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Difference between Arthritis and Gout

Arthritis and gout are often confused as there is a fine line between the two. Arthritis is not a single disease, it is an umbrella term that refers to different types of arthritis that affect the joints of the body and often cause joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Gout is a single disease, a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. Let us see how arthritis differs from gout!


Arthritis is not a single disease. It is a general term used for the diseases that cause inflammation in one or more joints and cause pain, swelling and stiffness or limited movement. It covers more than 100 different types of arthritis and similar medical conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two most common types of arthritis. The joint pain, swelling and stiffness are the main symptoms of any type of arthritis. The symptoms may appear and disappear after short intervals and can be mild, moderate or severe. In case of severe arthritis, a person often experiences chronic pain, inability to walk or climb stairs etc. Arthritis is most common among women than men and people are more prone to arthritis as they get older.


Gout is a type of arthritis that causes severe pain and swelling in the joints, especially at the base of the big toe. It usually affects men between 30-60 years of age. Approximately 1 in every 40 adults suffers from gout. In gout, the further damage to the joints can be prevented by treatment. It is also called the Rich Man's disease as the foods that may increase the risk of gout include red meat, red wine etc.

Gout is caused by the high level of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is formed in our body when our body breaks down purines found in body cells and various foods. Uric acid is excreted out from the body through urine. When production of uric acid is more than its excretion, the uric acid builds up in the blood and forms hard, needle-shaped tiny crystals in or around the joints. Gout can come and go but if uric acid is not reduced it may become chronic and cause permanent pain or disability. The people who are obese, old, and have diabetes or high blood pressure are likely to have more chances to suffer from gout.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between Arthritis and Gout are as follows:

Arthritis Gout
It is not a single disease. It is an umbrella term that refers to different types of arthritis. It is a single disease, a type of arthritis.
Common symptoms include joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Common symptoms include intense joint pain, swollen joint, red skin around the joint.
Each type of arthritis is caused by a different reason. It is caused by high level of uric acid in the blood.
It is diagnosed on the basis of the type of arthritis. It can be diagnosed by a serum blood test.
Its treatment depends on the type of arthritis. Its treatment involves anti-inflammatories and avoidance of foods rich in purines.
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