What is hyperuricemia?
Hyperuricemia is an excess of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid passes through the liver, and enters your bloodstream and most of it is removed in your urine, or passes through your intestines to regulate “normal” levels.
The purine in food breaks down into uric acid and increased levels of uric acid from excess purines may accumulate in your tissues, and form crystals.
Gout and kidney stones can occur when the blood uric acid level rises above 0.43 mmol/L.
Causes of high uric acid levels
- Primary hyperuricemia
Increased production of uric acid from purine and your kidneys cannot get rid of the uric acid.
- Secondary hyperuricemia
- Certain cancers and / or chemotherapy
- This is usually due to chemotherapy, but high uric acid levels can occur before chemotherapy
- Kidney disease – this may cause you to not be able to clear the uric acid
- Medications – can cause increased levels of uric acid
- Endocrine or metabolic conditions like diabetes or acidosis can cause hyperuricemia
Elevated uric acid levels can produce kidney problems or not. About 20% of people with elevated uric acid levels ever develop gout, and some people with gout do not have significantly elevated uric acid levels in their blood.
What are some symptoms of hyperuricemia to look for?
- No symptoms are possible
- You may have symptoms of kidney problems, or gouty arthritis from high uric acid levels in your blood due to chemotherapy
- You may have fever, chills, fatigue if you have certain forms of cancer, and your uric acid might be elevated (caused by tumour lysis syndrome)
- You may notice an inflammation of a joint (called “gout”); if the uric acid crystals are deposited in one of your joints (gout may occur with normal uric acid levels, too)
- Kidney problems caused by formation of kidney stones or problems with urination
Remember gout can be managed, treated, or prevented with lifestyle adjustments. Do you suspect that you might have gout? Consult with your health care practitioner for a proper diagnosis and solution.