Pseudogout - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Pseudogout is a type of arthritis or joint inflammation caused by a buildup of crystalspyrophosphate calcium. 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 a buildup of uric acid crystals, so it is also known as gout.

Causes of Pseudogout

The main cause of pseudogout is the deposition and accumulation of crystalspyrophosphate calcium or calcium pyrophosphate in jointsThis condition then triggers the occurrence of arthritis which in turn causes damage, pain, and swelling in the joints.

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

  • Aged 60 years and over
  • Have you ever had a joint injury?
  • Have a history of pseudogout in the family
  • Suffering from electrolyte disturbance conditions, especially calcium
  • Have another disease, such as hypothyroidism, kidney disease, or hyperparathyroidism

Symptoms of Pseudogout

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

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

When to go to the doctor

Check with your doctor if you feel 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 do an early examination so that the exact cause of the complaint is felt and can be treated 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 to look for signs of inflammation.

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
  • Ultrasound, to detect inflammation and deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in joints

If necessary, the doctor may also suggest blood tests to check the levels of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

Pseudogout Treatment

The goal of treating pseudogout is to relieve symptoms and prevent complications. Treatment that is usually given to patients with pseudogout is:


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

  • Nonsteroidal 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 recurrent attacks of pseudogout in the long term

These medications can be used until the pseudogout attacks subside. The symptoms that arise will usually disappear periodically after 24 hours starting from the treatment period.

Self care

People with pseudogout are also advised to do self-care at home. Some ways that can be done are to rest the painful joint 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.

Complications of Pseudogout

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 difficult 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 of the joints so as to prevent complaints from appearing, namely by exercising regularly, eating healthy and balanced nutrition, and maintaining an ideal body weight.