When the body decomposes substances called purines, uric acid is generated. Purines are produced by the body naturally, although they are also obtained by eating certain foods and drinking certain beverages.
It is true that most uric acid disappears in the blood and the body eliminates it through urine, but if the body generates more uric acid than it should, a problem can be created. This is known as hyperuricemia. Knowing all this, what should I do if I have this condition?
In the event that the body makes too much uric acid or does not discharge enough amoun of it through the urine, crystals in the joints can be formed and cause quite a bit of pain by producing painful swelling all around the joints. This is commonly called gout, but it is not the only result of hyperuricemia. High levels of this can also cause other problems such as kidney stones or kidney failure.
How do I find out if my uric acid level is high?
The best way to find out if you have high uric acid or not is a urine and blood test. This is the most commonly used test to make a proper diagnosis, but the symptoms previous to the test can also give us an idea of what we are dealing with.
The test is generally used to find out if a patient has gout on a regular basis, but it is also used to find the cause of frequent kidney stones or to check the uric acid level in people undergoing cancer treatment.
Ok, but when should I get tested for hyperuricemia?
You don’t have to get tested to find out if you have uric acid if you don’t have some of these symptoms first:
Pain or swelling in your joints, especially in your knee, ankle or toes.
Reddish skin around the joints.
Much warmer skin in the area of the joints, especially those in the lower area.
Sharp pains in the abdomen
Frequent back pain
Foul-smelling or cloudy-colored urine
Nausea or vomiting
Once the test has been performed, it will be possible to determine whether or not you have gout or if this explains the kidney stones. In addition, if you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, you may also want to be tested to get treatment before the levels get too high and more severe pain begins.
Do I have to do anything before running a uric acid test?
In order to take the uric acid blood test, you will not need to undergo any special treatment or diet before having your blood drawn. In the case of a 24-hour urine test, we recommend that you follow your doctor’s instructions closely to avoid an invalid result.