When the concentration of uric acid in your bloodstream is high, the condition is what is called hyperuricemia. It is one of the causes that lead to arthritic gout and other rheumatic ailments, apart from medical conditions like hypertension. Most of the professional’s advice is to lean off of diets that are rich in uric acid, and make changes in lifestyles and/or medication, and you will be able to lessen the gout symptoms.
The body produces uric acid when it decomposes purines. These are the organic chemicals that are present in foods and the cells of humans. Once the purines have been effectively broken down to uric acid, the uric acid readily makes its way to the bloodstream.
Uric acid is not necessarily bad, but depending on the settings, it can even act as an antioxidant. The uric acid is processed and filtered out via the kidney, and removed through the urine.
How Does Hyperuricemia Happen?
Someone having low levels of uric acid in the blood is actually considered normal. It is when the uric acid levels get high that issues start to come up. Here are some of the ways in which hyperuricemia can occur:
- If the kidneys are unable to filter out the uric acid from the blood well enough
- If the person ends up consuming foods that are rich in purines
- If the body is producing way much more uric acid than the kidney can possibly filter out.
When the body produces way too much uric acid, then there is an underlying genetic cause behind it.
How Gout Happens
When hyperuricemia happens, there is an excess of uric acid in the bloodstream and that can deposit in joints where it ends up forming uric acid crystals that are called urate crystals. These crystals are needle-like and end up tearing into the joint and the tissues around it, causing immense striking pain, launching the immune system to kick into action with an inflamed response. The resulting swelling, redness, joint pain and warmth of the joint, is what is called a flare-up or a gout attack.
If you have hyperuricemia, it doesn’t mean that you have gout-around 21% of the world population have hyperuricemia but only 4% of them have gout. So technically, it is possible for people to have uric acid crystals and not have to bear with the gout symptoms and flare-ups.