Sometimes. A gout attack usually causes a hot red joint whereas an osteoarthritic joint is usually just stiff with often less pain and not usually red and hot. A rheumatoid joint can look like gout. We usually will test the blood for an elevated uric acid level and if possible drain fluid from the joint and then have it examined under a microscope looking for uric acid crystals which confirms the diagnosis.
Generally. This is done with x-rays to evaluate the joint and the structures around it, a joint aspiration to determine if there are crystals consistent with gout, and lab work to determine if there is an elevated uric acid. Even with all of these we sometimes base a decision on clinical findings and response to therapy; especially if the last two are inconclusive.
Ask your physician. Gout is a type of arthritis that results from a build up of uric acid, causing joint inflammation. When gout flares, it usually affects 1 or a few joints with the pain starting suddenly, often during the night. The joint is usually red, inflammed, swollen. Pain is described as excruciating where it hurts even to touch a sheet on it.