What Type of Pain is It – Gout or Arthritis?

Is it Gout or Arthritis?

Many people confuse gout and arthritis. Both conditions produce pain in the joints. The causes and treatments are very different. Gout is usually caused by eating rich food and drinking too much alcohol. At one-time gout was known as the “rich man’s arthritis, because many people could not afford to eat rich food. These foods include meat, organ meat, cakes, bread, butter and wine. Gout typically only effects the feet. It may appear as a swollen big toe or swollen ankle. It usually will have a red appearance also.


When a person eats a lot of rich food, the body converts purines into uric acid. Uric acid is typically removed in the urine. However, if there is too much uric acid, in the blood, it can form crystals in the joints, causing inflammation and pain.

Gout Treatment

Gout is treated by reducing the consumption of so many calories, especially of the foods mentioned above. There are also drugs that treat the condition. NSAIDs like indomethacin or naproxen are usually effective in treating gout. Corticosteroids like Prednisone also relieve pain and inflammation. Sometimes doctors will prescribe medicines that block the production of uric acid.

What is Arthritis?

A major type of arthritis is Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is an autoimmune disease that causes the joints all over the body to become stiff and painful. It can also get into other organs of the body. This disease cannot be cured, but it can be managed. This condition causes the body to attack itself, mainly the areas around the joints. It attacks as though it were being invaded by bacteria or viruses. Doctors have not yet determined a cause for RA. Many think it might be genetic.

How is RA Treated?

For severe RA there are medications that can slow the progression of the disease. These are called disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Milder cases can be treated with non-steroidal drugs (NSAIDs). With RA, remaining physically active is very important. If you don’t, muscles will become stiff and fail to work.

Which Do You Have?

If you want advice on which you have, contact an online doctor and discuss your symptoms. An online doctor can help you decide the next best step to relieving your pain.