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Do rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gout have the same symptoms?

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No. Both gout and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can cause pain and stiffness in multiple joints. But otherwise the two tend to follow different patterns.

Rheumatoid arthritis. This condition usually starts in smaller joints like your hands and feet. They’ll feel tender, swollen, and warm to the touch. Then it usually moves to other, larger joints like your wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles, knees, and hips. You might also have a fatigue, loss of appetite, or, less likely, a fever.

Most people have similar symptoms on both sides of the body. That means if one shoulder hurts, the other one probably does, too.

RA can make your joints feel stiff when you wake up in the morning. The pain may get better with activity over the course of the day.

Gout. Unlike RA, it usually starts with a sudden, painful attack. The pain can be severe. It isn’t unusual for a person with gout to feel like their joint is on fire. It might feel like there’s a hot poker in the joint.

Gout usually affects only one joint at a time. The big toe is a common spot, but gout also can affect ankles, knees, elbows, or wrists.

The affected joint also might look red and swollen. It may be warm to the touch. Sometimes a gout attack may cause a fever.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Arthritis,” “Gout,” “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Arthritis Foundation: “Is it arthritis or gout?” “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

CDC: “Gout.”

International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology : “Occurrence of gout in rheumatoid arthritis: it does happen! A population-based study.”

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 27, 2020

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Arthritis,” “Gout,” “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Arthritis Foundation: “Is it arthritis or gout?” “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

CDC: “Gout.”

International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology : “Occurrence of gout in rheumatoid arthritis: it does happen! A population-based study.”

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 27, 2020

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Do doctors treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gout the same way?

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