Uric Acid: Causes, Symptoms & Preventive Measures

Have you been feeling pain and soreness in the muscles of your body and could feel that your joints are swelling up and becoming inflamed? Has your level of urination increased and you have been feeling dizzy and nauseous often? Then you might be suffering from high levels of uric acid in your body.

Got scared? Well, don’t be. Although sounds terrifying, high levels of uric acid in the body can be easily normalized with the help of proper medications, treatments and some home remedies.

However, before going on to the preventative measures we should first know about uric acid in detail.

What is uric acid?

According to the proper definition, uric acid is a heterocyclic compound formed from carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. It forms ions and salts known as urates and acid urates and is the product of the metabolic breakdown of purine nucleotides in the body. Purines are nitrogen-containing compounds which are made inside the cell or come from outside of the body in the forms of food we ingest. During metabolism, purines break down into uric acid in the body.

What are the causes of high levels of uric acid in the body?

The medical term used for having high levels of uric acid in the body is known as Hyperuricemia. 

Uric acid is excreted out of the body through urine to regulate the uric acid levels in the body. However, hyperuricemia occurs when the kidney is not able to eliminate uric acid from our body efficiently. And the uric acid then passes through our kidney and enters the bloodstream. 

The normal concentration range of uric acid in human blood is 25 to 80 mg/L in males and 15 to 60 mg/L in females and concentration of uric acids higher than this range in the body leads to hyperuricemia condition.

As we already know, high levels of uric acid occur when the body is not able to excrete the uric acid out of the system efficiently. This slowing down in the removal of uric acid can be caused due to a variety of reasons ranging from consuming purine-rich foods in the diet to be having some serious complications like cancer.

Some of the common causes of high uric acid levels are:

  • Consuming a purine-rich diet which has liver, game meat, anchovies, sardines, dried beans, peas and mushrooms.
  • If you suffer from renal insufficiency that is the incompetence of the kidney to filter waste out of your body.
  • If you intake a lot of diuretics in your diet which acts as water retention relievers and increases the production of urine from our body.
  • Consumption of too much alcohol.

Uric Acid

  • Genetics play an important role in high uric acid levels in the body. The tendency of uric acid retention by the body can be inheritable.
  • Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland can also lead to a high level of uric acid in the body.
  • If you are under the medication of certain immune-suppressing drugs, Niacin or excess consumption of Vitamin B3.
  • Obesity is a disorder that leads to excessive body fat which in turn can lead to several health problems and one of them can be retention of excess uric acid by the body.
  • Although considered as a skin problem, Psoriasis can trigger several immune problems in the body and some of them can cause shoot up of uric acid levels in the body.
  • Tumour lysis syndrome, a metabolic complication caused due to certain cancers and chemotherapy can also cause an increase in uric acid levels in the body.

Symptoms of high levels of uric acid in the body.

At initial levels of having high levels of uric acid in the body, there can be no symptoms at all in the body. However, as time progresses, symptoms and more complications can develop eventually.

Some of the most common symptoms observed are:

  • Experiencing fever, chills and fatigue.
  • Inflammation of joints leading to a condition known as Gout. Hyperuricemia causes crystals of uric acid to form in the body. These crystals settle in the joints and that leads to the condition Gout, which is a form of arthritis and can be extremely painful to experience.
  • Formation of kidney stones can take place due to the formation of urate crystals in the body and problems with urination occur.

Preventive measures

If the high levels of uric acid are not treated properly, it can lead to permanent joint, muscle and bone damage, kidney and heart diseases. Therefore, if hyperuricemia is diagnosed at initial levels then following the mentioned measures can help you to normalize your uric acid levels in the body.

  • Bring changes in your diet. Avoid purine-rich food as much as possible. Avoid overconsumption of pork, turkey, meat, scallops, shellfish and certain types of vegetables like cauliflower, beans and peas to avoid excess uric acid retention in the body.
  • Reduce the intake of sugary foods through your diet. Sugar fructose is the main type of sugar found in processed and refined food and that can be related to causing hyperuricemia in the body. Check for sugar information when buying refined foods and cut out sugar as much as possible.

  • Drink plenty of fluids to help the kidney flush out all uric acids from the body.
  • Avoid overconsumption of alcohol as it triggers a high uric acid level in the body. When we consume alcohol, our kidneys try to filter out the products that occur in the bloodstream instead of the uric acid and other wastes.
  • Fat cells make more uric acid than muscle cells and being overweight can make it difficult for your kidneys to function properly. Follow a healthy diet to lose weight healthily and avoid crash dieting.
  • Balance insulin levels in the bloodstream to maintain proper levels of uric acid in the body.
  • Eating more fibres will help the body to combat high levels of uric acid in the body. Fibre balances blood sugar, insulin levels, increases satiety and lowers the risk of overeating. 
  • Maintain a proper healthy lifestyle and reduce stress and anxiety. Practice good sleep hygiene and you can try breathing exercises and yoga to normalize the uric acid levels in the body.

Despite following the above remedies, worsening of the condition is often reported from the affected person. Gout can cause unbearable pain and soreness in the body and therefore, it is extremely necessary to consult with your doctor for proper treatments and medications. High levels of uric acid can easily be treated with proper medicines, preventative measures and care.