Our body is a very complicated system. Every microsecond there is one or another metabolic function that takes place. Lots of chemicals are used, created, as well as excreted from the body. Uric acid is one such metabolic waste product formed in the body. It is a naturally occurring chemical waste product in the blood as a result of purine breakdown in the body. Read on to know about, ” How to reduce Uric acid? ”
Purine is a crystalline protein found in certain foods like peas, spinach, non-vegetarian foods, pulses, etc. The uric acid formed in the body generally dissolves in blood and is excreted via urine.
However, under certain conditions where uric acid exceeds the amount that is excreted, it gets collected in blood. This condition with high uric acid levels in the blood is known as hyperuricemia or gout. This can happen either when the diet is very high in purine or the kidneys are incapable of removing uric acid from the blood.
The normal range of uric acid in blood:
- 4 to 7 mg/dL for men and
- 4 to 6 mg/dL for women
What increases uric acid in the blood?
Before we proceed to know about How to reduce uric acid levels in the blood, we must first see the factors that can contribute to a high uric acid level are:
- Diet high in purines
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Renal insufficiency
- Underactive thyroid
- Endocrine or metabolic conditions like diabetes or acidosis
- Certain cancers, chemotherapy agents, and cancer medications
- Excessive exercising
- Fasting and crash dieting may elevate uric acid levels temporarily
Side effects of high uric acid on different organs or parts of the body:
- Joint: Gout is a condition involving joints. It includes pain, inflammation, swelling, redness, and tenderness on touching. The big toe of the legs gets majorly affected by gout. However, it also affects ankles, heels, knees, fingers, wrists, and elbows. The symptoms once set; it takes 12 to 24 hours for the pain to reach its peak. This can remain for a few hours, days, or even weeks. Hence, if the gout is not treated at the right time it can permanently damage the joints.
- Kidney: The uric acid crystals if get trapped in the kidneys and urinary tract, may lead to the formation of kidney stones. Men are majorly affected by such uric acid kidney stones. The symptoms include back pain, abdomen and groin pain, high fever, cold chills, nausea, vomiting, as well as blood in the urine.
- Skin: With constant high levels of uric acid in the blood, the uric acid crystals form lumps underneath the skin. These lumps are called tophi. Generally, these tophi are painless and hence, they have no symptoms. However, during the time of gout attacks, these tophi swell and become very tender and painful. These are found under the skin of fingers, toes, elbows, and hands.
Now that you know about the side effects Uric acid can have on your body, it is important to find out about How to reduce Uric acid levels in the blood.
How to reduce uric acid from blood?
Here are some basic tips to reduce Uric acid from blood naturally.
- Increase water intake.
- Intake of high fiber foods like daliya, oats, brown rice, etc.
- Increase the intake of Vitamin C rich foods.
- Consume apple cider vinegar.
- Baking soda helps.
- Green tea.
- Low-fat dairy products.
- Olive oil as well as omega 3 fatty acids.
How to reduce uric acid in the blood
Increase water intake:
Kidneys excrete uric acid from the body and increased water intake assures this elimination. Water plays a very vital role. With a hydrated body, uric acid crystals are difficult to form, as well as they dissolve in the water.
The body needs at least 3 to 4 liters of water to remove excess uric acid from the body. Other fluids like buttermilk, coconut water, lemon water, green tea or flavored water to increase overall fluid intake.
High Fiber food:
The fiber in the body traps the uric acid and helps eliminate it from the body. Consume at least 20 – 25 grams of fiber in a day. Hence, include high fiber foods like whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, unstrained soups, and juices and psyllium.
Consume a good amount of Vitamin C rich foods:
Vitamin C helps in the excretion of uric acid. Consume citrus fruits, bell peppers, cabbage, amla, guava, etc. It boosts immunity, reduces inflammation, as well as detoxifies the body by removing unwanted waste products.
Read – Benefits of Lime and Lemon
Consume Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. The acetic acid on ingestion converts into alkaline form. This creates an alkaline environment in the body and breaks down tophi. It also reduces inflammation and swelling in the joints.
Baking soda is very beneficial for lowering uric acid levels and reducing gout pain. It helps attain the natural alkaline balance in the body. An alkaline environment makes the uric acid more soluble and easier to excrete. Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Drink up to four glasses daily for two weeks every 2 – 4 hours. People with hypertension should avoid using baking soda. As the sodium salt may increase the blood pressure.
Read – Benefits of Baking soda.
Low-fat dairy products:
Low-fat dairy products also form an alkaline environment in the body. Opt for low-fat milk, curd, paneer or buttermilk.
- Cherries and dark berries contain antioxidants named flavonoids. This antioxidant helps in reducing uric acid levels. Antioxidants also help reduce the inflammation and stiffness caused by gout.
Olive oil and omega 3 rich foods:
Cold-press olive oil is rich in antioxidants. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help in gout. Omega 3 too has anti-inflammatory properties. Include flax seeds, walnuts, and fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring.
Read – Benefits of Flaxseeds
Green tea is rich in antioxidants. It relieves the inflammation caused by gout, reduces swelling, as well as contributes to fluid intake. Make sure you take decaffeinated green teas.
Read – Benefits of Matcha green tea
How to reduce Uric Acid; Foods to Avoid
Here is the list of foods that you need to avoid or restrict in order to reduce Uric acid from the blood.
Reduce the intake of purine-rich food:
Uric acid is a by-product of proteins called purines. Purines are present in foods like red meat, mushrooms, yeast containing products, big pulse grains, channa flour, spinach, etc. To fulfill the protein requirement include dals, pulses like moong or moth beans, egg whites, or fish in very restricted amounts.
Restrict caffeine and alcohol:
Caffeine-containing products like coffee, tea, aerated drinks, and alcohol increase uric acid in the blood. Excretion of caffeine hinders the excretion of uric acid from the bloodstream. Thus restricting such foods helps reduce uric acid levels in the blood.
Here is a detailed diet plan for gout and to reduce Uric acid levels in the blood.
Now you know about How to reduce Uric acid from the blood. The primary dietary goal for gout is to limit your intake of purine-rich foods. Perfect hydrated body with loads of antioxidants circulating in blood keeps uric acid in check. Taking care of small details in food intake and lifestyle keeps gout in control.