The pseudogout can also cause arthritis due to the inflammation of the joints. The inflammation in turn is caused by crystal formation. These crystals are composed of calcium pyrophosphate. Pseudogout happens when these crystals form in the cartilage. Eventually, the crystals are released into the joint fluid. As a result, sudden attack of arthritis occurs.
The symptoms of pseudogout include abrupt and repetitive attacks of pain and inflammation in a single joint. The patient may also experience stiffness and increased heat. These symptoms can last from several days to weeks. The patient may also expect to have recurrence of pseudogout without warning.
Causes of Pseudogout
Both men and women can be affected with pseudogout. Like the true gout, the pseudogout is more common in people of old age particularly those around 60 since it is unusual for young people to develop this kind of condition.
Disorders that affect phosphate, iron metabolism, and calcium
People with osteoarthritis are also susceptible to getting pseudogout.
Pseudogout may recur in the same joint or another joint. Over time, the recurrence of pseudogout may become more frequent and the symptoms may be longer and more painful. This can pose serious problems as frequent episodes can damage the affected joints.
Treatment for Pseudogout
To diagnose pseudogout, an X-ray of the joint is necessary. It allows the physician to have a clearer view on the condition of the joint and determine the presence of calcium-containing crystals. After the X-ray, the physician may also perform a microscopic analysis of fluid from the inflamed joint. If the fluid shows formation of CPP crystals, the doctor may diagnose the patient with pseudogout condition.
Treatment of pseudogout depends on many factors such as the patient’s age, medications being taken, medical history, overall health, and the severity and frequency of attacks. Generally, the physician may prescribe medicines such as:
Corticosteroids. Also called steroids, these medicines are given to patients who cannot take NSAIDs. These can also reduce inflammation and may be administered through injections or oral pills.
Anti-inflammatory painkiller drugs. This type of medicine is known by its acronym NSAIDs. It is prescribed for severe attacks of pseudogout.
Colchicine. This is a specific gout drug used in low doses to reduce the risks of recurrent attacks.