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Uric Acid

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Uric Acid

Uric Acid is a chemical, which is produced in the human body after the breakdown of purines. It is also found in some foods and drinks. Some of the foods rich in purines include dried beans, peas, liver meat and beer.

The uric acid is carried by the blood to the kidneys. It is passed out from the kidneys in the urine. If the body produces more uric acid and is not able to remove it, it may cause sickness. For example, a high concentration of uric acid in the blood is called hyperuricemia.

The high level of uric acid in the body leads to the formation of uric acid crystals, leading to gout. The foods and drinks rich in purines can increase the level of uric acid such as seafood, red meat, liver meat, beer, alcohol, etc.

The uric acid crystals can accumulate in the joints and cause gout, a type of arthritis. They can accumulate in the kidneys to form stones. If not treated, the high level of uric acid may cause damage to bones, joints and tissues and may also lead to kidney and heart diseases.

Chemical Formula of Uric Acid

The chemical or molecular formula of uric acid is C5H4N4O3. It is a heterocyclic chemical, which is made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen atoms. It produces ions and salts called urates and acid urates such as ammonium acid urate. It is a product of the breakdown of purine nucleotides.

Uric Acid

Synonyms of Uric Acid

  • 2,6,8-trihydroxypurine
  • 2,6,8-trioxopurine
  • 2,6.8-trioxypurine
  • Lithic acid
  • Urate
  • Uricum acidum

Uric acid acts as a strong reducing agent as it can donate electrons. It is also an antioxidant. In humans, it is found in plasma as one of the main antioxidants.

Physical properties of uric acid

  • It is a colorless and odorless substance.
  • It is a tasteless solid.
  • Its molecular formula is C5H4N4O3.
  • It is nearly insoluble in water.
  • It is soluble in 1 M NaOH.
  • Its density is 1.9 g/cm3
  • Instead of melting, it decomposes in the air at a temperature of more than 250 degrees Celsius.

Natural ways to reduce the Uric Acid

Here are the following ways to control uric acid naturally:

1. Avoid sugar or sugary foods:

It is found in recent studies that sugar or sugary foods may be the cause of increased levels of uric acid in the body. Fructose sugar is mainly found in processed and refined foods. Fructose may lead to high levels of uric acid as per some studies. Further, sugary drinks and fresh fruit juices are loaded with fructose and glucose types of sugar. So, you may replace sugary drinks with fiber-rich smoothies.

2. Drink more water:

Drink plenty of water and other fluids, it helps the kidneys to flush out uric acid faster. You can keep a water bottle with you at all times and take a few ships every hour.

3. Limit purine-rich foods:

You can reduce the intake of purine-rich foods as these foods when digested leads to the formation of uric acid. Some examples of purine-rich foods are pork, fish, cauliflower, green peas, dried beans, mutton, mushrooms, etc.

4. Avoid alcohol:

The consumption of alcohol promotes uric acid production in the body. This is because the kidneys have to first flush out products present in the blood due to alcohol instead of uric acid. Besides this, some alcoholic beverages like beer are high in purines.

5. Lose weight:

Obesity may also lead to high uric acid levels. The fat cells in the body produce more uric acid than muscle cells. Furthermore, due to extra body weight makes, the kidneys cannot easily filter out uric acid. So, by losing extra pounds you may also control your uric acid level.

6. Fiber rich diet:

Eating fiber-rich diet can also help you reduce uric acid levels in the body. Fibers also help in balancing blood sugar and insulin levels. Include fibers in your dies such as fresh fruits, vegetables, oats, barley, and nuts.

7. Reduce stress:

Stress and lack of exercise, sleep, etc., may cause inflammation which may increase the uric acid level in the body. Yoga, breathing exercises and sound sleep helps reduce stress.

8. Medications and supplements:

There are certain medications and supplements intake of which can cause uric acid to increase in the blood. These include aspirin, vitamin B-3, diuretics, immune-suppressing and chemotherapy drugs, and more. So, if your uric acid level is high, you can consult with your doctor to figure out good alternatives for these medications and supplements.

Uric Acid Symptoms

The symptoms of the high level of uric acid in blood or hyperuricemia are not always visible. Only around one-third of people experience these symptoms. Some common symptoms of hyperuricemia are listed below:

Gout: It is a type of arthritis, which occurs in around 20 percent of people with high levels of uric acid in their bodies. In gout, a person generally experiences the following symptoms:

  • Joint pain
  • Joint stiffness or immobility
  • Redness and swelling
  • Distorted joints

Kidney stones: The formation of uric acid crystals due to uric acid causes kidney stones. If stones are small they are passed in the urine, if they are large, they may block some parts of the urinary tract. Here are some common symptoms of kidney stones:

  • Increased urge to urinate
  • Pain in lower back, groin or abdomen
  • Pain while urinating
  • Blood in urine
  • Foul-smelling urine

Uric Acid Normal Range

The low, normal, high ranges of uric acid levels:

Uric Acid Level In Males In Females
Low Below 2.5 mg/dL Below 1.5 md/dL
Normal 2.5 to 7.0 mg/dL 1.5 to 6.0 mg/dL
High Above 7.0 mg/dL Above 6.0 mg/dL

So, we can say that a person is suffering from hyperuricemia (high uric acid level in blood) if the uric acid test shows the following results;

  • Higher than 6 mg/dL for women
  • Higher than 7 mg/dL for men

Causes of High Levels of Uric Acid

  • More intake of purine-rich foods which tend to produce more purines
  • Kidneys are not able to flush out the uric acid
  • Due to chemotherapy
  • Certain medications may cause your body to produce more uric acid
  • Diabetes or acidosis may cause hyperuricemia

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