Crystal deposition disease is a common health condition which especially affects the elderly. It is a metabolic arthropathy in which crystals of calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate get deposited in and around the joints. These deposits occur more commonly in the fibrocartilage and articular cartilage. A person suffering from crystal deposition diseases suffers from pain and swelling in one or many joints. There might be redness and heat in the affected areas. The symptoms are similar to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, because of which crystal deposition disease is also known as pseudogout.
Crystal deposition disease is a chronic condition and you may suffer from flare-ups periodically. You need to take minor precautions during flare-ups, but rest of the time it does not generally affect the quality of one’s life. There is no known cure for crystal deposition disease yet, but proper treatment helps to control this condition. Let’s discuss some of the main causes of crystal deposition disease.
Main Causes Of Crystal Deposition Disease
It is observed that with advancing age, crystal deposition may increase in the joints. Advancing age is one of the main causes of crystal deposition disease and can affect people of either sex above the age of 50. People in their 60’s are most likely to develop this condition, though the symptoms will vary in different individuals depending on the extent to which crystal deposition takes place.
People suffering from diabetes are more likely to develop crystal deposition disease. The overproduction of sugar in the blood can result in the deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joints of the affected individual. Over time, this deposition causes crystal deposition disease, and the symptoms typically seem to appear at night.
Genetics plays a major role in the development of crystal deposition disease. This condition seems to run in families and is another major cause behind crystal deposition disease. Mutations of certain genes and some genetic factors can contribute to the formation of crystals of calcium pyrophosphate that get deposited in the joints, resulting in severe pain and discomfort.
Repeated Steroid Injections
Steroids are injected into the joints and tissues of people suffering from painful joints in order to provide relief from pain and inflammation in the affected areas.
However, steroids themselves are made up of crystals and repeated steroid injections can lead to excess crystal deposition in the targeted joints, thus resulting in crystal deposition disease. That is why it is important to avoid taking steroid injections, particularly at the same site.
Mineral balances are also the major causes of crystal deposition disease. Hypercalcemia and hyperparathyroidism are conditions in which calcium levels in the blood become high. This can cause crystal deposition disease. Another health condition called hemochromatosis leads to high levels of iron in your tissues, and can result in crystal deposition disease. Lower levels of magnesium in the blood due to a condition called hypomagnesemia can also cause crystal deposition disease.
Severe dehydration can lead to deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joints of the affected person, and may cause crystal deposition disease.
This is commonly seen in patients who have been hospitalized due to a surgery and are recovering from it. If proper hydration is not provided to the patient, it may cause crystal deposition disease.