High uric acid level in blood, a most common health problem found in new generation people
Hyperuricemia is an excess of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid passes through the liver, and enters your bloodstream. Most of it is excreted (removed from your body) in your urine, or passes through your intestines to regulate “normal” levels.
Normal Uric acid levels are 2.4-6.0 mg/dL (female) and 3.4-7.0 mg/dL (male). Normal values will vary from laboratory to laboratory.
Also important to blood uric acid levels are purines. Purines are nitrogen-containing compounds, which are made inside the cells of your body (endogenous), or come from outside of your body, from foods containing purine (exogenous). Purine breaks down into uric acid. Increased levels of uric acid from excess purines may accumulate in your tissues, and form crystals. This may cause high uric acid levels in the blood.
If the kidneys do not eliminate the uric acid properly or if there is an excessive intake of high-purine foods, uric acid begins to crystallize. This crystallized uric acid settles in the kidneys and forms kidney stones or settles into joints and causes a form of arthritis called gout. Symptoms vary between individuals, depending on the severity of the condition. Some people with high levels of uric acid may not experience any symptoms.
Common joint symptoms of gout include pain, inflammation, swelling, redness and tenderness when touched. The joint may also feel hot. These symptoms usually begin suddenly at night.
Commonly Affected Joints
The first gout attack typically occurs in the big toe, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Additional joints in the body commonly affected by gout include the ankles, knees, heels, fingers, elbows and wrists. With the first gout attack, it is common for a person to experience symptoms in one joint, while subsequent attacks may involve more joints.
Duration of Joint Symptoms
The intense pain in the joint usually peaks in severity within the first 12 to 24 hours following the start of the symptoms. Once the most severe pain eases, discomfort in the joint may linger for several days to a few weeks. Attacks that occur later may cause pain to continue longer than the first gout attack. Without proper treatment or with repeated attacks, the uric acid may cause permanent damage to the joint.
After years of repeated gout attacks, uric acid crystals may begin to form lumps beneath the skin. These nonpainful lumps, called tophi, commonly occur on the fingers, toes, hands and elbows. During an attack, the tophi may become swollen and tender.
If the uric acid crystals settle in the urinary tract, they cause kidney stones. Uric acid kidney stones are more common in men than women. Kidney stones may cause symptoms such as pain in the back, abdomen or groin, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and bloody urine.
Causes of high uric acid level
A high uric acid level can be caused when your body either produces too much uric acid or your kidneys don’t eliminate uric acid rapidly enough.
A high uric acid level may cause increasingly frequent attacks of gout, or it may never cause problems. A high uric acid level may also cause some people to develop kidney stones or kidney failure. And some people with a high uric acid level also develop high blood pressure, heart disease or chronic kidney disease, but it’s often unclear whether this is a direct cause or merely an early warning sign of these conditions.
Factors that may cause a high uric acid level in your blood include:
- Diuretic medications (water pills)
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Genetics (inherited tendencies)
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Immune-suppressing drugs
- Niacin, or vitamin B-3
- Purine-rich diet — organ meat, game meat, anchovies, herring, gravy, dried beans, dried peas, mushrooms and other foods
- Renal insufficiency — 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
Also, you may be monitored for high uric acid levels when undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer.
Foods that are high in purine include:
- All organ meats (such as liver), meat extracts and gravy
- Yeasts, and yeast extracts (such as beer, and alcoholic beverages)
- Asparagus, spinach, beans, peas, lentils, oatmeal, cauliflower and mushrooms
New studies have proved that uric acid is a potent antioxidant
Over half the antioxidant capacity of human blood plasma is derived from uric acid. It is is fifty-fold stronger antioxidant than vitamin C. So, if we consider vitamin C to be a good player, we must consider uric acid as fifty times as good. Why is this fact not generally known? The answer: no drug company or medical journal profits from disseminating this information.
Uric Acid Facilitates Cross-talk Between Dead and Living cells
Uric acid is a principal endogenous danger signal released from dead and dying cells. This basic but generally unrecognized fact of uric acid biology calls for a major shift in the way we look at it. Uric acid stimulates a type of immune cell (dendritic cell) to its maturation. When such cells are injected along with certain substances in experimental animals, another type of immune cell (CD8+ T cell) becomes stronger in its responses to microbes and noxious chemicals. In other experiments, removal of uric acid weakens certain types of immune responses, indicating immune- boosting effects of uric acid.