Pseudogout is one type of arthritis or arthritis caused by the accumulation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals . This condition is characterized by pain and swelling in the joints. Pseudogout often attacks people over the age of 60 or the elderly.
Pseudogout is often equated with gout. This is because the two diseases have similar terms and similar symptoms.
However, pseudogout and gout are caused by different conditions. Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals so it is also known as uric acid disease . Meanwhile, pseudogout occurs due to the accumulation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals .
Causes of Pseudogout
The main cause of pseudogout is the deposition and accumulation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals or calcium pyrophosphate in the joints . This condition can trigger arthritis which then causes damage, pain, and swelling in the joints.
It is not yet known for certain the cause of calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposits. However, there are several factors that can increase the risk of pseudogout, namely:
- Aged above 60 years
- Ever had a joint injury
- Having a family history of pseudogout
- Suffering from electrolyte disturbances , especially calcium
- Suffering from certain diseases, such as hypothyroidism , kidney disease, or hyperparathyroidism
Accumulation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in pseudogout can occur in a number of joints, such as knee joints , elbows, wrists, and ankles.
Complaints of pseudogout can vary for each sufferer. However, the most common symptoms are:
- Joint pain
- Swelling in the joints
- Redness in the affected joint area
- Stiffness and limited joint movement
When should you go to the doctor?
Check with your doctor if you experience the symptoms mentioned above.
Complaints caused by pseudogout are similar to some diseases, such as gout, osteoarthritis , and rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, an early examination is necessary to find out the exact cause so that the treatment can be done correctly.
Diagnosis of Pseudogout
To diagnose pseudogout, the doctor will ask questions about the patient's complaints, as well as the health history of the patient and his family. Next, the doctor will examine the joint to see signs of inflammation.
To confirm the diagnosis of pseudogout, the doctor needs to perform further examinations, including:
- Joint fluid test , to find calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposits
- X- ray , to check for damage, as well as buildup and deposits of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joints
- Joint ultrasound , to detect inflammation and deposits of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joints
When necessary, the doctor can also recommend a blood test to check the level of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
The purpose of treating pseudogout is to relieve symptoms and prevent complications. Some treatment options that can be given by the doctor to overcome pseudogout are:
To ease the symptoms of pseudogout, the types of drugs that can be administered include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, to relieve pain
- Corticosteroids , such as prednisone , to reduce inflammation, especially in pseudogout patients who cannot consume NSAIDs
- Colchicine , to prevent the symptoms of pseudogout from appearing repeatedly
These medicines can be taken until the symptoms of pseudogout subside. Symptoms of pseudogout will generally subside or disappear periodically within 24 hours after treatment.
Sufferers of pseudogout are also recommended to do self-care at home. Some of the ways that can be done are resting the joint that feels painful or applying cold compresses to the joint area that is experiencing inflammation.
Meanwhile, to reduce stiffness in the joints and improve mobility, sufferers are advised to exercise regularly and maintain an ideal weight .
Complications of Pseudogout
Pseudogout can cause discomfort and movement disorders. In addition, calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposits that continue can cause permanent joint damage and increase the risk of joint cysts and bone spurs.
Prevention of Pseudogout
Pseudogout is not always preventable. If you have been diagnosed with pseudogout, do routine checkups and take medications as recommended by your doctor.
You are also recommended to reduce the workload of the joints so that complaints do not often recur. What you can do is exercise regularly, consume healthy and balanced nutritious food , and maintain an ideal weight.