uric acid blood test - Uric Acid Testing
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Uric Acid Testing

Definition

Uric acid tests are tests that are done to measure the levels of uric acid in blood serum or in urine.

Purpose




We expect that approximately two-thirds of the Uric Acid to be removed from the body through the kidneys and urinary system. Gout occurs when the Uric Acid is not metabolized properly enough to send it into the urinary system, so the blood levels reach higher proportions. Once there, the crystals may find a cozy joint (usually at the site of a big toe) to gather and collect and proceed to wreak havoc by means of intense, sudden pain and off-the-charts inflammation.


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 During one 12-year study, it was concluded that the risk for developing Gout was significantly increased in participants that drank at least six servings of sweetened carbonated soft drinks per week (these were non-diet sodas).

Urine test

Reference values for 24-hour urinary uric acid vary from laboratory to laboratory but are generally found within the following range: 250-750 mg/24 hours.

Certain foods that are high in purine may increase the patient's levels of uric acid. These include kidneys, liver, sweetbreads, sardines, anchovies, and meat extracts.

Decreased excretion of uric acid is seen in chronic kidney disease, low thyroid, toxemia of pregnancy, and alcoholism. Patients with gout excrete less than half the uric acid in their blood as other persons. Only 10-15% of the total cases of hyperuricemia, however, are caused by gout.

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You can prevent Gout. Follow the steps and tips listed here. To avoid Gout or hasten the process of curing Gout avoid Purine rich foods and beverages such as organ meats, poultry, seafood and products containing yeast.

The Internet Guide: Gout - http://gout.smartadsscrets.com The Internet Guide: Purines - http://gout.smartadssecrets.com/purines

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The laboratory should also be notified if the patient has had recent x-ray tests requiring contrast dyes. These chemicals increase uric acid levels in urine and decrease them in blood.

A common cause of gout is the accumulation of a chemical called uric acid. Uric acid is a normal breakdown product of another chemical called purines. The treatment involves controlling the inflammation, which causes the pain and swelling and ultimately damage to joints. Also, lowering the uric acid level is a logical means to controlling gout.

The treatment includes medicines like allopurinol, which decrease the level of uric acid, or there are other medicines like colchicine, which decrease inflammation. Also there are medicines called uricosuric agents that increase the removal of uric acid in urine. Colchicine works best if taken really early in the attack and sometimes repeat does may need to be taken periodically such as every two hours or so till there is pain relief or a maximum dose is reached or there are side effects like gastrointestinal upset.

Look closer at our every day consumption of liquids and their up close and personal relationship with Gout. Prevention of Gout is not that difficult. What you need is proper knowledge to treat Gout.

But it goes further. Sugary fruits and juices such as apples and oranges appear to carry an increased risk of Gout as well. For the person trying to avoid Gout flare-ups, the ill effects of sweetened soft drinks proved to be worse than hard liquor and almost as negative as beer. Fructose appears to be the culprit, having been found to raise Uric Acid levels.

The uric acid tests are used to evaluate the blood levels of uric acid for gout and to assess uric acid levels in the urine for kidney stone formation. The urine test is used most often to monitor patients already diagnosed with kidney stones, but it can also be used to detect disorders that affect the body's production of uric acid and to help measure the level of kidney functioning.

Abnormally low uric acid levels may indicate that the patient is taking allopurinol or probenecid for treatment of gout; may be pregnant; or suffers from Wilson's disease or Fanconi's syndrome.

The specific dose and the manner of taking these medicines are best discussed with your healthcare provider. Common side effects of these drugs include stomach upset and ulcers from prednisone and ibuprofen type of medications, diarrhea from colchicine and sometimes gout can get worse from allopurinol especially if the person is not on colchicine first during an acute attack.

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There is some benefit to avoiding foods that cause gout but most people who get gout will need medication to prevent joint damage and also prevent future attacks which often happen sooner and are more severe. They can also cause permanent damage to the kidney and joints. The crystals can also deposit on the skin and are then called tophi.

Urine test

Patients should be checked for the following medications before the urine test: diuretics, aspirin, pyrazinamide (Tebrazid), phenylbutazone, probenecid (Benemid), and allopurinol (Lopurin). If the patient needs to continue taking these medications, the laboratory should be notified.

Key Terms

Fanconi's syndrome
A rare disorder caused by vitamin D deficiency or exposure to heavy metals.
Gout
A metabolic disorder characterized by sudden recurring attacks of arthritis caused by deposits of crystals that build up in the joints due to abnormally high uric acid blood levels. In gout, uric acid may be overproduced, underexcreted, or both.
Hyperuricemia
Excessively high levels of uric acid in the blood, often producing gout.
Purine
A white crystalline substance that is one of the building blocks of DNA. Uric acid is produced when purine is broken down in the body.
Uric acid
A compound resulting from the body's breakdown of purine. It is normally present in human urine only in small amounts.
Uricosuria
Increased levels of uric acid in the urine.
Wilson's disease
A rare hereditary disease marked by the buildup of copper in the liver and brain, causing loss of kidney function.

Further Reading

For Your Information

    Books

  • Laboratory Test Handbook, edited by David S. Jacobs. Cleveland, OH: Lexi-Comp Inc., 1996.
  • Mosby's Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference, edited by Kathleen Deska Pagana and Timothy James Pagana. St. Louis: Mosby-Year Book, Inc., 1998.
  • Springhouse Corporation. Handbook of Diagnostic Tests, edited by Matthew Cahill. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corporation, 1995.

Bio



Beer carries the most risk, not only contains alcohol, which can cause dehydration, but it contains Purine as well. As discussed earlier, the higher amounts of Purine roaming in the body, the more Uric Acid will answer the call. And it is the Uric Acid crystals that cause the excruciating pain associated with Gout!

To treat and prevent Gout effectively, switch to water, low sugar juices or diet sodas and drink plenty of them.

Steve Warshaw - Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist With over 15 years expereience developing training and nutrition programs for top level executives from companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, and Symetra Corp, Steve has established himself as a health and wellness expert.

Learning what it takes to successfully cure or treat Gout is as important as knowing the root causes behind it. First you need to understand what causes Gout so that you can avoid Gout as well as treat Gout.

 
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About the author:
Wendy Owen is a natural health writer and researcher. visit her
site at http://www.natural-arthritis-medication.com for
arthritis information and a natural arthritis remedy.

Precautions

Blood test

Patients scheduled for a blood test for uric acid should be checked for the following medications: loop diuretics (Diamox, Bumex, Edecrin, or Lasix); ethambutol (Myambutol); vincristine (Oncovin); pyrazinamide (Tebrazid); thiazide diuretics (Naturetin, Hydrex, Diuril, Esidrix, HydroDiuril, Aquatensen, Renese, Diurese); aspirin (low doses); acetaminophen (Tylenol); ascorbic acid (vitamin C preparations); levodopa (Larodopa); or phenacetin. These drugs can affect test results.

Normal results

Blood test

Reference values for blood uric acid vary from laboratory to laboratory but are generally found within the following range: Male: 2.1-8.5 mg/dL; female: 2.0-6.6 mg/dL. Values may be slightly higher in the elderly.

Description

The uric acid blood test is performed on a sample of the patient's blood, withdrawn from a vein into a vacuum tube. The procedure, which is called a venipuncture, takes about five minutes. The urine test requires the patient to collect all urine voided over a 24-hour period, with the exception of the very first specimen. The patient keeps the specimen container on ice or in the refrigerator during the collection period.

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Sweetened Drinks Americans are drinking more sugary soft drinks than ever, but is there a coincidental rise in occurrence of Gout as well?

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Tip: Counter the ill effects of dehydrating liquids you consume, by drinking more water or decaffeinated teas and low sugar juices. Water is the key to good health. It is the cheapest medicine known to man. And it can take a commanding role to successfully treat Gout.

Alcohol News flash: Drinking alcohol increases the risk for Gout! There is a proven and direct association between alcohol consumption and the presence of Gout. Therefore, if you are an avid drinker, there's no way you can avoid Gout. The risk is greatest for beer drinkers followed by those indulging in liquor, but wine (in moderation) does not seem to have much of an effect on the incidence of Gout.

In addition to preventing Gout's acute attacks, the effects of good hydration helps keep joints lubricated, flushes Uric Acid out of the body and away from the poor great toe and other inflicted joints and prevents or helps kidney stones pass through if present. The kidneys cannot function optimally in a dehydrated state, nor does any system in the body.

Coffee Studies have been conducted that connect the drinking of coffee - and the more of it the better - with marked prevention of Gout in significant numbers of participants. Experts conclude that there is a correlation between elevated insulin levels and the presence of higher Uric Acid levels in the bloodstream. The researchers believe that drinking coffee lowers the level of insulin, and with it decreases the Uric Acid levels. Drink another cup of java and help yourself avoid Gout!

Read on... Water The most abundant home remedy to prevent Gout on the planet is at our fingertips. Water! There is no cheaper alternative to treat Gout. An individual seeking to prevent Gout or curing Gout it would be wise to drink as much as 96 ounces of water per day to maintain hydration and dilution of Uric Acid crystals in the bloodstream.

The cycle of Gout begins with the presence of a substance called Purine, which is formed during the normal decomposition of protein molecules in our cells. A by-product of Purine is a crystalline substance called Uric Acid.

Copyright 2005 Wendy Owen No matter which type of arthritis you suffer from, be it osteoarthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis or any one of the myriad forms of this disease, you need a safe and effective treatment. Attention is turning towards natural arthritis pain relief that is safe and viable for long term use.

Got beer? In order to prevent Gout, treat Gout or cure Gout, you already know the answer!

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Risks

Risks for the blood test are minimal, but may include slight bleeding from the puncture site, a small bruise or swelling in the area, or fainting or feeling lightheaded.



Most of the time the symptom can be controlled by anti-inflammatory medications like naproxen or indomethacin. In severe cases steroids like prednisone may be needed. Some people even need injections into the joints. Fluid from the swollen joints can be removed and analyzed for the uric acid crystals.

Uric acid is a waste product that results from the breakdown of purine, a nucleic acid. (Nucleic acids are the building blocks of DNA.) Uric acid is made in the liver and excreted by the kidneys. If the liver produces too much uric acid or the kidneys excrete too little, the patient will have too much uric acid in the blood. This condition is called hyperuricemia. Supersaturated uric acid in the urine (uricosuria) can crystallize to form kidney stones that may block the tubes that lead from the kidneys to the bladder (the ureters).

Elevated levels of Purine present in the body at any given time, whether due to genetics or a high protein diet, may give rise to elevated amounts of Uric Acid in the blood stream.

So there is natural arthritis relief out there for those wanting to get away from drugs and their side effects or for those wanting more information on arthritis to expand their treatment options. Those natural arthritis treatments are safe, effective and put you in control of the disease. Always remember though to always seek professional medical advice at all times.

Arthritis and Exercise Exercise is great for arthritis as well. Gentle exercises such as yoga, pilates, swimming and walking are suitable. Stretch well before exercising and in the case of an attack of gout, wait until the pain and inflammation has subsided before starting.

Preparation

The uric acid test requires either a blood or urine sample. For the blood sample, the patient should be fasting (nothing to eat or drink) for at least eight hours before the test. The urine test for uric acid requires a 24-hour urine collection. The urine test does not require the patient to fast or cut down on fluids. Some laboratories encourage patients to drink plenty of fluids during the collection period.

If you wish to learn more about Gout, Purines, or Uric Acid, check out Steve's s The Internet Guides. The Internet Guide: Uric Acid: http://gout.smartadssecrets.com/uric_acid

Since our bodies rely heavily on the urinary system to rid us of excess Uric Acid, it is easy to understand why good hydration and fluid balance is so important. The balance of fluids in our systems plays an integral role in Gout prevention, cure and Gout treatment.

Increased production of uric acid may result from eating foods that are high in purine. Increased uric acid levels due to overproduction may also be caused by gout, by a genetic disorder of purine metabolism, or by metastatic cancer, destruction of red blood cells, leukemia, or cancer chemotherapy.

Abnormal results

The critical value for the blood test is a level of uric acid higher than 12 milligrams per deciliter (about 3.4 ounces).

Causes Of Gout provides detailed information on Causes Of Gout, Foods That Cause Gout, Gout, Gout Home Remedy and more. Causes Of Gout is affiliated with Laser Printers.


 
 
     
 
 





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