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Gout and Arthritis – What’s the Difference?

Gout and arthritis are two of the most common conditions that a lot of older adults suffer from. However, these problems can actually affect anyone, regardless of gender or age. In addition, since the symptoms that are associated with them are similar, many people tend to believe that they are the same.
Gout and Arthritis – What’s the Difference?
While both gout and arthritis are characterized by sufferers as pain affecting their joints, the underlying factors that cause them are different. Gout is actually caused by the uric acid crystals that have accumulated in the joints. This accumulation results in the pain and swelling experienced by gout patients. Arthritis, on the other hand, is the result of the flare-ups that come with gout. These flare-ups are characterized by the inflammation of the joints.

There are many different forms of arthritis. The underlying causes are also varied and not only because of the sodium urate crystal accumulation. Gout and arthritis differ in terms of the joints that they affect. The age and gender of people suffering from these conditions are also different. Lastly, gout and arthritis are treated differently, both in terms of drug therapies and other treatment options.

Arthritis can either be rheumatoid or degenerative, among its other types. Gout, on the other hand, is neither an auto-immune disorder nor a degenerative disease. While it is true that these conditions affect individuals of both genders and of all ages, there are still a number of distinct differences seen in the patients who suffer from them. For example, men and women (particularly those who have already gone through menopause) in their mid-ages make up most of the gout patients.

People who have osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis as it is also known) experience little to no symptoms while they are still young. Unlike gout, rheumatoid arthritis often develops in people whose ages are between 25 and 50.

The nature of both conditions is another difference that they have, aside from the people that are afflicted with them. For instance, gout is a problem resulting from the uric acid blood levels becoming too high because the kidneys were not able to eliminate enough of them in the urine. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disorder. It is because of these differences that they have to be treated using different types of medications and drugs.

Patients who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are sometimes prescribed with immunosuppressive drugs, but this is not the case with gout. For gout patients, they have to take specialized anti-gout drugs.

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