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How can you tell if heel pain is related to gout?

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Symptoms such as swelling, warmth and redness along with the fiery intensity of the pain distinguishes gout-related heel pain from other types of heel pain, says Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Even the light brush of a sheet is excruciating, says U.S. News & World Report.

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Gout is a type of arthritis in which high levels of uric acid in the blood cause tiny crystals to accumulate in the joint fluid, says U.S. News & World Report. It usually attacks at the base of the big toe first, but it can affect any joint, according to Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. The pain usually starts suddenly, at night, and it is most likely to affect the feet, ankles, knees and elbows.

People sometimes confuse gout with other causes of joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, but there are some unique characteristics of gout, says Healthline. For instance, RA can affect any joint, while gout usually occurs in the small joints of the hands, wrists and feet. Gout always causes redness and swelling, while swelling may or may not be present with RA. Often, an attack wakes a person from sleep with a body part that is sore, red, warm, swollen and stiff, explains the National Institutes of Health.

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