Gout is a type of arthritis where excess uric acid in the blood is deposited in the joints, causing swelling, pain and redness. Pseudogout is a type of calcium pyrophosphate deposit that may resemble other types of arthritis, neuropathy or nerve disease although, in some cases, it may be asymptomatic. The deposits of crystals in the joints that cause both diseases are: those of uric acid cause gout while those of calcium pyrophosphate cause pseudogout.
High levels of uric acid, called hyperuricemia, can cause gout. Excess production due to diet, medicines and other diseases or due to low excretion can cause high levels of this acid. A diet high in purines, such as cheese, seafood, meat, high fructose duces and alcohol, can increase your risk. However, having this high level does not mean that you are going to develop it. Other risk factors include age, being a man, traumas, surgeries, medications such as diuretics and low-dose aspirins, dehydration and diseases such as Kidney, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure and heart disease. Although the pseudogout does not have a specific cause, it is true that it happens after having suffered a trauma, by family medical history or if you have high levels of iron in your blood.
Gout affects the joint of the big toe in 50% of cases. The pain, redness and swelling will increase after one or two days and may spread to areas around the joint. Gout may look like an injury or an infection of the skin, the pain in the affected foot can be so severe that it makes it difficult to walk; Fortunately, the symptoms can be resolved in a few days if the necessary precautions are taken and proper treatment is performed, but it can also last for weeks. Pseudogout and gout have very similar symptoms: both cause sudden pain and swelling in the affected areas, improve without treatment and can come and go. However, it should also be noted that they differ in several ways: while the former most commonly affects the big toe, the pseudogout often attacks larger joints, especially the knees. Also, it can cause fever and a low white blood cell count. Your doctor should definitely distinguish between them. The crystals that form both diseases look very different.
Doctors decide to treat gout with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, called NSAIDS.If you can not take them because of stomach pain or because of ulcers, your doctor should prescribe colchicine. However, this usually causes nausea, so it can give you oral steroids such as prednisone. Side effects of steroids include thinning of the bones, high blood sugar and the decreasing ability to cure infections. With the pseudogout, only one or two joints will be affected, treatment includes draining fluid from the joint and injecting a steroid to decrease inflammation. If you have this disease in more than two joints, your doctor should give you NSAIDS, colchicine and oral steroids. Resting the affected areas will also help to remove the symptoms.
The treatment does not completely remove the joint crystals in the drop or pseudogout. After an attack, you may not have symptoms for years. Subsequent attacks of gout are more likely to affect more than one joint, as well as the upper body joints. As this disease progresses, uric acid crystals can also be deposited in the connective tissue. This causes lumps under the skin called tophi that, while not causing pain, may be deformed and are a clear sign of a chronic uncontrolled gout.
Once a gout attack resolves, avoiding foods that are high in purines will help prevent future attacks. Eating low-fat dairy products and cherries can lower uric acid levels, but if it stays high, you can take medications to lower levels. Both allopurinol and febuxostat work by blocking the production of uric acid, while probenecid works by increasing the elimination of uric acid through urine. If you have more than three attacks or pseudogout in a year, your doctor should prescribe NSAIDs daily to avoid other attacks or avoid breaking your joints.