A severely painful version of arthritis, crystalline arthritis is caused by sharp crystals precipitating in joints such as the toes, knees or elbows. The crystals are a result of problems absorbing or breaking down various natural substances and create a painful inflammation and swelling in the joint itself. The most common types of crystalline arthritis include:
Gout is commonly characterized by sudden onset severe pain, swelling and redness in the affected joints, frequently the big toe. It is caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream. The symptoms often begin quite suddenly and if gout remains uncontrolled it can cause permanent joint damage and limit the normal movement of the affected joints, making everyday activities extremely painful. The definitive way to diagnose gout is to drain fluid from the affected joint and analyze it for uric acid crystals under a microscope. This is often not practical however if it is a small joint affected or multiple joints. In addition to medication, diet and lifestyle changes are very important in reducing the risk of recurrent gout.
Chronic CPPD Arthropathy
Chronic CPPD (calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease) arthropathy refers to when calcium pyrophosphate crystals deposit all over multiple joints and causes multiple joint damage and chronic arthritis presenting similarly like rheumatoid arthritis rather than episodic single joint pain such as pseudogout. X-rays will show calcium deposits in the joints. When clinically appropriate, it is prudent to rule out possible secondary metabolic causes of CPPD. There are currently no known treatments that exist for breaking down the crystals or preventing their formation, more research is needed. Treatment is aimed at reducing pain and swelling and preventing further joint damage, so the strategy is to treat these patients similarly like someone who has RA, when indicated.
This condition presents similarly like gout but instead is caused by another substance called calcium pyrophosphate. Calcium pyrophosphate crystals deposit in the joints rather than uric acid. Pseudogout causes almost identical symptoms such as sudden and painful swelling in one or more joints, the most common being the knee although the wrists and hands can be involved as well. It is common in both men and postmenopausal women, but does tend to affect people over sixty with more frequency. Definitive diagnosis is typically done by analyzing aspirated fluid from inflamed joints.
How does Lomibao Rheumatology & Wellness Care treat Crystalline Arthritis?
Acute symptoms of a flare up are treated with fast-acting treatments such as oral and injection steroids, NSAIDs, and colchicine. For gout, uric acid lowering medications such as allopurinol are needed for maintenance treatment and prevention of recurrent flare ups. Diet and lifestyle modalities are especially important for preventing recurrent gout, including maintaining a healthy body weight, reducing purine rich foods such as alcohol, soft drinks, shellfish and organ meats. If an underlying secondary metabolic cause is identified for CPPD, it should be addressed and treated accordingly. Chronic CPPD arthropathy that is unresponsive to initial treatment with steroids, NSAIDs, and colchicine may need treatment with DMARDs traditionally used to treat RA. Wellness services for crystalline arthritis – coming soon!
What Our Patients Are Saying
Most Personable Rheumatologist
Dr. Lomibao has been my Rheumatologist for over 4 years. I have had RA for 25 years, and Dr. Lomibao by far is the best doctor I have seen. She is an excellent and experienced physician who truly listens and cares. She has developed a treatment plan that has given me my life back.
I am so thankful to be under the care of Dr Lomibao! I could honestly write an essay about her and how wonderful she is. From my first visit to the present she is always thorough and has a incredible bedside manner. I don't think I've ever waited more than 10-15 minutes in the office either. They are so efficient. I have recommended her to many people and will continue to do so. I love Dr Lomibao!
I am so thankful to have found Dr Lomibao. She's been my rheumatologist since the very beginning of my autoimmune illness journey and I can't say enough good things about her. She spent so much time at my initial getting to know me and my symptoms and now I've been a patient of hers for over two years and she still spends all the time with me I need to get my questions and concerns addressed. She is so thorough and has the best bedside manner. I have recommended her to many friends. Dr lomibao is a fantastic physician.
The Best Rheumatologist
I could write a whole story. I won't because you may stop reading. Dr. Lomibao is the best I've came across during my search for a rheumatologist. She isn't like most doctors. She listens to you. She doesn't force meds on you and actually cares about your well being. I'm a lupus and arthritis patients. She has assisted me in getting my condition under control. If you want a caring doctor come see her and I promise you will not be disappointed.
I was diagnosed with lupus almost 4 years ago and after searching. I finally found a rheumatologist who listened. She was compassionate and caring. She has never tried to force a treatment or force meds. Dr. Lomibao has the best bedside manner and communicates with all my other doctors so we are all on the same page. She's such a great doctor I pay out of my pocket to see her because she isn't in my insurance network. That should tell you my true thoughts about Dr. Lomibao. If you are looking for a doctor who will listen and help you find a solution. Go see her.
She helped me knock my arthritis to the curb!
I had some difficulty with my arthritis and I wasn't particularly thrilled with my previous doctor's treatment plan. I decided to see Dr. Lomibao because there had to be another option. I was soooo glad I did!! Dr. Lomibao sat, listened and took notes like crazy. She really listened to my concerns and why I didn't want to be on steroids. When I finished, she put her pen down, looked me in the eyes and told me, "We will find something to help you." She reviewed all my options and provided the pros/cons on everything I could do. She provided me her most recommended options and then I was able to choose the best fit for me. It took a little bit of time, but I am now on a regimen that has my arthritis at the curb! You will not find a more personable, knowledgeable and caring physician around.
One of the Best to ever do it!!!
I have been seeing Dr. Lomibao for almost 2 years. Follow-up hospital visit. She was new to me on our first visit she sat and asked so many questions in regard to the new diagnosis of my auto-immune disease. At first glance, some told me she looks young and she may not be as knowledgeable as others. I say to them she is freaking awesome and amazing. I never feel rushed or feel like I'm being pushed out quickly. Not that I take a lot of time but, as a patient you want to feel like your Dr. truly cares about what you're going through and find a way to solve the problem. During this recent pandemic, I've been teaching from home. I had to move my daughter home from college and I had to work the very next day. I was exhausted and had an appointment with Dr. Lomibao the very next day. My body was not cooperating and I left a message with her nurse and my Dr. did a virtual appointment to address my issues. Video or by phone was optional. They always return calls and are accommodating. God Bless you guys stay safe!
I love Dr. Lomibao
Dr. Lomibao was the first Rheumatologist I saw after I started exhibiting symptoms of inflammatory arthritis in 2018. I have been appreciative of her analytical and compassionate nature since my first appointment! Dr. Lomibao doesn't just check boxes off her chart and move on to her next patient. During my appointments, she takes the time to relate to me and allows me space to communicate the various areas of my life that are affected by my illness. This has greatly affected the amount of trust I have for her. I am an over-thinker who loves knowing why and how aspects of my illness are affecting me, and Dr. Lomibao has never dismissed my questions or made me feel like I am wasting her time by asking a question. Dr. Lomibao and her staff have gone above and beyond to make me feel the best I possibly can! I am very grateful for their care.
Caring and Open Expert Physician
I highly recommend Dr. Frances Lomibao if you are looking for a knowledgeable, kind, and proactive rheumatologist. Dr. Lomibao diagnosed me with RA this year, and has been so compassionate, caring, and informative every step of the way. She takes time to answer my questions in depth, and I always have a lot of them. She is open to my desire to find a way to treat this disease as holistically and naturally as possible, and I truly feel that we are a team united in the fight. Visiting with Dr. Lomibao feels like meeting up with a friend. I’m always nervous before doctor visits but her presence is so comforting, and she’s hilarious! She helps take the edge off of potentially receiving tough news. When we found that I would need to take medication (which wasn’t my plan originally), she spent so much time with me discussing treatments and helping me find what’s best for me. She made me feel comfortable with my treatment plan, and I appreciated her boldness to tell a crunchy hippie like me that while diet and lifestyle changes and supplements would help, it wouldn’t be enough for how my disease is progressing. I have a long history of poor medical care, so being able to partner with Dr. Lomibao is a true blessing.
I have been under Dr. Lomibao's care for 2 1/2 years. She is an amazing rheumatologist that has a genuine care for her patients. I have had RA for 15 years and seen many doctors but she is by far the very best! If you need a physician who not only cares but gets to the bottom of your condition, look no further. I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Frances Lomibao! God bless her!
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