kidney stones facts - 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




Keep in mind that you can obtain the above nutritional therapy by naturally incorporating them into your diet, as they exist in many foods.


Before starting a nutritional therapy regimen for as a natural cure for gout, you should consult your doctor about your decision and ask for specific recommendations and about proper dosage. It is also a good idea to have your doctor monitor your condition when taking anti-inflammatory supplements.


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 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.

Vitamin C - This is an essential antioxidant water-soluble vitamin (found in citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables, etc.) Benefits - Studies have found that high doses of vitamin C can increase urinary excretion of uric acid, and lower uric acid in the blood.

Caution - Not recommended for those allergic to pineapples, pregnant women, those with high blood pressure, kidney or liver disease. This nutritional therapy may not be compatible with other medications and can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It is designed for short-term use.

Quercetin - A bioflavonoid that acts as an antioxidant (found in onions) Benefit - Restrains xanthine oxidase, the enzyme that creates uric acid. Studies have found it to have anti-inflammatory affects.

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.

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 relief of pain is remarkable with some of the anti-inflammatory medicines also called NSAIDS or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. The typical example is indomethacin or ibuprofen. Applying local ice or heat may sometimes help as well as keeping the joint without moving or bumping into objects.

If a person is on many medications, which can cause gout, changing these may help. One common cause is diuretic medications, which decrease leg swelling or edema. Many older individuals are on these medicines and if they get a gout attack they must remember this fact.

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.

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).

What is proper nutritional therapy? The term "proper" has been used to clarify that like any other treatment; nutritional therapy can produce negative effects or be ineffective if used incorrectly, such as -

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.

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.

When looking for low purine foods for your diet, you can find a great variety of things you can have that won't cause any issues with your gout. If you love thick soups, you can have them as long as they are made with low fat milk. Cheese and milk are fine, but again, they should be low in fat. You can also enjoy things like gelatin and a great variety of fruits and fruit juices. Most sweets are just fine, but remember to watch the calories if you are attempting to get your weight down. You can also enjoy things like pasta, and peanut butter is okay for a treat.

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.

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.

Colchicine is typically used if the first line medications like NSAID's do not help but most people have relief of pain ultimately. Even if no medicines are taken the attack will subside in a few days. However if repeated attacks occur there can be lasting damage.

If you wish to learn more about Steve or to request training or nutrition information, please check out his website: http://www.bodybuiltbyvictoria.com

What is the nutritional therapy prescribed for gout relief and prevention? The following is a list of some nutritional therapy recommended for gout sufferers, and includes the benefits and precautions associated with each -

Benefits - Studies have found that high doses of folic acid may help reduce uric acid levels. Caution - Extremely high doses of folic acid can lead to digestive stress and may not be safe for pregnant or nursing women, or those who suffer from seizures, kidney or liver disease.

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.

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

When choosing your low purine foods, you can have some medium purine rated foods with them about once a day if it does not bother you. Those would include some meats like beef, pork, and possibly chicken. Some seafood choices are relatively safe as well. You should experiment to find what bothers you and what works out well. As long as you work at limiting the purines, you are going to feel much better each day. You might want to have lobster bisque on occasion, as long as you limit your portions, and don't have any other medium purine foods for the rest of the day.

Causes Of Gout provides detailed information on Causes Of Gout, Foods That Cause Gout, Gout, Gout Home Remedy and more. Causes Of Gout is affiliated with Laser Printers.

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 caused by the increase in the amount of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is normally removed from the body through the urine, however if it is not excreted it can form crystals, which irritate body tissues like the lining of joints. This will in turn cause inflammation and pain, which is often quite severe.

How can nutritional therapy help gout? Although it is often used as a complimentary treatment with medication, nutritional therapy can help gout sufferers find relief from gout attacks by reducing inflammation. It can also prevent gout from recurring by lowering and controlling uric acid levels in the blood. In addition, proper nutritional therapy is safe to use for most people.

 
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Acupressure can provide wonderful relief for gout attacks and it can be used as a complimentary treatment with medication or with other natural remedies like nutritional therapy. Nutritional therapy is type of natural cure for gout that is based on the belief that food contains the natural medicines our body requires in order to obtain and sustain health.

Under normal circumstances, the purines you find in many foods are broken down into uric acid, and the body gets rid of it without any problems. However, for someone with gout, getting rid of this uric acid is problematic, and the result is painful crystals forming in the joints - leading to gout pain. When this happens, there are medications that can help with the pain, but one of the best things a person can do it to is to find low purine foods and make them a major part of their diet. This can offer much-needed relief for most.

How is nutritional therapy taken? Nutritional therapy primarily includes vitamins and minerals and is usually taken in the form of a supplement.

Looking for some inspiration? The Gout Haters Cookbooks series by Jodi Schneiter are just what you need. Jodi has written three cookbooks that focus on creating delicious meals suitable for all the family that fit in with a low purine diet. Click on the link below for more information:

Folic Acid - This is the synthetic version of Folate (a water-soluble B vitamin that is naturally found in dark leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits) that is used in supplements.

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.

In some gout attacks patients may need joint fluid removed for analysis and during the process can have local numbing medicines injected into the joint. These numbing medicines are also called local anesthetics. Sometimes steroids are injected into a joint to decrease the inflammation.

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



Bromelain - A proteolytic enzyme (found in pineapple) Benefit - Studies have found Bromelain to be effective in reducing inflammation. It appears to be a more suitable choice over other prescription anti-inflammatory meds used to treat gout.

As with all medications make sure you do not have an allergy to them and sometimes taking the medicine with food may decrease stomach upset or gastric distress, especially medicines like steroids.

- Vitamin A - Vitamin E - Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) - Selenium - Evening primrose oil - Fish oil - Aspartic acid

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

You may have a hard time finding new foods to eat at first, but after a while you will get used to reading labels and figuring out what works for you and what does not. Any special diet requires a little thought and work, and the low purine foods diet is no exception. After a while though, reading and deciphering items in the store by reading through the ingredients list will become second nature, and you will become accustomed to knowing how to build your own menu with little thought. Feeling better should be all the motivation you need.

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.

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.

There are some general directions for a low purine diet, but always listen to your doctor's advice in addition to this information. A low purine diet is going to contain almost fifty percent carbohydrates each day, and no more than thirty percent of the diet each day should be made up of fats. The rest should be healthy and lower purine protein sources. Drinks that are normally not allowed on many special diets are actually encouraged. These include soda and coffee. The reason being as that they act as directics, helping your body to flush out the excess uric acid. It's important to drink plenty of water as well to keep your body well hydrated. Alcohol, however, in most forms is not something you should be drinking.

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.

Caution - Taking extremely high amounts of vitamin C may change uric acid levels in the body which can result in an acute gout attack. High doses can also cause other side effects.

Caution - More studies need to be conducted to find out the true benefits and side effects of this nutritional therapy. Other nutritional therapy that is recommended which may prove effective in relieving and preventing gout include:

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.



In some situations steroid medications like prednisone may be needed. The steroids will decrease the inflammation and decrease the chemical responses that cause pain. It is important to know that there are many side effects from all of the medications and you must discuss these with your healthcare provider.

- Ingesting too little or too much of one substance - Ingesting something with ingredients you are allergic too - Combining different products that may not be compatible


Gout Haters Cookbook - The Low Purine Diet


 
 
     
 
 





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