Your body produces some waste products in the form of urine and bowel. One such waste material that your body does not require is uric acid. Generally, the kidneys help in excretion of the uric acid through urination. You develop a high uric acid in your bloodstream when your body does not release and eliminate an adequate amount of uric acid. This is directly related to the development of gout.
How would you understand if you have high levels of uric acid? To help you in this regard, you have the uric acid blood test, whose readings can tell the exact condition of your uric acid in relation to its normal range. Since many of you barely know how a uric acid blood test can help you, we have come up with a blog on the same.
In this blog, we will share a detailed analysis of the uric acid blood test including its procedure, preparation, uses, and many more. Therefore, read more to know what this blog has in store for you.
Understanding the working of uric acid
The way uric acid forms and functions in your body determines whether you need a uric acid blood test. To learn more about the working of uric acid, let’s take a look at some of the points given below:
- After consuming food, your body breaks them down and releases a chemical known as uric acid. This chemical fluid has some organic compounds that contribute to uric acid. It is known as purines. Foods like wine, beer, dried beans, mackerel, liver, and anchovies, have high concentrations of uric acid.
- Another method that yields to the making of purines in your body is through cell breakdown. This is a natural process and creates more purines that ultimately add up to your uric acid level in the bloodstream.
- A portion of uric acid gets dissolved in the blood. Here, the kidneys play two vital roles – first, it filters the uric acid and second, it expels uric acid into the urine to eliminate it from the body.
- When your body produces uric acid in excess or it does not get dissolved in the blood and filtered through the kidneys, it turns into a health condition known as hyperuricemia or high levels of uric acid.
- A person with a high level of uric acid is sure to suffer from gout. It is a kind of arthritis where you can experience joint swelling and pain in the feet and toes.
Why conduct the uric acid blood test?
The purpose of undergoing the uric acid blood test are as follows:
- To monitor and diagnose gout and inflammation
- To find out the reason behind the development of a kidney stone
- To diagnose if there are any malfunctions in the kidney
- To check the condition of kidney function right after an injury
- To monitor people undergoing radiation or chemotherapy
Some health issues can also make you undergo uric acid blood tests. Such health problems are as follows:
- If you have swelling or joint pain associated with gout
- If you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment at present
- If you had an experience of having a kidney stone in the past
- If you have just begun a chemotherapy
- If you have had gout in the past
How to prepare for the uric acid blood test?
Before you go for the uric acid blood test, the doctor will come up with a series of instructions to get accurate test results. Consuming certain foods and beverages can interfere with the seamless analysis of the test. These obstructions include the following:
- High level of vitamin C
- Some medications like ibuprofen and aspirin
- Contrast dyes
How to perform the uric acid blood test?
The entire process of collecting the blood sample for the uric acid test is known as venipuncture. Here are the steps to perform your uric acid blood test:
Step 1: The first step begins with using an antiseptic to sterilize the area. To collect blood samples, generally, the doctors choose the back of the hand or inner elbow.
Step 2: The second step caters to tying an elastic band around your arm, precisely right above the inner elbow. This helps the healthcare professional or the doctor to visualize your vein well.
Step 3: In the third stage, the healthcare professional inserts the needle into your vein to collect an adequate amount of blood. Sometimes, the medical professional attaches the needle to a vial or uses a test tube to store the sample blood.
Step 4: After the sample collection, the healthcare professional will untie the elastic band and take off the needle from the arm. If required, the professional will ask you to use a bandage to prevent bleeding.
Step 5: In the final step, the healthcare professional will send your blood sample to the lab for proper testing and scrutiny.
Results of the uric acid blood test
The uric acid levels vary from person to person and are determined by two essential factors:
- Your gender
- Your lifestyle
Let’s take a look at the normal range of uric acid.
- The normal level of uric acid for women ranges between 1.5 to 6.0 mg/dL.
- The normal level of uric acid for men lies between 2.5 to 7.0 mg/dL.
Some of the causes that lead to the development of hyperuricemia or high level of uric acid are as follows:
- Consuming foods high in diabetes
- Kidney stones
- Kidney malfunctions or disorders
- Bone marrow disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Metastasized cancer
On the other hand, lower levels of uric acid occur due to:
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Wilson’s disease
- Fanconi syndrome
Therefore, heavy accumulation of purines can lead to a rise in the level of uric acid. If you notice anything abnormal or have some symptoms of gout, make sure to consult with a doctor and undergo a uric acid blood test immediately. Stay tuned for more information on uric acid blood tests.