Uric acid tests measure the amount of uric acid patients have in their system. These tests can help assess the patient’s risk of hyperuricemia and gout. Hospitals and laboratories offer several kinds of tests to determine the uric acid levels of a patient. The following are the most commonly used tests that detect the level of uric acid in a patient’s body:
Urine Uric Acid Test
In a urine uric acid test, a urine sample is taken from the patient and is tested for uric acid content. The urine uric acid test is used to check if the kidneys are able to flush out uric acid from the body.
The normal uric acid level for a 24-hour urine sample is 250-750 milligrams (1.5-4.4 millimoles).
A uric acid test result higher than this range may indicate gout and possible risk of kidney stone formations. This may be due to a diet rich in purines.
A uric acid test result lower than this range may also indicate gout. The patient’s kidneys may be having difficulty flushing out uric acid from his body, even with a normal uric acid production.
Blood Uric Acid Test
In a blood uric acid test, blood is extracted from a patient’s vein using a vacuum through a process called venipuncture. This is a more direct approach to determine body’s uric acid level compared to the urine uric acid test. The blood uric acid test will be able to directly evaluate the level of uric acid in the blood of the patient.
The normal uric acid level in the blood is 3.6 – 8.3 mg/dL (~214 – ~494 µmol/L) for males and 2.3-6.6 mg/dL (137-393 µmol/L) for women.
A uric acid test result higher than this range may indicate a case of Hyperuricemia. This usually means that the kidneys are not able to flush out all the excess uric acid properly. This may mean a higher risk of uric acid crystal formation in the joints which may result in gouty inflammations.
A uric acid test result lower than this range is seldom a cause for concern, though sometimes associated with kidney and liver dysfunctions. It is still advisable to confirm with your doctor if the low level of uric acid in your body is not a result of another ailment/condition.
Pointers to Remember before having your blood/urine tested:
1. Make sure that the urine sample you give to the technician is no older than 24 hours.
2. For accurate results, refrain from eating food from 5 to 9 hours before the test. The food you eat can change your blood and urine’s chemistry and affect the test results.
3. Consult with your doctor before taking the test as he may advice you to stop taking certain drugs that may affect the test results. DO NOT STOP TAKING ANY PRESCRIBED MEDICINE WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR.