When the body breaks down purines, uric acid is created. Purines are found in certain foods and drinks, including beer, wine, anchovies, mackerel, dried peas and dried beans, and liver. Uric acid typically dissolves in the blood stream, and then passes through the kidneys and is excreted in urine. An abnormal level of uric acid in blood may be caused by certain foods, drinks or drugs. Uric acid levels can become too high, if uric acid is not excreted properly, or too low, if your body does not produce enough uric acid when breaking down purines.
Normal Amounts of Uric Acid
According to Medline Plus, a normal patient with no illness or other uric acid problems typically has between 30 and 7.0 mg/DL of uric acid in the blood. An abnormally high level of uric acid is called hyperuricemia. An abnormally high or abnormally low level of uric acid can cause or be symptomatic of illness.
Testing for High Levels of Uric Acid
According to Medline Plus, uric acid levels in the body are tested through the use of a blood test. Blood is typically drawn from the inner elbow or back of the hand. The blood test is then analysed to determine whether you have the appropriate levels of uric acid in your body.
Drugs Increase Uric Acid Levels in Blood
Certain foods and drugs can increase the level of uric acid in your body. According to Medline Plus, these foods and drugs include alcohol, aspirin, cisplatin, caffeine or other diuretics, abscorbic acid or nicotinic acid, diazoxide, ethambutol, I-dopa, epinephrine, methlydopa, phenothiazine, theophyline and chemotherapy medications.
Drugs that Decrease Uric Acid Levels in Blood
According to Medline Plus, certain drugs can also decrease the level of uric acid in the blood. These drugs include clofibrate, corticosteroids, allopurinol, azathioprine, oestrogen, glucose, mannitol, guaifenesin, warfarin and prohebenecid.
Causes of Hyperuricemia
In addition to drugs and foods, certain illnesses and underlying conditions can cause a higher than normal level of uric acid to be found in the blood. Medline Plus states that these illnesses include diabetes, gout, alcohol addiction, acidosis, hypoparathyroidism, leukaemia, lead poisoning, nephrolithiasis, renal failure, and toxaemia in pregnancy. Excessive exercise can also cause hyperuricemia.
Causes of Lower-than-normal levels of uric acid
Certain illnesses can also cause the level of uric acid in your blood to be lower than normal. The list of illnesses mentioned at Medline Plus includes Fanconi syndrome, a syndrome that causes inappropriate SIADH secretion, and Wilson's disease.
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