Disturbed levels of uric acid in the urine is a reason to worry about. Let’s see the causes, symptoms, and treatment of low uric acid prevailing in the condition known as hypouricemia.
Apart from nitrogen and urea, which are the main excretory products of urine, uric acid or urate is a major one. It is basically an organic compound of the enzyme xanthine oxidase, obtained from xanthine and hypoxanthine. It is involved with purine metabolism, making it an important component of the DNA and RNA. The degradation of purines forms this acid, which is transported to the kidneys via blood. Its optimum levels in the body are a prerequisite, since they facilitate cell integration and regeneration and act as antioxidants. Excess quantity can lead to a condition termed as hyperuricemia, causing gout and other kidney problems. On the other hand, hypouricemia is caused due to less secretion of this acid by the kidneys, and is not as severe as the former. In mammals, it is oxidized to allantoin, whereas it is the main excretory product in birds and reptiles. In the following paragraphs, you will see the causes, symptoms, and treatment of low uric acid.
One of the aspects involved in low uric acid levels are the mineral deficiencies. Studies have proven that these low levels are related to molybdenum, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 deficiencies. This is not a disease; rather, it is associated with other health problems, like liver diseases, certain forms of cancers, Wilson’s disease, Syndrome of Inappropriate Anti-uretic Hormone (SIADH), Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, myeloma, multiple sclerosis, nephritis, and hyperthyroidism. In very rare conditions, it could be the result of inherited metabolic defects. Many medications, involving ACTH, corticosteroids, salicylates, probenecid, allopurinol, coumadin, sevelamer, and chlorpromazine result in low levels as well. Consumption of the drug marijuana as well as high aspirin consumption is said to reduce the levels too. Pregnant females generally have low levels, making it one of the signs of being pregnant. If these levels are below normal, i.e., 2.4 to 6 mg/dL in females and 3.4 to 7 mg/dL in males, they are considered to be low values. On an average, the normal levels should be 3.6mg/dL to 8.3 mg/dL.
Low levels of uric acid is a symptom by itself, accompanying the above problems. Oxidative stress can be considered as one of the signs, leading to atherosclerosis and strokes, wherein the oxidants are converted to peroxides, as the levels are low. The levels are always detected and diagnosed using uric acid tests, blood tests, and urinalysis.
Since uric acids are commonly a part of purines, the doctor would suggest the patient to feed on purine rich foods as a part of the treatment. Foods, like anchovies, roe (fish eggs); fish, like herring and mackerel, sardines, scallops, mussels; game meats, like goose, duck, partridge; organ meats, like brains, heart, kidneys, liver; and sweetbreads, meat extracts, mincemeat, broth, bouillon, consommé, gravy, yeast (baker’s and brewer’s), etc., are high in purines. Apart from these, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, green peas, lentils, dried peas, beans, oatmeal, wheat bran and wheat germ, whole grain breads and cereals, beef, lamb, pork, red meat, fish, and shellfish have moderate levels of purines. A proper diet is the best treatment. Inosine intake is also recommended by the doctors sometimes. In addition to high purine diet, low doses of some pharmacological drugs, like alcohol, ascorbic acid, aspirin, caffeine, cisplatin, diazoxide, diuretics, epinephrine, ethambutol, levodopa, methyldopa, nicotinic acid, phenothiazines, and theophylline would help by basically getting a person back to his/her normal levels.
The signs are easy to diagnose and when supplemented with a proper diet can help normalize the levels of uric acid in the body.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.