What is Hyperuricemia?

Hyperuricemia is a metabolic disorder characterized by an excessively high blood level of uric acid, a waste product of metabolism. When too much uric acid builds up in the blood, it can form crystals in the joints, leading to painful conditions such as gout or pseudogout. It can also lead to buildup of the uric acid in the kidneys, leading to the formation of kidney stones.

Causes of Hyperuricemia

Hyperuricemia can be caused by several factors, including dietary choices, genetics, or the body's inability to process uric acid efficiently. Some factors that can lead to elevated uric acid levels in the blood include:

  • A high intake of purine-rich foods, such as organ meats, anchovies, shrimp, or alcohol
  • Lead intoxication
  • Certain chronic diseases, such as obesity, renal failure, and metabolic syndrome
  • Certain chemotherapy drugs
  • Genetic predisposition

Symptoms of Hyperuricemia

In many cases, patients with hyperuricemia may not experience any symptoms until the uric acid levels become extremely high. If symptoms do develop, they may include:

  • Pain and swelling in the joints
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Kidney stones
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination

Treatment of Hyperuricemia

Treatment for hyperuricemia depends on the underlying cause. In many cases, lifestyle changes such as dietary modifications, weight loss, and exercise can help to lower uric acid levels. Medications such as allopurinol may also be prescribed to reduce uric acid levels.

In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct any damage caused by the condition. Surgery options may include joint replacement, joint fusion, or removal of extra bone growth.