Pseudogout - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Pseudogout is an inflammatory condition of joints that occurs due to the build-up of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystals in your cartilage or synovial fluid. The signs and symptoms of pseudogout are quite similar to that of gout which occurs due to excess build-up of uric acid. Having pseudo-gout can make you wake up in the middle of the night due to intense pain. You may feel like your big toe is on fire. It may also become unbearable to put a load on it, even of that of the sheet you are wearing. Your joints may become red, hot, and swollen when a pseudogout attack exacerbates. 

The signs and symptoms of pseudogout may come and go, but they are manageable. Over the counter, medications and anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce pain due to it. 


Symptoms 


The symptoms of pseudogout may resolve in some days. However, treatment can help get rid of it soon. Mostly the symptoms of pseudogout occur at night and often suddenly. They may show up as;


Intense joint pain


Pseudogout usually affects the joints of your big toe, causing intense pain. However, it can also affect that of the ankle, elbow wrist, and fingers. The pain is at a peak during the first 4 to 12 hours of an attack. After that, it starts to subsidize. 



Pain that lasts


Pseudogout attack may occur suddenly, but the pain it causes takes time to go and that happens to be lingeringly. It may take days to a week to go. Attacks that occur later may take more time to go as compared to the previous ones. 



Redness 


Pseudogout causes your joints to turn, red, warm, tender, and swollen due to inflammation. 


Range of joint


As pseudogout advances and persists, the range of joints becomes limited. You may not be able to move your foot and hands in the same manner as you used to do that previously. 




Causes 


Pseudogout occurs due to the build-up of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal. It can occur due to conditions that either produce excessive calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystals or hinder its excretion, which can happen due to any of the following conditions.


  • Dehydration 

  • Metabolism disorders

  • Blood disorders

  • Kidney problems 

  • Thyroid problems


Risk factors 


The risk factors for pseudogout can be;


  • Having uncontrolled high blood pressure

  • Having thyroid disease

  • Having a history of pseudogout 

  • Taking medications like cyclosporine or diuretics

  • Drinking too much alcohol

  • Having diabetes or sleep apnea 


Treatment 


To treat gout, the healthcare providers will prescribe medications that help lower serum calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystals levels, and pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen to ease the pain. Along with medications, they will ask you to exercise some lifestyle changes like;


  • Maintain a healthy weight according to the body mass index, make sure you are not overweight.

  • Reduce alcohol intake

  • Stop smoking


Conclusion 



The signs and symptoms of pseudogout are quite similar to that of gout which occurs due to excess build up of uric acid. Pseudogout is an inflammatory condition of joints that occurs due to the build-up of uric acid. Having pseudogout can make you wake up in the middle of the night due to intense pain. You may feel like your big toe is on fire. It may also become unbearable to put a load on it, even of that of the sheet you are wearing. Your joints may become red, hot, and swollen when a pseudogout attack exacerbates.


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