8 Causes of High Uric Acid at Younger Age
It has been a common knowledge that uric acid is strongly associated with age. Most people with uric acid are over 40 years old.
Even so, these days the tendency of young people to become sufferers of uric acid is increasing.
Uric acid or gout is caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals on the sidelines of the joints. This causes swelling of the joints so that the sufferer feels pain.
Some of the symptoms of uric acid include :
- Pain in the thumb or in medical terms is called podagra. This is the main symptom of uric acid. The pain may disappear within a few hours or a few days.
- Continuous pain in the thumb for weeks or months. The pain can spread to other fingers.
- Swelling of the big toe. The swelling can spread to the calves and knees because legs are the most common location to store excess uric acid. So it’s important for you to learn some swollen calves causes.
- A sudden onset of pain. Usually in the middle of the night or when the sufferer wakes up. The pain is most common in the legs.
- Swollen and reddish joints
- Kidney stones. Uric acid is formed from purine, so high uric acid levels are the same as high purine levels. High purine levels in the body will inhibit the work of the kidneys. The consequence is the buildup of purine in the kidney which eventually leads to the formation of kidney stones. Anyway, it’s good for you to know early symptoms of kidney disease.
There are several causes of high uric acid at younger age.
1. Unhealthy Diet
Foods with high purine content have the potential to cause uric acid because purines will be converted by the body to uric acid. High purine levels in the body will be difficult to remove through the urine so that in the end the buildup of uric acid occurs in the body, especially in the joints.
Some foods with high purine levels that you should avoid are :
- Innards. This type of meat contains high levels of purine that you better avoid for your own health.
- Certain seafood. Some types of seafood have higher purines than others, such as shellfish, oysters, sardines, mackerel, tuna, herring, trout, anchovies, lobsters, shrimp and crabs. Therefore, consume seafood wisely. As the old saying goes, too much of anything is bad for you.
- Certain vegetables. Some vegetables that have high purines include cauliflower, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms and peas. Consume less of these vegetables and put other healthier vegetables into your diet.
- Alcohol. Alcohol is associated with the increased of uric acid and recurring attacks. It is because the kidneys tend to excrete alcohol rather than uric acid. As a result there is an increase in the amount of uric acid in the body. Alcohol also causes dehydration which increases the risk of uric acid attacks. If you have alcohol addiction, you should consult your doctor to find the best way to stop it.
Obesity is one of common causes of high uric acid at younger age. People with obesity are four times more likely to get uric acid than those with normal weight. It is because excess body weight is closely related to high levels of purine in the body that will lead to buildup of uric acid.
3. The Habit of Drinking Beer
Beer is closely related to uric acid attacks. Studies show that people who drink a can of regular beer daily are at least 1.5 times more likely to get uric acid than those who do not drink. This is simply because beer contains high purine and alcohol that can trigger uric acid attacks.
4. The Habit of Drinking Soft Drinks
Soft drinks have added sugar and some studies show that drinks that have been sweetened with added sugars may increase the risk of uric acid in men and women. A person who drinks one soft drink every day is two times more likely to get uric acid than a person who drinks only one soft drink per month. In addition, soft drinks also increase the risk of uric acid attacks.
5. Caffeine Addiction
Consumption of caffeine in a reasonable amount can help overcome the pain due to uric acid. It is because caffeine has a chemical structure similar to medicines for uric acid. Nevertheless, studies suggest consuming caffeine twice as much as the recommended amount can trigger the risk of uric acid.
Recent studies have shown an association between high fructose content and an increased risk of uric acid. Fructose is a common sweetener added to juices and soft drinks. Fructose is also naturally present in orange juice.
7. Lack of Physical Activity
Lack of physical activity can cause interference with the body’s metabolism which in turn triggers high levels of uric acid in the body. Regular exercise will keep the body healthy and certainly reduce the risk of uric acid.
8. Side Effects of Medications
Certain medications have side effects that increase the risk of uric acid, for example :
- Diuretics, drugs for high blood pressure
- Niacin (nicotinic acid and vitamin B3)
- Levodopa, a drug for Parkinson’s disease
- Drugs containing salicylates, such as aspirin
- Cyclosporine, a drug that suppresses the immune system
Modification of daily diet plays a major role in preventing the occurrence of uric acid.
- Avoid foods that contain high purines. Even though it is not easy to change habits, at least you can reduce them. There are several foods containing high purine substances that you need to know.
- Stop drinking alcohol and soft drinks. Drinking water will be better for your health.
- Control your weight. Do regular exercise and consume healthy foods.
- Increase physical activity. The rhythms of modern life and the progress of technology tend to pamper people which inevitably lead to a lack of physical activity. If you care about health, you must make time to exercise.
- Consume more fruits that contain high antioxidants such as strawberries and mangosteen.
- Pay close attention to what you eat. Do your best to have a balance diet. In addition to making you healthier, it will keep you from the risk of obesity.
High levels of uric acid in the body, or also called hyperuricemia, is not the end of your world. You can try a few of home therapy for hyperuricemia.
Currently uric acid does not only occur in older people, young people also have a tendency to get uric acid. Therefore we reviewed several causes of high uric acid at younger age. Even so, uric acid can be prevented. The combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise inarguably can reduce the risk of uric acid.