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Pseudogout

June 23, 2011 by Lynn.

Pseudogout or "false gout" presents similar symptoms to gout such as pain, swelling, heat, redness and stiffness in the affected area. Like gout, pseudogout affects the joints, most commonly the knees, but also the toes, feet, hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. Also as with gout, there are symptom-free remission periods between attacks.

Although the symptoms are so similar, pseudogout is an entirely different condition than gout. It is even possible to have gout and pseudogout at the same time. While gout primarily affects men over 30 and the occasional post-menopausal woman, pseudogout affects both sexes equally as they age. Pseudogout is occasionally misdiagnosed as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Although both gout and pseudogout are forms of arthritis, they have one main distinguishing characteristic. While gout is caused by needle-like crystals of uric acid building up in the fluid surrounding the joints, pseudogout is caused by a build up of calcium pyrophosphate crystals - a form of salt. Because of this, pseudogout is sometimes referred to as calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease, or CPPD disease. While the calcium deposits cause gout-like symptoms, they do not form gout tophi as uric acid crystals do.

Attacks of pseudogout are often precipitated by dehydration, commonly occurring in elderly patients following surgery. It can also be associated with an injury or illness, including hormonal disorders, hemophilia, hemochromatosis, ochronosis, and amyloidsis. The condition can also be inherited.

A diagnosis is made by examining fluid drawn from the joint to determine if it contains uric acid crystals or crystals of calcium pyrophosphate. As well, x-rays of the affected joint may reveal calcium deposits or calcification of cartilage. Pseudogout's tendency to calcify cartilage can cause permanent joint and nerve damage if left untreated.

It's not known what causes pseudogout. Like gout, there is no cure or preventative treatment, but most patients respond well to treatment. Applying ice and resting the affected joint can help reduce inflammation and dull the pain.

Pseudogout can be treated with NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors, oral and injected corticosteroids, dietary changes and draining of the affected joint. Colchicine is often prescribed for both treatment of acute attacks and long-term prevention of recurrent attacks.


Filed under: Gout and Pseudogout.

Tags: gout arthritis, pseudogout, false gout, gout treatment, gout pain relief, colchicine medication, buy colchicine, colchicine colcyrs.


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