Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gout Symptoms - Is It Gout Or Something Else?

There are a few conditions that can produce results similar, with slight differences, to gout symptoms. Gout is a form of arthritis so you may have a form of arthritis such as Rheumatoid arthritis, also known as RA, or Osteoarthritis. You could also have an infection of the joint, with swelling and redness which would require antibiotics. Knowing the differences will help you find a remedy for your gout attack. Gout affects the joints, just like the more familiar forms of arthritis.

The most common joint for gout symptoms is the big toe, (called Podagra), which is where 50% of people get it, but it can attack other joints also such as your knees, fingers, wrists and ankles.

The most common gout symptoms are extreme pain and tenderness, redness (could be purplish as well, resembling an infection), swelling and warmth. It differs from the other forms of arthritis mentioned above in that the symptoms come on rapidly and usually at night when your body temperature is lower and you are not moving around. The pain can be so intense that even the weight of a bed sheet can cause terrible pain and discomfort. It will usually last a few hours and then start to dissipate over the next few days or weeks.

Some people don't get the common symptoms like those above. Some develop nodules, called tophi, on their ears, hands, knees or elbows. These are painless deposits of uric acid crystals. You could also develop tophi in your kidneys, resulting in stones. High fever and fatigue are other signs. Fatigue is a common complaint in arthritis sufferers.

The only way to know for sure if to have tests done by a doctor.

Blood tests: Research has found that while some conditions such as hyperuricemia (an abnormally high level of uric acid in the blood) is a classic sign of gout, it only appears in roughly half of the people that develop gout. Some people with hyperuricemia never develop gout.

Synovial fluid: is fluid that normally cleans out your joints. Checking for MSU crystals in your synovial fluid or tophi if you have those would be the best way to tell if it is gout or another condition.

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