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Uric acid

Uric acid is a natural waste product the body produces when digesting purine-containing foods. Purines are chemical compounds in different foods, such as seafood, refined sugars, and red meat.

The kidneys usually filter uric acid from the blood into the urine, but high uric acid levels can accumulate in the blood, leading to gout. Gout is a type of arthritis that can cause painful swelling from the crystals formed in the joints. Gout most affects the wrists, knees, elbows, hands and feet.

Elevated uric acid levels can increase the risk of high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease and kidney stones.

What elevates uric acid levels?

Your lifestyle and diet can increase uric acid levels. The most common causes of high uric acid levels include:

Certain medical conditions and their medications may also increase uric acid levels. They include:

Some people with high uric acid levels do not have symptoms. The symptoms usually occur when the condition leads to gout.

What are the symptoms of high uric acid?

The most common gout symptoms are:

High uric acid levels may result in kidney stones, and the symptoms include;

If you experience these symptoms, ensure you visit your healthcare provider for treatment.

How to reduce uric acid levels

A low-purine diet can aid in the reduction of uric acid levels. Foods low in purine include:

Purine-rich foods you should avoid include:

Some lifestyle factors can help reduce uric acid levels and reduce the risk of a gout attack. These factors include limiting alcohol, drinking lots of water, exercising regularly and not smoking. They can help in weight management, which is also important because excess weight makes it more difficult for your kidneys to eliminate uric acid.

Your doctor may also recommend urate-lowering therapy (ULT), which reduces uric acid levels.

What are the symptoms of low uric acid levels?

Low uric acid levels may not cause symptoms, but you urinate more often. In this case, ensure you drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. You shouldn’t worry about a low uric acid level, but ensure you consult your healthcare professional.

Testing your uric acid levels

A blood test can check your uric acid levels. Regularly measuring uric acid levels helps you monitor your kidney and joint health. It can also reduce your risk of gout attacks.

Our healthcare professional can test uric acid levels. If you have a gout diagnosis, we advise waiting 4 – 6 weeks after your gout attack before the uric acid test because you may have falsely raised levels.

If you need the uric acid level test, call our clinic on 02071830244 to book your appointment for the test.