What is pseudogout?
Pseudogout is a type of arthritis that is characterized by the sudden onset of joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. It occurs when calcium pyrophosphate crystals build up in the joints, leading to inflammation and damage. Pseudogout can affect any joint in the body, but it most commonly affects the knee.
It is more common in older adults and may be associated with other medical conditions such as thyroid disease, diabetes, or kidney problems. Treatment for pseudogout usually involves medications to relieve pain and inflammation, as well as lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of future flare-ups.
What Is Calcium Pyrophosphate Crystals Deposition (CPPD)?
Calcium pyrophosphate crystals deposition (CPPD) is a medical condition that occurs when calcium pyrophosphate crystals accumulate in the joints. This condition is also known as pyrophosphate arthropathy or pseudogout.
The accumulation of these crystals can cause inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joints, which may resemble the symptoms associated with gout. However, CPPD typically affects larger joints such as the knee, wrist, and shoulder, while gout usually affects the big toe.
The underlying causes of CPPD are not fully understood, but it is more common in people over 60 years old and may be associated with other medical conditions such as thyroid disease, hemochromatosis, and hyperparathyroidism. Diagnosis of CPPD usually involves a joint aspiration to look for the presence of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joint fluid.
Signs and Symptoms of Pseudogout:
Pseudogout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden, painful joint inflammation. Some signs and symptoms of pseudogout include:
- Acute joint pain: Pseudogout typically causes sudden and severe joint pain, which often comes on quickly and without warning.
- Swollen joints: The affected joint(s) may be swollen, red, and warm to the touch.
- Stiffness: Joint stiffness is another common symptom of pseudogout. It can make it difficult to move the affected joint.
- Limited range of motion: In some cases, pseudogout can cause a limited range of motion in the affected joint.
- Fever: Some people with pseudogout may develop a low-grade fever.
- Chills: Chills can also accompany this condition.
- Fatigue: Fatigue or a feeling of tiredness is another possible symptom.
It’s important to note that symptoms of pseudogout can vary from person to person, and some people may not experience all of these symptoms. If you are experiencing joint pain or discomfort, it’s important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Risk factors for Pseudogout:
- Age: Pseudogout is more common in older adults. As people age, the risk of developing pseudogout increases. This may be due to the accumulation of calcium crystals in the joints over time.
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop pseudogout than men. This may be due to hormonal differences between men and women.
- Family history: Pseudogout can run in families, suggesting that there may be a genetic component to the condition. If a person has a family history of pseudogout, their risk of developing the condition may be higher.
- Other health conditions: Pseudogout may be more likely to occur in people who have other medical conditions, such as hyperparathyroidism (an overactive parathyroid gland), hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), hemochromatosis (a condition where there is too much iron in the body), or Ochronosis (a rare metabolic disorder). These conditions can cause changes in the body that increase the risk of developing pseudogout.
- Joint injury: Previous joint injuries or surgeries can increase the risk of developing pseudogout. This is because damage to the joint can cause calcium crystals to build up in the joint fluid.
- Medications: Certain medications can increase the risk of developing pseudogout. For example, diuretics (water pills) used to treat high blood pressure can increase the levels of calcium in the blood, which can lead to the formation of calcium crystals in the joints.
It’s important to note that having one or more of these risk factors does not necessarily mean that a person will develop pseudogout. However, if a person has any of these risk factors and is experiencing joint pain or swelling, they should talk to their healthcare provider.
What are the differences between Pseudogout and Gout?
Pseudogout is a type of arthritis that is caused by the deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joints, while gout is caused by uric acid crystal buildup in the joints.
Pseudogout can cause similar symptoms to gout, such as joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, but it can also affect different joints in the body than gout does. Additionally, the treatment for pseudogout may differ from the gout treatment, so it is important to get an accurate diagnosis if you are experiencing joint pain or inflammation.
How to diagnose Pseudogout?
Diagnosing pseudogout typically involves a combination of a physical exam, imaging tests, and analysis of joint fluid.
- During a physical exam, your doctor will examine the affected joint(s) for signs of swelling, redness, warmth, and tenderness. They may also ask about your medical history and any medications you are taking.
- Imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, may be used to look for evidence of calcium deposits in the affected joint(s). However, these tests alone cannot definitively diagnose pseudogout.
- The most reliable way to diagnose pseudogout is by analyzing joint fluid obtained through a procedure called joint aspiration (arthrocentesis). During this procedure, a small needle is inserted into the affected joint to remove a sample of synovial fluid. The fluid is then examined under a microscope to look for the presence of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystals, which are characteristic of pseudogout.
If CPPD crystals are detected in the joint fluid, along with symptoms that suggest pseudogout, a diagnosis can be made. It’s important to note that pseudogout can sometimes be mistaken for other types of arthritis, so an accurate diagnosis is essential for effective treatment.
In some cases, blood tests may also be ordered to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis.
Ayurveda treatment for pseudogout:
- Guduchyadi kashayam
- Manjishthadi kashayam
- Mahamanjishthadi kashayam
- Punarnava kashayam
- Rasnaerandadi kashayam
- Guduchi satva
- Mahatikta ghritam
- Sudarshana churnam
- Guduchi churnam
- Kaishor guggulu
- Amrita guggulu
- Sudarshana ghanvati
- Punarnava guggulu
- Gokshuradi guggulu
- Dhara: Dashmoola kshir dhara
- Abhyanga: Ayurvedic massage using warm herbal oils like Pinda tailam, Madhuyastaydi tailam etc.That can help relieve joint pain and stiffness associated with pseudogout.
- Virechana: Virechana is a purgative therapy that involves the use of herbal laxatives to cleanse the body of toxins. It may help manage gout by removing excess uric acid from the body and reducing inflammation.
- Basti: Also known as enema therapy, this treatment involves the administration of medicated oils or decoctions through the rectum. Basti like, Guduchyadi yapan basti can help to remove toxins from the body and reduce inflammation in the joints.