Is a Uric Acid Test?
A uric acid test measures the amount of uric acid in the body. Uric
acid is a chemical that’s produced when your body breaks down purines. Purines
are chemicals that enter the bloodstream during the natural breakdown of cells
in the body. They’re also created during the digestion of certain foods, such
Once purines release uric acid. Most of it’s dissolved in the
blood and transported to the kidneys, where it’s removed from the body through
urination. Some uric acid also leaves the body through defecation. When this process
is disrupted, however, your body can produce too much or too little uric acid.
A uric test is often performed to help determine the underlying
cause of abnormal uric acid levels. By measuring the amount of uric acid in
your body, your doctor can evaluate how well your body is producing and
removing uric acid. Your doctor can perform a uric acid blood test
or they can test your uric acid using a urine sample.
Is a Uric Acid Urine Test Performed?
Your doctor will usually recommend a uric acid urine test when you’re
showing symptoms of a medical condition that causes uric acid levels to rise.
An increased amount of uric acid in the urine often indicates gout, which
is a common form of arthritis. This condition is characterized by severe pain
and tenderness in the joints, especially those in the toes and ankles. Other symptoms
of gout include:
- swelling in a joint
- reddened or discolored skin around a joint
- a joint that’s hot to the touch
A high amount of uric acid in the urine can also be a sign of kidney stones.
Kidney stones are solid masses made of crystals. The excess uric acid in the
body causes the formation of these crystals in the urinary tract. The symptoms of
kidney stones include:
- severe pain in the lower back
- blood in the urine
- a frequent need to urinate
- a fever
A uric acid urine test may also be used to determine how well you’re
recovering from either of these two conditions. A uric acid urine test might be
used to monitor your condition if you’re undergoing chemotherapy or radiation
treatment. These treatments can lead to an accumulation of uric acid in the
Do I Prepare for a Uric Acid Urine Test?
It’s important to tell your doctor about any prescription drugs,
over-the-counter medicines, or supplements you’re taking before you have a uric
acid urine test. Certain medications can affect the accuracy of this test,
including aspirin, ibuprofen, and water pills. Your doctor may tell you to stop
taking these medicines prior to the test. Your doctor may also ask you to
refrain from drinking alcohol immediately before and during the test.
Is a Uric Acid Urine Test Performed?
A uric acid urine test is a safe, painless procedure that only
requires the collection of urine. The urine samples need to be collected over a
24-hour period. Your doctor will explain how to collect the urine properly.
The urine collection procedure is as follows:
- On day 1, urinate into the toilet after waking
up. Flush this first sample away.
- After that, take note of the time and collect
all urine for the remaining 24 hours. Store the urine samples in a refrigerator
or other cool place.
- Return the containers to the appropriate person
as soon as possible.
It’s important to wash your hands carefully before and after
collecting each urine sample. Make sure to cap the containers tightly and to label
Once the samples have been collected, the urine is sent to a laboratory
for analysis. The results will be sent to your doctor within a few days. Your
doctor will discuss your individual results with you and explain what they mean
in further detail.
Do My Uric Acid Urine Test Results Mean?
A normal uric acid level in the urine is 250 to 750 milligrams per
Higher-than-normal levels of uric acid in the urine often
indicate gout or kidney stones. Other causes include:
- a diet high in foods containing purines
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- bone marrow disorders, such as leukemia
- metastatic cancer, or cancer that has spread to
other parts of the body
In some cases, the test may show lower-than-normal levels of uric
acid in the urine. This may indicate:
- lead poisoning
- a diet low in purines
Depending on the results, your doctor may need to perform
additional tests to confirm a diagnosis.