Uric acid is a substance that is present in the body in general, as it is produced as a byproduct when the digestive system breaks down purines. Foods such as, liver, anchovies, mackerels, beer and dried beans are among the purine rich items. Most often, uric acid dissolves in the blood and travels to the kidneys where it exits via urine. Sometimes, uric acid levels may increase if the body is unable to rid it via urine or if the body produces excess uric acid. This abnormal condition is known as hyperuricemia (high uric acid level). Normal uric acid levels range from 3.0 to 7.0 mg/dl and in those suffering from hyperuricemia, this level will be higher than 7.0 mg/dl. Such high levels will require medical attention and other treatment to bring down the uric acid levels to normal range.
Abnormal uric acid may cause medical problems. One of the most common complications of hyperuricemia is gout. This is an inflammatory, arthritic condition that causes significant pain to the sufferer and incapacitate the affected patients. Hyperuricemia increases the risk of gout, as the uric acid build-up in the blood causes the formation of microscopic crystals in a joint. These crystals can leak into joint cartilage and cause pain when there is friction in the bones when moving. The first sign of gout is pain and inflammation of the big toe. However, gout can affect other areas of the body including ankle, heel, wrists, shoulders, pelvis and spine. Hyperuricemiacan also cause toxic waste to build up in the kidneys. Long-term hyperuricemia can therefore, cause renal failure. If such fatal conditions are developed due to excessive uric acid, the only treatment option would be dialysis or kidney transplant.
Hyperuricemia can occur for mainly two reasons. Either it is due to the increase in uric acids caused by purine breakdown or otherwise due to an underlying medical condition. Below are some of the main causes that can lead to excessive uric acid build up in the body.
When diagnosed with high uric acid levels, medical treatments will be prescribed by the doctors. These treatments will be two pronged, aiming to reduce the pain through anti-inflammatory drugs and secondly to treat the underlying cause that is resulting in the uric acid buildup. Since high uric acid levels can cause gout and increase the risk of kidney stones and renal failure, it is of paramount importance to incorporate both medical and general treatment measures to manage your uric acid levels. Here are some key remedial actions to follow, in case you have elevated levels of uric acid in the blood stream.
All in all, the appropriate treatment method depends on the underlying cause prompting the excessive uric acid buildup. Lowering uric acid levels is extremely necessary in avoiding its complications. Therefore, do not simply resort to anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the pain as this is only a temporary relief while long term impact of high uric acid in blood can be life threatening.