can you die from gout - 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




It occurs more frequently in countries that have a high standard of living. Mostly male over the age of 40. Gout affects up to 500000 (1 to 30) of Canadians. Gout attacks usually the big toe (about 75 percent of initial attacks), but it can also affect other joints such as the ankle, heel, foot, knee, wrist, elbow, fingers, and the spine. The most common sign of gout is a nighttime attack of the swelling, tenderness, redness and pain in your big toe. Gout is strongly associated with obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes. Due to genetic factors, the drop tends to run in some families. Gout can be inherited or occur as a complication of another condition. The use of thiazide diuretics used to treat high blood pressure and low dose aspirin may also raise levels of uric acid.


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 Gout Treatment and Prevention Tips 1. Drinking alcohol should be reduced or stopped. 2. Try to keep your weight down. 3. Use helpful devices such as a cart to carry your grocery bags.

Gout Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs suddenly, usually affecting the big toe, and causes severe painful attacks, tenderness and redness in the affected joint. An attack can last days or weeks. Gout is caused by a build up of uric acid which turns into uric acid crystals that are deposited into the joints causing them to become inflamed. The first attack of gout often occurs late at night.

Linda L. Patterson is a living testimony of the soothing affects of cherries on her joint pain. 'I enjoy crocheting and lately my hands have been so painful, I couldn't crochet for more than about 30 minutes.', says Patterson. In an attempt to find relief from her pain, she located Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry capsules, (www.fruitadvantage.com) a supplement made from red tart cherries. 'Within the first week of taking the tart cherry capsules my hands felt so much better.', says Ms. Patterson. 'I am now able to crochet without the pain in my hands.'

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The uric acid blood test is performed on a sample of the patient's blood, withdrawn from a vein into a vacuum tube.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.

The multitudes of health components found in fruit are truly a gift from Mother Nature. Here are a few everyday fruits for healthy living in 2005:

A build up of uric acid that develops into gout can result from:

Cherries ' The Supercharged Fruit: Are cherries truly fruit for a healthy you? Recent studies have revealed that cherries offer an assortment of health benefits including the ability to offer natural relief from joint pain caused from gout, arthritis and joint inflammation.

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

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

Sometimes, even if a person lives a healthy lifestyle, abstains from alcohol or drinks it modestly, they can experience a condition that mirrors gout, but is in actuality, a different arthritic condition altogether known as pseudogout. To help you understand the differences between these two, the following is a breakdown of the causes, symptoms and treatments for each condition.

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).

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.

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.

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.

Left untreated can cause permanent joint gout and kidney damage. You can treat gout with drugs. The first line of treatment should be pain relief. NSAIDs may control inflammation and pain in patients with gout. NSAIDs include over-the-counter options such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve, others), as well as the most powerful prescription NSAIDs. Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, given in short courses, are powerful anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of acute gout. The ice can be applied for 20-30 minutes several times a day. Weight reduction may help to lower the risk of recurrent attacks of gout. The best solution is to reduce dietary fat and calorie intake combined with a programme of regular aerobic exercise. Alcohol consumption should be reduced or stopped.

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.

Recent studies have indicated that the antioxidants in fruit provide a whole host of health benefits: the anti-aging power of blueberries and the joint pain relieving properties found in cherries to name a few.

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.

Strawberries: Studies have shown that strawberries can help promote a healthy digestive system and help lower blood cholesterol. A handful of strawberries can go a long way to a helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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.

The wonder of the cherry is the anthocyanins. According to research from Michigan State University tart cherries contain anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, which inhibit the enzymes Cyclooxygenase-1 and -2, and prevent inflammation in the body. These compounds have similar activity as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen.

According to Jennifer LaPointe, Director of Marketing for Traverse Bay Farms, www.traversebayfarms.com 'many of our customers are looking to eat healthier and our gourmet fruit product fit this trend. It's certainly better than fast food.'

Blueberries ' Nature's Top Antioxidant Fruit: Blueberries emerged as the top antioxidant capacity fruit in a laboratory testing procedure called ORAC - Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity developed by the USDA*. ORAC has become the definitive measurement of antioxidant capacity. James Joseph, Ph.D, Chief of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston, is working with blueberries to examine their potential to help improve motor skills and reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging. "The blueberry has emerged as a very powerful food in the aging battle," said Joseph. "Given the possibility that blueberries may reverse short-term memory loss and forestall other effects of aging, their potential may be very great."

 
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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).

Gout is sometimes called the "disease of kings" because it has long been associated with the wrong kind of excess in food and wine, only the rich and powerful could afford. Gout is one of the most common forms of arthritis (inflammation). Gout is the state resulting from uric acid crystals in the filing of body tissues. Gout is characterized by an overload of uric acid in the body and recurring attacks of inflammation (arthritis). The chronic gout can lead to hard nodule deposits of uric acid in and around the joints, decreased renal function and kidney stones. Gout affects about 1 in 100 people and less than 6 to 7 per cent of older men. Men are more likely to find that women are the drop, but women are becoming more sensitive to the drop after menopause.

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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.

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.

Further investigations revealed that daily consumption of cherries has the potential to reduce the pain associated with joint inflammation. Many are choosing to drink cherry juice, eat cherries or consume tart cherry pills for relief of gout, arthritis and joint pain.

Traverse Bay Farms sells Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry capsules, cherry juice concentrate and a variety of dried fruit products including: cherries, blueberries, red raspberries, strawberries. The company may be contact for additional information or interviews at 1-877-746-7477 or www.traversebayfarms.com



6. Vitamin C, taken in high doses, can help decrease blood uric acid levels.


7 NSAIDS such as indomethacin (Indocin) and naproxen (Naprosyn) are effective anti-inflammatory medications for acute gout.

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.

4. Applying heat helps relax aching muscles, and reduces joint pain and soreness. 5. Applying cold helps to lessen the pain and swelling in a joint.

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



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.

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.

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.

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.

Terry Johnson, a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan, munchies on dried blueberries for the convenience and taste. 'I work behind a computer for eight hours a day and I like to snack. I began eating dried blueberries instead of a candy bar from the vending machine. Now I feel good when I snack because I am eating fruit instead of candy.'

Healthy Eating for Healthy Living in 2005 Eating healthy is fast becoming a way of life. American's are living longer, however, the goal of many is not to simply live longer, the goal it is to live a longer and healthier life. Simple everyday fruit can help.

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


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