There are thousands of people who live with excess uric acid in the blood. This is a common condition now with Keralites, especially those in the Gulf. Most people know that excess uric acid can cause a condition called gout, an arthritic illness. The fact is that excess uric acid can cause much more health issues than mere arthritic gout.
What is uric acid
Uric acid is a waste product that the human body expels through urine. Uric acid reaches the bloodstream in two ways. One: when tissues die, the protein in them also dies. An amino acid called purine, from the protein, is absorbed in the blood. Two: The uric acid which the body absorbs from the purine in the food we take. An increase in purine will affect the routine functioning of the kidney. This causes an increase in uric acid levels in the body. The permissible levels of uric acid is 7 mg in men and 6 in women. In women of menstruating age, the hormone called estrogen keeps the uric acid under check. This hormone can throw out uric acid through urine.
Uric acid levels can go up due to an excessive intake of red meat, a storehouse of protein; fructose corn syrup; and alcohol, especially beer.
What is gout
The excess uric acid in the body crystallizes in the joints of the toe, causing pain and difficulty in walking. This is called gout. Sometimes, gout also appears in the heels and fingers. Gout is a completely curable disease. If not treated properly, it can cause severe damage to the bones and joints.
The main cause of kidney stones is the high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. The uric acid crystals accumulate in the kidney and a deposit of calcium oxalate converts it into ‘kidney stones.’ This can also cause other kidney disorders, difficulty in the urinal tract, and pain.
Increased uric acid levels can cause heart issues too. Uric acid levels can cause inflammation in the body. This inflammation is the indicator of most lifestyle diseases. This is why doctors advise an annual check of uric acid levels.
Recent studies indicate that increased uric acid can cause blood pressure and fatty liver too. All this point to a dire need to keep uric acid levels under check.