Many people equate gout with disease. Though uric acid is a natural compound produced by the body. As long as you can maintain normal uric acid levels, uric acid will not cause problems. What is dangerous is when the levels are high because it can trigger kidney disease and gout or rheumatism.
Uric acid is formed from the decomposition process of purines found in food and drinks. For example red meat, seafood, liver, mackerel, beans, and beer. Then the blood carries purines to the kidneys to be filtered, and the rest is discharged through urine. If the body produces excess uric acid and the kidneys are no longer able to get rid of it, it can invite inflammation of the joints due to the formation of solid crystals in the joints.
To find out what levels of uric acid in your body, it is necessary to do several checks such as a uric acid test in the blood and a uric acid test in urine.
Gout Test in Blood
Blood tests can be done to determine the possibility of gout or inflammation of the gout in the joints due to high uric acid levels. Test results can usually be obtained in a short time (depending on each laboratory), especially when using a wireless gout test kit. Please note that there can be differences in reference values between one laboratory with another. But don’t worry, because usually the laboratory will include the references used. Here is one reference to normal uric acid levels.
- Female: 2.4–6.0 milligrams per deciliter (mg / dL)
- Male: 3,4–7,0 mg / dL
- Children: 2.0-5.5 mg / dL
If your uric acid levels are high, but there are no complaints of gout, you may not need treatment. Conversely, if uric acid levels are normal but experience symptoms of gout, it means that the uric acid has crystallized and needs treatment.
Gout is commonly experienced by elderly people. Men are more at risk of developing gout than women. Consult your doctor if you experience the following symptoms of gout rheumatism:
- Pain in joints that come and go
- Usually most felt on the big toe
- Difficulty walking
- Painful joints appear reddish and difficult to move
- If left unchecked, the pain can last for more than 1 week
Uric Acid Test in Urine
If the kidneys cannot get uric acid out of the blood normally, uric acid levels in the urine will decrease. But high uric acid levels in the urine will stimulate the formation of kidney stones. Therefore a urine test is also needed to determine the possibility of kidney stones due to high uric acid levels.
To do a urine test, note the time you urinated the first time in the morning. This is useful for marking the start time of 24 hour urine collection. Urine from first urination does not need to be stored.
Save urine from the second urination and so on up to 24 hours. Enter urine into the sample bag provided by the laboratory. Take it to the laboratory for inspection. Normal uric acid levels in urine collected for 24 hours are 250-750 mg or 1.48-4.43 millimoles (mmol).
How to Maintain Normal Uric Acid Levels
Some ways that can be done to maintain normal uric acid levels, such as:
- Limit consumption of red meat, seafood, liver and sardines
- Avoid alcoholic drinks like beer and others, but a little wine does not increase the risk of gout
- Try to stop smoking
- Avoid drinks with artificial sweeteners, such as canned or canned drinks
- Processed soybeans should also be avoided.
- Regular exercise. A healthy weight can reduce the risk of gout
- Drink enough water to avoid dehydration.
Do not underestimate gout, if left untreated, gout can lead to conditions that are more serious and dangerous to health. By maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, controlling normal uric acid levels is not difficult to achieve.