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.
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:
- 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).
- Second, hyperuricemia occurs when body produces more uric acid than excretion, as seen in chronic kidney disease.
- 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 .
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.
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
- 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.
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