How to control high uric acid levels with single kidney?
Q: I am a 64-year-old gout patient with a single kidney. The other kidney was removed 23 years ago on the suspicion of kidney cancer. Five years after the operation, I started getting gout attacks (on left big toe) and the frequency increased with time. After taking Zyloric tablets regularly, the attacks subsided. The uric acid levels are 6.5 mg/100ml while taking Zyloric. I have stopped taking Zyloric for the last one year. There are no gout attacks since then, but the uric acid levels remain high as 7.6 mg/100ml. This is worrying me a lot. A local doctor said that since I only have one kidney, the uric acid levels of 7.6 are normal and I should not worry unnecessarily as there are no signs of gout attacks. Is it true that people having one kidney, may have high uric acid levels as compared with people with two kidneys? What are the tolerable levels for people with one kidney?
A:1. You have one kidney and we must keep you under strict follow up in order to ensure that the only kidney remains in good shape and keeps you healthy. This is important as the uric acid or for that matter any kind of stones in kidney could cause silent damage to the kidney. Your urologist should perform renal functions, ultrasound and a renal scan periodically to know that every thing is going on well. 2. As regards to the gout and high uric acid level. To the best of my information, normal levels of the serum uric acid has no relationship with the number of kidneys one has. You must seek advice of rheumatologist who would be able to tell you what should you do to keep your levels within the range and not suffer any set back on account of gout. 3. Since you are a known high uric acid person, keeping your urine alkaline and consuming enough fluids (even during night once before you go to bed as well as once you get up) to ensure 2 litres of urine out put would prevent uric acid crystallisation.