How To Distinguish Gout From Pseudogout?

Gout And Pseudogout
Gout And Pseudogout
Gout And Pseudogout
Gout And Pseudogout

Gout and pseudogout are two types of arthritis associated with the deposition of crystals in the body. The conditions are often mistaken for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.

The key differences between gout and pseudogout are associated with the site of pain and the type of crystals deposited in the joints.

Causes Of Gout And Pseudogout

Gout is caused by the formation of urate crystals in the joints due to high uric acid levels in our body. On the other hand, pseudogout is caused by the buildup of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the cartilage.

Comparing The Symptoms

The symptoms experienced in the joints due to gout and pseudogout are quite similar. Both conditions are associated with sudden symptoms that could sometimes be triggered due to minor injuries like hitting your elbow or knee against something.

The common symptoms associated with gout and pseudogout include:

  • Swelling
  • redness
  • tenderness
  • Sudden extreme pain
  • Warmth at the location of pain

A gout attack causes sudden and intense pain that gets worse in the first 12 hours. Then they tend to reduce over the next days. The pain goes away within 7-10 days.

Pseudogout attacks are also sudden like gout. However, the severity of the pain remains the same for many days or weeks. The pain of pseudogout is reminiscent of that caused by rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.

Risk Factors

In people below until the age of 60, gout is more common in men than women. In men, the likelihood of developing gout is more when they are 40 to 50 years of age. Women are more likely to develop gout after their menopause.

Adults above the age of 50 are at higher risk of developing pseudogout.


You will have to undergo a physical examination to diagnose gout and pseudogout. Your doctor will enquire about your medical history. You will have to explain all your symptoms to the doctor.

If a blood test result tells that you have higher levels of uric acid in your body, it could mean that you have gout. Your doctor may also check the blood iron levels, thyroid hormone levels, and levels of minerals like magnesium, calcium, and phosphatase in the blood.

X-ray examination is useful for detecting crystal deposits but they cannot be used to figure out the type of crystals deposited in the joints.

In some rare cases, gout and pseudogout could occur together.