‚ÄčSwollen joints? Pain? Stiffness when you move? Inflammation? Is it gout? Maybe. Or is it rheumatoid arthritis? Could be. RA and gout are two different types of arthritis with different causes and different treatments, but they have very similar symptoms. Here are a few ways to tell them apart.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes joints to become inflamed, swollen, painful and stiff. About 1.3 million Americans are living with RA, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

The condition can also affect other body areas, including the skin, lungs, heart and eyes. Those living with RA have a higher risk of developing pulmonary disorders and heart conditions.

What Is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that usually affects the big toe joint of the foot. Gout can also affect the top of the foot and the ankle in some cases. While it is rare, it can also cause pain in other joints.

What's the Difference?

While both conditions cause pain, swelling and disruption to the lives of those who suffer from them, there is some difference between the two. These differences include:

Location. RA can affect any joint in the body, while gout usually affects the big toe joint.

Pain. The pain of RA can be mild, moderate or severe, while gout pain is often intense. RA is also usually accompanied by stiffness.

Cause. RA is an autoimmune condition triggered when the immune system sees the joints as invaders to the body and tries to "kill" them. Gout is caused by purine, a type of chemical compound found in foods such as meats, fish, shellfish, vegetables and some whole grains.

Overconsumption of purines results in high levels of uric acid, which if not excreted can cause sharp crystals to form in the joints. These crystals cause the inflammation and intense pain of gout.

Treatment. There is no cure for RA. Treatments take aim at controlling joint inflammation and relieving symptoms. Innovations Stem Cell Center offers real relief for RA sufferers with fat stem cell therapy to help "reset" the immune system and heal tissues that have been damaged by the condition. Gout can be treated with medications such as steroids and pain relievers. Dietary changes can also reduce the chance of flares.

Are you living with RA? Call Innovations Stem Cell Center at 214-256-1462 to talk about how stem cell therapy can help bring you real relief.