Q:

How can your uric acid be normal and you still have gout?

A:

Quick Answer

Gout results from urate crystals lodging in joints and surrounding tissue, but it is possible for blood tests to show normal uric acid levels even after the body forms these crystals. Confirming gout requires testing fluid from the affected joint to see if the crystals are present, notes WebMD.

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Full Answer

Diagnosis of gout involves demonstrating uric acid is elevated in the blood. However, when the urate crystals form, that uric acid is drawn out of the bloodstream, which is why levels may test low during a gout attack, states WebMD.

Regardless of a person's uric acid levels during a gout attack, the first task of treatment involves pain alleviation. Patients who apply ice to the painful joint and take anti-inflammatory medicines to control swelling and pain find swift relief, according to WebMD. Within a few days, the intense pain from the attack should ease. Uric acid deposits can also form in the kidneys and elsewhere in the body, and the urate crystals can cause permanent damage without treatment.

After the initial pain goes away, long-term treatment of the problems leading to gout involves reducing uric acid levels in the blood so the urate crystals dissolve. The drugs allopurinol and febuxostat reduce uric acid production in the body, explains WebMD. Also, removing such foods as game meat, organ meat, gravy and certain types of seafood from the diet lowers uric acid levels over time.

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