Diet for pseudogout

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Pseudogout is a type of arthritis due to deposits of calcium pyrophosphate crystals. Pseudogout, also known as calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPPD), causes pain, stiffness, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling in multiple joints. It usually affects one joint at a time, but sometimes may affect several joints at once.

The cause of abnormal deposits of CPP crystals in joint cartilage is unknown. CPP crystals may be released from cartilage during a medical illness, joint injury or surgery. The abnormal formation of CPP crystals also may be a genetic trait.

Pseudogout commonly affects the knee or wrist. Less often, it can involve the hips, shoulders, elbows, knuckles, toes or ankles.

This condition primarily affects the elderly. However, it can sometimes affect younger patients who have conditions such as thyroid disease, actromegaly, hyperparathyroidism, ochronosis, hemachromatosis, and Wilson’s disease, and parathyroid disease.

Careful workup, with analysis of crystals found in joints, should lead to the correct diagnosis. Treatment often includes steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

The symptoms of pseudogout are similar to symptoms of several other diseases, especially gout (which is why this form of arthritis is called pseudogout). Some symptoms of pseudogout are similar to those of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Symptoms of pseudogout include:

• Sudden, intense joint pain.
• Swollen warm joint
• Red or purple skin around the joint.
• Severe tenderness around the joint

Less often, pseudogout may cause persistent swelling, warmth and pain in several joints, and can even mimic rheumatoid arthritis.

While diet is not felt to be a major factor in treatment, there are some measures that might help.

It makes sense to reduce foods in the diet that promote inflammation. Thrt means avoidance of polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and all sources of trans-fatty acids, such as margarine and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. A good diet should include omega-3 fatty acids found in sardines, wild salmon and other oily fish and flaxseeds. A diet that is plant-based with lots of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables is also advisable. An antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplement daily is also advised.

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