Natural remedies to lower your Uric Acid levels for a healthy lifestyle

URIC ACID

What is uric acid?  

 In humans, uric acid is the final byproduct of purine metabolism. Most uric acid dissolves in the blood and is transported to the kidneys from where it is excreted as urine.

uric acid

A person can become ill if the body creates excessive uric acid or does not remove it. Hyperuricaemia is the medical term for a high level of uric acid in the blood. 90 to 95 % of the uric acid is reabsorbed in the kidney.

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 What is it used for? 

 According to an NCBI article, uric acid acts as an immune system stimulant. Urate is a powerful antioxidant which helps regulate blood pressure and provides benefits for several diseases of the central nervous system due to its antioxidant qualities.

Uric acid’s potent antioxidant properties can neutralise free radicals. The evidence in favour of this concept comes from the low amounts of uric acid seen in people with various neurological illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Uric acid has recently been known to contribute to innate immune responses to infection and other damages.

 How can uric acid build up in the body? 

 When the kidneys are unable to excrete the uric acid, the level of uric acid in the body increases. The main factors that contribute to uric acid buildup in the body include fat-rich diets and alcohol. The other causes of higher blood uric acid levels are listed below.

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Obesity
  • Eating purine-rich foods
  • Psoriasis
  • Medicines that reduce immunity
  • Niacin or vitamin B-3

 Hyperuricaemia occurs due to both primary (increased uric acid levels due to purine) and secondary causes (high uric acid levels due to other diseases or conditions).

The amount of uric acid that the body produces can occasionally exceed than what it can eliminate.

The range for normal uric acid is 2.4-6.0 mg/dL in women and 3.4-7.0 mg/dL in men. Every laboratory will have a different set of normal values. Hyperuricaemia occurs when the blood uric acid level exceeds 7 mg/dL

Why should we lower uric acid levels in our body?

Normal range of uric acid is 3.4 to 7 mg/dL for men and 2.4 to 6 mg/dL for women as the per National Library of Medicine.

Uric acid levels in the blood and tissues should be between 3.5 to7.2 mg/dL as a reference range. Any variations can lead to health complications like,

  • Lower levels of uric acid less than 2mg/dL or less than 1mg/dL may cause Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Motor Neuron Disease.
  • Higher level of uric acid causes crystal formations in the joints called gout and malfunction of kidneys through kidney stones.

Sedentary lifestyles have a significant impact on the overall health of the world-wide population. Watching your dietary habits is highly important in having excess of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a natural waste product from the digestion of purine-rich foods. Purines are found in high levels in some foods such as certain meats, dried beans, alcoholic beverages, seafood and shellfish.

Purines are chemical compounds formed and broken down in the body. Excess intake of purine-rich foods may not get digested, leading to an elevated uric acid levels in blood or conditions like Hyperuricemia. Increased uric acid levels in the bloodstream can cause gout (a form of arthritis) or kidney stones.

Body stores of Uric Acid

It is important to have regular check-ups on uric acid level in body, which can be detected through a simple blood test.
Nutritionists usually advise us to drink plenty of water to flush out the excess uric acid from the body and consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Hyperuricemia – An Overview

What is Hyperuricemia?

Hyperuricemia is a condition in which uric acid builds up in the tissues and blood, causing discomfort in the joints, especially in the big toe.

The formation of kidney stones, which can cause intense pain in the abdomen or side, nausea and vomiting are also the common symptoms of Hyperuricemia.

Why Hyperuricemia occurs?

When your body produces too much uric acid or cannot expel enough of it, Hyperuricemia develops. It usually occurs as a result of your kidneys failing to eliminate it quickly enough.

High uric acid levels in the blood forms uric acid crystal. These can develop everywhere in the body, but they are most common in and around your joints and kidneys. The crystals may cause inflammation and pain.

Hyperuricemia Symptoms

Most people with Hyperuricemia are asymptomatic. Chronically elevated serum uric acid can contribute to various health problems, including Type II Diabetes, hypertension, vascular disease and chronic kidney disease. Therefore, treatment of Hyperuricemia may involve the risk reduction for these diseases.

Big toe and kidney stone cause intense pain in the abdomen or side, nausea and vomiting are also the common symptoms of Hyperuricemia

Diseases leading to high uric acid levels

Elevated uric acid levels are also associated with health conditions such as,

Causes of lower uric acid levels  

 Fanconi syndrome

 Copper builds up in the tissues of essential organs like the brain and liver, causing Wilson’s disease. Due to related kidney issues such as Fanconi syndrome that increase urinary uric acid excretion, it may induce lower blood uric acid levels.

 Minerals

A study on women found that inadequate dietary zinc consumption may reduce uric acid levels.

Hypouricaemia is a common symptom in people with Wilson disease, a genetic condition that raises copper levels.

 Hormones

 According to studies on animals, androgens stimulate specific proteins that the kidney uses to remove urate. Researchers believe that this explains the reason for postmenopausal women to have lower serum urate levels than men, but further research is required to confirm this.

 Medications or treatment

 A study shows that one per cent of hospitalised patients had hypouricaemia. Drugs like salicylates, allopurinol and glyceryl guaiacolate cause low uric acid levels.

In addition, some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) and drugs like losartan, an angiotensin II receptor antagonist, Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)] and fenofibrate, a fibrate drug primarily used to lower cholesterol levels, lower serum uric acid (SUA) levels.

 Low purine diet 

 Reducing dietary purine lowers uric acid levels because purine in food breaks down into uric acid in the body.

Low Purine Foods

Why should we lower uric acid levels in our body?

Normal range of uric acid is 3.4 to 7 mg/dL for men and 2.4 to 6 mg/dL for women as the per National Library of Medicine.

Uric acid levels in the blood and tissues should be between 3.5 to7.2 mg/dL as a reference range. Any variations can lead to health complications like,

  • Lower levels of uric acid less than 2mg/dL or less than 1mg/dL may cause Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Motor Neuron Disease.
  • Higher level of uric acid causes crystal formations in the joints called gout and malfunction of kidneys through kidney stones.

Sedentary lifestyles have a significant impact on the overall health of the world-wide population. Watching your dietary habits is highly important in having excess of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a natural waste product from the digestion of purine-rich foods. Purines are found in high levels in some foods such as certain meats, dried beans, alcoholic beverages, seafood and shellfish.

Purines are chemical compounds formed and broken down in the body. Excess intake of purine-rich foods may not get digested, leading to an elevated uric acid level in blood or conditions like Hyperuricemia. Increased uric acid levels in the bloodstream can cause gout (a form of arthritis) or kidney stones.

Body stores of Uric Acid

It is important to have regular check-ups on uric acid level in body, which can be detected through a simple blood test.Nutritionists usually advise us to drink plenty of water to flush out the excess uric acid from the body and consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Limit purine-rich foods 

 Organ meats 

 The high purine content of organ meats, such as sweetbreads, liver, and tongue, might raise uric acid levels. Since red meats like beef often contain more purines than white meats, they should only be consumed occasionally. Meat gravies are a significant source of purines.

 Pork and mutton

 Pork has a moderately high purine content. Eating too much or too often might raise uric acid levels. Pork and mutton are also known to make inflammation worse.

 Turkey 

 Turkey has purines, however, not in the same quantities as red meat. This doesn’t necessarily mean one should avoid eating turkey. Eating in moderation is advisable.

 Fish and shellfish 

 Seafood like fish and shellfish have high purine content. People with high uric acid can include fish in moderation.

 Scallops 

 When there is a flare-up, people should limit all forms of meat and seafood, even scallops.

 Veal 

 Uric acid levels may rise as a result of high purine in veal, which subsequently accumulates in the joints and causes severe gout symptoms.

 Cauliflower 

 When trying to reduce the quantity of purine in the diet, cauliflower is another food that should be restricted. The decreased purine content of broccoli makes it a suitable replacement for cauliflower.

 Mushrooms 

 One can lower the dietary purine intake by consuming mushrooms no more than five times per week. To reduce purine intake, peppers can be used in place of mushrooms on pizza, in an omelette or salad.

 Green peas 

 Green peas, which provide vitamins A and C, fibre and folate, contain a modest amount of purine. Therefore, while trying to follow a low-purine diet, one should limit consumption to no more than five times per week.

To get a balance of nutrients, substitute a range of other vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini or celery, for green peas.

 Treatments to lower uric acid levels

 Limit purine-rich foods 

 The body naturally produces purines. The body’s uric acid level can be impacted by animal purines found in meat and shellfish.

Those trying to lower their uric acid level should steer clear of or consume them in moderation since the following foods are high in purine.

  • Organ meat
  • Seafood
  • Gravies

Eating the following foods is helpful as they contain low purine levels.

  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products

The uric acid levels can also be reduced by eating a nutritious diet.

 Avoid sugar and alcohol

 According to the Third US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, published in Arthritis Care & Research, drinking beer and alcohol seems to increase uric acid levels.

Alcohol causes the blood’s purine levels to rise, which makes the body produce more uric acid.

The study further states that soft drinks with high sugar or high-fructose corn syrup are associated with higher uric acid levels. The natural sugar in these drinks, fructose, is broken down by the body into purines, which are subsequently converted to uric acid.

 Lose weight

Uric acid production is higher in fat cells than in muscle cells. Furthermore, gaining weight makes it more difficult for your kidneys to filter out uric acid. Losing weight drastically can have a negative impact on the levels. Consult your nutritionist about weight loss plans and healthy. Based on your body type, your doctor can recommend a healthy weight target.

Increase the intake of dietary fibre

High-fibre diets are frequently prescribed to people who are dealing with uric acid disorders. Wholegrain foods are high in fibre. The fibrous components absorb and control all of the excess uric acid in the bloodstream.

 Balance insulin 

 A person should get their insulin levels evaluated by a medical practitioner since too much insulin in the body might result in too much uric acid.

 Reduce stress 

 A healthy lifestyle, together with a conscious diet, regular exercise and enough sleep, will help a person lower uric acid level. An increased level of stress and worry can also increase the likelihood of inflammation, which in turn leads to hyperuricaemia.

 Check medications and supplements. 

 Several drugs are known to increase the uric acid level as they decrease urine production.

These drugs include the following.

  • Diuretics like torsemide and chlorthalidone
  • Antituberculosis drugs like pyrazinamide and ethambutol
  • Immunosuppressive medications like cyclosporine

Due to its potential to impair the kidney’s capacity to eliminate uric acid, low-dose aspirin may also cause the level to rise.

 Diagnosis of uric acid levels 

 Blood test  

 A blood test involves sticking a needle into an arm vein to draw blood. A blood test for uric acid is used to identify elevated blood concentrations of uric acid, which aids in the diagnosis of gout.

The test is also used to check uric acid levels in patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer. The rapid cell turnover may cause a higher uric acid level during treatment.

 Uric acid urine test  

For the urine uric acid test, a 24-hour urine sample may be taken. The uric acid urine test is used to monitor persons with gout for stone formation and to assist in identifying the cause of recurrent kidney stones.

 Risk factors for high uric acid levels 

 Diabetes mellitus 

 High blood levels of uric acid are common in persons with Type 2 Diabetes, which may be caused by excess fat. Being overweight causes the body to produce more insulin. This makes it more difficult for the kidneys to eliminate uric acid, which could cause gout.

 Peripheral vascular disease 

 Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease has been linked to the development of higher blood uric acid levels.

 Hypertension  

 An NCBI article states that in patients with primary hypertension, hyperuricaemia is common and appears to be more prevalent in patients with malignant hypertension.

 Natural home treatment to lower uric acid levels.

 High-fibre foods

 It is advisable to consume high-fibre food. Apples and pears are good fibre-rich fruit options. Vegetables like bottle gourd, ash gourd, pumpkin and zucchini are effective natural treatments for lowering blood uric acid levels.

 Avoid high-protein diet

 Foods high in protein, such as red meat, chicken, sardines, shellfish and mackerel, can be avoided. Tofu, soybeans and other soy products should ideally not be preferred for consumption.

 Potassium-rich diet

 Potassium is one mineral that might work wonders in lowering uric acid levels. Experts often advise people with fluctuating levels of uric acid to eat a potassium-rich diet to keep it under control. Fruits like avocados and bananas are fantastic sources of potassium.

 Lime juice

 Vitamin C levels are high in lime juice. It has an acidic character and is soluble. These properties of lime juice make it possible to control uric acid levels and prevent them from rising above the recommended range.

 Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables

 Increase consumption of foods high in antioxidants, such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and gooseberries. Anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid found in dark-coloured berries, help reduce inflammation and stiffness. Additionally, alkaline foods like tomatoes and bell peppers help balance the body’s uric acid levels.

Celery seeds

 Omega-6 fatty acids are abundant in celery seeds. As a potent diuretic, it aids in eliminating extra fluids from the body by strengthening the kidneys to excrete uric acid.

The blood becomes more alkaline, and it also reduces body inflammation. It is advisable to consume half a teaspoon of dried celery seeds once a day and drink a lot of water.

 Conclusion  

 It is important to keep an eye on the elevated amounts of uric acid in your body, besides your hectic schedules in your daily routines. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercises can help you to regulate your uric acid levels, thereby preventing severe conditions of Hyperuricemia.

According to NCBI article (PMC4826346), ‘Elevated uric acid may turn out to be one of the more important remediable risk factors for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.’

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FAQs

 1.Which foods can lower uric acid? 

  • Fibre-rich foods like oats, apples, oranges, bananas, broccoli, pears, strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, celery, carrots, and barley.
  • Low-fat dairy foods like yoghurt and skim milk
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Grass, nuts and peanut butter
  • Oil and fat
  • Rice, pasta, bread and potatoes
  • Eggs (in moderation)

 2.How long does it take to reduce uric acid levels? 

 Reducing uric acid levels is a gradual process and depends on a person’s uric acid level in the body.

 3.What should be avoided if uric acid is high? 

 People with high uric acid levels should avoid the following foods.

  • Organ meat
  • Turkey
  • Seafood like fish and shellfish
  • Cauliflower
  • Green peas
  • Mushroom

 4.What makes uric acid go down? 

The below-listed foods lower uric acid levels.

  • Restrict purine-rich foods
  • Avoid alcohol and sugar
  • Stay hydrated
  • Manage blood sugar
  • Lose weight
  • Consume fibre-rich foods

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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.

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