Tuesday, 19 December 2023 00:00

How Gout Differs From Rheumatoid Arthritis

Gout and rheumatoid arthritis, also known as RA, are two distinct medical conditions that can affect joints in the feet and ankles, and they can be differentiated based on various factors. Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints, usually due to an overproduction or under-excretion of uric acid. In contrast, RA is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own joints, leading to inflammation. The symptoms of gout and RA also vary. Gout typically presents with sudden and intense pain in one joint, often the big toe, along with redness and swelling. RA, on the other hand, typically affects multiple joints symmetrically and causes chronic pain, morning stiffness, and joint deformities over time. Laboratory tests can help distinguish between the two conditions. Elevated levels of uric acid in the blood or the presence of uric acid crystals in joint fluid are indicative of gout. RA is characterized by the presence of specific auto-antibodies, like rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies. If you have pain in your foot or ankle joints, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for proper testing and a diagnosis so that the right treatment can be administered.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Rahil Baxamusa, DPM from Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.


  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Crystal Lake, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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