The Basics of Hyperuricemia: Causes, Symptoms, and How to Address It


Have you ever heard of hyperuricemia? Perhaps not, but it’s essential to be aware of this condition, especially since it can lead to gout, kidney stones, and other health complications. In this article, we’ll discuss hyperuricemia in detail, focusing on its understanding, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. We’ll also delve into the functional medicine perspective and tackle some myths and misconceptions. So, let’s dive in and learn more about hyperuricemia!

What is Hyperuricemia?

It is a condition characterized by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of purines, which are substances found in certain foods and drinks, as well as in our own cells. Normally, uric acid is filtered by the kidneys and excreted through urine. However, when the body produces too much uric acid or the kidneys don’t eliminate it efficiently, hyperuricemia can occur.

Risk Factors of Hyperuricemia


A family history of it or gout can predispose you to this condition.


Consuming a diet high in purine-rich foods, such as red meat, seafood, and alcohol, can contribute to increased uric acid levels.


Excess body weight can lead to higher uric acid production and decreased kidney function.

Medical conditions:

Certain diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and hypertension, can increase the risk of hyperuricemia.


Diuretics, aspirin, and some immune-suppressing drugs can affect uric acid levels.

Symptoms of Hyperuricemia

Interestingly, many people with this don’t experience any symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they are typically a result of complications arising from high uric acid levels. These complications can include:


A painful form of arthritis caused by the deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints.

Kidney stones:

Uric acid can form crystals in the kidneys, leading to the development of kidney stones.

Kidney damage:

High levels of uric acid can cause inflammation and damage to the kidneys over time.

Diagnosing Hyperuricemia

If you suspect you may have hyperuricemia, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional. They will take a thorough medical history, assess your risk factors, and conduct a physical examination. A blood test will be performed to measure the uric acid levels in your blood. Additionally, urine tests may be conducted to evaluate the kidney’s ability to excrete uric acid.

Treatment Options for Hyperuricemia

Now that we’ve covered the basics of it and its diagnosis, let’s discuss the various treatment options:

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes is often the first step in managing it. This can include:

Diet modifications:

Reducing the intake of purine-rich foods and increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Weight management:

Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce uric acid production and improve kidney function.


Drinking plenty of water can help dilute uric acid and promote its excretion through urine.


If lifestyle changes aren’t sufficient, medications may be prescribed to help manage hyperuricemia. These can include:

1. Urate-lowering agents: Drugs like allopurinol and febuxostat can help reduce uric acid production.
2. Uricosuric agents: Probenecid and lesinurad can improve kidney function and promote uric acid excretion.

Functional Medicine Approach for Hyperuricemia

From a functional medicine perspective, addressing the root causes of hyperuricemia is key. This approach may involve:

1. Nutritional supplementation: Supplements such as vitamin C, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids can help support kidney function and reduce inflammation.
2. Gut health: Promoting a healthy gut microbiome through probiotics and prebiotics can positively impact uric acid levels.
3. Stress management: Reducing stress through techniques like meditation and yoga can help improve overall health and contribute to better management of hyperuricemia.

 FAQs about Hyperuricemia

1. Is it the same as gout?
No, it is the condition of having elevated uric acid levels in the blood, while gout is a form of arthritis caused by the deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints.

2. Can I prevent it with diet alone?
Although diet plays a significant role in managing uric acid levels, other factors, such as genetics and underlying health conditions, can also contribute to hyperuricemia.

3. Are only older adults at risk of hyperuricemia?
While the risk of hyperuricemia increases with age, it can affect people of all ages, depending on their genetics, lifestyle, and overall health.

4. Is hyperuricemia always symptomatic?
Many people with hyperuricemia do not experience any symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they are typically related to complications such as gout or kidney stones.

5. Can hyperuricemia be cured?
While there is no cure for hyperuricemia, it can be managed through lifestyle changes, medications, and functional medicine approaches to address the root causes.

By now, you should have a solid understanding of hyperuricemia, including its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. It’s crucial to remember that, while there is no cure for hyperuricemia, it can be effectively managed through a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and functional medicine approaches.

Being well-informed about it is beneficial for your overall health and can help you make educated decisions if you or someone you know is affected by this condition. Moreover, by understanding the common myths and misconceptions, you’ll be better equipped to separate fact from fiction and take control of your health.
As always, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and recommendations when dealing with hyperuricemia or any other health condition. Stay informed, and take charge of your well-being!