Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease in which your own immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, causing inflammation that damages your joints.
On the other hand, gout results from deposits of needle-like crystals of uric acid in connective tissue, joint spaces, or both. These deposits lead to inflammatory arthritis, causing swelling, redness, heat, pain, and stiffness in the joints. Gout accounts for about 5% of all cases of arthritis.
edit Signs and symptoms
- RA usually causes pain or stiffness lasting for more than 30 minutes in the morning or after long rest and lack of activity. Stiffness due to gout is present only at the time of the attack.
- RA is associated with symmetrical swelling e.g., both hands, both elbows, etc. whereas Gout either involves a single joint or involves the joints in an asymmetric pattern.
- Most typically, RA symptoms include joint pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness of the joints; prolonged morning stiffness; and less range of movement. Some people also experience fever, weight loss, fatigue, and/or anemia .On the other hand the patient having Gout suddenly experiences a hot, red, swollen joint, caused by the formation of uric acid crystals between the joints. The attack often occurs at night and in a single joint, with the pain becoming more severe. Chills and a mild fever along with a general feeling of malaise may also accompany the severe pain and inflammation.
- In Gout although the pain and swelling disappear with treatment, it almost always returns in the same joint or in another one. Whereas RA is a continuous and progressive disease with no remissions.
edit Location of joints involved
With RA, inflammation generally occurs in the knuckles and at the joints closest to your hands, nearer the base of your fingers. On the other hand, gout usually affects the joints in the big toe.Some other parts that could get affected by gout are ankle, heel, knee, wrist, fingers, elbow etc.
Adult men, particularly those between the ages of 40 and 50, are more likely to develop gout than women, who rarely develop the disorder before menopause. People who have had an organ transplant are more susceptible to gout. On the other hand, RA is much more common in women.