Gout vs Bunion – Differences & Treatment

This article reveals the differences between gout vs bunion:

Gout

Gout, also called “gouty arthritis,” is a painful form of arthritis which is caused by too much uric acid in your body. Uric acid is a substance which forms when the body breaks down purines (heterocyclic aromatic organic compounds), which are found in many foods and in human cells.

The big toe is the most common target, however, this condition can attack the ankles, knees, feet, and hands as well.

An estimated 8.5 million people in the United States are affected by gout every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United Kingdom, about 2 percent of people are affected by gout.

It is the most frequent form of inflammatory arthritis in men, however, women become more prone to the condition after menopause.

Symptoms

Common symptoms may include:

  • red, shiny skin over the affected joint;
  • swelling in and around the affected joint;
  • the joint feeling very tender and hot;
  • severe pain in one or more joints.

Complications

Complications include:

  • chronic kidney disease;
  • joint damage;
  • deposits that form underneath the skin;
  • bone loss;
  • loss of mobility or range of motion;
  • joint deformity.

Causes

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It occurs in people whose levels of urate in the blood are persistently above a level that allows urate crystals to form.

Risk Factors

Risk factors increase:

  • if your parents have the condition, then you have a 20 percent chance of developing it;
  • if you have a regular diet rich in internal organs, red meats, shellfish, yeast, and oily fish;
  • if you are African American;
  • if you regularly consume alcoholic beverages, especially beer;
  • if you are British, you have five times increased risk;
  • if you have insufficient kidney function;
  • if you are obese or overweight;
  • if you take cyclosporine, a medication which suppresses the immune system;
  • if you use diuretics (water pills) or aspirin;
  • if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, and some types of anemias;
  • also, uric acid levels increase at menopause in women and at puberty in men.

Diagnosis

Tests to help diagnose the condition may include:

  • a blood test to measure the levels of creatinine and uric acid in the blood;
  • your healthcare provider may also use a needle to draw fluid from the affected joint.

Treatment

ham meat
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The main treatment for gout is to limit your intake of foods which contain high amounts of purine. Foods rich in purine include:

  • lobster, oysters, crab, and shrimp;
  • poultry, pork, beef, veal, and lamb;
  • alcoholic beverages, particularly beer;
  • venison, bacon, turkey, liver, brain, beef kidney, and sweetbreads;
  • sardines, mackerel, anchovies, mussels, codfish, scallops, herring, and trout.

Medications include:

  • corticosteroids – these medications can be administered as an injection into the affected joint or given systemically;
  • colchicine – typically, it is only used if you experience side effects with anti-inflammatory painkillers. Also, a high dose of this medication is poorly tolerated due to gastrointestinal side effects;
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – especially indomethacin 25 to 50 mg 4 times per day or ibuprofen 800 mg 3 to 4 times per day.

Bunion

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Bunion, also known as hallux valgus, is a bony prominence from the realignment of the joint at the base of the big toes. It forms when the big toe pushes against your next toe.

Some studies report that bunion occurs about 10 times more often in women.

A bunionette occurs on the outside of the foot near the base of the little toe.

Symptoms

Common symptoms include:

  • restricted movement of the big toe if arthritis affects the toe;
  • intermittent or persistent pain;
  • calluses or corns — these commonly develop where the 1st and 2nd toes overlap;
  • swelling or redness around the big toe joint;
  • a bulging bump on the outside of the base of the big toe.

Complications

Some patients may experience displacement and deformity of the joint of the second toe as well as arthritis in the joint of the big toe in the foot.

Causes

Image credit – https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Hallux_Valgus-Aspect_pr%C3%A9_op_d%C3%A9charge.JPG

Hallux valgus occurs due to a problem with the structure of the bone in the toes and foot, commonly the metatarsophalangeal joint.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for hallux valgus include:

  • conditions which affect both the muscles and nerves;
  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • foot injuries;
  • having a big toe bone which moves more than usual;
  • tendon which makes the toe joint unstable;
  • an uneven weight-bearing in the foot;
  • having a low arch.

Diagnosis

Your healthcare provider can identify a hallux valgus after the physical exam. Furthermore, an X-ray of your foot can help your doctor identify the cause of the hallux valgus.

Treatment

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Projectional_radiograph_of_bunion.jpg

The first step in the treatment of the hallux valgus is to relieve the pressure by wearing the right kind of shoes.

In addition, it is important to maintain a normal weight. Surgery (bunionectomy) might be needed if nonsurgical options don’t help you.

A bunionectomy involves:

  • removing swollen tissue from the affected joint;
  • correcting the position of the big toe.

Gout vs Bunion (Hallux Valgus) – Differences

Gout is a disease that is described by a high level of uric acid. This leads to an excess of uric acid in the blood and tissues. The condition commonly affects the joint in the big toe.

Bunion, also referred to as hallux valgus, is a bony bump which forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. It forms slowly over time and may get bigger and stick out.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5357039/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4169368/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3510330/