Are Gout and Rheumatoid Arthritis Different?


Gout and rheumatoid arthritis are two different types of arthritis that are very debilitating and it greatly affects the life of a person who suffers from either of the two conditions. Although the level of pain brought by the symptoms of Gout and rheumatoid arthritis are quite similar, they are still different from each other.

This article will be dealing with the similarities and differences between gout and rheumatoid arthritis.

Comparison of Gout and Rheumatoid Arthritis


Both gout and rheumatoid arthritis can be accompanied by fever, joint pain, swelling, and chills since both of them are involved in the autoimmune responses. However, it is uncommon for gout to go with stiffness, not like rheumatoid arthritis that typically comes with stiffness during morning. Redness, tenderness, and warmth of the affected area are present in both of the types of arthritis. The signs of gout typically vanishes, while the symptoms of the rheumatoid arthritis will not. Actually, rheumatoid arthritis’ symptoms become worst over the course of time.


Gout is mainly due to the uric acid crystallization in the joints. The uric acid crystal will then be attacked by the immune system thus causing pain and inflammation. Quite the reverse, rheumatoid arthritis is due to the own attacking of the immune system on the joints.

Duration of Attack

The attacks done by the body’s immune system can last for last for days, months, years or even a lifetime. Sometimes it can only take hours to subside.

Pattern of Attack

Gout assaults only the synovial joints (ball-and-socket joints) while the rheumatoid arthritis may attack any type of joints in the body. Typically, gout starts by attacking the big toe and the attack will spread towards the joints on the upper body after a long period of time From time to time, it will not at all spread.

On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis may affect the symmetrical joints. This just means that if it distresses the right wrist, the other wrist will also be affected.

Sign of Attack

Gout attacks arbitrarily, though it typically attacks during low temperatures or in the evening. This is due to the uric acid reaching the saturation point more effortlessly in low temperatures.

For some reasons, a person can detect if their rheumatoid arthritis outbursts. The worsening of their morning stiffness shows a sign of rheumatoid arthritis attack.


Gout can be diagnosed via synovial fluid analysis. The synovial fluid will be extracted from the affected joint and get analyzed. The presence of excessive uric acid crystals will denote gout. However, this isn’t hundred percent precise since the diagnosis may miss the huge chunks of uric acid crystals. In this particular case, imaging may help.

Tests such as blood tests can diagnose Rheumatoid arthritis. The level of rheumatoid factor, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (CCP), and C – reactive protein (CRP) will be examined during the said test. However, abnormal levels of each of them do not guarantee rheumatoid arthritis. They can even exist in patients with other autoimmune disorders. This is followed by imaging scans such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging, X-rays and ultrasound. If signs of join or cartilage damage and narrowing are present, the diagnosis will most likely reach a conclusion that it is indeed rheumatoid arthritis.


Gout, actually has no complications that are fatal. Conversely, tophaceous deposits commonly form. Tophaceous is a deposit of uric acid crystals in monosodium urate crystals which occurs in individuals who suffer from hyperuricemia in a long period of time e. It commonly appears in the earlobes or the affected joint. In rare instances, tophi appear in parts where it can cause tons of damage, such as the inner ear, pancreas, and spine. A person who suffers from gout is also prone to uric acid kidneys stones and kidney disease itself. Furthermore, gout has many indirect complications. On the other hand, Rheumatoid arthritis has fatal side effects such as low red blood cell count resulting from bone marrow damage, inflammation around the heart and inflammation around the lungs. Both gout and rheumatoid arthritis can lead to the deformation of the affected joints.


With the comparison made between the two, one may conclude that rheumatoid arthritis is worse than gout. However, both diseases are still being researched and there are a lot more to unravel about these two types of arthritis.


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