High Uric Acid: What Are The Consequences?

Having high uric acid doesn’t have to cause symptoms, but it does increase your risk of cardiovascular or kidney disease. Diet is a fundamental pillar of treatment.

Having high uric acid is called hyperuricemia in medicine. Uric acid is a substance that is produced in our body after metabolizing molecules called purines. We acquire purines through foods such as beans, anchovies or liver.

High uric acid is a condition that affects a large part of the population. People associate it directly with gout disease, which is a syndrome characterized by inflammation of the joints. However, hyperuricemia can cause many other conditions.

The incidence of this situation is increasing, because currently we do not take care of our diet as we should. Although it has been shown that there is a great genetic influence, it is known that food is one of the main triggers of this problem.

In this article we explain everything you need to know about having high uric acid. It is important to know the possible consequences to raise awareness and take better care of our lifestyle.

What are the causes of having high uric acid?

As we have already mentioned, having high uric acid is related to diet. Eating an unbalanced diet, rich in red meat, seafood, and fish makes your concentration rise. Furthermore, alcohol is also closely linked.

However, they are not the only influencing factors. According to recent studies, men are at higher risk of suffering from this condition than women. Interestingly, exercising vigorously for a long time can also cause uric acid to rise.

In the same way, there are certain pathologies that are associated, such as diabetes or kidney diseases. Having been treated with chemotherapy for some type of cancer can cause it.

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What are the consequences of high uric acid?

Most people have heard of uric acid from gout. In fact, many people associate this pathology simply with pain in the big toe. However, this vision falls far short of all the consequences that high uric acid can produce.

It is important to know that this substance is associated with an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease. High uric acid lowers nitric oxide. It is an essential factor so that our blood vessels can dilate and the blood supply is correct.

Therefore, when the nitric oxide decreases the arteries become stiffer and it is easier for a vascular problem to occur. For example, it increases the risk of hypertension and arteriosclerosis.

The truth is that a large part of the patients who suffer from this condition have no symptoms. This further complicates the situation because the problem is detected when there has already been damage to the vessels or organs such as the kidney.

High uric acid kidney disease

Uric acid is eliminated thanks to the kidneys filtering it and excreting it in the urine. What happens is that, when the concentrations are very high, stones can form inside the kidney. These calculations end up causing damage to the organ.

Gout

Gout is a syndrome that occurs because uric acid crystals settle inside the joints and damage them. It is characterized because it appears in the form of attacks of joint pain. Most often it affects the big toe.

In addition to pain, the joint may be swollen and red. As gout progresses, the joint loses mobility. Many people experience persistent discomfort.

How is it diagnosed?

The most normal thing is that hyperuricemia does not produce any symptoms. In fact, it is estimated that almost 7% of men have it. However , the uric acid concentration can be checked with a simple blood test. 

Therefore, the ideal is to go to the doctor frequently and perform tests routinely. Thus, even if there are no symptoms yet, preventive measures can be instituted to avoid complications. For example improving the diet.

If there has been any type of manifestation in the joints, synovial fluid is usually extracted from them for analysis. Radiography, ultrasound, and other techniques are also used to confirm the diagnosis.

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