Uric acid symptoms or hyperuricemia, will be familiar to anyone who has suffered the excruciating and debilitating pain of gout. Gout is another of those illnesses that many of us have heard of without understanding much about it. In a nutshell, gout is an inflammation of the joints type of disease. An attack of gout is due largely to high levels of uric acid which is a by product formed after digesting foods containing purine.

The actual cause of hyperuricemia may be attributed to many things quite apart from simply your diet. All the food we eat contains various levels of things that are good or bad for us. Some food is abundant in vitamins and protein while unhealthier foods tend to contain excess carbohydrates or fat. Some kinds of food such as certain meats, particularly organs like liver and kidneys and fish in the form of mackerel, herring or crab contain high levels of purine. There are many kinds of food containing a lot of purine but our bodies are able to cope with them depending on the source.

It has been discovered that animal based purine food is the worst for creating uric acid symptoms while plant type purine food is much better tolerated and does not develop uric acid symptoms as severe. Dairy products containing high levels of purine on the other hand can actually be beneficial to gout suffers by reducing incidence of attacks. Certainly, eating a high purine rich diet is sometimes to blame but generally other factors and underlying health problems tend to be the reason for uric acid symptoms.

Your own genetic make-up, impaired kidney function, obesity, the use of diuretic drugs and the over indulgence of alcohol are mainly the real causes behind hyperuricemia. Any of these causes can lead to a build up of uric acid in the blood stream. If it is not sufficiently excreted by the kidneys uric acid crystal may be formed and deposited within the tissues of joints anywhere in the body. In turn inflammation, irritation, swelling and excruciating pain follow in what we term a gout attack.

The joint at the base of the big toe common place for gout to attack. However, irrespective of the joint affected, uric acid symptoms will follow a familiar pattern. A sudden onset of pain to the attacked area is usually followed by red discolouration of the skin, localised swelling with heat and tenderness if touched there. Attacks may last anything from some hours to several days and in extreme cases, a few weeks.

While some affected by uric acid symptoms are barely troubled by it plenty suffer repeated gout attacks and usually are stuck with it for life. Diet changes and medication can help but for some complications in the form of kidneys stones or worse may eventually be the case. Education about the illness is recommended because as the saying goes, 'Forewarned, is forearmed'.