What is Uric Acid?
Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of purines, which are natural compounds found in many foods and beverages. It is a useless substance that is produced when the body breaks down purines, which are found in some foods and drinks, some foods that increase uric acid levels include eating foods that are high in purines, such as meat body parts. , shellfish, and sardines. as well as the consumption of alcoholic beverages and alcohol.
When the body processes purines, it produces a substance called uric acid. In small amounts, uric acid is harmless and is processed by the kidneys and eliminated from the body through urine. However, if the body produces too much uric acid or if the kidneys cannot eliminate it effectively, it can accumulate in the blood and cause health problems.
Normal Value of Uric Acid
The normal range for uric acid levels in the blood can vary slightly depending on the laboratory and the method used to test it.
Generally, for adult men, the normal range is between 3.4 to 7.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
For adult females, the normal range is between 2.4 to 6.0 mg/dL.
What is high uric acid (Hyperuricemia)?
High levels of uric acid in the blood can lead to a condition called hyperuricemia, which is a risk factor for many health conditions, including gout, kidney stones, and chronic kidney disease. Hyperuricemia occurs when the body produces too much uric acid or when the kidneys cannot remove it properly.
Gout is one of the most common conditions associated with high levels of uric acid in the blood. It is a type of arthritis caused by the deposition of urate crystals in the joints and tissues. Gout usually affects the ankles, especially the big toe, and causes severe pain, swelling, and redness.
Kidney stones are another condition that can occur due to high levels of uric acid in the blood. When uric acid levels are high, they can form crystals that can accumulate in the kidneys and form stones. These stones can cause severe pain and discomfort and can damage the kidneys if left untreated.
Chronic kidney disease is a progressive disease in which the kidneys gradually lose their ability to function properly. High levels of uric acid in the blood have been linked to an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
How to Prepare for the uric acid test?
To prepare for a uric acid test, it’s important to follow these steps:
- Inform your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that could interfere with the results of the test.
- Fast for at least 4 hours before the test. This means not eating or drinking anything except water.
- Avoid alcohol and purine-rich foods such as red meat, organ meats, shellfish, and certain types of fish for at least 24 hours before the test.
By following these steps, you can help ensure that the results of your uric acid test are as accurate as possible.
How to diagnose high uric acid in gout?
Elevated uric acid levels in gout can be diagnosed through laboratory testing.
Lab tests: Blood tests can be used to measure the level of uric acid in your blood. However, it is important to note that not everyone with high uric acid will have gout, and not everyone with gout will have high uric acid levels.
In some cases, a joint fluid test may be required to confirm the diagnosis of gout. This involves inserting a needle into the affected joint to remove a small amount of fluid, which is checked for the presence of uric acid crystals.
Imaging tests such as X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans may be used to determine the extent of joint damage or rule out other possible causes of joint pain and swelling.
In general, the correct diagnosis of high uric acid levels in gout is important to develop an effective treatment plan and prevent other problems associated with these conditions.
How to prevent high uric acid?
There are several ways to help prevent excess uric acid in the body:
- Stay healthy: Being overweight can increase your chances of developing hyperuricemia (excess uric acid in the blood).
- Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated can help flush excess uric acid from your body.
- Reduce alcohol consumption: Alcohol can increase the production of uric acid and make it harder for you to eliminate it.
- Limit foods high in purines: Purines are found in many foods, especially meat, and seafood, and eating too much of these foods can lead to high uric acid levels
- Eat a balanced diet: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce uric acid levels in the body.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and improve overall health, which can help prevent high uric acid levels.
- Take prescribed medications: If you have been diagnosed with gout or hyperuricemia, your doctor may prescribe medications to help lower your uric acid and prevent complications.