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Gout vs Pseudogout | Cure Gout Now

Gout vs Pseudogout

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Sometimes, even if a person lives a healthy lifestyle, abstains from alcohol or drinks it modestly, they can experience a condition that mirrors gout, but is in actuality, a different arthritic condition altogether known as pseudogout.  To help you understand the differences between these two, the following is a breakdown of the causes, symptoms and treatments for each condition.

Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs suddenly, usually affecting the big toe, and causes severe painful attacks, tenderness and redness in the affected joint. An attack can last days or weeks.  Gout is caused by a build up of uric acid which turns into uric acid crystals that are deposited into the joints causing them to become inflamed.  The first attack of gout often occurs late at night. 

A build up of uric acid that develops into gout can result from:
• High alcohol consumption
• Eating excessive food rich in purines such as organ meats
• Crash diets
• Joint injury
• Surgery
• Chemotherapy

The symptoms of gout include:
• Sudden intense joint pain
• Inflammation and redness in the affected joint. 
• Swelling
• Difficulty moving affected joint within its normal capacity.

Treatment for gout includes:
• NSAIDs - The most common treatment for gout includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, indomethacin and naproxen.  They are used to help alleviate paint and reduce inflammation
• Colchicine – prescription med that prevents gout attacks from recurring
• Diet – By controlling what you eat, staying well hydrated and exercising regularly, you can help reduce your uric acid levels and prevent gout.
• Surgery – This is very rare treatment and is only required if there is significant joint damage from frequent attacks.

Pseudogout is a form of arthritis that occurs when calcium pyrophosphate crystals accumulate in joints.  Although it is sometimes referred to as calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease (CPDD), the disease is called pseudogout due to the fact that its symptoms and crystal build up are similar to gout. 

Like gout, pseudogout causes a sudden extreme attack of pain and swelling to specific joints, which can last for days or weeks.  However, unlike gout that usually attacks the big toe first, pseudogout is usually present in the knees, but can also affect the shoulder, elbows, wrists, hands, or ankles.  Furthermore, pseudogout can become a chronic arthritic condition that feels more like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

It is clear that the development of calcium pyrophosphate crystals is what causes Pseudogout.  Eventually, crystals can be deposited into the cartilage of a joint and then begin to damage it, a condition known as chondrocalcinosis.  Although medical researchers are not sure why the calcium pyrophosphate crystals occur, it is suspected that the condition may be hereditary or related to:
• Hypothryroidism (underactive thyroid)
• Hemochromatosis (too much iron storage)
• Overactive parathyroid gland
• Low levels of magnesium in the blood
• Hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood)
• Joint injury
• Surgery (either related to a joint or not)

Unlike gout, pseudogout is not necessarily gender specific or diet related, and usually affects 3% of people in their sixties and approximately 50% of those in their nineties.

The symptoms of pseudogout include:
• Swelling of the affected joint
• Severe pain
• Warmth
• Redness

Treatment for pseudogout includes:
• Cortisone injections
• Ice therapy, mild exercise and rest
• Surgery – only occurs if severe damage has been done to the joints.

As you can see, both gout and pseudogout are incredibly painful conditions that result from the build up of crystal deposits in the joints causing inflammation.  Essentially, the main difference between the two is the type of crystals.

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One Response

  1. January 14th, 2007 | 7:46 pm

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