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Uric Acid and How Much You Could Be Paying For It

Uric Acid and How Much You Could Be Paying For It

You may know a handful of people who are currently living with high uric acid levels, and each person may have their own unique ways of managing it. Some people choose to take medications, while others utilize dietary supplements or carefully watch what they eat. But one thing is certain: the amount that high uric acid could cost you long-term is a scary reality. 

To find the answer for yourself, it is important to first know that everyone’s body is different in every way possible. One person might be more resilient to different types of food than others, and results from daily supplements can vary.

Despite the differences, it's important to really know what causes uric acid in the body, as well as some of the most common (and most cost-efficient) ways to manage those levels.


What is Uric Acid?

Yes, everyone’s body contains uric acid. Is it necessary? Also yes, but in a manageable amount. Uric acid is similar to fat in that way. Both are essential to our well-being, but we should be careful to not accumulate an unhealthy amount.

Every cell in our body contains “building blocks” called purines. Since many of our cells die and regenerate every second, these decaying “building blocks” also need tobe taken care of. When a cell dies, our liver breaks down its purines into uric acid. The acid travels through our bloodstream and is to be removed through our urine.

When we eat any type of food, we are breaking down the cells in the food to generate nutrients. Where do the purines from the food go? You guessed it right; they go through the same process to become uric acid and end up in our bloodstream.

What Does Having Too Much Uric Acid Mean?

It is also important to know that our liver and kidneys do not have unlimited capacity. When all the waste in our blood (including uric acid) tries to get flushed out of the body, the process can take a toll on our organs. Thus, our body does find its own ways to deal with the excess waste, and these alternatives are usually not as effective.

When our body produces too much uric acid and our kidneys cannot expel them fast enough, a condition called hyperuricemia occurs. If you are interested in the causes and specific diseases associated with uric acid, you can refer to our blog dedicated to this topic called Uric Acid: Good or Bad for Your Body.

 

How Much Could Hyperuricemia Cost You?

Your level of uric acid would not directly ask you for money. But the conditions associated with high uric acid levels would. They can definitely cause you financial, physical and mental pain.

  • Gout: Almost 9 out of 10 times, a link is found between hyperuricemia and gout. A study in 2015 showed that treatment-resistant gout patients could pay from $16,925 to $18,362 per year to manage their gout. There are also numerous indirect costs associated with gout that one might overlook. These include intense physical pain and inability to work due to the severe symptoms during flare-ups. The condition can be a burden not only for yourself, but also for those around you who might indirectly be affected.
  • Uric Acid Kidney Stone: According to the Cleveland Clinic, itis estimated that 10% of people in the U.S. have kidney stones of one kind or another. Similar to gout, the physical discomfort thatis associated with having kidney stones normally outweigh any financial cost, which can already be quite significant. The condition causes blockage inside the kidney, which makes the process of excreting excess uric acid harder than it already is for the patients. Thus, more uric acid crystals will be formed to cause more kidney stones until it is treated.
  • Fibromyalgia: High uric acid levels are a strong indicator of potential inflammation and metabolic disturbance. These often get associated with the condition of fibromyalgia. Because fibromyalgia is a such a broad diagnosis with physically debilitating symptoms, patients can go from place to place without getting the correct diagnosis. Other than widespread muscle and joint pain, the symptoms come with overwhelming fatigue despite however much you rest. A study found that 34% of fibromyalgia patients spend between $100 to $1000 per month above their insurance to see a healthcare professional.

There are also proven relationships between elevated uric acid levels and diabetes and high blood pressure, which directly link to cardiovascular disease and heart/liver failure.

 

What Can I Do about It?

For lasting results, it is always better to treat the root causes of any condition. In this case, it is the elevated levels of uric acid in the body. However, since our body will generate uric acid based on whatever we eat, is there a way to maintain a healthy level? Here are some of the ways you can start:

  • Limit food intake that are high in purines such as red / processed meats, beer, sugary drinks, and shellfish.
  • Increase your intake of natural foods that help boost the body’s function of reducing uric acid such as celery, Vitamin-C rich fruits, turmeric, cherries and water.
  • Jump-start your body’s uric acid detox by adding daily supplements into your routine that help significantly reduce and eliminate accumulated uric acid crystals.

Remember: everybody is different regarding how they process and eliminate uric acid. So, if you are interested in finding your personal weapon against hyperuricemia, we encourage you to find the solution that works best for you.

 

Sources:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16378-uric-acid-stones

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gout/symptoms-causes/syc-20372897

https://gouteducation.org/what-is-gout/cost/

https://www.medpagetoday.org/rheumatology/arthritis/50443?+a+Stand+on+Gout+March+2015+-+Med+Pro+March+2015+Med+Pro&vpass=1

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gout-diet/art-20048524

https://ndnr.com/pain-medicine/blood-chemistry-analysis-getting-a-broader-view-of-fibromyalgia-patients-overall-functional-health/

https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/fibromyalgia_the_diet_connection

https://www.fmaware.org/about-fibromyalgia/economic-burden/