Did you know that the human body is a complex machine that produces a waste product called uric acid? Purines, which are present in some of the most decadent foods and beverages, such as organ meats, shellfish, and lager, are broken down by the body to produce this little troublemaker. Usually, uric acid is excreted by the kidneys without any issues, but if the body produces too much uric acid or the kidneys can’t get rid of it properly, it can lead to high levels of uric acid in the body. This condition is called hyperuricemia and it might sound like a rare gemstone, but it’s a common medical condition that increases the risk of developing painful gout and kidney stones. So, let’s dive deep into the causes of high uric acid levels in the body, exploring the intriguing interplay of dietary factors, medical conditions, and lifestyle choices.
One of the primary causes of high uric acid levels is a diet high in purines. Some of the food items that are high in purine have been mentioned below:
- Organ meats, such as liver and kidneys
- Seafood, such as anchovies, sardines, and mussels
- Beer and other alcoholic beverages
- Beverages with a high sugar content
If you consume large amounts of these foods and beverages, it can lead to an increase in uric acid levels in the body. Additionally, consuming high-fructose corn syrup, found in many processed foods and beverages, has also been linked to high uric acid levels.
Several medical conditions can also cause high uric acid levels in the body. These include:
- Gout: The accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints results in gout, a form of rheumatism. It can cause pain and swelling in the affected joints.
- Kidney disease: When the kidneys are not functioning properly, they may not be able to excrete uric acid from the body effectively, leading to an increase in uric acid levels.
- Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid gland does not generate enough thyroid hormone, the disease is known as hypothyroidism. This can further increase the uric acid levels in the body
- Leukaemia and lymphoma: These types of cancers can cause an increase in the production of uric acid in the body.
Several lifestyle choices can also contribute to high uric acid levels in the body. These include:
- Obesity: Obesity has been associated with a higher chance of hyperuricemia, gout, and kidney stones.
- Dehydration: When the body is dehydrated, it may not be able to excrete uric acid from the body effectively, leading to an increase in uric acid levels.
- An inactive routine: Regular exercise can help to lower uric acid levels in the body, while a lack of exercise can contribute to high uric acid levels.
In conclusion, there are several causes of high uric acid levels in the body, including dietary factors, medical conditions, and lifestyle choices. To prevent hyperuricemia and the associated health risks, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and manage any underlying medical conditions. If you’re concerned about your uric acid levels, it’s best to speak with your doctor, who can recommend appropriate testing and treatment options.