Uric acid crystals or urate crystals are formed due to the accumulation of uric acid. They are sharp crystalline structures which may cause a lot of discomfort. Find out the causes and how to get rid of these crystals in this Buzzle article.
If there is excess formation and accumulation of uric acid in the body, some sharp crystalline structures are formed, which are called Urate crystals also known as monosodium urate crystals. This condition, wherein, urate crystals are formed in the body is called hyperuricemia and is observed especially in kids. When the kidneys are unable to completely excrete uric acid, health conditions, like gout surfaces. Gout is a distinctive characteristic of hyperuricemia. This may result in deposits of uric acid crystals in the body especially, in the big toe and the joints. If preventive measures are not taken in time, inflammation and severe joint pain may occur over time. Many a time, urate crystals may form in babies and are mostly caused due to dehydration or accumulation of uric acid in the body.
In some adults, it has been found that even if urate crystals are present in the body, symptoms does not show for a long period of time. However, the symptoms may suddenly appear if there is some infection in the body, improper eating habits, surgery or injury to the joints. The symptoms include swelling of the joint, warmth, redness, tenderness and pain. Most of the time, the attack begins at midnight and the pain is so serious that it becomes difficult to bear the pressure of even the bed cover.
The skin over the inflamed part may be dry, shinny or red and you may get a mild fever along with the other symptoms. The symptoms may disappear within a week and may not appear for months or years together. However, after sometime these symptoms may reappear and attacks may be more frequent and symptoms may last longer.
Many a time, first time parents are worried when they find small crystals in the diaper of a baby. Young infants and newborns may have wet diapers which appears pinkish or are orange-tinged. This may worry parents, as it may seem that the child is bleeding. However, there is nothing to worry as it is caused due to the formation of uric acid crystals in the babies body. There is nothing abnormal in such a condition, as uric acid found in urine, crystallizes and gets excreted. They don't hurt and some crystals may look like a powdery substance, pale or orange in color.
Usually, dehydration is the main reason for the formation of urate crystals, but in some cases it may also be formed in well fed and healthy babies. A common sign that a baby may be dehydrated is if, it does not have a minimum of six wet diapers every day. If a child does not get adequate fluid, it would result in the decreased urine output and when produced, the urine color would be darker with high levels of uric acid. In case you suspect dehydration in your child, seek medical help immediately as it may cause serious medical complications if untreated. In such cases, you should make sure that the baby consumes enough liquid food and water. Moreover, if the baby is still breastfeeding, make sure that you give it enough breast milk.
Getting Rid of Uric Acid Crystals
Accumulation of uric acid can be treated, if you know the exact causes of uric acid accumulation. The most important reason for the build-up of uric acid is the consumption of food rich in purine. Purine rich food when consumed, is broken down in the body forming uric acid. As a result, if you consume a high-purine diet, it may lead to high levels of uric acid which may result in formation of urate crystals. So, you need to change your dietary pattern and consume less of purine-rich food like meats, organ meat, sea foods etc., so that uric acid crystals does not accumulate in your body. Moreover, make sure that you avoid alcoholic beverages, rather drink juices every day and at least, eight glasses of water a day. Drinking these would help you in getting rid of these crystals. Make sure that you don't gain weight, instead try losing weight.
When you get an attack, try using hydrotherapy by applying cold and hot-water compress as it will reduce joint pain. Beside these, take the medications prescribed every day without missing any dose.
Accumulation of uric acid crystals is common and even infants can get it. The only way to treat it is to change your dietary habits and consuming a lot of water. There is nothing to worry, if you find pinkish or orange colored spots in diapers, make sure to consult your doctor about it and get that checked.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.