If you remember several newsletters back, I talked about optimal and normal levels of lab tests. I did not touch on uric acid, so that’ll be the focus for today.
What is uric acid?
Uric acid is produced as an end product of purine, nucleic acid, and nucleotide metabolism–basically, the levels represent the end product of protein utilization. Most uric acid is excreted in the urine, but the rest is excreted in the stool.
Your body normally produces purines, but it is also found in some foods and drinks such as liver, anchovies, mackerel, dried beans and peas, and beer.
Most of the uric acid dissolves in the blood and goes to the kidneys where it is included in the urine to be excreted. But, if your body produces too much uric acid or is unable to remove enough of it, illness occurs.
Normal values range from 2.2 to 7.7 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), but there may be small variations among different laboratories, so it’s best to discuss your results with your healthcare provider.
Optimal ranges are different than conventional lab ranges (which are broader and referring to “not a disease state” rather than healthy/optimal).
In other words, when you have an abnormal test result based on conventional lab ranges, it may mean you already have a disease. So the conventional ranges just tell you that you haven’t gotten to a disease state yet…even though you may be well on your way! However, the optimal values reflect the healthy (optimal), fully functional state of your body.
In males, the optimal range is 3.5-5.9mg/dl and females 3-5.5mg/dl.
What high levels of uric acid can mean
Too much uric acid in the blood is called hyperuricemia. While this marker is usually used to measure gout, kidney failure and leukemia, it’s very useful for recognizing imbalances in inflammation and metabolism such as:
- chronic inflammatory states including the vascular system
- developing atherosclerosis
- oxidative stress and free radical activity
- rheumatoid arthritis
- renal insufficiency or renal disease
- circulatory disorders such as hypertension and Raynaud’s
- leaky gut syndrome
- thyroid hypofunction
- liver and gallbladder dysfunction
Stress and alcoholism can also raise uric acid levels. Eating lots of purine rich foods form organ meats and dark meat can sometimes raise uric acid levels though isn’t a concern for everyone.
Doing a blood test that includes uric acid levels is one of the ways to check if you have inflammation or metabolic imbalances.
What to do if you have high levels of uric acid
If you have high levels, consider diet and lifestyle factors that could account for that and then choose next steps accordingly–for example, if you have other risk factors for heart disease, it would be wise to get a carotid artery ultrasound and a calcium score test to look at blood flow and potential restrictions to circulation. If you have a high level of stress or eat an unhealthy diet, then those can certainly cause elevated levels. Ultimately, addressing the causes rather than the symptoms is essential.
Drinking plenty of filtered water, eating a clean diet rich in quality protein sources and vegetables, getting 7-8 hrs of sleep each night, moving your body daily, managing stress throughout the day, and optimizing your gut health are some ways to do this.
I will be offering a free online class on Stress and Digestion March 7th. You can sign up here and that will provide you with some great information and next steps for supporting your health.
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
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