Our body produces uric acid naturally when cells are broken down and also from the food we eat. Under normal circumstances, our blood absorbs the necessary uric acid and the excess is passed out with the urine.
Too much or too less of uric acid can lead to various types of sickness.
High levels of uric acid can cause a painful arthritis like condition called gout; it can be a reason for kidney stones or may even be an indication of cancer. Some cancer treatments such as chemotherapy can also cause the uric acid levels to go high due to the increased cell breakdown process. This may also occur if you are eating a purine rich diet. Food and drinks such as sardines, mackerel, anchovies, liver, legumes, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, mushroom, beer and wine contain a high amount of purine.
Low levels of uric acid may be an indication of liver disease and also some types of cancer. It also may be an indication of a syndrome called as the SIADH or 'Syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone'.
The blood uric acid is measured in a scale called mg/dL or 'milligrams per deciliter'. The normal levels of blood uric acid in human beings are as follow:
When the level of uric acid goes above the levels mentioned, it begins to crystallize in the form of a salt called urate. Gout is caused when the urate deposits near the joints. The first signs of gout usually begin with pain in the big toe and slowly it starts affecting other joints such as the instep, ankles, knees, wrists, fingers and elbows.
High levels of Uric acid also cause a skin condition called as Tophi. Tophi are crystallized uric acid found just under the skin and are not painful as compared to gout. They are hardly visible at the onset and may be felt as small lumps. There can be a tendency to ignore Tophi, which is dangerous as it can eventually disfigure parts of the body. Extreme cases of Tophi can also lead to bone and cartilage damage.
Kidney stones are another common problem associated with high levels of Uric acid. They are also known as Uric acid stones. These stones are deposited in the kidney when the excess Uric acid that is not passed as urine crystallizes forming a stone.
No preparation needs to be done by you before taking up a blood uric acid level test. To collect the sample for this test, a medical practitioner will need to take a sample of blood from the vein in your hand. The results for this test are normally available within a day or two.
It is also important for you to note that usage of medicines such as Aspirin can show an increased Uric acid level. These levels also vary during the day and are usually high in the morning and low in the evenings.