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Uric Acid May Contribute to More than Gout

December 21, 2012 by Teresa.

A build up of uric acid in the body can cause gout. It is also implicated in other adult health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and chronic kidney stones. Studies suggest that high levels of uric acid in young people may be a significant indicator for future development of gout and other diseases.

Hyperuricemia is an abnormal elevation of uric acid in the blood. Although there is no conclusive evidence of the role of uric acid in a wide range of adult diseases, there is a growing body of evidence that points to a connection between uric acid and certain adult diseases that may be predictable from early childhood. Uric acid has long been connected to the painful condition of gout. However, If you have gout, it may also indicate other body system problems, like high cholesterol, diabetes, or even kidney failure.

Heredity also plays a role in gout, but genes alone do not always account for gout. Hyperuricemia causes gout in some families but not in others. However, the noticeable rise of gout cases since World War II suggests that there is more than just a hereditary predisposition for the disease. As obesity rates have grown, so have gout rates. What we are eating may be the biggest contributor to the enormous increase in gout cases over the past sixty years.

Other diseases that appear to be risk factors for gout are metabolic syndrome, kidney problems, high tryglycerides and high blood pressure, with as much as 14% of hypertension patients also having gout. Once again, some of these diseases may be connected to hyperuricemia. It is also important to remember that many people have high levels of uric acid but do not go on to develop gout.

Black people with hyperuricemia may be at a higher risk for gout. There are also more cases of gout in younger men which could be connected to diet and obesity.

Is there any good news? Taking proactive steps are highly recommended. Lifestyle changes may prevent certain conditions from becoming chronic.

- Reduce your consumption of meat and shellfish.
- Avoid fructose in foods and drinks.
- Maintain an appropriate weight.
- Don't consume alcohol.
- Drink plenty of clear fluids. Your kidneys will thank you.

If you have already been diagnosed with gout and it is severe or chronic, you may need to take medication to reduce your uric acid levels. Consult with your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing gout attacks. At the same time, you may also be protecting yourself against other diseases.

Filed under: Gout Causes and Symptoms.

Tags: Uric acid, gout, cause, develop gout, diagnosed with gout, uric acid levels, gout attacks.

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