About Hypouricemia

What is Hypouricemia?

What is Hypouricemia?

There are more people who are diagnosed with hypouricemia based on lower uric acid levels than normal. Many people may anxiously think, “hyperuricemia may cause gout, but what about hypouricemia?”

Lower Blood Uric Acid Levels without Subjective Symptoms

Hypouricemia is a condition in which the blood uric acid levels fall below the normal levels. Human blood contains uric acid as a component, and if the blood uric acid levels become higher than 7.0 mg/dL(100 mL), it is called hyperuricemia, and if they become lower than 2.0 mg/dL is definite hypouricemia.

There have been people with lower blood uric acid levels, and it has been thought that no treatments are necessary since lower uric acid value itself does not cause diseases. In addition, there are no symptoms that people can recognize themselves. Based on the above, even if a person is found to have low uric acid levels from examinations, they would live without knowing it because it was rarely pointed out.

Complications of Hypouricemia

Low uric acid levels, however, are starting to get pointed out more than before because the pathology of hypouricemia has been slowly revealed with the progress of research. Although low uric acid levels are not a direct cause of diseases, it has been revealed that some complications are more likely to occur depending on the diseases that are causing hypouricemia.

There are 2 major complications of hypouricemia.

One is exercise-induced acute renal failure, which tends to develop in a person with renal hypouricemia, and the other is urolithiasis. However, these complications are not necessarily developed in all patients with renal hypouricemia, and it is thought to develop under specific conditions. Approximately 10% of patients experienced complications. In addition, the prognosis of exercise-induced acute renal failure is generally favorable, and the majority of patients can return to their normal lives after 1 week – 1 month of treatment.

Exercise-induced acute renal failure is considered to develop when multiple, specific conditions are met, such as conducting intense anaerobic exercise, dehydration, and administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)*1. Based on the above, patients with renal hypouricemia should avoid intensive exercise as much as possible and stay hydrated. Staying well-hydrated is also helpful for the prevention of urolithiasis.

Xanthinuria, another asymptomatic disease of hypouricemia, may cause urolithiasis as a complication. Although many cases of complications of urolithiasis with xanthinuria are reported internationally, there seems to be a lower number of cases in Japan. This may be due to the diet and climate of different regions. To prevent urolithiasis, staying hydrated is recommended.

Although there are some precautions to take to prevent complications, hypouricemia had been considered to have no problem for a long time. In addition, there is no treatment for hypouricemia to date. Even if you are informed of low uric acid levels, there is no need for you to be too concerned, and you can live your daily life as long as you pay attention to some necessary precautions.

*1 NSAID: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (drug which has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, or antipyretic action)