing kidney disease or worsening of the condition if you already have it
- kidney stones
- an increased risk of some cancers, especially prostate cancer
- mental health problems, including depression
- underactive thyroid
- erectile dysfunction in men.
If you take medication to lower your urate levels, and have a healthy diet and lifestyle, most of the damage and complications caused by gout can be stopped.
Treatments for gout are incredibly successful. There are two main parts to treating gout, which are:
- treating the acute attack
- treatments to prevent future attacks.
Is There A Test That Can Tell Me If I Have A Uti
Diagnosing a UTI involves testing your urine . This can be done in the doctors office or lab, and it looks for bacteria, white blood cells, and red blood cells in the urine.
This test is sometimes followed by a urine culture, which sees what bacteria are actually growing in the urinary tract and helps your healthcare provider select the best treatment.
If you have complicated or frequent UTIs, your healthcare provider may order additional tests. These include a study to see your urinary tract or a cystoscopy, which is a small tube to see inside the urethra and bladder.
You May Like: Is Almond Bad For Gout
Gout Symptoms And Treatments
If you or a loved one has experienced gout, then you are familiar with this debilitating pain. Gout can hinder individuals from completing even the simplest physical tasks and can be a burden on your diet.
Gout is a complex type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in the joints. It generally affects the lower portion of the body. Being familiar with the symptoms and treatment options can help you to understand the condition and even help you to prevent the experience of gout attacks.
What are the symptoms of gout?
There are many symptoms that can be associated with gout, but most mimic daily annoyances and can often go unnoticed. The most common symptom of a gout attack is a sudden, sharp stabbing pain in the big toe. This pain can also present itself in the ankle, calf muscle, or almost any other area of the lower body. Your doctor can perform blood tests that monitor uric acid in order to determine whether gout is responsible for the pain or if it could be caused by something else.
How is gout treated?
However, the best way to treat gout is through active prevention. You can try to avoid gout attacks by steering clear of foods that cause uric acid to build up in your joints, such as seafood, gravy, and beer. Your doctor can help you to determine other lifestyle changes that can help you manage gout.
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.
Don’t Miss: Is Almond Bad For Gout
Expert Q& a: Why Is My Gout Not Getting Better
Make sure you really have gout if you arent responding to therapy. Learn about gouts possible mimics.
Question: I am 29 years old and have gout, for which I take allopurinol , indomethacin and colchicine. I dont drink alcohol, and I have tried to limit the purine-rich foods in my diet, because Ive heard these can makegoutworse. But the bad attacks are becoming worse. What should Ido? Answer:The treatment of gout is plagued by multiple misconceptions. Most people with gout do not overindulge in either alcoholic beverages or purine-rich foods, and even for those who do, eliminating these items is seldom enough in itself to improve gout symptoms. I can think of two possible reasons your treatment has not helped. The first is that you may not really have gout, which occurs when a waste product called uric acid builds up in the blood and then is deposited as crystals in the joints and other tissues. Did your doctor draw fluid from an affected joint and find urate crystals in it? If not, you may actually have some other type of arthritis, one that would require a different type of treatment. Conditions that are often confused with gout include:
Assessing Signs And Symptoms
Read Also: Is Almond Bad For Gout
What Other Conditions Cause Similar Symptoms
Although UTIs are very common, its important to know that other conditions can cause similar symptoms to a UTI.
Some of these more common conditions include:
Sexually transmitted infections: Gonorrhea , chlamydia , and mycoplasma are common causes of sexually transmitted infections. They can cause painful urination and are sometimes associated with discharge from the urethra. These infections require specific antibiotics in order to be treated.
Vaginitis:Vaginal infections can cause symptoms in the vagina and/or vulva, like burning, itching, or discharge. Although they dont involve the urinary tract, these symptoms can sometimes feel similar to the burning or discomfort associated with a UTI. Common causes of vaginitis include bacteria , yeast , and trichomonas. Skin conditions, like contact dermatitis or lichen planus, can also cause vaginitis. Because the treatment for all of these is different, its important to know what is causing your symptoms.
Some less common conditions that can have similar symptoms to a UTI include: