Impact Of Excess Uric Acid on Our Health

Impact Of Excess Uric Acid on Our Health

Healthcare News

Have you ever heard of purine? It is a chemical compound found in foods that causes formation of uric acid. High levels of this element in our body can create complications, especially kidney-related issues.

Some foods contain more purine than others, and uric acid is made and broken down in our body. Generally, uric acid is filtered through our kidneys and in urine. However, when we consume too much purine or our body cannot remove it quickly, a buildup of uric acid may not be good for our overall health. Let us understand all about uric acid and how it affects your body.

What is uric acid?

Uric acid is the chemical created when the body breaks down purines, a compound found in various foods. Too much purine can lead to high uric acid, also known as hyperuricemia. 

Uric acid levels are considered high when they are greater than 7 mg/dl in men and 6 mg/dl in women. Uric acid is a waste product created when your body breaks down chemicals called purine in our food. Uric is generally dissolved in the blood, processed by our kidneys, and eliminated from the body through urine. 

However, excessive uric acid can build up and form crystals, which can deposit in the joints, leading to a condition known as gout. They can also accumulate in the kidneys and lead to kidney stones. Gout may appear when there is sudden and severe joint pain. Managing uric acid levels through dietary changes and medications can prevent complications like gout and kidney stones.

What are the symptoms of high uric acid?

High uric acid levels may not cause any significant changes in the body. However, if the levels are high enough to cause kidney stones or gout, a person may experience some symptoms.

Symptoms of gout include:

  • Discoloration or redness of joints
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Joint stiffness
  • Tender bones

Symptoms of kidney stones

  • Pain in the lower back or side
  • Back pain
  • Frequent urination
  • Cloudy, smelly, or bloody urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Inability to urinate

What causes high uric acid?

High purine foods: The body creates acid after breaking down foods rich in purine. When eaten in moderation, purine foods do not lead to problems. However, regular consumption of foods high in purine can lead to hyperuricemia. Foods and drinks high in purine include:

  • Red meat
  • Organ meats
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Shellfish

Other causes: The major cause of high uric acid levels is eating foods rich in purine regularly, but other reasons could also lead to high levels of it in the body:

  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • High blood pressure or hypertension
  • Drinking too much soda
  • Diuretics
  • Immune-suppressing drugs
  • Obesity
  • Psoriasis
  • Niacin or vitamin B3
  • Kidney problems
  • Genetics
  • Drinking or eating foods that contain fructose
  • Leukemia
  • Metabolic syndrome

Other reasons may trigger high levels of the acid, so it is best to check with a doctor to avoid any complications.

Tips to prevent high uric acid levels

Eat more fibre: Increasing fiber consumption can lower uric acid levels. Additionally, fiber can assist in maintaining insulin and blood sugar homeostasis. It usually increases satiety, which prolongs the feeling of fullness.

Keep your protein intake in check: While protein is essential for maintaining bodily functions, excessive consumption of high-protein foods can increase acid levels. To avoid problems, choose lean sources of protein and balance your intake.

Limit purine-rich foods: Foods that contain purines increase the risk of hyperuricemia. To avoid high uric acid levels, one must avoid purine-rich foods such as organ meats, red meat, fish, etc.

Drink lots of water: Your body gets rid of it through your kidneys. A study published in the Journal of Advanced Research found that your kidneys filter out 70 percent of this acid in your body. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is the best way to flush it out, which will help prevent the buildup in our body.

Avoid alcohol: Alcohol can substantially increase uric acid production and reduce its excretion. One must try to avoid drinking too much alcohol.

Maintain healthy weight: Excess weight can contribute to high uric acid levels. One must, try to keep weight in check by consuming a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

Limit sugary foods: Fruits and honey contain fructose, a natural sugar that, when broken down, releases purine and increases acid levels. High intake of sugary foods and beverages, especially those containing fructose, can also contribute to the problem. It is best to avoid consuming sugary drinks, sweets, and processed foods.

Manage stress: Chronic stress can trigger inflammation and contribute to buildup. To keep stress levels in check, one must practice meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or indulge in enjoyable hobbies.

Keeping uric acid levels is highly crucial for our kidney health. Therefore, in case of discrepancy, one must consult a Urologist.