M At The Doctor

Uric acid: Signs of an increase in uric acid

Some symptoms may prompt the doctor to prescribe a blood test to look for an increase in uric acid levels, a hyperuricemia.

In case of urinary calculus, the doctor makes a report in which he asks - among others - the dosage of uric acid in the blood.

In case of joint pain on the foot (big toe), knee, the doctor may also ask for a blood test for uric acid. This joint pain may be a symptom of a gout attack confirmed by a high level of uric acid.

There may also be skin manifestations (concretions under the skin) called "gouty tophi".

It also happens that no sign reveals the elevation of serum uricemia. And it is a blood test that can identify it.

Causes of uric acid too high

Uric acid may be too high for a variety of reasons, and particularly drug-related. Indeed, some medications may increase serum uric acid (such as diuretic drugs prescribed to treat high blood pressure or heart failure). Aspirin can also increase the level of uric acid in the blood.

Other causes are mainly metabolic, related to hereditary factors that cause difficulty in eliminating uric acid (sometimes due to insufficient elimination by the kidneys).

Too high a rate of uric acid can usually be managed by a general practitioner. If this hyperuricemia is not associated with any other particular symptom, or specific pathology, the treatment requires following certain dietary advice and taking medication (against hyperuricemia). For more complex cases, more sophisticated balance sheets may be prescribed. And it may be advisable to consult a rheumatologist, a nephrologist, an urologist or a dermatologist ... depending on the affected organ.

Sources and notes:
> Moreland LW et al, treatment for hyperuricemia and gout? New England Journal of Medicine 2005; 353: 25-057.

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