High Uric Acid in Pregnancy – Risks, Effects, and Preventive Tips
Having high levels of uric acid during pregnancy is not good for the health of the mother and the baby. Having high levels of uric acid is generally associated with gout, which is a form of arthritis. A woman who has high levels of uric acid is also at the risk of developing serious conditions like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
What is Uric Acid?
Uric acid is a chemical that is created in your body. When you eat certain foods, your body metabolises purines, the substances which the body produces or obtains from the foods such as meats, fish, etc. When these substances breakdown, it forms uric acid. Under normal circumstances, your kidneys come to the rescue to process this acid. But when the uric acid level is high, the kidneys may not be able to remove it completely. Hence, there is a build up of uric acid in the blood.
Normal Levels of Uric Acid during Pregnancy
For a woman who is not pregnant, the normal uric acid levels should be between 2.5 and 5.6 mg/dL. Under normal circumstances, the range of uric acid levels during the first trimester of pregnancy is 2 to 4.2 mg/dL. In the second trimester, the range increases to 2.4 to 4.9 mg/dL and in the third trimester it should be between 3.1 and 6.3 mg/dL. These numbers are a rough estimate as lab results differ from clinic to clinic.
What Are the Risks Associated with High Levels of Uric Acid during Pregnancy?
Having high levels of uric acid in the first trimester of pregnancy can lead to preeclampsia. Increased levels of uric acid during pregnancy may also put women at the risk of developing gestational diabetes. About 4% of pregnant women may develop this condition. If a woman is affected with this condition, her body won’t be able produce and use the insulin hormone to manage sugar levels.
What Are Its Effects on the Unborn Baby?
High levels of uric acid during pregnancy can affect the health of the unborn baby. If a woman has high levels of uric acid during pregnancy, her baby’s weight may be compromised, which can lead to fetal damage or even death. Some of the long-term effects of this condition are hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease among others. If a woman has gestational diabetes, her baby may be develop high blood sugar as well.
What Can You Do About It?
To make sure that your baby is born healthy, you must try to lower your uric acid levels. It is definitely a lot easier to prevent it than to find a cure. But if you have high levels of uric acid while you are pregnant, what you can do is to make changes in your diet. Following a healthy diet, exercising and practising yoga can help you to an extent. There are many foods which work well for lowering high uric acid. Fruits, green veggies, nuts, whole grains etc., can help you lower your uric acid levels. You should also avoid eating junk foods, organ meats, processed sugars, etc.
Preventive Tips That You Can Follow
Keeping uric acid levels under control is of utmost importance for the health and safety of the mother as well as the unborn child. Higher levels of uric acid during pregnancy can lead to severe complications, which is why you must try to control it. To lower your uric acid levels, start exercising regularly. If you have any health conditions, you must inform your doctor about the same. Obesity increases the chances of getting gestational diabetes and hypertension, so maintaining a healthy weight is important. If you are obese, you must exercise and eat healthy foods to get rid of excess weight. Eating healthy, nutritious food and exercising regularly can help you stay fit and can lower any unnecessary complications that women face during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a wonderful time, so make the most of it. If you have high level of uric acid, then don’t panic, because by making simple changes in your lifestyle, you can control it. Make sure eat well, stay away from vices such as drinking and smoking and exercise regularly to keep your body healthy and strong.