Gout and Pseudogout are 2 types of calcium pyrophosphate deposition diseases that are caused from crystal formations in the joints, and sometimes tendons. These crystals irritate the joints, and cause the body to release chemicals that make the joints swell. This results in the irritated area of the hand to become painful and appear red.
Gout includes the production of a salt called monosodium urate. The cause of Gout is associated with an imbalance in uric acid levels. Rapid changes in uric acid can be a result of genetics, health and diet, and concerns such as heart disease.
Pseudogout is associated with the production of calcium pyrophosphate. The development of Pseudogout crystals tend to occur throughout a patient’s life, but does not always cause symptoms of pain, swelling, or redness. The cause of calcium pyrophosphate is associated with multiple injuries to the joint. However, an injury does not immediately result in an attack. It can also occur in patients with health concerns associated with the thyroid.
Both Gout and Pseudogout commonly affect the elbow, wrist, and finger joints. Symptoms can be visible through redness and swelling, while also radiating heat. The pain may prevent mobility, and can also appear infected. In Gout, symptoms of visible crystals can be seen under the skin, and appear white or “tophi.” However, Pseudogout crystals can only be seen through an x-ray.
When flare-ups of Gout and Pseudogout occur in the hand, and prevent the patient’s movement abilities, treatment is designed to decrease the pain and visible symptoms. Treatments can include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications, such as indomethacin or colchicine
- Prescription medications
Because Gout can be influenced by diet, there is an effective “Gout Diet” treatment that is designed to lower uric acid levels in treating gout. This can be beneficial for patients who are unable to tolerate prescription therapy, and also to maintain flare-ups. The diet includes a maintained meal plan with lists of suggested foods and foods to avoid. There is also a set of general guidelines implemented in the plan for optimal results. You can learn more about the Gout diet and guidelines by clicking HERE!
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of Gout or Pseudogout, we at Avery Arora, MD want to help you treat and maintain symptoms for optimal hand health. Reach out to us here and speak to one of our caring professionals about our effective treatment options. Contact us today and schedule your consultation!