According to a study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture reduces the risk of gout and kidney damage by normalizing the body’s uric acid levels. A team of researchers from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine carried out an investigation regarding the effects of acupuncture therapy at specific areas on xanthine oxidase and serum uric acid levels in a rat model of hyperuricemia and gout.
The experiment lasted for 90 days with fifty rats as a specimen. They divided them into five groups, namely, Shu-acupoint, Yuan-acupoint, Mu-acupoint, Model, and Blank groups. Three courses of acupuncture are given to groups that received treatments, with each course including a total of 10 interventions where each intervention lasted for 15 minutes. Furthermore, there is a pause of 10 days in between courses. After the given allocated timeline, the researchers measured, with the use of an automatic biochemical analyzer, the alkaline phosphate and serum uric acid levels while they evaluated the xanthine oxidase using immunofluorescence.
Based on the data gathered, the results showed that the xanthine oxidase and serum uric acid levels in the model group were seriously higher and there was a great improvement in their renal index as compared to the Blank group. In addition to this, the three groups that received treatment had lower xanthine oxidase and serum uric acid levels with improved renal index in comparison with the Model group.
The next step they did is compare the three treatment groups. They found out that the Mu-acupoint group displayed the highest decrease in xanthine oxidase and serum uric acid levels. This is followed by Yuan-acupoint and Shu-acupoint being the least. With regards to renal index, there was no major difference and also no major change in alkaline phosphate between the three treatment groups. With all the information collected, the concluded that acupuncture treatments can greatly reduce serum uric acid and xanthine oxidase levels, potentially indicating reduced kidney damage.
What Are The Dangers Of A High Uric Acid Level In The Blood?
An excess of uric acid in the blood is called Hyperuricemia. Uric acid is normally produced by our body when purines, which are found in certain foods are broken down. It is then carried out in the blood after it is produced and transported into the kidneys to be filtered out and flushed out by urination.
When the kidneys fail to properly filter out uric acid, hyperuricemia occurs. It may also be caused by other factors like excessive consumption of alcohol, water retention relievers, immune-suppressing drugs, genetics, obesity, niacin or vitamin B3, and psoriasis.
Foods That Increase Uric Acid Levels In The Blood
There are foods that are naturally rich in purine that contributes to uric acid accumulation in the blood. Listed below are some of it.
- Dried beans
- Game meat
There are several health complications that may be brought about by hyperuricemia. These include gout, kidney stones, and metabolic acidosis. The most common and most painful health problem linked to having high levels of uric acid in the blood in gout. On the other hand, metabolic acidosis occurs when excess uric acid cannot be properly flushed out of the body. It may cause lethargy, confusion, difficulty in breathing, shock, and may even lead to untimely death. Furthermore, kidney stones are developed when uric acid that is stored crystallizes in the kidney, forming stones of different sizes. When these stones become trapped in the ureters, it may cause severe pain when a person tries to urinate.
Other Health Complications Of Hyperuricemia
- Kidney disease or renal failure
- Lead poisoning
- Toxemia in pregnancy