Hyperuricemia, which is commonly known as high uric acid levels, refer to the excessive amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. High uric acid levels are generally more frequent at diagnosis in men than women, and in people over the age of 65 years.
Breakdown of purines in foods that we eat in the release of uric acid as a byproduct. Purines are found in meat and meat products, such as animal organs. Normally, uric acid is transported through the bloodstream to the kidneys and eliminated in urine.
Causes of high uric acid
Some common causes of high uric acid levels, including medical conditions, medications, genetic predisposition, and dietary factors.
1. Medications and vitamins: diuretics, niacin, vitamin B3, immunosuppressive drugs
2. Medical conditions: an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), leukemia, psoriasis, obesity
3. Food: the consumption of caffeine and alcohol in high amounts, purine-rich foods (meat and meat products, seafood, fish, shellfish, and nuts).
Symptoms of high uric acid
Increased uric acid levels may go undiagnosed because some people may be asymptomatic. However, some people with high uric acid levels may experience symptoms due to the effects of excessive uric acid in their bodies. For example, hyperuricemia can cause gout (rheumatoid arthritis) and kidney diseases such as kidney stones and kidney failure. This medical condition will be explored in detail as follows:
- Gout develops due to an immunological reaction against the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints. Gout is characterized by severe pain in the joints, inflammation (swelling) of the joints, fever, and peeling of the skin around the joints. Uric acid levels than 10mg/dL increase the risk of developing gout.
- Kidney stones can develop in people who suffer from high uric acid levels, and kidney stones may not be detected until they get stuck in the ureter that can cause tremendous pain and makes someone frequent painful urination, blood urine, nausea and vomiting. Classic symptoms of kidney stones are sudden pain and intense in the abdomen, pelvis, and groin areas, which tend to come in repeatedly. Additional symptoms include urinating blood and pain during urination.
- Kidney failure. The most severe symptoms associated with high uric acid levels is kidney failure, which is manifest as less urination, shortness of breath, swelling in the limbs, confusion and sleepiness, fatigue, or chest pain. Kidney failure may develop in patients with leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma because uric acid levels. This is usually a consequence of chemotherapy, which kills malignant cells.
- Other diseases. Although recent studies have shown that high uric acid levels associated with hypertension and cardiovascular disease, it remains to be investigated whether reducing the levels of uric acid will reduce the condition.
Get to know the pain you are feeling. If the pain persists, consult a doctor immediately. Remember, do not delay!