Gout (Uric Acid)
Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It’s characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe and often at night.
Gout can develop in individuals who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. Everyone reacts to the amount of uric acid built up differently; if you have normal levels of uric acid, you may still experience the symptoms of gout.
What does this test measure?
This test measures the level of uric acid in the blood or urine. Uric acid is produced by the breakdown of substances called purines found in the cells of the body and in the food we eat.
Most uric acid is filtered by the kidneys and removed from the body in urine. If too much uric acid builds up in the blood it can form into crystals in the joints, causing gout. Excess uric acid could also cause the development of kidney stone or, in extreme cases, cause kidney failure.
Is this test right for me?
- If you have joint pain or other symptoms that your healthcare professional suspects may be due to gout
- If you have recurrent kidney stones
What can be done to lower my uric acid?
Avoidance of foods and some drinks high in purines and uric acid may help, such as:
- Organ meats: Liver, Kidney
- Anchovies, Sardines, Mackerel, Herring
- Dried beans/peas