Role of Uric Acid in Kdney Disease

Excess uric acid deposition in the body causes three types of kidney diseases including acute uric acid nephropathy, chronic urate nephropathy and uric acid nephrolithiasis. Factors that lead to uric acid deposition in blood include diuretic medications; alcoholism; genetic tendency; hypothyroidism; immune-suppressants; niacin; obesity; purine rich diet; and tumor lysis syndrome.

Acute uric acid nephropathy: Rapid decrease in kidney functioning is seen due to formation and accumulation of uric acid crystals in renal interstitium and tubules leading to obstruction in kidneys. Treatment is done using diuretics like furosemide that increase urination and prevent uric acid deposition. Urinary pH is also alkalized using sodium bicarbonate or acetazolamide as a treatment option. If these fail then dialysis becomes necessary.

Chronic urate nephropathy: Uric acid crystals deposit in the interstitium and distal collecting ducts. It is seen in people with chronic gout eventually leading to kidney failure. Emphasis of the treatment is on checking the risk factors for kidney failure like high blood pressure or diabetes.

Uric acid nephrolithiasis: This refers to kidney stones formed due to deposition of urates and phosphates. Symptoms include sudden extreme, cramping and radiating pain in lower back region and side, groin and abdomen. Treatment methods include lithotripsy, stone surgery, ureteroscopy, PNL, lithoclast and dietary reduction of purine and increase in fluid consumption.

Natural therapies that can be used to reduce uric acid in the body and subsequent kidney disease include:

v  Nettle root: Potassium present in this herb helps to dissolve the uric acid crystals which are then excreted with urine. Its vitamin C content is also beneficial in reducing uric acid levels. You can use the herb in soups, infusion teas and its liquid extracts and tinctures are also available.

v  Baking soda: As it is alkaline in nature it neutralizes the extra uric acid and prevents its deposition. You can add half a teaspoon of baking soda in 1 glass of water and drink it 3 to 4 times a day. However as it is high in sodium hypertensive people should avoid it.

v  Lemon juice: Juice of half a lemon added to a glass of water can be taken thrice a day to alkalinize the body and reduce discomforts of uric acid kidney disease.

v  Basil: Consume basil leaves juice along with honey daily. This not only serves as an effective diuretic but also keeps a check at our uric acid levels and cleanses as well as strengthens the kidney.

v  Cranberries and cranberry juice: Presence of optimal amounts of vitamin C, anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus in cranberries and its juice, makes them useful in enhancing kidney functioning, dissolving uric acid crystals and regulating the blood pressure.

v  Dandelion: A decoction made using dandelion roots and leaves is good for correcting kidney disease by virtue of its diuretic properties.

v  A low calorie diet rich in complex carbohydrates, low in meats, high in fruits and vegetables is effective in controlling uric acid levels in our blood. Low fat milk products should be the main source of proteins. Purine rich vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms and legumes should be taken in moderate amounts. Consumption of pork, lamb, shellfish, sardine, tuna and herring should be limited.