Pseudogout and gout are often misdiagnosed as each other. Both cause pain and inflammation inside the joint. Both are forms of arthritis.
The main difference between the two ailments is that pseudogout is caused by calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate and gout is caused by uric acid.
Now, what is calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate?
CPPD is the collection of salt crystals which form in the joints and its surrounding tissues. The joints become inflamed from the deposits and can sometimes cause the cartilage in the afflicted joint to diminish.
The inflammation leads to pain, often compelling the sufferer to make an appointment with their doctor. After performing some tests, the doctor can decide if this is due to pseudogout.
Pseudogout frequency increases with age and affects both women and men equally. The majority of the patients with pseudogout are elderly.
However, it is not uncommon for younger patients with acromegaly, hemochromatosis, ochronosis, parathyroid disease, thyroid disease or Wilson disease to develop pseudogout.
According to the Arthritis Foundation other symptoms of pseudogout include the following:
• Almost half of all attacks target the knee but can occur in any joint. Many first gout attacks occur in the big toe.
• Sudden onset of intense, constant pain appears in one joint.
• The joint may be hot, red, swollen, and stiff.
• An acute attack may be accompanied by possible fever.
• The average attack is less painful than in gout. But in some people, a pseudogout attack can be just as painful as an attack of acute gout.
• The attack lasts for several days to two weeks.
• Attacks can occur spontaneously or can be provoked by trauma, surgery, or severe illness such as stroke or heart attack.
• Periods in between attacks are usually pain-free.
• After years of pseudogout attacks, damage to the joint may progress, causing cartilage deterioration. Cartilage may break down and float in the joint space, causing additional pain.
To see if you have pseudogout, your doctor may take some X-rays and conduct a joint fluid examination to test for calcium pyrophosphate crystals.