A crystalline product of protein metabolism, uric acid is found in blood, as well as urine. The following article provides information on the normal uric acid levels in urine.
Uric acid is the result of breakdown of purines. Most of it is eliminated from the body through urine. However, its levels could increase due to certain underlying medical disorders. Under such circumstances, there could be a rise in its levels in the urine. On the other hand, the concentration of this acid in the urine would be less, if the kidneys are unable to remove it from the blood.
Test and Diagnosis
A sample of urine is collected over 24 hours. It is analyzed to determine the amount of uric acid that is present in the urine. The requirement of such as test arises to diagnose conditions such as kidney stones. Patients are advised to drink plenty of fluids 24 hours prior to the test. They are also advised to restrict the use of alcohol before the test. Patients must inform their doctors regarding the drugs that they have been taking.
The normal levels in a 24-hour urine sample fall in the range of 250 – 750 milligrams (mg). The value is higher in men than in women.
High levels could be indicative of problems in the working of kidneys, leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Medical disorders like sickle cell anemia, heart disease, etc., and cancer treatment may also cause the same.
Other causes may include:
- Lead poisoning
- Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (rare)
- Liver disorders
- Underactive thyroid gland
Consuming a diet rich in purines increases the risk. The use of certain medications such as water pills, vitamin C supplements, niacin, and those which are used in the treatment of leukemia, lymphoma, etc, could also cause the level to increase.
Low levels of uric acid may be an indicator of kidney damage or disease, because of which the acid is not getting excreted from the body through the urine. It could even be observed in case of alcohol abuse. Also, a diet that is low in protein or deficient in folic acid, may cause the same condition. The use of allopurinol, certain diuretics, or insulin could also affect the process of its elimination through urine.
Since abnormal levels of uric acid in urine are indicative of medical conditions, further testing is required to identify the underlying cause. Drug therapy coupled with the necessary lifestyle changes will certainly prove beneficial.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.