Hyperuricemia: Understanding the Condition and Its Link to Health Risks
Hyperuricemia is a condition that occurs when the blood has excessive uric acid, which can lead to joint pain, swelling, arthritis, and other health risks. Dr. Sabeen Kabasi, Obstetrician, IVF Specialist and Head of Public Health at UNDAC & Geneva, shared her insights on hyperuricemia and its associated health risks.
What is Hyperuricemia?
Uric acid is a waste product generated when the body breaks down purines, which is present in many types of food and drinks. In small amounts, uric acid is harmless and is excreted from the body without problems. However, elevated uric acid levels can cause the formation of crystals that cause swelling and pain, particularly in the joints. This condition is known as arthritis, and it affects millions of people worldwide.
Health Risks Associated with Hyperuricemia
Apart from arthritis, hyperuricemia is linked to various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. Research has found that people with hyperuricemia are at a higher risk of developing these conditions, even if they have no other risk factors.
Reducing the Risk of Hyperuricemia
One of the easiest things to do to reduce the risk of hyperuricemia is to pay attention to your diet. Though you don’t have to give up your favorite food, you can reduce the risk by consuming a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s also recommended that you moderate your intake of foods that are high in purines, such as red meat, organ meats, seafood (especially shellfish), and specific types of alcohol like beer and spirits.
Treatment Options for Hyperuricemia
There are medications that can help lower uric acid levels and reduce the risk of gout attacks. These medications include drugs that enhance the excretion of uric acid through the kidneys and drugs that block the production of uric acid.
Why it’s important to be aware of your Uric Acid Levels
Not all people with hyperuricemia display symptoms. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of your uric acid levels and take steps towards keeping them under control.
Hyperuricemia is becoming a prevalent condition that can lead to severe health risks if left uncontrolled. By paying attention to your diet, balancing your food intake, and seeking medical intervention, you can reduce the risk of hyperuricemia and keep your body healthy for years to come.
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