ABC of Hyperuricemia (High Uric Acid in blood) and Gout!
Uric acid is a waste product produced from digestion or breakdown of purines, which are found in certain foods and are also formed by our body.
A high uric acid level (known as hyperuricemia) means excess amount of uric acid in blood.
Uric acid accumulated in our blood, passes through kidneys, where most of it is filtered out and excreted(removed) into the urine. When uric acid is not properly excreted through urine than excess uric acid deposits in the form of crystals in the joints primarily those of hands and feet. This condition is known as GOUT.
Many times, people with high uric acid levels don't have any symptoms or related problems. Hyperuricemia can lead to painful attacks of joints (known as Gout) or the development of kidney stones.
Common Causes of Hyperuricemia:
- Purine-rich diet — like sea foods, liver meat, spinach, dried beans and peas, mushrooms etc.
- Obesity or Metabolic Syndrome
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Certain medicines like Diuretics or Immune-suppressing/ Chemotherapy drugs or certain vitamins replacement therapy
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Genetics or familial (Hereditary)
- Kidney disease (inability of the kidneys to filter waste)
- Certain type of Cancers
Treatment of Hyperuricemia:
- Having a high uric acid level is not a disease that necessarily needs to be treated with medicines in the absence of any symptoms. Life style modification with weight reduction and diet modification with low purine diet (e.g. white bread, milk, vegetables, fruits, yogurts etc.)can be effective in patients with hyperuricemia.
- Acute or sudden painful attacks of gout or certain type of kidney stone, needs medical or surgical treatment. Consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.