Pseudogout involves calcium deposits, unlike uric acid deposits found in Gout.
Anyone can develop Pseudogout.
Nearly half of all Pseudogout attacks occur in the knee.
What is Pseudogout?
CPPD (Pseudogout) involves the accumulation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals within the joint and surrounding tissue. Much like Gout, these crystals can jab at the affected joint creating and intense and painful attack. Symptoms can include joint warmth/fever, swelling, fluid build up and severe pain. While the most common area of attack is found in the knees, others have reported attacks in the wrists, elbows, hips, and ankles. While this condition is pretty rare, it does increase dramatically in those over 85 years old, by 50%. Many remain asymptomatic, despite crystal development. Pseudogout has been found to be equally prevalent amongst both men and women.
This disease can mimic Osteoarthritis and RA, as well as gout. Much like Gout, the onset can be sudden and last anywhere from several days, to weeks. More than half of these attacks occur in the knee, whereas with Gout, most begin in the big toe. Risks for developing this condition include aging, joint trauma/surgery, hormonal imbalances, mineral imbalances, hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood), dehydration and genetics. Certain metabolic conditions such as Hemochromatosis, Hyperparathyroidism, Amyloidosis, Hypomagnesemia (magnesium deficiency), and Hypophosphatasia can raise the risk of developing this condition. Ochronosis, a disease of the connective tissue, can also raise the risk of developing Pseudogout.
CPPD (Pseudogout) can be difficult to diagnose, especially with a simple physical exam. Since this condition can present much like many other arthritic diseases, it is important to use the right testing resources to be sure of a proper diagnosis. Xrays and joint fluid examinations are the most accurate ways used today. Arthrocentesis, synovial fluid removal from the affected joint, can help determine whether the formation is calcium or uric acid based. While painful, this is generally the most effective way to detect and rule out other types of Arthritis. This condition is often treated with similar prescription medications as seen in Gout -- such as Indomethacin,Colchicine, and Prednisone.
Many would argue that diet, unlike in Gout, can cause or lessen the chances of Pseudogout attacks. We find it important to treat all Inflammatory Conditions much the same way. We are truly fooling ourselves to believe that diet and lifestyle do not play important roles in our health conditions and general body malfunctions. While genetic pre-disposition offers a significant role in the development of these conditions, families also tend to follow similar diets and lifestyle patterns placing them at the same risks as their predecessors.
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