Uric Acid: Why you should be worried!

uric acid blood test

We are all familiar with the name of uric acid and most of us know that when uric acid rises, arthritis occurs. But do we know what the uric acid is? How does it harm our bodies? Is there any disease other than arthritis when uric acid is increased? Let’s see:

Is there any disease other than arthritis when uric acid is increased?

Purine nucleotides (adenine and guanine) are metabolized to produce uric acid. Uric acid is mainly synthesized in the liver, intestines, and other tissues such as the kidneys and muscles. Uric acid is filtered by the glomeruli of the kidneys and about 90% of the filtered uric acid is reabsorbed and the rest is excreted daily through the kidneys. Birds, reptiles, and most terrestrial arthropods, such as insects, are called uricothelic organisms because they convert toxic ammonia into uric acid instead of urea. Uric acid is a good source of nitrogen. Most animals excrete uric acid from the body, maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.

excretion in

Uric acid is insoluble in water. Birds, reptiles and desert animals therefore excrete uric acid as a semi-liquid. Mammals convert uric acid into allantoin and excrete it through the urine. There is a strong co-relation between uric acid and our survival. The human body does not have the enzyme urate oxidase, which is present in the animals with short life span.

When uric acid level is increased in our body, it is called hyperuricemia. Hyperuricemia mainly occurs due to two reasons:

high uric acid foods
  1. First, excess production of uric acid and high intake of purine rich foods (lentils, pigeon pea, bakery products, yeast, poppy, shrimp, fish heads, fish eggs, meats).
  2. Second, hyperuricemia occurs when body produces more uric acid than excretion, as seen in chronic kidney disease.
thiazide and uric acid
  • Some drugs also increase uric acid levels in the body, such as thiazide diuretics, a first-line anti-hypertensive drug that not only reduces high blood pressure, but also reduces stroke and congestive heart failure, as well as pyrazinamide and ethambutol anti-tuberculosis drugs and loop diuretics.
  • Fructose breaks down into purine and purine breaks down to make uric acid. Fructose can make uric acid within a minute so don’t take foods or drinks where fructose syrup or honey is used.
  • Some genes also cause hyperuricemia, studies have shown urate is affected mostly by two genes, SLC2A9 and ABCG2 .
Uric acid crystals

If you have had hyperuricemia for many years, the uric acid crystals can form a clump called tophi. These crystals accumulate under the skin, around the joints, and in the folds of the ears. Crystals can make joint pain worse and can damage joints or weaken your nerves over time. The part of the body where the crystals start to accumulate turns red and the pain starts.

In the old days, hyperuricemia meant that there were no other symptoms other than arthritis. Many people didn’t pay attention to it, but now many new symptoms have been reported and people are a little more aware than before. Hyperuricemia is often asymptomatic, we don’t realize that uric acid level in our body has been increased, for which we do not seek treatment and from there we unknowingly develop many other diseases.

Uric acid stones in kidney
Kidney stones formed by uric acid

For example, uric acid crystals form stones in the kidneys, the stones are small and are excreted in the urine. Sometimes, these stones are so large that they block the urethra and prevent urination. The following symptoms are seen in kidney stones.

  • lower abdominal pain
  • presence of blood in the urine
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Foul-smelling urine.

Also hyperuricemia increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as coronary artery disease (CAD), Involved in stroke and hypertension as well as chronic kidney disease. Hyperuricemia causes endothelial dysfunction. Especially in hypertensive patients’ endothelial dysfunction is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease.

One study found that patients with hyperuricemia were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and more likely to develop diabetic nephropathy. Hyperuricemia is associated with obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver, metabolic syndrome.

So, from now on, if uric acid is high in the blood, it should not be neglected in any way. A doctor’s advice should be taken so that uric acid level is controlled.

Call us on 03341804141 for all kind of dietary consultation and nutritional assessment.

Published by Dr.Pratim Sengupta

Dr. Pratim Sengupta thinks of himself as conscious, living, soulful being with an inner urge to break the inertia of life. He feels that life is nothing but a material expression of the Supreme Almighty Consciousness. His conscious existence empowered him to see, to hear, to talk, to interact, to feel, to dream, to ask questions, and to seek solutions to every problem. In the flow of life, as he grew up, he understood that knowledge of life is the only way to understand the scientific basis of conscious existence. Hence Dr. Sengupta felt the urge to study the science of life – i.e. Medicine. After he completed his higher secondary education from the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira in Belurmath, he joined the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) course at RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata. The professional packaging of knowledge in terms of a time-bound, goal-oriented syllabus frustrated him a bit, but nevertheless ignited the urge within him to study further. He thus went on to his post-graduation (MD) in Medicine from IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata. During his MD training, he got a glimpse of the vastness of knowledge, and the quest to learn precisely the facts of life narrowed down his area of interest to the functioning of the kidneys and the specialisation of Nephrology – a discipline that is complex, yet relatively new and still evolving in terms of complete understanding of renal physiology and pathology. So, Dr. Sengupta decided to study and train for the DM (Doctorate of Medicine) degree in Nephrology. Right from the start of his career, Dr. Sengupta was passionate about Research. During the MD programme he worked on Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy, Autonomic Neuropathy of Lupus, and Insulin resistance in Diabetics. All these research studies were published in national journals. During his postdoctoral study in Nephrology, he worked on Hemodialysis efficiency, and suggested an angular placement of the Dialyser in order to increase efficiency. This innovative concept was accepted for presentation at the World Congress of Nephrology, Milan, in 2009, and also published in Hemodialysis International. Dr. Sengupta also worked on Plasmapheresis – a blood filtering technique by which toxic and pathogenic immunoglobulins can be removed from the body. He studied the role of Prethymectomy Plasmapheresis in Myasthenia Gravis patients, and his findings were published in the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. The patient-empowered nutritional model for nutritional care of kidney patients is another interesting and innovative area in which Dr. Sengupta has worked for quite a long time. Dr.Pratim Sengupta won the Bharat Jyoti award for his excellency in the field of medicine. He is also the president of our non-governmental organization, The Kidney Care Society. His tireless contribution to provide quality living for his patients is worth mentioning. He introduced Mukti, blending ancient Indian yoga with modern medicine for well being of every patient. He has also introduced an unique online course "Art of Living with diabetes" which is a complete solution to diabetes management. He has authored many books, blogs, for the patients. Searching and researching for solutions to problems in the field of Nephrology remains the passion and dream of Dr. Pratim Sengupta, and he intends to persist on this journey as long as he is conscious. Meanwhile, even as he pursues his dreams, Dr. Sengupta diligently puts into practice all he has learned about Nephrology over the years, at the Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata and ILS hospital,Dumdum where he is available for his patient

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