Many people do not give uric acid a great deal of thought unless they are medical professionals. However, anyone that has ever been affected by either high or low levels of uric acid should not have an especially difficult time understanding the importance of keeping these levels in check. In order for the body to be healthy, uric acid levels must be kept at the proper levels.
A fluctuation in either direction can cause a whole host of problems. Sometimes, the fluctuation in levels is caused by a disease that has a direct impact on the production of uric acid in the body.
At other times, it is the fluctuation in these levels that causes other medical conditions. In order to understand how it affects overall health, it is important to understand what uric acid is as well as what can happen when levels are either too high or too low.
This will help you understand what types of conditions can cause too much uric acid, as well as more serious medical conditions that can happen as a direct result of it.
Finally, it is important to understand the connection between uric acid levels and a powerful antioxidant known as glutathione.
In short, it is a chemical compound that is produced by the human body. It results from the breakdown of substances throughout the metabolism process. The easiest way to explain it is that when the body is converting food into energy, waste products are then produced as a direct result of the process.
This ultimately results in uric acid. Unlike many other waste products, uric acid is necessary for proper functioning within the human body.
The absence of it can cause its own set of problems, so it is not only high uric acid levels that can be potentially harmful. Typically, the body is able to regulate these levels but that is not always the case.
Have you ever observed that some people have swollen ankles that are way beyond the normal sizes? This condition is not due to overeating, but this is caused by a health disorder called gout. People are suffering from this kind of condition because of excessive uric acid levels in the body.
Every human body has the presence of uric acid. While this is a natural substance circulating in our system, too much of it can result in serious health disorders.
As the cells inside our body die, they immediately release substances known as purines. These substances are also found in some of the foods that we consume. When our body undergoes digestive processes, the purines break down, thereby producing uric acid. Typically, the uric acid dissolves in the bloodstream, passes through the kidneys, and is expelled through urination.
However, should there be an excessive level of uric acid in the blood that the kidneys cannot handle, the chance of developing hyperuricemia, otherwise known as high uric acid, is significantly high. This condition could trigger the development of gout – or the accumulated crystal-like figures that are mostly developed in the body tissues and joints.
There are two main reasons why the presence of uric acid becomes problematic.
There are a lot of things that can cause an imbalance in uric acid throughout the body. Certain medical conditions can cause a problem. One notable condition is known as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome.
This is a hereditary condition that causes uric acid levels to skyrocket in the body, thereby causing additional medical problems. In addition, reduced k
idney function can also cause these levels to increase.
Most of the other causes are directly associated with something that an individual does that inadvertently causes a problem.
For example, if you have a habit of dieting on a regular basis or you fast too frequently, uric acid levels can be thrown dramatically out of balance, making the levels far too high.
The same thing can happen if you experience rapid weight loss for any reason, whether that weight loss was intentional or not.
You can also experience similar issues if you take diuretics or if you partake in an unhealthy diet, especially if you have a habit of eating a lot of sugar.
The body has an exceptionally hard time converting sugar into energy, resulting in additional waste products.
The sugar is then converted to uric acid, but the process is not complete. As a result, the acid levels in the body can become far too high for it to handle, thus creating a situation where it is virtually impossible for the body to handle the levels of uric acid that are present.
One of the most notable conditions is gout. This is an extremely painful condition that looks like a swollen joint. It can occur in any joint throughout the body, but is most frequently found in fingers, toes and even in the ankles.
It is essentially caused by a buildup of crystals that then settle in the joints and make it virtually impossible to move the joint in question.
When a person does move, the pain is so extreme that it is virtually impossible to withstand it. Even when the joint is not being moved, the individual in question is likely to experience a tremendous amount of pain.
Other more serious conditions include diabetes as well as kidney stones and even metabolic syndrome. Kidney stones are one of the most painful conditions that a person can experience and much like diabetes, metabolic syndrome can lead to a host of other medical conditions that can be even more serious.
Finally, high levels of uric acid can cause cardiovascular conditions such as atherosclerosis.
It is thought that this is because of the increased levels of inflammation that occur within both the walls of the arteries and the heart muscle itself.
This can cause arteries to become inflamed, thereby leading to increased levels of plaque within those arteries. The inflammation can also have a direct impact on the heart muscle, thereby weakening it or causing an irregular heartbeat.
If a person is experiencing low levels of uric acid, it is typically because of one of two causes. Frequently, those who experience low levels are affected by multiple sclerosis. It is not yet fully understood why this disease causes uric acid levels to plummet, but many individuals that have the disease combat low levels.
As a result, a direct correlation has been found between the two, despite the fact that this correlation has not yet been fully explored.
Low levels of uric acid can also be caused by oxidative stress. Without intervention, this can cause issues throughout the body, and may even affect cognitive abilities, at least temporarily. As a result, intervention must be made to restore uric acid to a healthy level as quickly as possible.
Fortunately, there is an effective way to stabilize uric acid levels and restore them to healthy levels, whether they were initially too high or too low. One way to accomplish this is to increase the levels of glutathione within the body.
Because glutathione is an antioxidant, it can stave off the inflammation that often occurs in the body, thereby allowing uric acid levels to be restored to healthy limits. Anyone that is unable to achieve the desired levels of glutathione through their diet should not hesitate to consider glutathione supplements in order to ensure their continued good health by eliminating extreme fluctuations in uric acid levels.
For some people, the increase of uric acid in the body may occur because of bad food consumption and an unhealthy diet. Remember, some of the foods that we are taking contain purine compounds such as meat, gravy, dried peas and beans, mushrooms, and anchovies among others, which all contain a high level of purines.
If your diet is high in these food types, there is chance your purine in take is too high. Purine compounds inside the body may or may not be properly eliminated by the kidneys.
Regardless if you are living a healthy diet or not, increase in uric acid may also be contributed by various health conditions including leukemia, hypertension, obesity, hypothyroidism, Psoriasis, renal insufficiency or the incapability of the kidneys to properly filter waste, and several other genetic tendencies that may trigger system malfunctions.
Additionally, some medications like diuretics, cancer drugs, immune system suppressing drugs and vitamins among others can cause body reactions and affect the activities of the digestive system that may ruin the general breakdown of the body’s uric acid.
In monitoring the level of uric acid in the body, a blood sample is vital. The normal uric acid level value ranges between 3.5 mg/dL and 7.2 mg/dL. Other laboratories make use of different measurements that should not exceed 6.0 mg/dL. In cases where the level reaches beyond 6.8 mg/dL, a person is considered to develop hyperuricemia or gout.
Uric acid monitoring may also be necessary if a person is receiving radiation treatment or chemotherapy. This is because these treatments have high possibilities of increasing the uric acid amount in the blood stream.
Therefore, the test is important to ensure that the levels of uric acid in the body remain stable. Medical professionals recommend that constant monitoring of the body’s uric acid level should be done at least every six months. Through this, you will be able to minimize the possibilities of developing gout or kidney-related diseases.
Monitoring the level of uric acid in the body is usually done through blood sampling.
After undergoing a uric acid test, it is highly recommended to consult your attending medical professional about the result so you will be given the appropriate diagnosis and medicines if needed.