Pseudogout is a condition that affects the joints. Due to the involvement of the joints, it can lead to arthritic episodes. It is defined by the formation of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate salt crystals in the joints. These salt deposits can result to sore swelling inside the joints particularly the wrists, knees and ankles.
What are the risk factors?
Some of the usual risk factors for pseudogout include the following:
- Elderly are at higher risk
- Significant joint injuries can lead to pseudogout at a later stage
- Presence of excess minerals such as iron or calcium in the blood or low level of magnesium which puts one at higher risk for the condition
- Hereditary predisposition
- Young individuals with conditions such as thyroid disease, parathyroid disease, Wilson disease, acromegaly and hemochromatosis
What are the indications of pseudogout?
The indications strikingly resemble other joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. An individual with pseudogout usually have the following symptoms:
- Pain and swelling of the joints due to the buildup of fluid, usually the knees.
- Abrupt pain that can excruciatingly intolerable
- Affected joints are warm to the touch
It is important to note that pseudogout could not be fully cured. Medications that are given are generally aimed on lessening the pain, prevention of repeated attacks and improving the functionality of the joint.
Some of these measures include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are given to control the pain. The prescribed dosage must be followed due to its potential side effects.
- In some cases, removal of the fluid buildup in the joint is done with a needle to relieve the pressure. After this, drugs to numb the discomfort along with corticosteroids to lessen the swelling are injected into the joint.
- Passive measures include the application of an ice pack and getting enough rest to reduce the pain and inflammation.