For the effective treatment of the ever growing problem of high uric acid concentration in blood, we need to not only reduce its concentration in blood but also dissolve already formed crystals of uric acid in the body. This dissolving of crystals as well as their precipitation is dependent upon a simple principle called Le Chatelier’s Principle.
According to this principle, if the concentration or temperature of a system in equilibrium changes, then the system also changes in such a way that it readjusts itself to counterbalance the effect of that change.
The treatments for high uric acid levels are dependent on the following things-
Concentration- As stated earlier, according to Le Chatelier’s principle, if high uric acid levels in blood can cause its precipitation then lowering the level of serum uric acid can not only stop its precipitation but also dissolve the crystals that have already been formed as well, which is actually one of the ways that we can treat high uric acid content in blood.
pH Level- Again high uric acid levels in urine can cause its precipitation as uric acid crystals in kidneys resulting in the formation of kidney stones. To prevent this and to treat the high uric acid levels of urine, urine is made alkaline by a variety of methods which will be discussed later.
Temperature- Treatment of high uric acid concentration also depends on temperature, as it is widely believed that crystals of uric acid get precipitated out at a temperature below normal range.
High uric acid treatment can actually be done by two methods. One with the use of medication and the other without the use of medicines. In acute cases, mixing up the two actually works wonders in the treatment of high uric acid concentration in blood.
Medicated Treatment for High Uric Acid
Medications for the treatment of high uric acid are of two types:
These medicines work in the treatment of high uric acid by reducing the resorption of uric acid in the blood from the kidneys, once it has been filtered out, thus increasing its excretion. Some of them are probenecid, benzbromarone and sulfinpyrazone etc.
Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors:
These are also very effective in the treatment of high uric acid by reducing the production of uric acid by interfering with xanthine oxidase. It is actually an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of uric acid from xanthine. Some common xanthine oxidase inhibitors are allopurinol, oxypurinol and tisopurine etc.
- Apart from these medicines, acetazolamide is also used for the treatment of high uric acid by making the urine more alkaline, thus preventing the formation of kidney stones.
- Other drugs which are potentially useful for the treatment of high uric acid include sevelamer which reduces high uric acid in patients who are receiving haemodialysis.
- Combined Oral Contraceptive Pills have also been found to reduce high uric acid content in blood.
- For those patients who have already developed Gout, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID), naproxen sodium and ibuprofen are prescribed to reduce pain and swelling.
There are a variety of non-medicated treatments for high uric acid levels. Some of them are as follows-
- A low purine diet is recommended to patients so as to reduce their high uric acid content.
- Lithium increases the solubility of uric acid. Hence, lithium salts are taken to treat high serum uric acid concentration.
- Sodium bicarbonate and Potassium citrate etc. are taken as dietary supplements for the treatment of high uric acid concentration by making the urine more alkaline.
- Avoiding fructose rich drinks and alcohol as they increase uric acid levels in blood.
- Starvation and crash dieting also causes uric acid levels to increase as it causes the body to metabolize its own tissues which are made up of proteins and are, therefore, rich in purines. So, avoiding that also helps in treating high uric acid levels.
So, these are some of the medicated as well as non-medicated treatments of high uric acid level in our body.