Uric Acid Test In Houston
Uric acid test measures the uric acid waste product in the urine or blood samples. The breakdown of purine chemicals in the body forms uric acid. Many foods as well as cells in the body contain purines. The main health problems that the uric acid test diagnoses are gout and kidney stones. Foods that have high purine levels include anchovies, dried beans, sardines, beer, and liver. Only a small part of uric acid in the body dissolves in the blood and most of it moves to the kidneys which then pour into the urine. Labwork360 provides uric acid test in Houston and all other types of medical diagnostic tests and mobile phlebotomy service/at-home specimen collection for them.
Uric acid tests show abnormal results if the body synthesizes excessive uric acid or does not release it sufficiently into the urine. If uric acid does not pass into the urine, then it forms crystals in the joints. This condition is called gout. Gout causes inflammation and pain in and adjacent to the joints and it is a type of arthritis. Other problems that develop due to high uric acid levels are kidney failure and kidney stones.
Prevalence of Uric Acid Stones Problem
Uric acid test is one of the most common diagnostic tests as uric acid stone problems are very frequent. Studies show that about 1 in 10 individuals in the USA develop kidney stones at least once in their life. Moreover, this health problem occurs more frequently in men than in women. The risk of kidney stones for women is 9%, whereas it is 19% for men. Anyone can have kidney stones, though they are more frequent among children.
Why do these stones form?
The most common reason for uric acid stones is drinking less water. Low water levels in the body lead to the development of kidney stones as well as other uric acid stones. Further risk factors include weight loss surgery, chemotherapy, type 2 diabetes, obesity, a diet high in sugar and salt, genetic history of kidney stones, lack of or excessive exercise, and consuming specific medications, such as immunosuppressants and diuretics.
There are two main reasons for uric acid stones. One is the high levels of uric acid in the urine, and the other is the continuous acidity of urine. The high acidity of urine mainly results from problems with the processing of protein or uric acid in the diet. The problems associated with the digestion of proteins and uric acid are often genetic. If the body is unable to digest protein or uric acid, it accumulates in the urine. Gout is also an associated condition that causes people to have painful deposits of uric acid in the joints.
Moreover, certain foods contain high levels of purine. Generally, animal proteins such as eggs, fish, beef, poultry, and pork contain high quantities of purines. Excessive consumption of animal proteins can cause uric acid accumulation in the urine. However, diet is generally not the only reason for the development of uric acid stones, but this problem occurs in individuals who are also prone to developing it. Immune-suppressing and diuretic medications can also cause abnormal increases in uric acid levels. Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy also make patients vulnerable to uric acid stones.
Other problems which increase the risk of uric acid stones are diabetes and obesity as these problems raise the acidity levels of urine.
Uric Acid Crystals in Urine – How Uric Acid Test Detects Uric Acid Stones
High uric acid levels in the body lead to the synthesis of uric acid crystals. Uric acid stones are a form of kidney stones. There are four categories of kidney stones, and uric acid stones are one of them. Uric acid stone crystals are made up of hardened salt and minerals which combine with other materials in the body to form a solid mass. The mass keeps increasing as more substances add to it and it remains in the kidneys or moves through the urinary tract and deposits in the ureter.
These stones form in the urinary tract or kidneys, in the path that urine takes for leaving the body. These stones are painful and cause blood to appear in the urine. Excess uric acid in the body leads to the formation of small stones, which cause pain during urination. Large uric acid stones are treated with noninvasive and invasive treatments such as shockwave lithotripsy and PCNL.
Purposes of the Uric Acid Test
It is necessary to get a uric acid test as uric acid stones increase the risk of kidney diseases. Individuals having kidney stones are prone to experiencing kidney problems in the next 5 to 7 years. The uric acid test is used for diagnosing many types of health problems including:
- Kidney stones
- Monitoring uric acid levels of individuals receiving cancer treatments as radiation therapy and chemotherapy increase the quantities of uric acid in blood samples.
When should you get this test?
If you have symptoms of gout or kidney stones, you need to get a uric acid test. Following are the signs of gout:
- Swelling or/and pain in the joints, particularly in the knee, ankle, or big toe
- Shiny, reddish skin adjacent to the joints
- The warm temperature of joints
A uric acid test is also necessary if you have any signs of kidney stones. These stones cause pain as they cause blockage and irritation inside the urinary tract or kidneys. These stones cause pain in the abdomen and lower back.
- Blood in urine
- Vomiting or nausea
- Bad-smelling or cloudy urine
- Pain when urinating
- Frequent urination
- Pain in the back and abdomen
- Chills and fever
Individuals receiving radiation therapy and chemotherapy for cancer must also get this test as these treatments can increase uric acid levels beyond the normal range. This testing is also to ensure that the patient receives treatment before the uric acid levels turn too high.
Labwork360 provides mobile phlebotomy service for most of its lab tests including the uric acid test in Houston. This service can be ordered within a 10-mile distance from the centers of the lab.
Uric Acid Stones – Methods to Diagnose Them
A uric acid test is performed on blood or urine samples. Additionally, the doctor asks the patient about their medical history and conducts a physical exam. Further, the healthcare provider prescribes diagnostic procedures, including urine tests, blood tests, stone analyses, and imaging. Blood testing can detect excessive calcium or uric acid in blood samples and it also rules out other possible conditions which cause similar symptoms. A 24-hour urine test is also used for examining uric acid and calcium levels. The details about the uric acid stones in the urinary tract are found by performing ultrasound or a CT scan. These scans are very precise and detect even minute stones. An abdominal X-ray is not used to screen for kidney stones as they can miss detecting smaller stones. Further, the uric acid stones are analyzed at the medical laboratory to determine the cause of the formation of these stones.
High Uric Acid Levels – Treatment
The most common treatment for uric acid stones is drinking plenty of water as a lack of water in the body is the main reason for their synthesis. Drinking water reduces the mineral concentration in urine as fluids dissolve those minerals. Exercising and sweating also cause the body to lose fluid so it is necessary to drink water in appropriate quantities to replenish the fluid levels in the body.
The other treatment is through medications that decrease the uric acid levels in urine and blood and maintain the urine alkaline, rather than acidic. Medicines are also used for dissolving uric acid stones. In certain cases, surgical procedures are used for treating uric acid stones. This is the treatment when kidney stones are very large, or when they obstruct the path of flow of urine, cause infection, or remain in the body for four to six weeks after their development.
Uric Acid Test in H at Labwork360
Labwork360 provides comprehensive diagnostic testing services in Te. We also provide mobile phlebotomy services for almost all diagnostic tests including the uric acid test in Houston. For more information, visit our website, or consult with us on our helpline.
Does the uric acid test require a specific preparation?
No, you do not require any specific preparation before having the uric acid testing
Are there any risks to having uric acid testing?
No, there are not any specific risks to having a urine test or uric acid blood test.