Saturday, September 17, 2011

High Uric Acid (Hyperuricemia): Its Normal Levels, Symptoms, Causes & Treatments:


High Uric Acid (Hyperuricemia):
The questions usually come to our mind about uric acid are: What is uric acid, what are normal levels of uric acd in the blood, what are the symptoms of high uric acid, problems caused by high uric acid, causes of high uric acid, treatments of high uric acid, can Yoga reduce uric acid, how Yoga helps in controlling the uric acid, what are Yogasanas for uric acid, what exercises to do to reduce uric acid, foods good to reduce uric acid, foods to be avoided to control uric acid, can food supplement help to reduce uric acid, etc.
Uric Acid (C5H4N4O3 ): is a chemical (waste product) produced by final oxidation (breakdown) of purines in the body, carried in the blood and excreted by the kidneys through urine. Formation of uric acid in the body is quite normal as it is a necessary substance in food metabolism. Uric acid is known to acts as an anti-oxidant and helps prevent damage to our blood vessels lining. But higher levels of uric acid in the blood are harmful. The level of uric acid in the blood rises mainly because either the kidneys are not working efficiently to excrete the excessive uric acid from the body or the uric acid level is too high for the normal kidneys to excrete the excess or due to both of the conditions. Whatever the condition, the result is high level of uric acid in the blood..
Uric Acid Normal Levels: Normal values of uric acid range between 3.5 and 7.2 mg/dL and these values of uric acid may vary slightly from laboratory to laboratory.
Uric Acid Symptoms: people with high uric acid may experience pain and discomfort in their joints, especially the heel, "Achilles Tendon". In acute attacks of high uric acid, a single joint is involved, and most often the big toe joint of the foot which becomes swollen, shiny red and extremely painful. This may lead to joint damage and chronic pain with the passage of time.
Problems caused by high Uric Acid: Gout, Arthritis, Kidney Stone, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes etc. A new study has revealed that people with high levels of
uric acid in their blood are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Causes of high Uric Acid: The increase of uric acid levels in the body could be hereditary, high- stress & sedentary lifestyle, due to over-eating, especially, sugary soft drinks, beer, junk food, oily foods, foods rich in purines (Sea food, red meat) & sugar, white flour and processed grains, certain medications (like that of Aspirin), reduced excretion by kidneys, temporarily over production due to rapid weight loss.
Studies show men are more susceptible to the rise of uric acid at an earlier age whilst women at the menopause stage
In case of persistent higher uric acid, despite all preventive measures, it is absolutely necessary to take timely proper treatment of a competent doctor to avoid its future complications.
High Uric Acid Treatments:
Yoga to control Uric Acid: Yoga for uric acid should preferably be done early morning or at sun set with empty stomach on a yoga mat (specially fabricated sticky mats). To start with, do slow joint movements or light exercises, body stretching, then gradually, as the body permits, can go for regular yoga/other exercises. Yoga must be done under the guidance of a well qualified Yoga instructor as wrong practicing of Yoga can have adverse effects on uric acid levels in the body. Some poses of Yoga (Yogasanas) are known to help in reducing uric acid level by improving blood circulation, massaging and toning up the inner organs, especially, the kidneys to excrete the toxins (excess uric acid) and also eases the discomfort and relieves the pain associated with the build up of uric acid in the body. Yogasanas also help in stretching the muscles and regaining their elasticity. Following Yoga have  healthy effects in reducing the high uric acid level in the body:
Paschimottanasana: It is one of the most difficult asanas to do. Sit with the legs stretched straight out in front. Breathe out. Slowly bend forward, trying to touch your feet without bending the knees. Do not push yourself too hard, it may injure your muscles. Bend forward as far as you can go. Hold this pose for some time. Exhale slowly while returning to normal position.
Ardha Matsyendrasana: Sit extending both the legs together in front, hands by the side and palms resting on the ground with fingers pointing forward. Fold the right leg at knee. Slowly set the right heel at the perineum. Now fold the left leg, bring it from above the right knee and place it by its side on the ground. Now bring the right hand on the left side of the left knee. The left knee should remain at the left side of the right armpit. Now straighten the right hand and hold the toe or ankle of the left leg. Twisting the body to the left side, look backwards, place the left hand bringing it from the back on the right thigh. Look towards the back. While returning to the original position, first release the hand from the thigh and then turn head forward. Now bring the back to normal position after loosening the right hand. Bring the left leg in original position. Bring the right leg also original position. Repeat it similarly from the other side.
Pavan Muktasana: Keep the hands by the side of the body in a supine position. While inhaling, raise both the legs to 90 degree and bend them at the knees. Make a finger-lock with both the hands around them, a little below the knees. While exhaling, bring the thighs close to the chest by contracting the abdominal muscles. Maintain this posture for a few seconds. Then return to the original position in the reverse order.
Bhujangasana: Lie down with the torso touching the mat, the toes kept together, turned outwards and touching the mat. The heels should also touch each other and the soles turned backwards. Keep the palms parallel to, on either sides of the chest and touching to the mat. Start inhaling slowly and raise the trunk and the head curving the spine with forearms touching the sides of the chest. Stay in this pose for some time. Start exhaling and slowly come to the original position.

Other exercises to control Uric Acid:
can be moderate general fitness workouts, swimming, aerobic exercises etc. as the body permits to keep the lifestyle reasonably active. Excessive and wrong kind of exercise can have adverse effects on uric acid levels in the body as dehyderation affects the kidney functions.
Foods/Diet to control Uric Acid:There is nothing  like that one need to shift entirely to the foods good for controlling high uric acid in the body. Our body needs a number of nutrients to function which cannot be had from this limited choice of foods. So one does not need to say goodbye to the pleasure of all one's favourite foods but needs to remain moderate in eating to avoid the ill effects. Foods good to control high uric acid are:

( L to R: Giloy, Celery, Ginger, Black Cherry & Alfalfa)
Eating fruits, vegetables and salads, cereals, low protein diet, low fat dairy products and soy protein, Black Cherry, Celery, Herbs like Ginger (Adrak/Saunth), turmeric, Winter Cherry leaves (Ashwagandha), Chaste leaves (Nirgundi), seeds & dried roots of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Indian Bedellium (Guggul), Gulancha Tinospora (Giloy or Guduchi), Boswellia (Shallaki), Tea of chamomile(Babunphul), fennel (Saunf) and mint (Pudina) etc. are known to control uric acid.
Foods/Diet to avoid to control Uric Acid: Avoid overeating. Purine rich foods such as meat especially red meat & liver, Sea food(anchovies, mackerel) Eggs, junk foods, oily foods, white wheat products, Oat meal, yeast, acidic soft & fizzy drinks, beer, whiskey, and wine, smoking, Chocolate, Coffee, Custards, Jams, Jellies, raisins Pasta, Black Tea, White rice, vinegar etc. are known to increase uric acid in the blood.

“It has also been shown that most of the old beliefs regarding dietary and food restrictions are wrong and must be discarded. Thus in the past, it was believed that vegetables and ‘daals’ that are rich in purines (e.g. asparagus, cauliflower, spinach (palak), beans, peas, mushrooms, tomatoes) could be the cause of high blood uric acid. However, new research has completely discarded this wrong notion. Now it has been proven that purines from vegetarian diet are not harmful in gout and does not cause rise in blood uric acid levels”
Drinking plenty (2-3 Litres) of water daily help the kidneys to filter uric acid more efficiently to control high levels of uric acid and reduce crystallization in the joints. Drinking a plenty of water daily also keeps the joints healthier.
Food supplements to control high Uric acid: Vitamin C found in citrus fruits (like orange, lemon) and herbal supplements like Alfalfa which contains Beta carotene, Vitamins C, D, E, K and a lot of minerals are known to help to lower uric acid levels.
References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uric_acid
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003476.htm
http://www.goutcure.com/goutstages.html
http://www.planetayurveda.com/Herbs_for_Gout.htm
http://www.healthtalkbuzz.com/2010/05/how-to-lower-your-uric-acid-level.html
http://doctor.ndtv.com/faq/ndtv/fid/7200/How_to_control_high_triglyceride_and_uric acid_levels.html
http://doctor.ndtv.com/topicdetails/ndtv/tid/60/Gout_and_high_blood_uric_acid_levels_(hyperuricaemia).html

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