Gout And Rheumatoid Arthritis – Similarities And Differences

gout and rheumatoid arthritis

We, gout sufferers know that joint pain can be a massive issue that causes pain and millions of other issues. Gout and rheumatoid arthritis are commonly mentioned together, but they are not the same condition, nor do they have so many similar side-effects. I will reveal all of this in the content below.

First of all, you will have to know that rheumatoid arthritis affects 1% of the population of the United States. It is up to 3 times more common in women, but men are more affected due to the fact they must withstand more severe symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis or commonly known RA is an auto-immune disease which affects the synovium or a membrane on the joints. When they are damaged fluids will gather there which will cause pain. Nobody knows why this happens, but there are some treatments which are more than just helpful.

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Similarities and differences between gout and RA

At the first sight, these two diseases have so much in common that it may be impossible for you to tell what affects your joints. For example, both of them can cause swelling, pain, redness and both of them will cause flares which are more common for gout. Here we can see one important difference. While gout is always followed by swelling and redness, RA doesn’t have to be. You will experience pain, but nothing more.

gout in the foot
By James Heilman, MD [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to more severe issues, gout and RA can both cause damages to the joints, organ damage or permanent immobility. As a matter of fact, they both can cause severe health complications and limit your movement.

Now I must reveal some differences. Although these two issues look the same at the first sight, there are a lot of differences. For example, gout will usually occur in the feet of the toe joint. The pain is usually always the same and it is a high level of pain. On the other hand, the place where the RA will affect you may vary.

There are a lot of different spots, including the upper or lower part of a body, different joints and etc. Furthermore, the level of pain you will experience is more than just different and may vary significantly. Keep in mind that RA comes with different symptoms. It may include all of which we have mentioned or it may include just one or two. In rare cases, all you will experience is pain and nothing else. All of this means that RA is more than just different than gout.

RA and gout may occur together

One of the biggest questions most of you may have is can these two diseases occur at the same time. The answer is yes. Gout and rheumatoid arthritis can be present in the same person and the attacks may occur individually or separately. This is still a rare issue, but keep in mind that it is possible.

I must add that there was a study which proved this claim. It was conducted in Germany and it included more than 100 women. They discovered that 13 of them have experienced pain in the feet or better said a gout attack. Here is also important to add that gout attacks may simulate the RA attacks, which isn’t so rare after all. This happens when gout isn’t diagnosed, so it is believed that a person suffers from RA, while in reality gout causes issues.

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Study information

I must add that there was another study conducted which lasted between the 80s and 2007. It involved a much higher number of participants and it discovered that more than 22 patients developed gout over a period of 22 years. The scientists believe that RA and gout are not literally linked, meaning that if you have RA, you are not safe from gout, you can still develop it at some point.

Although they are not linked permanently or severely, these two issues basically have the same list of side effects. They are painful conditions which affect the joints and cause so much pain. The best thing you can do is to try and prevent both of them. A proper diet, using supplements which will all reduce the level of uric acid are more than just helpful and they can have an impressive effect on the overall health and on the lifestyle.

I will also like to add the fact that minor exercises are great so is the use of natural ingredients which will eliminate the higher levels of uric acid. Keep in mind that in both case scenarios you will have to avoid alcoholic beverages, avoid specific types of food and other beverages, basically all of which are rich in purines, which are known to increase levels of uric acid.

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The final word

As you can see gout and rheumatoid arthritis are so similar, yet so different and they come in a variety of combinations. It is up to you to decide which type of issue you have first and how to treat it properly. I will also like to add that these two diseases can occur at the same time, although it is a rare occasion. In both case scenarios, you will need medical testament and you will need a massive change in your life. Some foods and beverages must be avoided at all cost, while others are preferable and should be consumed frequently just in order to reduce the symptoms and to live a better life.

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