10 Diseases That are Most LIkely to be Misdiagnosed as Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis isn't the only cause of joint pain and stiffness; 10 other diseases also share very similar symptoms. Sometimes it's so similar that doctors may misdiagnose them. Click through to learn more.

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1. Gout

Gout is characterized by too much uric acid in the blood and tissues. Gout also causes sudden attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness in joints. What differs gout from RA is that the conditions usually occur in one joint (most often in the big toe).

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2. Psoriatic Arthritis

Just like RA, psoriatic arthritis also causes pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints. However, it is more common for those with psoriatic arthritis to have psoriasis first. This disease also has more asymmetric joint involvement and no nodules.

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3. Inflammatory Erosive Osteoarthritis

Inflammatory Erosive Osteoarthritis is the type of arthritis that people get as they age. It is similar to RA in that the inflammatory process is taking place in the body, but different in that inflammation in IEO will eventually subside.

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4. Lupus

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your body's healthy tissues. Aside from fatigue and pain in joints, lupus has other different symptoms like skin rash and muscle aches. Lupus can't be cured, but home treatment and medicine can help control the symptoms.

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5. Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of joint inflammation that usually affects the spine. It causes pain and stiffness in the back, neck, hips, chest wall, and heels. AS usually affects people under age 35, and inflames where the tendon inserts into bone, rather than the membrane that lines the joint for RA.

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6. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an inflammatory disease spread through a tick bite infected with a certain type of bacteria. Similar to RA, lyme causes joint inflammation and fatigue, but it also has flu-like symptoms, such as headache and fever. Lyme disease can usually be cured by antibiotics.

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7. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain in muscles and soft tissues, but not in joints (RA usually affects joints). Similar to RA, fibromyalgia can also incur fatigue and sleep problems.

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8. Pseudogout

Pseudogout is a form of arthritis characterized by sudden, painful swelling in one or more joints. What sets pseudogout apart from RA is that the affected joints are usually the knees. These symptoms can last for weeks or months, and can usually be relieved with treatment.

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9. Palindromic Rheumatism

PR, also known as palindromic arthritis, causes episodes of joint pain and swelling that may last a few hours or several days; symptoms may also move from one joint to another. Once the symptoms disappear, joints go back to normal without lasting damage. If not treated well, however, people who have it may go on to develop RA.

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10. Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is joint pain and swelling caused by an infection in another part of your body - most often your intestines, genitals, or urinary tract. It usually targets knees and the joints of your ankles and feet. Unlike RA, the inflammation in reactive arthritis can also affect your skin, eyes, and urethra. Symptoms usually disappear within a year.

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