There are pseudokudos ("My, that's a nice jacket. What street did you pick that up on?") and pseudomusicians ("It must be heavy lifting carrying that tune").
And then there's pseudogout, which is nothing to make light of, because there's nothing false, feigned or erroneous (that's what "pseudo" means in Greek) about the sudden, intense joint pain and swelling it can cause.
The reason doctors call calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPPD) pseudogout is that, just like the uric acid crystals that trigger gout (often in the big toe and other foot joints), the crystal deposits associated with pseudogout can cause joint pain and inflammation.
They can land in almost any joint, although they're most often reported in the knees, wrists, and ankles.
The causes of pseudogout are unclear, but known risk factors include age, joint trauma, genetics, and a poor diet.
And pseudogout is tricky to diagnose. Blood tests can reveal mineral imbalances and underactive thyroid or overactive parathyroid, which can point to the presence of CPPD.
Doctors can withdraw fluid from an affected joint and identify CPPD from the sample. X-rays also can reveal the crystalline deposits.
The joint damage they cause resembles osteo- or rheumatoid arthritis, but flares or attacks of the condition are treated with anti-gout medications like colchicine, although your first line of defense is over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium.
Follow that with rest and ice, and you may get genuine relief.
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