Are you confused between gouty arthritis and gout?
What is the difference? Are they the same?
The short answer is – gouty arthritis is just another way of saying gout. So, if you are looking for a medical definition of gout, see What Is Gout.
It is interesting to look a bit deeper. Because both terms mean the same. So, why do I use different terms at different times? Also, many people ask about the difference between gout and arthritis. Therefore I explain that because it helps you understand exactly what gouty arthritis is.
What Is Gouty Arthritis?
Gout is the most common term. But the correct medical term is gouty arthritis. As arthritis is the medical term for many diseases that cause inflamed joints.
So, I use the term gout mostly. Also, in my experience, most doctors do the same. Because it is shorter, more common, and most people recognize it as a medical condition that involves painful joints.
However, some people believe it is a dietary disorder. So it is good to use the term gouty arthritis. Because in that context, we can emphasize that gout is an arthritic condition that is mainly due to genetics. Bad diet can play a part. But much more common non-genetic factors include:
- Side effects of diuretic blood pressure pills.
- Other medicines and conditions.
- Environmental factors such as exposure to toxins.
I cover this in much more detail in the Gout Symptoms Section.
What Are Dangers Of Gouty Arthritis?
Even using the term gouty arthritis does not tell the full story. Yes, gout does affect the joints, causing painful swelling, and so it is a form of arthritis. It is often grouped with pseudogout, and other crystal based diseases and referred to as a form of crystal arthritis. Inflamed joints are usually the first sign of gout. But gout can also affect other parts of the body.
Gouty Arthritis in Joints
Before I discuss that, I should remind you that gout in the joints causes more problems than immediate pain and swelling. Gout pain comes from your immune system reacting to uric acid crystals. This is similar to the pain you experience with the flu and other invasions. Unlike the flu, your body cannot kill the inanimate uric acid crystal. So it covers it with a protein coating.
But fighting uric acid crystals stops your body doing natural repair work. So, uric acid crystals near cartilage, tendons, and bone cause damage to the joint. This creates another form of arthritis – osteoarthritis – which is another term for painful swelling from permanent joint damage. Also, gout can cause tendonitis.
Gouty Arthritis in Organs
As I mentioned, gout is not restricted to joints. The uric acid deposits that damage joints can build up anywhere in the body. So, you often experience these deposits in cooler parts of the body such as earlobes and fingers. To explain, we call these deposits tophi (a single lump is a tophus). So, we call the chronic condition tophaceous gout.
Lumps are seldom painful, unless they restrict movement, or burst through the skin. However, skin is not the only organ affected by gouty arthritis. Because uric acid crystals can damage all organs except the brain. You can learn more about this aspect of gouty arthritis with the search box near the top of the page. So try searching for tophi, tophus, and/or tophaceous gout.
Gouty Arthritis Is Gout
This article answers the question: what is gouty arthritis, asked recently in the gout forums.
Do You Have Arthritis Or Gout?
If you have gout, that is a form of arthritis. But, it requires special gout treatment that may not be suitable for other forms of arthritis. So that is the essential difference between gout and arthritis. Because gout is a specialized form of arthritis. Therefore you need specialist gout treatment that removes excess uric acid and stops gout returning.
If you have joint pains, you are an arthritis sufferer. But, you might doubt you have gout. So, you should read GoutPal Plan for Arthritis Sufferers next. Or, if you definitely have gout, read Questions for Gout Sufferers.
Leave What Is Gouty Arthritis to read What Is Gout.
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