Pseudogout is a disease of the joints characterized by bouts of sudden severe pain and swelling. Also known as calcium pyrophosphate deposition (CPPD) disease, it is a form of arthritis that often attacks the knees but can affect the elbows, wrists, ankles, and feet. Treatment is focused on reducing symptoms since the disease is not curable. Pseudogout happens when the synovial fluid, which serves as lubrication for the joints, is filled with crystals that collect and keep the fluid from properly doing its job. These crystals also deposit in the cartilage and build up, damaging it in the process.
Although researchers don't know the mechanism behind the formation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals, they know that it often runs in families and is more prevalent in older people. It has been determined that those who suffer from an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) and an overactive parathyroid gland are more likely to develop pseudogout than those who have normal thyroid functions.
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