What If It Is? What If It Isn’t?
Posted on February 18, 2019
Have you noticed swollen joints and stiffness when you move? Pain in a particular area? Redness or inflammation? It could be rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition. It could also be gout, another type of arthritis. So, which is it? Read on to find out how to tell the difference.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Like we said, rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune condition that affects about 1.3 million Americans. RA develops when the immune system sees the joints as “attackers” and tries to kill them off. When the immune system attacks, the result is inflammation, pain, swelling and stiffness.
RA can also develop in other body areas, such as the lungs, skin, heart and eyes. When RA develops in these places, it can cause problems with vision and breathing.
What Is Gout?
Like RA, gout is a type of arthritis. But, although it can appear in the top of the foot or ankle, gout typically affects one joint in particular: the big toe joint. Gout rarely develops in other joints.
What’s the Difference?
So, while they both are a form of arthritis and cause pain, swelling, stiffness and discomfort, there are some differences, such as:
Cause. A malfunctioning immune system is the reason behind RA, but gout develops when there is a buildup of purine in the body. Purine is a chemical compound found in meats, shellfish, some vegetables and grains, and processed food.
Too much purine causes high levels of uric acid, which turns into sharp crystals (ouch!) if not excreted.
Location. As we said, RA can affect any joint in the body, but gout generally just shows up in the big toe joint.
Pain Intensity. The range of pain associated with RA can be mild, moderate or severe, but the pain of gout is severe and intense. Most patients living with RA experience stiffness along with pain.
Treatment. Gout is treated with steroids and pain relievers, but the best way to cure gout is to change your diet to reduce attacks. On the other hand, there is no cure for RA, but there are treatments that can help to reduce inflammation and relieve painful symptoms such as steroids and other anti-inflammatory medications. Park Avenue Stem Cell also offers personal cell therapy for those living with RA.
Have you been diagnosed with RA? Call Park Avenue Stem Cell now at 844-903-7275 for more information about how personal cell therapy can help you.