Uric acid is a byproduct of the metabolic breakdown of purine, a substance which naturally occurs in varied foods like oatmeal, meat, dried beans, etc.
In normal healthy individuals, uric acid is passed out from the body via urine. Sometimes, due to kidney malfunction or excessive uric acid production, not all uric acid is eliminated from the body. Accumulation of uric acid in the body eventually results in formation of uric acid crystals which get eliminated along with urine. Uric acid crystals in urine is thus a symptom of some underlying medical condition.
The normal levels of uric acid ranges between 3.6 mg/dL and 8.3 mg/dL of blood. Additional symptoms associated with uric acid crystals elimination often differ as per the causative factor and underlying health complications such as kidney stones, gout, and kidney failure, etc.
Causes of uric acid crystals in urine
Some of the common causes of uric acid crystals in urine are listed below:
- Any kind of kidney problem which results in kidney dysfunction or inhibited kidney functioning can adversely affect the process of uric acid filtering by the kidneys. This can result in a lower rate of uric acid elimination from the body as compared to uric acid production, thereby triggering the formation of uric acid crystals in urine.
- Increased intake of foods with high levels of purine can cause considerable increase in uric acid levels in blood, which triggers the formation of uric acid crystals.
- Different health disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, metabolic syndrome, gout, diabetes, hypothyroidism, Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, hereditary diseases, some forms of cancer, urolithiasis psoriasis, and lead poisoning, etc. are known to cause high levels of uric acid in the body, eventually resulting in uric acid crystals in urine.
- Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, intake of niacin or vitamin c supplements, consumption of diuretics, alcohol abuse, starvation, and other lifestyle irregularities can also increase the vulnerability to increased uric acid production, thereby causing uric acid crystals to form and get eliminated via urine.
Treatment of uric acid crystals in urine
The causative factors and health complications associated with uric acid crystals in urine are treated with medicines and diet changes.
- Pain medications can help find relief from pain
- High levels of uric acid in blood can be controlled with drugs like probenecid, sulfinpyrazone, febuxostat, and allopurinol.
- Include foods such as: Low purine/protein foods like gelatin, cheese, tart, whole wheat breads, cherries, rice, eggs, corn, vinegar, peanut butter, and pasta; complex protein foods like berries, tofu, cabbage, parsley, and celery; potassium-rich foods like bananas, dried peaches, yogurt, cereals, and yam; and foods with vitamin c and bromelain like lemon juice, red bell peppers, pineapple, olive oil, different nuts, fibrous foodstuffs, soy items, red cabbage, flax seeds, salmon, and low-fat dairy.
- Avoid foods such as: Purine-abundant foods like kidney, liver, and other organ meats, sweetbread, mussels, lamb, scallops, sardines, mincemeat, pork, beer, yeast, shrimp, tuna, anchovies, and processed meat; and purine-moderate food like spinach, turkey, dried beans, peas, chicken, bacon, cauliflower, soda, mushroom, lentils, legumes, goose, asparagus, oatmeal, and lobster, etc.