The Complete Guide to Increased Uric Acid in the Body and How to Lower It

                                                    Photo credits: Crema Joe
 

Introduction: What is Uric Acid?

Uric acid is a normal byproduct of the breakdown of purines (a type of nucleic acid). It is produced in the liver and excreted into the urine.

Uric acid can form kidney stones and can lead to gout if it remains at high concentrations in the blood.

What are the Symptoms of High Uric Acid Levels?

Possible symptoms of high uric acid levels are joint or muscle pain, changes in the colour of urine, excessive thirst and increased frequency of urination.

The signs and symptoms of high uric acid levels usually develop gradually over time and may not be severe at first. But as the condition progresses, it can cause pain in the joints, muscles or tendons. The pain typically gets worse with activity and goes away when resting. This is sometimes accompanied by swelling around the joints or other body parts.

What Causes Increased Levels of Uric Acid in the Body?

A common misconception is that the cause of increased uric acid in the body is a diet high in purines. However, this is not true. In fact, there are many other causes of increased levels of uric acids in the body.

1) Inadequate kidney function

2) Certain medications (e.g., amphotericin B, diuretics, penicillin, tetracycline)

3) Injury to a part of the body with many cells that produce uric acid (e.g., the liver or bone marrow)

4) Chronic diarrhoea or ulcerative colitis

5) Diseases such as leukaemia and Hodgkin’s disease

6) Alcoholism and other forms of chronic alcohol abuse

How to Lower High Levels or Low Levels of Urinary Acids

The most common cause of increased uric acid levels is dehydration. Eating foods that are high in purines like beans, peas, meat, and seafood can also increase uric acid levels.

There are a few ways to lower the levels of uric acid naturally:

Drink plenty of water- Dehydration can be the root cause of an elevated level of uric acid in your blood. Therefore drinking plenty of water will help naturally lower your level of uric acid. Eat more vegetables- Vegetables are rich in antioxidants which have been shown to lower the risk for developing gout and reduce the symptoms if you do have it. Avoid drinking alcohol- Drinking too much alcohol can lead to dehydration and as a result, your kidneys will be less efficient at filtering out urea. This can lead to a build-up of toxins in the bloodstream which may cause nausea, headaches, lightheadedness and vomiting.

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