Hyperuricemia, which is having too much uric acid in your body, is very common but difficult to diagnose. It does not cause symptoms, but it can lead to health conditions such as kidney stones and gout. Therefore, it is important to understand the condition to keep your health under control.
Urologist at Fortis Hospital and Kidney Institute, Kolkata Dr. R. Datta has been informed about hyperuricemia, its causes, risk factors and lifestyle to be followed by specialized medical website “onlymyhealth”.
High uric acid
The body produces uric acid, which is filtered from the bloodstream during urination and is eliminated by the kidneys in 60-65% of cases.
“The gut removes the rest through it and through the bile,” Dutta says. There may be problems with increased uric acid or improper excretion. “This can lead to the production of crystals, which can accumulate in the kidneys or joints and lead to kidney stones, gout or other serious health problems.”
According to a study conducted by the Journal of Medical Association of India, more than 30% of patients suffer from hyperuricemia, diabetes, hypertension or both. Both acute kidney injury and the development of chronic kidney disease can be affected by high levels of uric acid. However, in asymptomatic cases, it may go undiagnosed.
Dr. Dutta adds, “The importance of early detection of high uric acid and its proper management is essential to manage one’s health well and prevent or manage associated diseases.”
Causes of High Uric Acid Levels
Dr Dutta says, “Some digestive, kidney or hormonal disorders can affect the body’s ability to remove uric acid from the body, leading to high levels of uric acid in the blood.” Fatty meats, shellfish, alcohol, dry beans or peas, and fructose (foods high in natural sugar, mainly found in fruits like apples and watermelon) can lead to high uric acid levels.
How to recognize hyperuricemia
Most people do not experience any symptoms, although high uric acid levels can have serious effects on the body.
Dr. Dutta asserts, “As a result, individuals need to identify risk factors, undergo early screening to detect them early, manage them well and reduce the chances of developing related complications like kidney stones.”
Dr Dutta listed some specific factors as follows:
– Some people may experience joint pain, soreness, swelling or redness.
Kidney stones caused by high uric acid levels can also cause symptoms such as nausea, lower back or abdominal pain, and painful or difficult urination.
Asymptomatic hyperuricemia increases the likelihood of developing several diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. However, 60% of people with hyperuricemia have no symptoms.
“As a result, most of them remain undiagnosed,” adds Dr Dutta.
Risk factors for hyperuricemia
Dr. Dutta listed the risk factors for hyperuricemia as follows:
– You are more likely to develop this condition if you are male, older, obese or have a high body mass index. Eating too much red meat, seafood, fructose or alcohol.
– People with high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, hyperlipidemia and hypothyroidism are at higher risk.
Lifestyle modifications to manage hyperuricemia
Dr. Dutta lists the following lifestyle changes you should follow to manage hyperuricemia:
– Do physical activity like exercise daily
– Maintain a healthy weight
– Limit consumption of red meat, fish and alcohol
– Eat low-fat dairy products
– Include vitamin C rich foods in your diet
– Eat more plant protein, nuts and legumes
– Avoid foods high in fructose corn syrup (a type of sugar) and limit sugary drinks.
“If a person has any worrisome symptoms or thinks they are at high risk of developing hyperuricemia, they should talk to their doctor,” Dr Dutta concluded. “This will help develop a concrete action plan to lower uric acid levels.”
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