Uric acid is a chemical that is naturally created by a healthy body. In normal levels, the presence of uric acid in the blood is acceptable. It occurs when certain foods, medications or substances that are high in purines are broken down. (A purine is a heterocyclic aromatic compound that has a pyrimidine ring and an imidazole ring.) However, if the level of uric acid in the blood becomes elevated, a condition called hyperuricemia occurs, which requires treatment. High levels of uric acid can be caused by eating too many purine-rich foods; by kidney problems that prevent uric acid from being excreted; by certain medications; or by an underlying illness. Treatment involves resolving the underlying illness or treating the hyperuricemia or both.
Normal Uric Acid Levels
The body naturally contains a steady level of uric acid, and no treatment is required as long as the levels of uric acid in the blood are within this normal range. This range is between 3.0 and 7.0 mg/DL. Uric acid levels about 7.0 mg/Dl require treatment of some sort.
Uric Acid Treatment
The easiest treatment for uric acid is to avoid foods and/or medications that are purine-rich and cause the acid to be produced in excess. This may involve avoiding coffee, alcohol, aspirin, mackerel, liver and other purine-rich foods. Some medications, such as chemotherapy drugs, cause elevated levels of uric acid and typically can't be avoided because the drugs provide life-saving treatment. In these instances, if a purine-rich substance can't be avoided, other treatment methods may be required to manage the uric acid in the blood.
Diseases Requiring Uric Acid Treatment
Some diseases also cause elevated uric acid levels in the blood, which may necessitate treatment. Gout, alcohol addiction, acidosis, leukaemia, lead poisoning, diabetes, hypoparathyroidism, toxic pregnancy and diabetes are all diseases or conditions that can cause elevated uric acid levels. If it's possible, treating the underlying condition is the best method of treating the uric acid problems that arise. However, treating or curing the underlying condition is not always possible.
How to Treat Uric Acid Levels
If the underlying causes of the elevated uric acid levels can't be resolved, it is best to treat the uric acid itself. There are a number of different methods of doing so. Some medications inhibit the body's ability to absorb uric acid. Other medications block the body from producing uric acid. These medications may be prescribed as a daily maintenance medication that a patient remains on for years, or as long as the underlying condition causing the hyperuricemia persists.
Uric Acid Treatment Drugs
Allupurionol and febuxostate are medications that are used to lower or prevent the bodily production of uric acid. Probenecid slows the rate of absorption of uric acids and aids the body in disposing of excess uric acid salt. Sulfinpyrazone lowers the levels of uric acid found in the blood. These drugs treat only the uric acid problem, not the underlying condition; so if a patient discontinues use of the medications, the uric acid levels will rise again, remaining elevated as long as the underlying cause persists.
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