Gout VS. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). What is the difference?

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Gout VS. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). What is the difference?


Gout and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are common bone and joint diseases mostly found in Thai population and worldwide. Since both types of orthopedic problems affect the joints and causing pain and inflammation, gout and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be generally confused with each another. Knowing the differences of these diseases helps to get accurate diagnosis and receive appropriate treatments in time.


Differences between Gout VS. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)



Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Gout is an inflammatory disorder, but it is not an autoimmune condition. Gout is caused by high blood levels of uric acid that the body cannot excrete properly. These uric acid crystals can deposit in the synovial tissues, causing inflammation and pain.

RA is an autoimmune inflammatory condition. It occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the synovial tissues or linings of the joints, resulting in inflammation, pain, and swelling. It eventually causes joint damages.

Affected areas normally include lower parts of the body especially in the joints of big toes, toes, ankles and knees.

All parts of body can be affected. It usually occurs in the fingers, hands, shoulders, toes, ankles, knees, wrists and elbows

Pain in the single spot/ pain in multiple joints are uncommon.

Pain in the multiple areas.

Pain on one side of the body (either left or right) 

Pain on both sides of the body.

Swelling joints with abnormal bone formation. 

Changes in the appearance and mobility of affected joints such as wrists, fingers and toes. 

Pain usually attacks anytime of the day with no specific period. 

Pain normally flares up after waking up in the morning, cold temperature makes it worse. 

In severe cases, warm compression increases inflammation and severity.

Cold compression usually worsens the symptoms. 

Pain is usually intermittent.

Pain progresses if let untreated.


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f joint pain caused by either gout or rheumatoid arthritis constantly disturbs daily life and activities, medical attention must be provided as soon as possible. Accurate diagnosis and effective treatments e.g. medications, rehabilitation and surgery entirely help to prevent disease progression, resulting in a better quality of life.

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