Hyperuricemia – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

HYPERURICEMIA

Introduction

Hyperuricemia is elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. It is a disorder that can affect any person of any age. The acceptable range of hyperuricemia is 6.8 mg/dL, and if the result reading is above 7 mg/dL, it is considered a high level of uric acid in the blood.

The elevation of uric acid in the blood is due to the overproduction of uric acid, decreased excretion of uric acid or a combination of both.

Increased production of uric acid can be due to haemolysis and tumour lysis. Decreased production of uric acid in the blood is due to certain conditions like metabolic acidosis and renal insufficiency.

Health Insurance Plans Starts at Rs.14/day*

Gout and uric acid nephrolithiasis are common clinical manifestations of increased uric acid levels. Gout is a metabolic disorder that leads to the accumulation of uric acid in the blood. When there is too much uric acid in the blood, it leads to crystal formation.

Gout usually affects males and is less common in women. People affected with gout have swollen red joints, and the condition is called a big toe.

Uric acid nephrolithiasis is a renal metabolic disorder. Uric acid stone formation is caused by three factors—TH acidic urine, hyperuricosuria and dehydration. The common symptom of uric acid nephrolithiasis is hematuria, nausea and vomiting, flank pain and colicky pain.

Gout

Gout is a clinical manifestation of increased levels of uric acid in the blood. Gout is characterised by a severe attack of swelling, pain and redness in joints. These attacks can be sudden and often occurs in the big toe.

Gout gives a sensation of your big toe burning, and these sensations can be sudden. The affected toe can be very sensitive, and even the weight of a piece of cloth can be heavy.

These episodes of gout can appear at any time, even during night, waking you from sleep. These symptoms and flares can be controlled with medical treatment.

Common symptoms of gout include joint pain, inflammation, redness, discomfort and difficulty in movement.

Kidney stones

Kidney stones are also called as renal calculi, urolithiasis and nephrolithiasis. These are caused by excessive deposits of minerals and salts.

Kidney stone formation can occur when there is increased production of uric acid. These stones can affect any part of the kidneys to the urinary tract. When your urine is concentrated with salts and minerals, kidney stone formation happens.

The presence of kidney stones can be painful, especially when you pass urine. These stones can be treated by medical attention. In most cases, these stones can be dissolved with drinking adequate water and certain lifestyle changes. In rare cases, surgery is required.

Common symptoms of kidney stones are severe pain near the abdomen, side and back, fluctuation in intensity of pain, burning sensation while urinating, pink or brown colour of urine, cloudy urine, nausea and vomiting.

Is hyperuricemia common

Hyperuricemia is a common condition, and it is estimated that about 21% of the population is affected by this disorder and 25% of hospitalised people have an asymptomatic condition.

Causes of hyperuricemia

Hyperuricemia is caused when purines break and uric acid levels in the blood increase. These purines make up a part of the DNA. The chemical compound is produced by our body and is also present in certain foods. When this chemical compound is produced in large quantities, it can lead to hyperuricemia.

Primary hyperuricemia

Apart from excess production of uric acid, dietary, genetic and other related causes can also lead to hyperuricemia. But when there is insufficient excretion of uric acid, it is called primary hyperuricemia.

The kidney will not be able to excrete the increased levels of uric acid in the blood. The increased uric acid levels may be due to the consumption of alcohol, and other metabolic syndromes.

Secondary hyperuricemia

When hyperuricemia is acquired, the disorder is called secondary hyperuricemia. The factors that contribute to secondary hyperuricemia are genetics, hypertension, insulin resistance, kidney diseases, iron overload, obesity, dietary intake and over dose of diuretics.

Secondary hyperuricemia can be cured with certain lifestyle changes and medical treatment. Physical activity and a healthy diet will help to reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood.

Symptoms of hyperuricemia

People affected with hyperuricemia have two common complaints— uric acid nephrolithiasis and gout.

Gout causes big toe and swollen joints. Uric acid nephrolithiasis can cause kidney stones, nausea, vomiting, hematuria and colicky pain.

The symptoms of hyperuricemia will be very common, and most patients are asymptomatic. Some common symptoms include the urge to urinate often, kidney stones, blood in urine, cloudy urine, sharp pain while urinating and pain in the abdomen, lower back pain or groin. If there is a kidney infection, it can be accompanied by fever or chills.

Treating hyperuricemia

There is no specific treatment for hyperuricemia. The treatment will be based on the symptoms of the person.

If a person is detected with gout, the following treatment will be prescribed.

Drugs like non-inflammatory and non-steroidal drugs will be prescribed by the doctor. Some of the medications include ibuprofen and celecoxib.

For kidney stones, tamsulosin is prescribed by doctors. These medications will help to relax the muscles of the urinary tract. When there is the presence of kidney stones, it can cause painful urination.

By administering such drugs, the urinary tract muscles relax and pass urine without pain. The stone size has a great impact on your treatment. If the stone size is greater than 10mm, surgery is required to remove the stones.

Preventing hyperuricemia

Hyperuricemia can be prevented by avoiding foods that contain high purine content. Foods like organ meat, some fish like sardines and herring, meat like turkey and bacon, alcoholic beverages and sugary drinks contain high purine levels. These foods can be consumed in less quantity to avoid the flares of uric acid levels.

Some vegetables like cauliflower, peas, spinach and asparagus can be consumed in less quantity to avoid the rise in the uric acid level in the blood. Tomatoes and cucumber can be included in your diet.

Limit the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol consumption also increases the uric acid level in the blood.

Who is at risk for hyperuricemia?

The condition can occur to anyone. Hyperuricemia is more common in men than women, and the risk increases as the person ages.

Some of the associated risk factors are listed below.

  • People who consume too much alcohol.
  • Some medication and secondary illness.
  • People who are affected with kidney diseases.
  • People who are obese.
  • Athletic people who have extreme physical activity.
  • People affected with hypothyroidism high blood glucose levels and high blood pressure.

Conclusion

Hyperuricemia is asymptomatic in most people. Most people will not require treatment. However, even if people exhibit symptom, their symptoms can be treated.

At the same time, it is advised to keep the uric acid level in check. High uric acid levels can cause complications like gout and kidney stones.

If there are any symptoms, consult your doctor immediately, and if uric acid levels are not under control, it can increase the risk of diabetes, hypertension and metabolic disorders.

FAQs

What happens in hyperuricemia?

Hyperuricemia causes an increase in the uric acid level in the blood. When there is too much uric acid, it can deposit as stones near the kidney or near the urinary tract, which can result in kidney stones. Hyperuricemia causes many complications, like kidney stones and gout.

Should hyperuricemia be treated?

Most people with hyperuricemia are asymptomatic. If people have severe symptoms, they will require medical treatment and should be treated. However, it is always safe to keep a check on your uric acid levels.

What foods to avoid if you have hyperuricemia?

Sugary drinks, sweets, fructose, alcohol, organ meat, red meat, sweet breads and turkey should be avoided. These foods contain high-purine levels.

What deficiency causes hyperuricemia?

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to hyperuricemia.

What are the complications of hyperuricemia?

Hyperuricemia can lead to pain in joints as there will be deposition of salts. It can also cause gout and kidney stones.


DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG/WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

Scroll to Top