Uric acid is a compound made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen which is responsible for the production of many ions and salts known as urates and acid urates. Metabolic breakdown of purines in the body leads to the formation of this acid. These purines are naturally occurring substances found in many foods and human tissue. Kidneys help eliminate uric acid from the body, and it passes out along with the urine. When our kidneys do not eliminate uric acid efficiently or if there is an abundant intake of high purine foods, it leads to a marked increase in uric acid levels – a condition also known as hyperuricemia. Homeopathic medicine for uric acid helps lower the levels of uric acid in the body and also treats the body’s chronic tendency to hold an excess of uric acid.
Uric Acid Metabolism in the Body
Metabolism and production of uric acid are complex processes. They involve various factors that regulate the hepatic production of this compound, along with its renal and gut excretion. Uric acid is the final product of an exogenous (external origin) pool of purines and endogenous (internal origin) purine metabolism, varies significantly with diet and internal production of uric acid. Exogenous production of uric acid is majorly from the liver, intestines and other tissues like muscle, vascular endothelium, and kidney.
Many enzymes participate in the transformation of two purine nucleic acid (adenine and guanine) to uric acid. When our body functions optimally, the uric acid gets dissolved into the bloodstream and passes through the kidneys, finally getting eliminated with urine. However, high levels of uric acid in our body (that our kidneys cannot keep up with) lead to a build up and crystallization of uric acid.
Homeopathic Medicine for Uric Acid Control
Commonly, hyperuricemia (elevated uric acid) is managed or treated with the help of NSAIDs, colchicine, corticosteroids, xanthine oxidase, Probalan/Benemid, allopurinol, febuxostat, and pegloticase.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and colchicine are usually recommended for acute attacks which may cause severe side effects like diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
These drugs can dramatically affect the blood sugar levels, blood pressure, blood count and also reduce liver function. Prolonged use of corticosteroids in some cases also known to cause severe mood changes.
The drugs like probalan and allopurinol are used to remove excess uric acid from the body but can lead to some severe side effects including rash, stomach pain, and kidney stones. Homeopathic treatment for uric acid, on the other hand, has no side effects. These medicines lower the levels of uric acid and also reduce the tendency to hold an excess of uric acid. Homeopathic remedies also treat the body’s metabolic process which handles purines (proteins that get converted to uric acid).
The top five homeopathic medicines for elevated uric acid levels include Colchicum, Benzoic Acid, Ledum Pal, Guaiacum, and Lithium Carb.
Colchicum – Homeopathic Medicine for Uric Acid
Colchicum Autumnale (commonly known Meadow Saffron) is a homeopathic remedy derived from the freshly dug up bulb of herb colchicum autumnale. This herb belongs to the family Liliaceae and is a native of Great Britain and Ireland.
Colchicum is especially indicated in cases where high uric acid levels give rise to the onset of gout. There may be a sharp pain in the great toe. The affected parts may be swollen and very hot to touch. There could be great sensitivity to touch along with extreme pain. The pains could be more intense in the evening and at night. Colchicum may be indicated almost as a specific medicine in most cases of high uric acid levels. Slightest effort to move the legs gives rise to a sharp, shooting and unbearable pain in the toe. Walking may also be difficult. The person needing this remedy has intense swelling and pain in the big toe that is worse from motion. The toe pain also worsens from slightest touch, with the tendency of evening aggravation of the toe pain.
Benzoic Acid – Homeopathic Medicine for Uric Acid When Signs Show up In Urine
Benzoic Acid is homeopathic medicine for uric acid that is indicated when the signs of high uric acid show urinary symptoms. Uric acid crystals may be deposited in the kidneys or the urinary tract, giving rise to stones. On examination, the urine may exhibit very high levels of uric acid. The color of urine may also keep changing from dark brown to pale yellow.
Benzoic acid may also be indicated when there are joint complaints, like a crackling sensation in the joints. The great toe may be swollen, causing difficulty in walking or even moving the limb. Cracking in the knee joint on movement may also be felt. In some cases, nodes from the deposition of urate crystals may be present on the knees. Homeopathic medicine Benzoicum Acidum also works well in cases of knee pain gets worse from drinking wine.
It is also indicated as a general medicine in all cases of raised uric acid levels.
Ledum Pal – Homeopathic Medicine for Uric Acid with Ankle Pain
Ledum Palustre is a homeopathic medicine derived from a small flowering shrub, commonly known as Marsh tea. Marsh tea is a low growing evergreen shrub that only grows up to a height of one meter. The shrub belongs to the heath family and is a native of northern Europe. It is also widely distributed in British America and around Canadian lakes.
Ledum pal is indicated when the high levels of uric acid in the blood result in the deposition of the crystals in the joint spaces. The first attack of pain could be triggered by an increased intake of meat or alcohol.
Ledum Pal is a very beneficial homeopathic medicine for gout leading to ankle pain. The person needing Ledum Pal has pain and swelling in the ankle. The pain from the ankle may radiate up the leg, and movement tends to intensify the ankle pain.
Guaiacum – Homeopathic Medicine for Uric Acid
Homeopathic medicine Guaiacum is prepared from the resin obtained from the woods of Guaiacum officinale. Commonly known as Lignum Vite Resin, it belongs to the family Zygophyllaceae and is a native of tropical America.
It is a well-indicated remedy to treat high uric acid levels and works well in chronic cases where the deformities and contractures set in. Intolerance to heat in any form, the affecting joints being extremely hot to touch, bad smell from the body are other symptoms. It is given in acute cases where the affected limb is painful, stiff and immobile.
Lithium Carb – Homeopathic Medicine for Uric Acid with Stiffness
Lithium Carb is a homeopathic medicine used to treat raised uric acid levels. The high levels of uric acid give rise to an unusual stiffness all over the body. Another peculiar feature is itching all over the skin of the joints. The pains are relieved by pouring hot water. Uric acid may get deposited in the joint spaces to give rise to nodosities which can be felt externally. The nodes may also be felt in the finger joints. In severe cases, they may be felt in the ear pinna.
High Uric Acid: Causes
High Purine Diet
Uric acid levels majorly get affected by purine-rich foods like beef, organ meats, mussels, sweetbreads, mackerel, spinach, asparagus, beans, lentils, dried peas, etc.
Oxalate-rich foods including spinach, beets, nuts, rhubarb, chocolate, black tea, wheat bran, beans and strawberries also contribute to increased uric acid levels. Some other dietary items like gluten, dairy, corn, white bread, and sugars can also lead to increased uric acid production.
Levels of uric acid can also be elevated when the kidneys are unable to eliminate the excess of uric acid from the body. This can majorly be due to kidney dysfunction like kidney stones, chronic kidney disease, adverse effects of some drugs like diuretics, NSAID’s, etc.
High Intake of Fructose
Intake of fructose-rich foods and drinks increases the production of inosine and purines, thereby rapidly raising uric acid levels by activating certain enzymes. Fructose also stimulates uric acid synthesis from amino acid precursors such as glycine.
Diuretics Elevate Uric Acid Levels
Diuretics are known to be important causes of secondary hyperuricemia. They cause an increase in blood uric acid levels along with an increase in its reabsorption, leading to a decrease in the uric acid secretion from the body.
Increased Alcohol Intake
The production of uric acid gets stimulated by alcohol as it increases the lactic acid content in the body, which reduces the excretion of uric acid in the kidney. Alcohol also speeds up the breakdown of purines, thereby raising the production of uric acid.
Deficiency of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) influences the purine metabolism and also causes a reduction in kidney blood flow and filtration rate, which results in elevated uric acid levels in the blood.
Obesity or excessive body weight leads to the production of excess uric acid in the body, making it difficult for the kidney to process and eliminate it. Hyperuricemia correlates with leptin (hormone that controls hunger) levels, as an obese individual has higher leptin levels (due to leptin resistance).
Blood uric acid is higher in men as compared to women, making males more prone to hyperuricemia. As estrogen hormone is required for the regular elimination of urate (uric acid salt) through the kidneys, men being low on estrogen tend to develop hyperuricemia.
In menopausal women, hyperuricemia is often linked to a Vitamin D deficiency.
High Sodium Intake and Ketogenic Diet
High intake of sodium and following a ketogenic diet (low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet) reduces the ability of the kidney to eliminate the uric acid.
Increase in parathyroid hormone reduces the excretion of urate from the kidney, leading to elevated uric acid levels.
Chronic Lead Poisoning
Due to high levels of lead, kidneys the excretion of uric acid, leading to an increased build-up of urate along with uric acid levels.
High Uric Acid: Signs and Symptoms
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of high uric acid are as follows:
High Uric Acid: Symptoms in the Joints
When uric acid crystals settle into joints, symptoms of gout start to appear. Common symptoms of gout in the joints include:
- Severe pain in joints of feet, ankles, knees, hips, wrists, hands, fingers and back where even the weight of clothing is intolerable.
- Discoloration in the joints in the joints is quite noticeable; they may become deep red or even purple at onset.
- Swelling and stiffness of joint are markedly present, and it may also feel hot.
- Fever ranging from 100F-102.2F, with or without chills.
- Inflammation of joint accompanied by tenderness, with decreased mobility of the joint.
- Persistent discomfort as the joint inflammation and pain can last for days or weeks.
High Uric Acid: Symptoms on the Skin
In chronic cases, nodular masses of uric acid crystals (tophi) gets deposited in different soft tissues of the body. It is most commonly found as hard nodules around the fingers, elbow and the big toe. On repeated attack, the tophi may become swollen and tender.
High Uric Acid: Symptoms in the Kidneys
If we have high levels of uric acid in our body that our kidneys cannot keep up with, the uric acid then builds up and crystallizes. These uric acid crystals settle in the urinary tract and cause kidney stones. These kidney stones may cause symptoms such as pain in the back, abdomen or groin, chills, fever, nausea, vomiting and bloody urine.
Effects of High Uric Acid
Hyperuricemia (high levels of uric acid) play a significant role in many diseases. Some diseases directly related to high uric acid include:
Elevated levels of uric acid in the system may develop certain diseases, gout being the most common. Gout is a painful condition that affects the joints of feet and hands, especially the big toe. It develops when an excess of uric acid does not get removed by the kidney, or when a person eats more animal based proteins (which leads to the formation of uric acid crystals). These crystals are sharp-edged, press on the tender tissue under the skin causing very sharp and excruciating pain, swelling and inflammation of the joint. This condition is known as gout arthritis.
When proteins are not metabolized by the body efficiently, and there is an increased intake of proteins in the diet, it results in an abundance of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid gets generally washed from the body through kidneys, and if the uric acid cannot be adequately excreted, the condition is known as metabolic acidosis.
If metabolic acidosis keeps progressing, it may lead to rapid breathing accompanied by confusion and lethargy. In severe cases, it can lead to shock or death.
Excessive uric acid levels in the urine commonly result in urate kidney stones. These stones are formed when uric acid crystallizes in the kidney and gets deposited there, forming stones of varying sizes. The size of stones may range from a grain of sand to large chunk. These Urate kidney stones are extremely painful and tend to reoccur.
High blood uric acid levels raise the risk for diabetes by increasing inflammation and oxidative stress.
Hypertension and Chronic Kidney Diseases
Elevated uric acid levels are also related to hypertension and Chronic Kidney diseases. These can increase the risk of metabolic disorders as well as heart diseases.
Raised uric acid levels may also increase the risk for bone fractures.
When there is a rise in the uric acid levels in the body, it induces inflammation in the bones and impairs the availability of nitric oxide. This leads to a suppression of Vitamin –D, which increases bone fragility and fractures.
Erectile Dysfunction and Hypyperurecimia
Males with raised uric acid levels tend to develop erectile dysfunction. This is likely because increased uric acid levels in the body have a strong connection with hypertension, microvascular diseases, and reduced blood vessel function, all of which increase the risk of developing erectile dysfunction.
Patients with psoriasis are commonly found to have high uric acid levels. A study shows that hyperuricemia affects about 20% of patients with psoriasis.
Managing High Uric Acid
Certain lifestyle measures can help manage gout. These include:
– Avoiding food substances with high purine content, like meat, fish, seafood, beans, shellfish, and spinach.
– Avoiding excessive intake of alcohol.
– Increasing the water intake.
– Reducing weight (in case of obesity or being overweight).
– Ensuring routine exercise.
Foods to Avoid
Limiting or consuming moderate to high levels of purine-rich food plays a vital role in the treatment of hyperuricemia.
Foods that should be avoided, or their intake minimized include:
- Purine-rich foods such as beef, organ meats, mussels, sweetbreads, mackerel, spinach, asparagus, beans, lentils, dried peas need to be strictly avoided.
- Avoid oxalate-rich foods including spinach, beets, nuts, rhubarb, chocolate, black tea, wheat bran, beans, and strawberries.
- Common allergens like gluten, dairy, corn and food additives are to be limited.
- Minimize refined foods like white bread and sugars.
Foods to Eat
- Add high fiber foods to your diet, such as brown rice, bran, avocados, bananas, potatoes, and barley.
- Include Vitamin C-rich foods like bell peppers, oranges, guava, broccoli, cherries and kiwi in your diet.
- Incorporate food rich in magnesium, such as yogurt, almond, avocados, cashews, salmon, figs and pumpkin seeds.
- Omega -3 rich foods is a mandatory addition to the diet which includes walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, salmon, tuna, and supplements.
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