Uric Acid is a chemical (waste product) produced by final oxidation (breakdown) of purines in the body, carried in the blood and excreted by the kidneys through urine. Formation of uric acid in the body is quite normal as it is a necessary substance in food metabolism. Uric acid is known to acts as an anti-oxidant and helps prevent damage to our blood vessels lining. But, higher levels of uric acid in the blood are harmful.
The level of uric acid in the blood rises mainly because either the kidneys are not working efficiently to excrete the excessive uric acid from the body or the uric acid level is too high for the normal kidneys to excrete the excess or due to both the conditions. Whatever the condition, the result is high level of uric acid in the blood.
High uric acid level may result in attacks of gout but it’s important to note that not everyone who has high uric acid gets gout and not everyone with gout has high uric acid. Uric acid levels can be reduced with the help of correct diet and exercise like walking, swimming and yoga.
Yoga can help in reducing uric acid levels in three ways:
- Helps in managing weight – Extra pounds add to the joint pain and you might suffer from a flare-up. Gradual weight loss is recommended because if you drop weight too quickly, purines can attack your joints. Yoga aids gradual weight loss. It also helps to maintain weight and prevent weight gain in people who are at their ideal weight.
- Yoga movements are gentle- on the joints, improves flexibility and circulation thus preventing uric acid crystals from depositing in the joints, removing crystals that are already deposited in the joints by mobilising and excreting them.
- Making you more aware of your body – This awareness can help you follow the recommended diet to prevent another painful attack.
There are quite a few Yoga Asanas which when practiced regularly can not only help in reducing uric acid but prevent uric acid crystals from depositing in the joints, removing it and help prevent a flare up. These asanas are:
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (The Spinal Twist Pose)
- Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)
- Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose)
- Halasana (The Plow Pose)
- Hastashirasana (The Hand to Head Pose)
- Januhastasana (The Hand to Knee Pose)
- Makarasana (The Crocodile Pose)
- Pavan mukhtasana (The Wind Relieving Pose)
- Pranayama (Breathing technique)
- Tadasana (The Mountain Pose)
- Trikonasana (The Triangle Pose)
- Uttana Padasana (The Extended leg Pose)
- Veerasana (The Hero Pose)
- Vriskshasana (The Tree Pose)
So, awaken the yogi in you and practice these asanas everyday and lead a pain free life by keeping your uric acid levels well within the normal range. Normal range varies from lab to lab based on the testing method used. Usually, the normal range is 3.5-7.2 mg% but some labs have up to 5.7 mg% as the upper limit.