Too much of purine foods in the body and excess alcohol consumption are some of the factors that raise the chances of increasing uric acid levels in the body. To know more about high uric acid symptoms, read on…
Abnormally high levels of uric acid in the body is a medical problem that is commonly referred to as hyperuricemia. The uric acid present in our body is the outcome of metabolism of purines, compounds that are an integral part of body cells and also present in a variety of foodstuffs. The breakdown of purines to uric acid is a natural process that takes place in our body.
Excess uric acid formed is eventually thrown out of the body in the form of urine. In case, removal of uric acid slows down, it causes hyperuricemia. Long standing hyperuricemia leads to formation of uric acid crystals that get trapped in the joints. No wonder, joint pain is one of the most common symptoms of high uric acid in the body.
Causes of Too Much Uric Acid in the Body
Being obese and overweight or using immunosuppressive drugs can raise uric acid levels in the body. Even those taking niacin may suffer from hyperuricemia. This byproduct of purine metabolism can also accumulate excessively due to the following reasons:
Diet High in Purine Foods
Having too much of foods high in purine everyday predisposes a person to high uric acid levels and gout attacks. When excess purine is getting into the body through various food sources, how can one expect uric acid levels to be normal? Foods high in proteins, especially seafood are loaded with purines and hence their excess consumption can put a person in the risk zone of hyperuricemia.
Diuretics that are often recommended to lower high blood pressure may lead to hyperuricemia. Although diuretics are formulated to prompt the kidneys to increase urinary rate, unfortunately, elimination of large amount of urine doesn’t contribute in getting rid of excessive uric acid. In fact, a person taking diuretics for a considerable amount of time may suffer from frequent gout attacks.
The habit of consuming too much of alcoholic beverages can also lead to build up of uric acid in the body. Some of the commonly consumed alcoholic drinks like beer and wine promote breakdown of purines at a faster rate, leading to excess production of uric acid. No wonder frequently consumed alcohol has been associated with increased uric acid levels.
People suffering from hypothyroidism, a condition that is typically marked by less production of thyroid hormone can also get diagnosed with hyperuricemia. Yet another thyroid condition known as hyperthyroidism (excess production of thyroid hormone) may slow down the metabolism of uric acid. Thus, shortage or surplus production of thyroid hormone increases the risk of hyperuricemia and gout.
One of the important functions of the kidneys is to monitor and regulate uric acid levels in blood. The kidneys filter blood to separate contaminants including uric acid. However, in case the kidneys are not functioning correctly, the process of removing surplus uric acid from the blood may take a backseat. In simple words, the damaged kidneys may be ineffective in eliminating sufficient amount of uric acid. This can lead to build up of uric acid in the blood.
One of the best ways to lower uric acid levels is to considerably restrict intake of purine rich foods. Following a low purine or uric acid reduction diet is the key to manage gout symptoms. Avoiding alcohol can also certainly help to bring down elevated uric acid levels. If high concentration of uric acid is not due to diet, the underlying cause has to be identified. Once the cause is diagnosed, treatment will be given accordingly to restore normal uric acid levels in the body.