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The Real Facts About Pseudo-Gout

The Real Facts About Pseudo-Gout

There are pseudo-kudos (“My, that’s a nice jacket. What street did you pick that up on?”), pseudo-musicians (“It must be heavy-lifting carrying that tune.”) and then… there’s pseudo-gout, which is nothing to make light of, ‘cause there’s nothing false, feigned or erroneous (that’s what pseudo means in Greek) about the sudden, intense joint pain and swelling it can cause.

The reason doctors call calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPPD) pseudo-gout is that, just like the uric acid crystals that trigger gout (often in big toe and other foot joints), the crystal deposits associated with pseudo-gout can cause joint pain and inflammation too. But they can land in almost any joint, although they’re most often reported in the knees, wrists and ankles.

Causes and Diagnosis: The causes of pseudo-gout are unclear, but known risk factors include: age (another reason to make your RealAge younger!); joint trauma; genetics; and a poor diet. And pseudo-gout is tricky to diagnose. Blood tests can reveal mineral imbalances and underactive thyroid or overactive parathyroid, which can point to the presence of CPPD. Docs can also withdraw fluid from an affected joint and identify CPPD from the sample. X-rays can also reveal the crystalline deposits.

Treatment: The joint damage they cause resembles osteo- or rheumatoid arthritis, but flares or attacks of the condition are treated with anti-gout medications like colchicine, although your first line of defense is over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Follow that with rest and ice and you may get genuine relief.

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