Psoriatic Arthritis Mistaken For Gout

What Is Gouty Arthritis?

Gout or gouty arthritis is a painful condition caused by a build up of uric acid in the body that ends up being deposited in the joints. Normally, uric acid is excreted through the kidneys, but in the case of gout, it isn't properly eliminated and gets stored instead. Hyperuricemia, a condition in which the kidneys don't clear all of the uric acid from the bloodstream, is a precursor for gout in some people. Everything from diet, lifestyle, overconsumption of alcohol, purines in food and refined sugar have been charged with causing gout. There is also the genetic connection which is yet another added contributor.

A Relative New Comer In The Arthritis Family

Psoriatic arthritis was discovered in the early 1800s, but it wasn't until about sixty years ago that it was classified as a distinct type of arthritic condition separate from other types of arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease which shows up in the joints and connective tissues and is often mistaken for gout. This type of arthritis has a connection to psoriasis on the skin and up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis go on to develop psoriatic arthritis. It tends to affect more men than women and can develop at any time, although it seems to be most prevalent in adults between the ages of 30 and 50 years of age. As with all types of arthritis, is it important to have it properly diagnosed and treated in order to avoid having crippling and disabling results from ignoring the problem.

Psoriatic Arthritis And Its Confusing Symptoms

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are similar in nature to three other types of arthritic diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation of membranes or tissues lining the joints. Over time, the inflammation may actually destroy the joints. Reactive arthritis not only affects joints but also the eyes. It is typically caused by infection. Gout is a type of arthritis that is caused by deposits of uric acid crystals in the joints. The general effects of gout are pain, swelling, redness, heat and stiffness in a joint or joints. It primarily hits first in the big toe.

Some forms of psoriatic arthritis can look very similar to rheumatoid arthritis. However, if there is a concurrent presence of psoriasis on the skin and changes in the nails, then it is easier to diagnose psoriatic arthritis. It is possible to have gout, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis all at the same time. If an attack happens and there is severe pain in the big toe, then it is prudent to test for gout. A test of the fluid drawn from the infected joint will determine whether the situation is gout or psoriatic arthritis.

The Gout/Psoriatic Arthritis Confusion

Since people with psoriatic arthritis often show elevated serum uric acid levels, they are often misdiagnosed as having gout. The levels can be affected by taking aspirin or by accelerated and increased skin cell turnover. It is important that the condition be diagnosed properly since medications can be administered to address the situation, but each condition has its own medication.