Uric acid is a chemical substance, which is naturally present in a healthy body. It is an end product of the metabolic process that breaks down purine, a compound found in various food substances and medicines. Normally, the uric acid dissolved in blood is excreted through the kidneys in the form of urine. When there is excess amount of it in blood, then the body fails to flush it out of the system. As a result, its levels in the blood become high and the condition is known as hyperuricemia. If its level is in between 3.0 and 7.0 mg/DL, then no treatment is needed. When it goes beyond this, proper treatment is a must in order to prevent any health complications.
Causes and Symptoms
One of the main causes of excess uric acid is production of high amount of purines in the body. It is often triggered due to excessive consumption of purine rich foods or some medicines. When the kidneys fail to eliminate the uric acid from the body due to some problem in them, then also its concentration in the blood tends to increase. Other factors responsible for this condition include chronic kidney disease, heart disease, hypothyroidism, obesity, genetic, heavy intake of alcohol or caffeine substances, etc.
Symptoms become noticeable only when there are deposits of uric acid crystals in the joints and tissues of the body. Medically, it is known as gout. As a result, one experiences severe pain in the affected joint and is accompanied by reddening and swelling of the area. Initially, gout attacks occur in one joint of the body particularly the big toe. Later on, it may spread to other joints of the body as well. It may also lead to kidney stones or kidney failure in future.
This condition is first diagnosed with the help of a blood test which is referred to as uric acid test. The main aim of the treatment is to lower the uric acid levels in blood. Allopurinol and febuxostat are two such drugs that are highly effective for treating this condition. These medicines keep a check on the uric acid production in the body. There is another medicine probenecid that can slow down the process of absorption of uric acid in the body. As a result, more and more uric acid can be eliminated through urine.
Sulfinpyrazone is prescribed for the purpose of lowering down its level in the bloodstream. These medicines are often accompanied by vitamin C supplements, as it plays a major role in reducing uric acid in body. If any underlying health problem is responsible for elevation of uric acid, then it has to be treated properly in order to get rid of this problem.
Along with this medicinal treatment, you have to take care of the kind of foods that you are eating. A treatment diet includes fresh and raw green vegetables, complex carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, etc., low-fat dairy products, etc. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and should be included in the diet. Add a lot of garlic in your recipes, as it helps in neutralizing the acidic effect of uric acid. You have to avoid all such foods that are rich in purines. They are: meats, eggs, fatty fish, mushroom, yeasts, sugary foods, fried, canned or processed foods, etc.
Natural Uric Acid Treatment
There are a number of naturally occurring substances that are being used for treatment in ayurveda. They are as follows:
- Water: This is the simplest way to get rid of the extra uric acid in the body. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day to ensure faster elimination of the harmful component from the body.
- Cherries: Eating 8 to 10 cherries daily can control the uric acid problem to a great extent. It has an enzyme in it that facilitates excretion of uric acid.
- Vegetable Juice: Some vegetable juices are good for this treatment. Mix equal quantities of carrot juice and cucumber juice and have it daily. Freshly extracted French bean juice can also give similar results.
- Lemon Juice: Vitamin C present in lemon juice not just dissolves the uric acid but also checks the symptoms associated with high level of uric acid. Drink a mixture made up of equal quantities of lemon juice and honey twice a day for best results.
In acute cases, a treatment using medicines continues for 2 weeks. As its level decreases, doctors advise the patients to continue with the dietary restrictions and some natural treatment to maintain normal levels of uric acid. However, in chronic cases, the treatment has to be continued for several months or even years.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.