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Pseudogout

Pseudogout is a medical condition that involves sudden , painful swelling and inflammation of one or more joints. The knee is commonly affected.

Though the name of the disease is CPPD (calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease), a common term, ‘pseudogout’ was coined as the conditions were found to be similar to gout. 

This happens due to the formation of crystal deposits in our synovial fluid, which is responsible for lubricating and moving the joints. This condition occurs with increasing age .

What do we need to know about pseudogout?

Pseudogout is a disease that involves the inflammation of the joints due to the formation of crystals in the synovial fluid present in them. This causes our joints to swell and cause pain. The condition is commonly found in people above 60 year. It mostly affects the knees but can affect other joints as well. 

Pseudogout falls under a group of conditions called arthritis. The only thing that differentiates it from regular gout is the accumulation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals that causes pseudogout, while gout involves urate crystals. 

Doctors diagnose pseudogout  with X-rays to look for the joint damage and crystal deposits . You will also be asked to test your joint fluid for the level of calcium pyrophosphate crystals. Other tests such as ultrasound and CT scans are conducted to check the level of fluid buildup in the joints. 

What are the symptoms of pseudogout?

The following are the symptoms of pseudogout:

  • Severe joint pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Buildup of fluid around the affected joint

What are the causes of pseudogout?

Pseudogout is linked to the presence of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals inside the affected joint. These crystals multiply becoming more numerous as you age. However, most individuals having these crystal deposits may never develop pseudogout. It is still not clear why some people have symptoms and others do not.

When do you need to see a doctor?

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms such as sudden swelling of your joints, with severe pain in your joints or having trouble moving around, you must visit a doctor. 

Request an appointment at Apollo Hospitals. 

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

What are the risk factors associated with pseudogout?

The risk factors for  pseudogout may include:

Family history of pseudogout

  • Age 
  • Too much iron in the blood
  • Hypothyroidism (less active thyroid)
  • Hyperparathyroidism (over active parathyroid gland)
  • Deficiency of magnesium
  • Other medical conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

What are the treatment options for pseudogout?

The treatment methods recommended by doctors include:

  • Medications: Doctors will prescribe NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs) to help reduce the swelling and pain in the joints. Other than NSAIDs, your doctor may also recommend corticosteroids.  Low-dose pills of the gout drug Cochicine is effective for pseudogout as wll. If you suffer from frequent episodes of pseudogout, your doctor may suggest you to take colchicine daily as a preventive measure
  • Joint drainage and steroid injections may also help .
  • Your doctor will recommend that you take a lot of rest.
  • You can apply ice packs to reduce swelling

If you are experiencing any pain or swelling in your joints, please visit the doctor .

Request an appointment at Apollo Hospitals. 

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

Conclusion

Pseudogout is a medical condition that refers to the accumulation of crystals in joints. This, in turn, causes fluid to build up and damage cartilage. The symptoms of pseudogout include swelling of the joints and excessive pain. 

Old age, family history and previous injuries make a person more vulnerable to developing pseudogout. The most common methods of treatment for pseudogout include medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs .

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I prevent pseudogout?

Unfortunately, there is no way of preventing pseudogout. But early diagnosis and treatment can help manage pseudogout

Can I develop pseudogout at a younger age?

It is not clear why crystals form in the joints and cause pseudogout. However, the risk may increase with age

Are there any complications associated with pseudogout?

The fluid buildup in the joints can cause damage to joints and cartilage. It can also speed up developing diseases such as cysts or bone spurs. Pseudogout can also cause loss of cartilage. 

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