Pseudogout - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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Pseudogout - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Pseudogout - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Pseudogout is a type of arthritis or joint inflammation caused by the buildup of pyrophosphate calcium crystals. This condition is characterized by pain and swelling in the joints. Pseudogout often affects people aged 60 years and over or the elderly

Pseudogout is often confused with gout. In addition to the similar terms, the symptoms that arise due to these two conditions are also similar. However, the reasons for the two are different. Gout is caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals, so it is also known as gout.

Pseudogout - Alodokter

Cause Pseudogout

The main cause of pseudogout is the deposition and buildup of pyrophosphate calcium or calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joints. This condition then triggers inflammation of the joints which in turn causes damage, pain, and swelling in the joints.

It is not known with certainty the cause of calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition. However, there are several factors that can increase the risk of pseudogout, namely:

  • Over 60 years old
  • Have had a joint injury
  • Has a history of pseudogout in the family
  • Suffering from electrolyte disturbances, especially calcium
  • Suffering from other diseases, such as hypothyroidism, kidney disease, or hyperparathyroidism

Pseudogout Symptoms

Accumulation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in pseudogout can occur in some joints. Knee, elbow, shoulder, wrist, or ankle joints are some of the joints most commonly affected by pseudogout.

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling in joints
  • Redness of joint skin
  • Stiffness and limited joint movement

When to see a doctor

Consult a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms or complaints mentioned above. Symptoms and complaints that occur in pseudogout are similar to several other diseases, such as gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. So it is necessary to conduct an early examination so that the exact cause of the complaints felt and can be handled as soon as possible.

Pseudogout Diagnosis

To diagnose pseudogout, the doctor will ask questions about complaints, medical history, and medical history in the patient's family. Next, the doctor will examine the joints for signs of inflammation.

The symptoms and signs of pseudogout are similar to those of gout and other inflammatory arthritis, so to confirm pseudogout, doctors need to do further tests. Several types of follow-up examinations will be carried out, including:

  • Joint fluid test, to identify calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposits
  • X-rays, to check for damage to the joints, calcium buildup, and deposits in the joints
  • USG, to detect inflammation and deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in joints

If necessary, the doctor can also suggest a blood test to check the levels of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

Pseudogout Treatment

The goal of pseudogout treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent complications. Treatments that are usually given to pseudogout patients are:


To relieve complaints and symptoms when experiencing pseudogout attacks, the doctor will prescribe several types of drugs, such as:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, to relieve pain during attacks of pseudogout
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to reduce inflammation, especially in people with pseudodogout who cannot take NSAIDs
  • Colchicine, to reduce the risk of repeated attacks of pseudogout over a long period of time

These drugs can be used until the pseudogout attack subsides. The symptoms that arise will usually disappear periodically after 24 hours starting from the treatment period.

Self care

Pseudogout sufferers are also advised to do self-care at home. Some ways that can be done are to rest the painful joints or apply cold compresses to the inflamed joint area.

In addition, to reduce stiffness in the joints and improve mobility, pseudogout sufferers are also advised to do regular exercise and maintain an ideal body weight.

Pseudogout Complications

Pseudogout will cause discomfort and movement disorders. In addition, continued deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals can cause permanent joint damage and increase the risk of joint cysts and bone spurs.

Pseudogout Prevention

Pseudogout is hard to prevent. If you have been diagnosed with pseudogout, you should have regular check-ups and take medicines as recommended by your doctor.

In addition, there are several things that can also be done to reduce the workload on the joints so as to prevent complaints from appearing, namely by exercising regularly, eating he althy and balanced foods, and maintaining an ideal body weight.

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