What does an increase in uric acid mean?
Increased uric acid in the blood is also called hyperuricemia.
Uric acid is produced during the breakdown of purines, a substance found in many foods. The uric acid produced is found in the blood and is excreted into the urine via the kidneys.
A small amount of it is also excreted via the faeces (faeces). If there is too much uric acid, the kidneys are unable to remove it from the blood. Thus, hyperuricemia develops.
High uric acid levels cause crystal deposition inside the joints. This leads to the condition called gout, which causes inflammation and joint pain, especially in the big toe. If the gout is not treated, the uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints and surrounding tissues, forming hard nodules called gout tophi. Hyperuricemia can cause kidney stones or lead to renal insufficiency.
Risks of hyperuricemia
In most cases, hyperuricemia does not cause problems on the venous capillaries. Nevertheless, after a blood sample, a small bruise can form at the place of blood collection. You should apply light pressure to this area for a few minutes.
In rare cases, the vein may become inflamed and may swell after blood drawing. These complaints are called phlebitis. To treat this disorder, a warm envelope can be made, but not within the first 48 hours.
Blood loss is a problem for people with gout because blood-thinning medications such as aspirin and warfarin (Coumadin) can lead to hemorrhage. In case of coagulation problems or when taking blood-thinning medications, the doctor should be informed.
Reference values for hyperuricaemia
Blood tests are used to measure uric acid in the body.
Normal uric acid levels in the blood
The values listed in the following table are normal reference data. These guidelines vary by laboratory. The laboratory tests have a simplified reading of the analyses. The doctor evaluates the results related to health.
The results are available within 1 or 2 days.
Uric acid in the blood:
3.4 – 7.0 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) 202 – 416 micromoles per liter (μmol/l)
2.4 – 6.0 mg/dl
143 – 357 μmol/l
2.0 – 5.5 mg/dl
119 – 327 μmol/l
Normal urinary uric acid levels
Uric acid must be between 250 and 750 mg in 24-hour urine.
Causes of increased uric acid
The accumulation of uric acid may be caused by excessive production or insufficient excretion through the kidneys.
Reasons that lead to high levels of uric acid in the blood include:
- Diuretic drugs
- Hereditary disposition
- Immunosuppressive drugs
- Vitamin B-3
- Protein-rich diet (meat, game, anchovies, herring, dried beans, dried peas, mushrooms and other foods), for example the Dukan or Zone diet
- Renal insufficiency (inability of the kidneys to filter waste products)
- Tumor lysis syndrome: waste products of the tumor or chemotherapy are found in the blood
Uric acid levels must be controlled during chemotherapy or radiotherapy in cancer treatment.
Hyperuricemia in pregnancy
In 90% of cases in which women suffer from gestosis at the end of their pregnancy, there is hyperuricemia.
Symptoms of hyperuricemia
High uric acid levels can cause frequent gout attacks, i.e. arthritis that leads to the following symptoms:
- Pain in the affected joints.
- Swollen feet (especially in the big toe area).
- Restriction of movement.
- During attacks of gout, the patient may feel itching, stiffness and burning in the affected joints.
- Effects or consequences of hyperuricemia are also kidney stones or renal insufficiency.
- Some people with elevated uric acid levels have other conditions such as hypertension (increased blood pressure), heart disease or chronic kidney disease.
Low uric acid levels can be caused by:
- Wilson’s disease
- Syndrome of inadequate ADH secretion (SIADH), a condition that causes massive swelling
- Protein deficiency
- Sulfinpyrazone (anticoagulant drugs used to prevent heart attack and heart disease)
- High doses of aspirin (1,500 mg or more per day)
- Allopurinol (Zyloric)
What to do? Therapy to lower uric acid
If the patient has hyperuricemia, he needs to change his diet. The doctor may prescribe medication to reduce uric acid levels or regulate metabolism.
If an elevated uric acid level has existed for a long time, it is necessary to take drugs that block the ability to absorb uric acid in the body. The doctor may prescribe active substances that increase the ability to excrete uric acid. The following drugs reduce uric acid production and increase its excretion:
Most cases of elevated uric acid levels occur along with other diseases.
If a disease causes elevated uric acid levels, its treatment leads to a reduction in hyperuricemia.
If a disease is incurable or chronic, the metabolism of the purines must be assessed.
What to eat? Recommended diet and nutrition
A slightly elevated uric acid level can easily be treated with a change in diet.
Foods high in fiber lower uric acid levels in the blood. Fiber favors the absorption of uric acid in the intestine.
These foods are rich in fiber:
Olive oil is better than butter or vegetable oils. Rancid fats metabolize vitamin E; this vitamin helps to reduce uric acid levels. Olive oil reduces acid production in terms of rancid fats.
Foods rich in antioxidants
Fruits and vegetables (red peppers, tomatoes, blueberries and chard, broccoli and grapes) are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Antioxidants are vitamins that counteract free radicals, improve muscle metabolism and lower uric acid levels.
Apple must lowers elevated uric acid levels by acting on the pH of the blood. It should be fresh and not pasteurized.
Among the other recommended foods, ginger roots help lower uric acid.
complex carbohydrates One should eat whole grains and avoid refined carbohydrates such as white bread, cakes and sweets. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates saturate quickly and keep in shape, while refined carbohydrates are not healthy foods.
Foods to avoid
Trans fats, sugar and alcohol
These foods can increase triglycerides.
Triglycerides are fats that settle in the arteries and increase the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke.
Foods to avoid include baked goods.
Cakes and pastries, cookies and other baked goods contain plenty of saturated fat.
High concentrations of fructose and corn syrup
Fructose is a sweetener used in beverages and other foods that increases triglyceride and uric acid levels. This can lead to diseases such as diabetes, gout, kidney disease and other health problems.
One should avoid protein diets for weight loss, which can lead to increased uric acid (hyperuricemia).
Reduce meat, chicken and fish. Animal proteins contain many purines and these increase uric acid levels in the body.
Limit or avoid
alcohol Alcohol interferes with uric acid excretion from the body. Beer often causes gout attacks.
If uric acid levels are already elevated, alcohol consumption should be limited.
The following are menu suggestions for gout sufferers:
Whole grain cereals, tea and fresh fruit
Whole wheat toast
One hundred percent fruit juice (squeezed orange or lemon)
Rice with zucchini (90 grams), wholemeal bread, salad, tomato
Finely chopped carrots, celery, salad, vegetable soup
Fresh fruits (orange or pear)
Beer should be avoided, as it has a high purine content, and better to have a glass of red wine.
Raw vegetables Baked potatoes
Green lettuce, tomatoes, yogurt dipp
Fresh fruit, berries, melon
Soft drinks (water or tea)
You can have snacks, but you should choose healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables
, whole grains and nuts.
The snacks should not increase body weight and should not be too high in calories.
Natural remedies and home remedies
Drink plenty of water and clear liquids that help eliminate uric acid from the body.
Drink at least 2 liters of water a day, preferably with a pH above 7.2. Vitamin C To reduce the amount of uric acid in the body, you should take 500 milligrams of vitamin C
This lowers uric acid in a month or two.
Celery seed extract
This is a natural remedy for treating uric acid problems and gout. Celery seeds are used to treat gout, rheumatism and arthritis. Celery is a sedative, an antioxidant, diuretic and natural antiseptic. In rare cases, this plant is used to treat insomnia, anxiety and nervous exhaustion. The seeds of this plant are contained in herbal preparations.