Pseudogout | Causes & Risk Factors

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What causes pseudogout?

Pseudogout develops when deposits of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals build up in the cartilage (tissue that protects your bones) of a joint. The cause of this build up is often unknown. The crystals are then released into the fluid in your joint. This causes joint pain and swelling.

Who is at risk of pseudogout?

The following factors increase a person’s risk of pseudogout:

  • Older than 70 years of age
  • A history of pseudogout in your family
  • Underactive thyroid (called hypothyroidism)
  • Too much iron in your blood (called hemochromatosis)
  • Low magnesium levels
  • Overactive parathyroid (called hyperparathyroidism)
  • Too much calcium in your blood (called hypercalcemia)
  • Osteoarthritis

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 11/09

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