How can you tell the difference between Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes the joints to become stiff, inflamed and painful.

It can lead to permanent damage and can affect your quality of living. The American College of Rheumatology estimates that 1.3 million Americans suffer from RA.

RA can also be a systemic condition. It can also affect the eyes, skin, lungs and heart. People with RA are more likely to develop heart disease than people who do not have it.

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Gout is a painful form of Rheumatoid arthritis that affects the big toe of the foot. It can also affect the ankle and top of the foot. It can attack other joints in your body, sometimes.

The Greek philosopher-physician Hippocrates called gout the “arthritis of the rich” because it was historically associated with indulging in rich food and drink.

There are differences between gout and RA

Both can cause swelling, redness, and pain in your joints. Both can lead to serious disability and disruptions in your quality of living.

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These two conditions can be distinguished by looking at the initial signs and the affected joints. To determine if you have RA, or gout, it is best to consult your doctor.

  • These are the symptoms that help to distinguish between diseases
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Pain can be severe, mild, or moderate and it is often associated with stiffness.
  • Can affect any joint, and is often symmetrical on either end of the body
  • Most commonly, it occurs in the small joints between the wrists and feet.
  • Joints may become red and painful.


  • Usually, it occurs in the foot at the base or big toe.
  • Redness, swelling, intense pain

What causes RA?

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

The cause of RA is still unknown by the medical community. Scientists believe that RA is partly caused by a person’s genetic makeup. They also think the environment triggers the condition, such as a virus.

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  • Gout

Gout can be caused indirectly by rich food and drinks. Purines are the main cause. These chemical compounds can be found in certain foods.

Most meats, especially organ meats, most shellfish and fish, as well as some vegetables, are rich in purine. Purines can also be found in whole-grain breads, cereals, and other grains.

Purines are converted into uric acid by the body. When there is too much of uric acid in blood, gout can occur. Although uric acid is usually expelled from the urine, high levels can cause sharp crystals to form in the joints. This can lead to inflammation and intense pain.

What is the treatment for each condition?

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

RA cannot be cured. The treatment focuses on reducing joint inflammation, relieving symptoms and decreasing damage to the joints. Your doctor will collaborate with you to develop a treatment plan that suits your needs.

Active, severe RA can be treated with powerful biologics or disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARDs). These genetically engineered drugs are designed to target specific cells or chemicals involved in the immune system. They can be used to stop or slow down the progression of the disease, as well as relieve pain and inflammation.

Nonbiologic DMARDs can be used to treat mild-to-moderate cases of RA. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), are used in conjunction with DMARDs to treat inflammation and pain.

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  • Gout

Your doctor may also recommend changes to your diet.

Gout treatment drugs include:

  • NSAIDs such as naproxen or indomethacin (Naprelan, Naprosyn, etc.)
  • Corticosteroids such as prednisone, Rayos and other corticosteroids are available.
  • Colcrys (colchicine) is a combination of NSAIDs and colchicine to treat acute attacks and prevent future ones
  • Anti-uric acid medications can be used to block the formation of uric acids crystals

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