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Hyperuricemia (High Uric Acid Level)

Overview

Uric acid is a waste product that may be found in the blood. Purines are broken down in the body, resulting in the production of this molecule. The vast majority of uric acid dissolves in the circulation, passes through the kidneys, and is excreted in the urine.

Typically, the body removes uric acid via urine. Hyperuricemia is a condition in which your body generates too much uric acid or is unable to remove it quickly enough. Normal uric acid level for men is 4.0-8.5 mg/dL while for women uric acid normal range is 2.7-7.3 mg/dL.

Elevated uric acid is often caused by your kidneys’ failure to remove junk quickly enough. The presence of too much uric acid in the circulation may result in the formation of crystals.

Purine-rich foods and drinks may increase uric acid levels in the blood. An increase in uric acid levels in the body may lead to the formation of uric acid crystals and complications like gout.

Hyperuricemia is a condition in which the body maintains an abnormal amount of uric acid. Crystals of uric acid may form as a result of hyperuricemia (also known as urate crystals). They may get lodged in the kidneys, resulting in the formation of kidney stones.

Untreated hyperuricemia may result in irreversible joint, bone and tissue damage, as well as renal and heart problems. Elevated uric acid levels are associated with hypertension, fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes.

A uric acid test is used to determine the quantity of uric acid present in the blood and urine.

Elevated uric acid levels and flares in joint pain may be controlled and avoided using a long-term illness treatment approach. Medications recommended by the doctor may help the body break down uric acid crystal forms. You will most certainly need urate-lowering medication for the rest of your life, as well as medications to prevent gout flare-ups and dissolve crystals that have already developed in the body.

Other ways for reducing high uric acid levels include the following:

  • Losing weight in case of being obese
  • Limiting the intake of organ meats, red meat, fructose corn syrup, fish, and alcoholic beverages

Causes

A high uric acid level is often caused by the kidneys’ failure to remove uric acid from the body correctly. The kidneys filter the uric acid and other waste products. Kidney disease impairs their ability to execute their normal duties. As a consequence, waste products such as uric acid accumulate in the circulatory system.

Foods rich in fat, being overweight, having diabetes, using certain diuretics, and drinking large quantities of alcohol are all variables that may cause uric acid to be eliminated more slowly from the body. Other, less frequent reasons include a high intake of purine-containing foods and an abnormally high level of uric acid in the circulation and urine.

Uric acid is generated in the body as a by-product of purine metabolism. Purines are a kind of chemical present in a wide range of foods including red meat, organ meat, seafood, and legumes.

Environmental factors and genetics play part in increasing uric acid levels. Some of the risk factors of hyperuricemia causes are:

  • Diabetes
  •  Alcohol abuse
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Purine rich diet
  • Hypertension
  • Diuretics usage
  • Obesity
  • Psoriasis
  • Use of immune-suppressing medicine
  • Renal insufficiency
  • Tumor lysis syndrome
  • Chemotherapeutic agents


Following chemotherapy, there is typically a large extent of cellular death, resulting in tumor lysis syndrome. It may occur if you have a high degree of illness and are taking chemotherapy for a particular kind of lymphoma, leukemia, or multiple myeloma.

Dying cells emit purines into the environment. When uric acid is broken down by the body, it is released into circulation. Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments may cause cell death in the body.

Symptoms

Unless uric acid levels are exceptionally high, hyperuricemia symptoms are usually absent or modest. The majority of people with high uric acid levels have no apparent symptoms. When uric acid crystals collect in joints, however, it can cause the abrupt onset of gout, a painful ailment. Gout attacks are typically characterized by acute pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in a single joint, most commonly the big toe. Hyperuricemia is a risk factor for developing gout and its associated symptoms in such circumstances.

Diagnosis

A blood test to assess the concentration of uric acid in the bloodstream is used for hyperuricemia diagnosis. The usual uric acid range varies significantly between laboratories, although readings above 7 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in men and 6 mg/dL in women are considered abnormal. When determining a diagnosis, healthcare providers may evaluate the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and other risk factors in addition to the blood test.

Treatment

Hyperuricemia treatment focuses on lowering uric acid levels in the blood and preventing consequences such as gout and kidney stones. Lifestyle changes, such as decreasing the intake of purine-rich foods (e.g., red meat, organ meats, shellfish) and alcohol, particularly beer, play an essential role in management. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying hydrated, and participating in regular physical activity can help manage hyperuricemia.

When lifestyle changes are insufficient, or there is a substantial risk of problems, healthcare providers may prescribe drugs. These uric acid treatments are classified into two types: urate-lowering therapy (ULT) and pharmaceuticals used to treat acute gout episodes. ULTs, such as allopurinol and febuxostat, work to reduce uric acid levels by either decreasing production or boosting excretion by the kidneys. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), colchicine, or corticosteroids relieve pain and inflammation during acute gout attacks.

When To See A Doctor

You must call your doctor or health care provider if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Redness and swelling in a joint
  • Joint pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Unexpected rise in the heart rate
  • Palpitations
  • Persistent bleeding


Uric acid is a waste product that, if overly accumulated in the body, may cause joint and tissue damage. When a person’s uric acid levels stay high for a long period of time, they may develop health problems. Hence, the person needs to see the primary care physician on an immediate basis.

It is essential for individuals to keep their uric acid levels below normal in order to prevent gout. This may help relieve hyperuricemia and gout symptoms while also lowering the chances of a flare-up.

Disclaimer

This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have concerns about Hyperuricemia or any other medical condition, please see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment suggestions.

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