In the human body system, uric acid is formed as a byproduct of purine metabolism, which is then excreted in the urine. Regarding purines, they are nitrogenous compounds present in various food items such as mushrooms, green peas, wheat bran, meat products, and fish. Chemically, uric acid is a reducing compound that is made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and, oxygen. It possesses very strong antioxidant properties; the antioxidant ability of the blood plasma is contributed by uric acid to about 50 percent.
Uric acid, synthesized in the body after breaking down purines, is dissolved in the bloodstream, which is then circulated to the kidney. From the kidney, about 75% of this acid is removed via urination. Failure to excrete appropriate amounts of uric acid due to any bodily abnormalities can lead to severe health conditions. Taking this into consideration, it is very crucial to understand the normal uric acid levels. As this acid is present in the blood and urine, either of the two samples can be used for testing. But a blood test for is more commonly conducted.
How to Test Uric Acid Levels?
In medical science, the measurement of uric acid levels is conducted as one of the important procedures to rule out some health conditions. The physician may recommend uric acid testing in patients who have complaints for joint pain and kidney disorders. For conducting a uric acid test, the candidate should not eat or drink anything for four hours prior to collection of the blood sample. The physician may also recommend abstaining from certain medications that alter uric acid levels. For testing, a blood sample is collected either from the elbow or the back of the palm. The collected blood is then tested by laboratory specialists for uric acid levels. In case of a urine tes, a 24-hour urine sample is obtained for laboratory examination.
What are the Normal Levels of Uric Acid?
Speaking about the normal uric acid levels, the blood test result should fall between 3.0 - 7.0 mg/dL (milligram per deciliter). Whereas the normal value of uric acid in urine ranges from 250 - 750 milligrams (mg). Remember that the collected urine sample for uric acid test is for one day. These normal ranges of uric acid may fluctuate slightly from one laboratory to another. A condition of low uric acid level is rare as compared to high levels of uric acid in the blood. Abnormally low concentration of uric acid can be caused due to liver malfunction, kidney diseases, frequent exposure to toxic chemicals, and also hereditary defects.
If the uric acid level is higher than the normal range, then the doctor will perform further medical examination and conduct laboratory tests for diagnosis of the problem. High uric acid in the blood is mostly caused due to two primary reasons; either the body is not excreting uric acid in the urine as it should, or there is an excess production of uric acid. Elevated levels or hyperuricemia may also be associated with health conditions like gout, diabetes, hypoparathyroidism, renal problems, and lead poisoning. In addition, it may be manifested as side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Among the causal reasons for hyperuricemia, gout is directly related to excess synthesis of uric acid in the body. Over a period of time, uric acid crystals are accumulated in the joints, resulting in severe pain symptoms. Since high uric acid is also caused due to chemotherapy, a test for uric acid levels is performed prior to administration of chemotherapy medications in cancer patients. Later, the level is examined in between the chemotherapy sessions as a part of the routine medical checkup.
Excess consumption of purine rich foods contribute to elevation of uric acid in the blood. Thus, people who are diagnosed with hyperuricemia, gout, and alike medical conditions should eliminate foods and drinks rich in purines. According to medical studies, the level of uric acid in the blood is related to fluctuation in blood pressure. A recent study reported that reducing the levels directly lowers the blood pressure significantly. This finding has proven to be an important achievement for regulating healthy blood pressure range in hypertension patients.
With this information, I hope you have cleared all your doubts about the normal levels of uric acid in the blood and urine, and the conditions of low and high uric acid in the body. In any of the cases, either hypouricemia or hyperuricemia, the physician will suggest prescription medications along with lifestyle modifications, especially changes in the eating and drinking habits to maintain normal levels in the blood. With careful planning of uric acid reduction diet and following the doctor's advice, one will surely succeed in combating hyperuricemia condition.