When you experience severe joint pain without any specific injury, you may have heard people saying that your blood uric acid level may have increased. Now you may wonder what uric acid is, the reasons that result in high uric acid levels, and what happens to the body if there is a high uric acid level in the blood. In this post, you will get the answer to all your queries, read more to know everything.
What is Uric Acid?
Uric acid is a waste product that can be found in the blood, and it is formed when the body breaks down a chemical called purines. Most uric acid dissolves in the blood, travels through the kidneys, and excretes in the urine.
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Level of Uric Acid
|Uric acid level||Males||Females|
|Low||Less than 2.5 mg/dl||Less than 1.5 mg/dl|
|Normal||2.5–7.0 mg/dl||1.5–6.0 mg/dl|
|High||Greater than 7.0 mg/dl||Greater than 6.0 mg/dl|
Hyperuricemia occurs when your blood has an abnormally high level of uric acid. Uric acid high levels can cause various disorders, including gout, a painful form of arthritis. Excess Uric acid levels are also linked to a variety of health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease.
According to the most current significant study of hyperuricemia and gout, 43.3 million Americans have this problem.
The increased uric acid level is usually caused by the inability of your kidneys to eliminate uric acid efficiently. There could be several factors that contribute to hyperuricemia, such as:
- Diuretics (water retention adjuncts)
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- The genetics (inherited tendencies)
- Hypothyroidism (hypoactive thyroid)
- Immune-suppressing medication
- Niacin (vitamin B-3)
- Insufficiency of the kidneys (inability of the kidneys to filter waste)
- Tumor lysis syndrome (a rapid release of cells into the blood caused by certain cancers or by chemotherapy for those cancers)
In addition to such complicated factors, it could be your routine diet that can cause the uric acid level to increase. Such a diet is high in purine, resulting in a high uric acid level.
Purine-rich meals include:
- Organ meat
- Red meat
- Dried beans and peas
In addition, if you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, your uric acid levels may be checked.
Increased Uric Acid Due to Certain Medical Conditions
High uric acid levels are also linked to medical illnesses and therapies, most notably gout, cancer treatment, and kidney disease.
Gout is a kind of arthritis; the symptoms appear and disappear, usually affecting only one joint.
Uric acid accumulates in the joints and tissues of patients with this issue, resulting in pain, swelling, and discoloration. Gout typically affects the toes, ankles, and knees.
Uric acid crystals can develop clusters called tophi if you’ve had hyperuricemia for a long time. These hard lumps can be located under your skin, around your joints, and near the top of your ear’s curve. Tophi can aggravate joint discomfort and, in the long run, injure your joints or squeeze your nerves.
There is the release of purines when cells die, and when the body breaks them down, they release uric acid into the blood. Some cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, can trigger the death of cells in the body. Uric acid tests may be part of a cancer patient’s medical care.
The kidneys filter waste from the blood, primarily uric acid.
Kidney disorders harm the kidneys and prevent them from functioning correctly. Waste materials such as uric acid can accumulate in the blood when this happens.
Decreased Uric Acid
It is unusual to have low uric acid levels but not impossible.
The Fanconi Syndrome
It is a rare kidney illness and is the most common cause of low uric acid levels. The kidneys of patients with this illness cannot absorb specific nutrients into the body.
Fanconi syndrome can result in fatigue, dehydration, and bone issues. A person suffering from this issue will have low uric acid levels because too much of this chemical is excreted in the urine.
Symptoms of Increased Uric Acid
A person with high or low uric acid levels may not experience symptoms. Only around one-third of hyperuricemia patients have symptoms.
Symptoms may not develop until a person’s levels have been above the usual range for an extended length of time, and this ultimately can lead to health complications. There are various effects of high uric acid levels on the body, such as Gout symptoms caused by elevated uric acid levels include:
- Joint pain or swelling
- Warm feeling by touching the joints
- Glossy, discolored skin around the joints
Uric acid crystals can lead to the formation of kidney stones. The stones are tiny and pass through your urine, and they can grow too big to pass and clog parts of your urinary tract.
Symptoms of a kidney stone, which excessive uric acid levels can potentially cause, include:
- Back discomfort
- Side pain
- Frequent urination
- Pain while urinating
- Difficulty in urination
- Cloudy urine with strange smells strange or includes blood
- Nausea or vomiting
Low uric acid levels are less prevalent than high uric acid levels. If a person has low uric acid levels, they may urinate more frequently than usual, leading to dehydration if they do not drink enough water.
If you experience even a slight sign of any of the above symptoms, don’t ignore it. Your ignorance can cause severe complications and can affect your health severely. You should consult a nephrologist to get expert advice to prevent extreme complexities.
A uric acid test measures uric acid in the blood or urine. If a person has gout symptoms, kidney stones, or cancer therapy, a test may be required. There are no hazards associated with the test.
- A healthcare provider may take a tiny blood sample with a needle or ask the person to collect urine for 24 hours. The model will next be tested for uric acid levels by laboratory technicians.
- Doctors may also do a joint aspiration, which involves removing a small amount of fluid from the swollen joint with a needle and syringe. Gout is indicated by the presence of uric acid crystals in the liquid.
- If the doctor requires more information to diagnose uric acid-related health problems, they may perform a physical examination and ask questions about the patient’s medical history and present symptoms.
A person may have high uric acid levels but no signs of a medical illness at times. Unless they develop symptoms, they are unlikely to require treatment.
The reason for hyperuricemia will determine how to treat it. If hyperuricemia is asymptomatic, there is no need for treatment. There is no advantage to delivering uric acid-reducing therapies in this condition. If an underlying ailment causes it, the problem must be treated first.
It is treated with one or more of the drugs listed below:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can help prevent or treat gout.
- Colchicine is frequently used to prevent or cure gout, especially in patients in whom NSAIDs tolerance is not well.
- Probenecid increases urine output to prevent gout attacks and lower uric acid levels.
- By decreasing uric acid concentration in your system, allopurinol and febuxostat can help prevent gout.
- If the kidney stones are smaller than 5 millimeters (mm) in size, the doctor may recommend you drink an excess of water and take over-the-counter pain relievers until the stones pass.
- There are fewer chances for kidney stones with a diameter of 5 mm or more to pass on their own. To make the muscles relax in your urinary system, your doctor may prescribe drugs such as tamsulosin, which can make passing the stones easier and less painful.
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is a procedure in which ultrasonic energy or shock waves are directed at the kidney stone through your skin. The shock waves shatter the massive rock into tiny bits that can more readily flow via your urinary system.
- If the stones are huge, more than 10 mm in size, they may need to be surgically removed.
Change Your Diet
Certain dietary adjustments may aid in lowering the amount of uric acid in your blood. If your hyperuricemia is caused by gout, nutritional adjustments can reduce your chance of a gout episode and decrease the progression of any joint damage.
Ask your doctor if you believe changing your diet could be helpful, and they can advise you on if this is the best option for you. You should consult an expert physician if you are experiencing unusual joint pain; only he can suggest proper treatment for you. If you have asymptomatic hyperuricemia, dietary and lifestyle adjustments can help lower your blood uric acid levels. If your uric acid levels aren’t normal, you’re in danger of developing renal problems, diabetes, and Metabolic Syndrome.
To avoid the development of major chronic medical issues, you should strictly adhere to your doctor’s advice. Finding the best doctor isn’t an issue anymore; you can visit Marham to book your appointment with top doctors in Pakistan.
1- What causes high uric acid levels in the body?
In most cases high uric acid level is caused by your kidneys’ inability to remove uric acid properly.
2- What is Serum uric acid’s normal range?
The following are the reference ranges for uric acid in the blood:
- Male adult: 4.0-8.5 mg/dL
- Female adult: 2.7-7.3 mg/dL
3- What happens if your uric acid is high?
High uric acid levels, if left untreated, can cause permanent bone, joint, and tissue damage, kidney disease, and heart disease.