Pseudogout Versus Gout: There Is a Difference

Arthritis is a term used to refer to more than 100 different conditions, and among them are gout and pseudogout. The fact that they are both arthritis is just one of many similarities between gout and pseudogout. However, there are good reasons to be aware of the differences, especially when it comes to getting treatment. 

The expert rheumatologists at Rheumatology Solutions have the experience and knowledge to identify gout and pseudogout as well as to suggest the best course of treatment depending on which condition you have. In this post we describe some of the ways the two differ, as well as some of the similarities.

The cause

Both gout and pseudogout are caused by crystals, but the crystals are different in each condition. Pseudogout is technically calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease, which is usually shortened to CPPD. In pseudogout, or CPPD, crystals of pyrophosphate dihydrate form in your joints causing pain.

Gout, on the other hand, is caused by the formation of monosodium urate crystals due to high levels of uric acid. The crystals form around your joints, causing pain. 

The usual onset

Another difference between the two conditions is where you’re most likely to be affected first. Roughly 50% of cases of gout begin in your big toe. The other half tend to be in the heel, fingertips, or wrist.

Pseudogout usually begins in your knee. Your ankle, wrist, shoulder, or hip could also be affected. 

In both conditions, onset is sudden. The affected joint becomes red, swollen, hot to the touch. And, it hurts.

Risk factors

The risk factors for both gout and pseudogout include your age, family history, and whether the affected joint has been injured in the past.

If you develop gout, you’re probably between the ages of 30 and 50. If you develop pseudogout, you’re more likely in your 60s.

Men are more likely than women to have gout, and African American men are more likely than Caucasian men to develop the condition. 

Pseudogout is a risk for both men and women, and ethnicity and race do not appear to be risk factors. 


One of the biggest differences between gout and pseudogout is that gout may be preventable with lifestyle changes. Pseudogout, though, cannot. 

Purines, found in alcohol, meats, fish, beans, and some vegetables, can cause gout attacks. Removing those foods and beverages from your diet can prevent gout. Weight loss may also help, along with prescription medication. 

Pseudogout can’t be prevented or cured, but there are treatments that can relieve your symptoms. Some medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, (NSAIDs), colchicine, and corticosteroids are commonly prescribed for people with pseudogout.

If you have a joint that has suddenly begun to hurt, you should book an appointment at Rheumatology Solutions. It may be gout, but it could also be pseudogout. The two are similar, but knowing which you have is a critical part in finding a treatment that works for you.

Scheduling is easy. You can book online, or you can call us at 210-526-9798, and we’ll be happy to help.

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