Thursday, September 29, 2022

How Do You Know If You Have Gout Or Arthritis

Knowing If You Have Arthritis Of The Knee

How do you know know if you have gout?
  • 1Assess your risk factors. Depending on the type of arthritis, there are several factors that may make you prone to arthritis of the knee. Although some of these factors are non-modifiable, there are others you can change to reduce your risk of knee arthritis.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source
  • Genes. Your genetic background can make you more susceptible to certain types of arthritis . If you have a family history of arthritis, you may have a higher risk of developing knee arthritis.
  • Gender. Men are more likely to have gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis resulting from high levels of uric acid in the blood, while women are more likely to develop rheumatic arthritis.XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to sourceXTrustworthy SourceArthritis FoundationMain organization devoted to arthritis support and educationGo to source
  • Age. You are at a higher risk of developing arthritis as you grow older.
  • Obesity. Being overweight puts stress on the joints in your knees and can increase your risk of developing arthritis.
  • History of joint injuries. Damage to a knee joint can be partly responsible for the development of osteoarthritis.
  • Infection. Microbial agents can infect joints and possibly cause the advancement of differing types of arthritis.
  • Pain that often worsens with activities.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Vs Gout: Causes And Risk Factors

    Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning, the bodys immune system attacks the joints wrongfully, setting off the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation causes the synovium to thicken, which over time destroys the cartilage, allowing bones to rub together.

    Risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis include being a female, being over the age of 40, having a family history of RA, smoking, being exposed to environmental pollutants, and being obese.

    Gout is a result of crystallized uric acid, which occurs when a person has high levels of uric acid in their blood. Uric acid results from the breakdown of purines found in some foods like red meat and alcohol.

    Normally, uric acid passes through our systems and is released through our urine, but with excessively high levels, the uric acid can build up and crystallize in joints and surrounding tissues, causing discomforting symptoms.

    Risk factors for gout include eating a diet high in uric acid-promoting purines, being overweight or obese, having an untreated medical condition like hypertension, taking certain medications, having a family history of gout, being male over the age of 40, and recovering from a recent surgery or trauma.

    Can You Get Rid Of Gout

    It ought to be fairly noticeable why youd want to get gone gout, but is it feasible actually?

    Sure is, but theres not a one-size works with all solution.

    Within the next section, well turn out to be going over whats worked ideal for us!

    You wont want to miss out on this free video clip.

    NOTICE: Id highly recommend going to your doctor or seeing a specialist about this situation, since we arent experts. See our medical disclaimer for more details.

    We dont know what will work for you, but we know whats worked for us and others

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    How Do Health Care Providers Diagnose Gout

    The most reliable method to diagnose gout is by demonstrating uric acid crystals in joint fluid that has been removed from an inflamed joint . Specially trained physicians, such as a rheumatologist or orthopedist, can carefully remove fluid from the joint. The fluid is then examined under a microscope to determine if uric acid crystals are present. This is important because other medical conditions and diseases, such as pseudogout and infection, can have symptoms similar to gout.

    How Does A Doctor Diagnose Gout

    What Causes Gout?

    If you have sudden or severe pain in a joint, you should talk to your primary care provider . Your PCP may send you to a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in gout and other kinds of arthritis.

    Healthcare providers consider several things when confirming gout:

    • Symptoms: The provider will ask you to describe your symptoms, how often they happen and how long they last.
    • Physical examination: Your provider will examine the affected joint to look for swelling, redness and warmth.
    • Blood work: A test can measure the amount of uric acid in your blood.
    • Imaging tests: You may have pictures taken of the affected joint with X-rays, an ultrasound or MRI.
    • Aspiration: The provider may use a needle to pull fluid from the joint. Using a microscope, a team member can look for uric acid crystals or a different problem .

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    Acute Attack Pain Management

    Home remedies. Reducing inflammation during an acute gout attack will provide pain relief.

    • Ice. Apply ice to the affected area to reduce swelling. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Use an ice pack or wrap a towel around the ice. Apply ice for about 20 minutes at a time.
    • Elevate. Frequently raise and keep the affected area above the level of the heart.
    • Rest. Move the affected area as little as possible while symptoms are present.
    • Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. If the gout attack is mild, anti-inflammatory drugs available without a prescription may relieve pain. Because there are serious side effect of using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs even the over-the-counter strength be sure to check with your doctor before taking them.

    Prescription medications. Your doctor may recommend a prescription-strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine such as indomethacin.

    Colchicine is also given to reduce inflammation during an acute gout attack. This drug has recently been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for treatment of gout. Like all medications, colchicine has side effects that you will need to discuss with your doctor.

    Your doctor may also prescribe corticosteroids for acute gout attacks. These are strong anti-inflammatory medications that can be taken either in pill form, intravenously, or injected into the painful joint. Cortisone may improve the severe inflammation very quickly.

    Who Is Affected By Gout

    Gout can affect anyone. It usually occurs earlier in men than women. It generally occurs after menopause in women. Men can be three times more likely than women to get it because they have higher levels of uric acid most of their lives. Women reach these uric acid levels after menopause.

    People are more likely to get gout if they have:

    • Obesity, or a lot of extra weight.

    You are also more likely to develop gout if you:

    • Consume a diet high in animal proteins
    • Consume a significant amount of alcohol
    • Are on water pills .

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis And Gout

    Common signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

    • Joint pain, tenderness, swelling, or stiffness experienced for at least six weeks
    • Morning stiffness lasting for at least 30 minutes or more
    • More than one joint affected by swelling, stiffness, or pain
    • Symptoms experienced in small joints, such as in the hands or feet
    • Same joints on either side of the body affected
    • Dryness and pain in the eyes along with sensitivity to light
    • Dryness and gum irritation in the mouth
    • Small lumps under the skin
    • Shortness of breath and scarring of the lungs
    • Inflammation of blood vessels

    Common signs and symptoms of gout are:

    • Intense joint pain, especially in the large toe
    • Lingering discomfort even after the intense pain has subsided
    • Inflammation and redness of the affected joint
    • Limited range of motion

    If a fever develops or the joint feels hot to touch, see your doctor right away. Gout can be successfully managed as long as your doctor is aware of your condition.

    How Is It Diagnosed

    Gout – All you need to know about it!

    The only way to diagnose gout with certainty is by your doctor finding urate crystals in fluid taken from your joint. Uric acid levels can be measured by blood tests, however these are not always accurate. Uric acid levels may be normal or even lowered during an attack of gout. Blood tests are most useful in ruling out other causes for your symptoms, such as joint infections or other forms of arthritis. X-rays are often normal in the early stages so are not very useful in diagnosing gout.

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    Rheumatoid Arthritis And Gout Complications

    Rheumatoid arthritis increases ones risk for a number of other conditions, including osteoporosis, rheumatoid nodules, dry eyes and dry mouth, infections, abnormal body composition, carpal tunnel syndrome, heart problems, lung problems, and lymphoma. If rheumatoid arthritis is not well managed the risk of these complications rises dramatically.

    Gout complications include reoccurring gout , advanced gout , and kidney stones, which can cause damage to the kidneys if they reoccur.

    When Is Surgery Considered For Gout

    The question of surgery for gout most commonly comes up when a patient has a large clump of urate crystals , which is causing problems. This may be if the tophus is on the bottom of the foot, and the person has difficulty walking on it, or on the side of the foot making it hard to wear shoes. An especially difficult problem is when the urate crystals inside the tophus break out to the skin surface. This then can allow bacteria a point of entry, which can lead to infection, which could even track back to the bone. Whenever possible, however, we try to avoid surgery to remove tophi. The problem is that the crystals are often extensive, and track back to the bone, so there is not a good healing surface once the tophus is removed. In some rare cases, such as when a tophus is infected or when its location is causing major disability, surgical removal may be considered.

    Since it is hard to heal the skin after a tophus is removed, a skin graft may be needed. For this reason, we often try hard to manage the tophus medically. If we give high doses of medication to lower the urate level, such as allopurinol, over time the tophus will gradually reabsorb. In severe cases, we may consider using the intravenous medication pegloticase , since it lowers the urate level the most dramatically, and can lead to the fastest shrinkage of the tophus.

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    Rheumatoid Arthritis Vs Gout

    We dont know the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis, but we know that changes in some of the bodys proteins can set off activation of the immune system, which leads to the release of multiple inflammatory chemicals that cause joint inflammation and damage, with swelling, warmth, tenderness, and discomfort.

    What Is Gout Symptoms Treatments And More

    How Do You Know That You Have Arthritis?

    Gout causes sudden and intensely painful inflammation in a joint, and it’s the result of the accumulation of a waste product called uric acid. This may happen for a few different reasons.

    The body can make too much uric acid, or the kidneys may not get rid of enough uric acid. Most commonly, this is due to genetics. Some people are just more sensitive to foods and drinks high in purines, which the body turns into uric acid.

    Foods and drinks especially high in purines include red meats, certain seafood, high-sugar food and beverages, and all types of alcohol.

    As uric acid breaks down, it forms tiny needle-like, painful crystals which settle into joints just about anywherein the knee, foot, ankle, hand, wrist, elbow, or fingers, but it often targets the big toe.

    You may feel absolutely fine during the day, but like a bad nightmare, gout typically strikes at night, causing pain so intense you can’t go back to sleep. The pain may be so severe it incapacitates you.

    A gout attack may last a few days to a week or even longer. Some medication works to speed up relief and healing for a gout attack other medications work to lower uric acid in order to prevent future gout attacks.

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    How Uric Acid Crystals Form

    Infographic

    The build-up of uric acid crystals begins with purines, a chemical compound found in many foods.

    • When the body metabolizes purines, it produces a substance called uric acid.
    • The uric acid enters the bloodstream.
    • The kidneys filter the blood and normally filter out excess uric acid. This uric acid is then excreted via urine or stool .10
    • If the kidneys cannot adequately filter out excess uric acid, or if the body produces too much uric acid, there will be too much uric acid in the bloodstream.
    • Too much uric acid in the bloodstream is called hyperuricemia.
    • In some people, hyperuricemia leads to the formation of uric acid crystals that collect in joint tissue, leading to painful symptoms.

    An inability to adequately process and excrete uric acid accounts for an estimated 90% of gout cases.9 Other cases occur because a body produces too much uric acid.

    Can I Manage Gout

    Although it cant be cured, gout can be managed effectively with medicine and lifestyle changes.

    If your uric acid levels remain high after a gout attack, doctors may prescribe medication that can lower your levels. This can lessen your risk of long-term problems.

    Self-care also is important if you have gout. A diet that avoids foods high in purine, high-fructose drinks, and alcohol can lessen your long-term risks. Losing weight also can lower your chances of gout. If you use medicines like diuretics, stopping that use can help prevent gout as well.

    If you have a family history of gout or suspect you may have it, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

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    What Are Risk Factors For Gout

    There are many risk factors for gout. Having high blood pressure is a risk factor for gout. Gout is more common after surgery, trauma, and dehydration. Certain medications such as diuretics , which treat high blood pressure, that raise the level of uric acid in the bloodstream are risks for gout. Surprisingly, medications that lower the level of uric acid in the bloodstream, such as allopurinol , can also initially cause a flare of gout. This is because anything that raises or lowers the uric acid level can cause a gout flare by causing uric acid crystals to deposit in a joint. Low-dose aspirin can precipitate gout attacks. The treatment of certain types of cancer can cause gout because of high levels of uric acid released when the cancer cells are destroyed. Degenerative arthritis also makes affected joints more likely to be the site of a gouty attack.

    What To Do During An Attack

    What is gout arthritis? How does uric acid cause inflammation?

    You should:

    • take any medication you’ve been prescribed as early as possible after you notice an attack this should start to have an effect within two or three days
    • rest and raise the limb
    • avoid knocking or damaging the affected joint
    • keep the joint cool remove surrounding clothing and apply an ice pack, such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel
    • ensure you’re well hydrated

    Apply the ice pack to your joint for around 20 minutes. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin and don’t apply it for more than 20 minutes at a time because this could damage the skin.

    If necessary, you can keep reapplying an ice pack to your skin during an attack, but you should wait until your skin has returned to a normal temperature first.

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    How Is It Taken

    Allopurinol is taken as a tablet once a day. It is usually better to take it just after eating and the tablet should be swallowed with water. It is important to drink plenty of water during the day because this will help you get rid of more urate through your kidneys.

    Your dose of allopurinol may change over time, depending on the amount of urate in your body. Your doctor will monitor your urate levels with blood tests every 2-4 weeks, until they are sure that the dose that youre taking is high enough to reduce the amount of urate in your body.

    You may need to remain on a lower dose if you have kidney or liver problems.

    Your doctor may recommend that you do not start taking allopurinol until after an attack of gout has passed to avoid triggering further attacks. If this is not possible, it may be started when your inflammation is not too bad.

    Allopurinol doesnt treat the immediate pain caused by attacks of gout. But its a long-term treatment to get rid of the urate crystals which causes gout attacks.

    It is likely that you will need to take allopurinol for the rest of your life to manage your urate levels. You should keep taking allopurinol even if:

    • you are experiencing more gout attacks, or it doesnt seem to help the pain and inflammation at first
    • you stop having gout attacks stopping your treatment can cause urate crystals to form again, which will lead to more gout attacks.
    • etoricoxib

    What Does A Gout Attack Look And Feel Like What Would A Foot Or Toe With Gout Look Like

    When gout occurs, the joint tends to be extremely painful and is warm, red and swollen . The inflammation that is part of a gout attack is systemic, so that fever and chills, fatigue and malaise are not uncommonly part of the picture of a gout attack.

    Figure 6: Toe with Acute Attack of Gout

    Gout attacks can occur in joints that look normal, or in joints that have easily visible deposits of uric acid. These deposits are called tophi and can be in numerous locations, but especially on the feet and elbows. In Figure 9, the little finger of the right hand is bandaged since fluid was just removed from it, which demonstrated innumerable uric acid crystals.

    Figure 7a: Tophi on Foot

    Figure 7b: Tophus Over Achilles’ Tendon

    Figure 8: Tophus on Elbow

    Figure 9: Tophi on Hands

    Figure 10: Large Tophus of Finger

    While some gout attacks will solve quickly by themselves, the majority will go on for a week, several weeks, or even longer if not treated. Since gout attacks are usually quite painful and often make walking difficult, most gout sufferers will request specific treatment for their painful condition.

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