The symptoms of gout (warmth, pain, swelling, and extreme tenderness in joints) may be related to other medical conditions. Some of the conditions that can have symptoms similar to those of gout are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). But rheumatoid arthritis affects more than one joint and generally affects both sides of the body. RA especially affect the hands and wrists. Most of the time, gout affects only one joint and is more common in the feet or toes.
- Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis develops slowly and is ongoing, while a gout attack develops quickly and you may not have symptoms between attacks.
- A joint infected with bacteria (much less common than gout). The treatment of an infected joint requires intravenous antibiotics and hospitalization, so talk to your doctor if any of the following signs or conditions are present:
- Treatment with medicines that suppress your immune system
- HIV infection
- Recent bacterial pneumonia
- Kidney or skin infection
- A swollen prosthetic joint
- Pseudogout, a disease in which calcium deposits collect in and around joints. Pseudogout may show up as a swollen, painful knee, ankle, or wrist in older adults.
By Healthwise Staff Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical Reviewer Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology Last Revised June 12, 2012