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Is a high uric acid level the cause of joint aches?

Q: I am a 34 year old mother. Since the last 4 years I am residing in a coastal area of Pondicherry. For the last 3 years I am suffering from pain in joints, back etc. I went through all tests for arthritis related diseases, all were negative including Rh factor. One of my friend told me to check the Uric acid level in the blood, when I checked it was 6.8. You are requested to advise on this matter. Whether level of Uric Acid in my blood is high, will this cause any problems?

A:It is always very difficult to give a possible diagnosis in patients with rheumatological disorder without a detailed clinical examination. The description provided by you could indicate a condition called fibromyalgia - a problem that is related to disturbance of restorative sleep called REM sleep. It is not difficult to treat it (mainly appropriate aerobic exercises e.g. power walking, swimming, cycling and other forms of aerobic workouts) and some simple medicines like amitriptyline. However, you need to be seen by a rheumatologist (NOT an Orthopaedic / bone specialists) who would first establish the diagnosis and then prescribe the appropriate treatment. I can assure you that URIC ACID has nothing to do with any aches and pains. Slightly high levels in your case are simply indicative of the fact that your food intake is much more than your normal requirement and you are NOT doing regular exercises (at least 40 minutes of vigorous exercises including very brisk walking, etc that I mentioned above) to burn the excess calories. This may also indicate that you may be more prone to overweight problem and high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol - abnormal lipids in your system at a later age. Therefore, it may be the first warning that you are eating more than you are doing exercises to burn the excess calories. I strongly suggest that you meet a rheumatologist as soon as possible.

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