Gout

The uric acid tests help diagnose gout, find the cause of frequent kidney stones, identify a diet that includes too many purine-rich foods and kidney disease. Order yours today from Ulta Lab Tests and get your results confidentially online.     


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Antinuclear antibodies are associated with rheumatic diseases including Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE), mixed connective tissue disease, Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma, polymyositis, CREST syndrome, and neurologic SLE. 

Reflex Information: If ANA Screen, IFA is positive, then ANA Titer and Pattern will be performed at an additional charge.


A Complete Blood Count (CBC) Panel is used as a screening test for various disease states including anemia, leukemia and inflammatory processes.

A CBC blood test includes the following biomarkers: WBC, RBC, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW, Platelet count, Neutrophils, Lymphs, Monocytes, Eos, Basos, Neutrophils (Absolute), Lymphs (Absolute), Monocytes(Absolute), Eos (Absolute), Basos (Absolute), Immature Granulocytes, Immature Grans (Abs)


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Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnostic IdentRA® Panel 2 - Early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ie, diagnosis before significant joint erosion occurs, is difficult. Psoriatic arthritis can also be difficult to diagnose clinically early in the disease process, and there are no specific biomarkers. The 14-3-3η (eta) protein is an emerging biomarker for RA and erosive psoriatic arthritis diagnosis. It may play a biologic role in the joint erosive process. Blood levels appear to be elevated in patients with RA, but not in other diseases including psoriasis, osteoporosis, gout, ulcerative colitis, type 1 diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, Crohn disease, primary Sjögren syndrome, scleroderma, and multiple sclerosis. The 14-3-3η protein, used in conjunction with rheumatoid factor (RF) and cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) antibody, may improve diagnostic sensitivity in the early diagnosis of RA. It may also help differentiate those with psoriatic arthritis joint damage from those without joint damage.


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Elevated RF is found in collagen vascular diseases such as SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Sjögren's Syndrome, and in other conditions such as leprosy, tuberculosis, syphilis, malignancy, thyroid disease and in a significant percentage of otherwise normal elderly patients.

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Serum uric acid measurements are useful in the diagnosis and treatment of numerous renal and metabolic disorders, including renal failure, gout, leukemia, psoriasis, starvation or other wasting conditions, and in patients receiving cytotoxic drugs.


Gout is on the rise, and now over 8 million adults in the US suffer from this painful condition. Gout isn't something you simply take a pill for and forget about.

Gout can cause joint damage and long-term health complications, and a uric acid test can give you the answers you need.

It's time to take control of your health and feel better today. Gout symptoms don't have to control your life.

If you're wondering if you have gout, then keep reading this guide to learn all about gout and the reasons and benefits of a uric acid test.

What is Gout

Gout is as common as it is complex. Gout is a type of arthritis that causes excruciating pain, stiffness, tenderness, and swelling in your joints. Gout typically affects the base of the joint of your big toe.

Gout attacks come on quickly, often waking you up in the middle of the night making you think your big toe is up in flames. Gout comes and goes, and the main cause is due to high levels of uric acid, which forms crystals.

High uric acid levels are usually due to issues with the kidneys and your body producing too much uric acid. Typically uric acid dissolves and passes through your kidneys. But with gout, the balance is disrupted, and uric acid builds up, forming sharp urate crystals in your joints.

Often gout starts silently, only with high uric acid levels. If you catch it in this stage, it's possible to reduce your uric acid to avoid painful attacks.

Risk factors for Gout

The higher your uric acid levels are, the more likely you'll develop gout. Things that increase your uric acid level include:

Your diet can play a massive role in causing gout. Eating a diet full of red meat and beer will dramatically increase your chances of getting gout.

Your weight can also play a part in uric acid production. When you're overweight, your body makes more uric acid, and your kidneys can't keep up with eliminating the excess.

Medical conditions like obesity, untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and kidney disease all increase your risk of having developing gout. But also certain medications you take for high blood pressure like beta-blockers do too.

Men tend to have higher uric acid levels than women, so you're more at risk if you're a man. Men also typically develop gout earlier than women, between the ages of 30 and 50.

If you have family members with gout, then you're more likely to develop it too. Also, having surgery or a traumatic accident can sometimes cause a gout attack.

Causes of Gout

When too many urate crystals accumulate in your joints, you get inflammation and severe pain, known as a gout attack. Uric acid crystals cause gout. When uric acid levels become too high in your blood, it leads to urate crystals.

Your body also produces uric acid when it breaks down foods that contain purines. Purines are found in foods like organ meats, red meat, mussels, scallops, and trout. Purine is also in alcohol, especially beer and any drinks flavored with fructose. 

Signs and Symptoms of Gout

The signs of symptoms of gout come on suddenly and most often in the middle of the night. Symptoms you'll notice include:

  • Intense and crippling joint pain usually in your big toe
  • Pain is most severe for the first 4 to 12 hours
  • Redness and inflammation
  • The inability to move your joint normally

While gout usually affects your big toe, it can affect your elbows, fingers, wrists, and knees. 

If you experience sudden and excruciating pain in your joints, then contact your doctor as soon as possible. Untreated gout leads to joint damage and more pain in your future.

Complications of Gout

Gout can lead to more severe conditions like recurrent gout attacks, which eventually cause significant destruction of your joints. If gout is left untreated, it can turn into advanced gout.

In this case, deposits form under your skin and create nodules that become swollen during gout attacks.

Kidney stones are also a complication of gout. Urate crystals collect in your urinary tract when you have gout. This collection of crystals can cause large stones and kidney damage if left untreated.

Diagnosis of Gout

Your doctor can typically diagnose gout based on how your joint looks and the symptoms you have. To confirm the diagnosis, they will usually order different uric acid tests.

X-rays of the joint are helpful to make sure nothing else is causing your inflammation. Ultrasound imaging can also detect urate crystals in your joints.

Sometimes doctors will also do a joint fluid test. A needle draws out fluid from your joint for microscopic examination.

And finally, your doctor will want you to have bloodwork to check your uric acid levels.

Lab Tests for Gout

To diagnose gout, your doctor will order a uric acid lab test. Higher than normal uric acid levels are a great indicator of gout, but other health conditions need to be ruled out.

High uric acid levels require further investigation, as there could be other causes like leukemia cancers, chronic kidney disease, and pregnancy complications. 

You'll see low uric acid levels with kidney disease, long-term alcohol use, and lead poisoning.

Your doctor may also check a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) and a complete blood count (CBC) to assess your overall health and rule out other conditions.

Treatment for Gout

Treatment for gout focuses on reducing your uric acid levels and reducing inflammation. 

Medications for gout include over-the-counter medications like Advil or Aleve. Doctors will often prescribe you a more potent anti-inflammatory for the beginning stages of a gout attack.

Steroid medications and Colchicine can effectively reduce your gout pain along with drugs like Aloprim, which reduces the amount of uric acid your body makes.

You'll also need to make lifestyle changes like limiting alcohol, eating less red meat, and exercising daily.

Gout FAQS

Did you know gout is among the earliest recognized diseases? The Egyptians first identified gout around 2000 BC, as did Hippocrates in the fifth century BC. 

Hippocrates called gout the "un-walkable disease" and associated it with affluent lifestyles where people could afford fine red meats and alcohol. Throughout history, people also called gout the disease of kings. And having gout was thought to signify wealth and class.

Uric Acid Test

Ulta Lab Tests offers tests that are highly accurate and reliable, so you can make informed decisions about your health.

  • Secure and confidential results
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Order your uric acid lab test today, and your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests.

Take control of your health with Ulta Lab Tests.

Lab Testing for Gout

Gouty arthritis is more commonly just called gout. This condition is a result of the deposition of uric acid, or monosodium urate, crystals kind of like needles. These crystals build up in tissues and joint fluid, resulting in serious pain, swelling, and inflammation. The most impacted joint is typically the big toe of either foot, but gout can also strike the entire foot, ankles, knees, wrists, elbows, and hands. 

Gout attacks might happen sporadically, and they can last multiple days. In an attack, uric acid deposits might accumulate in soft tissues, tendons, and cartilage. They might even form lumps underneath the skin known as tophi. Crystals that accumulate inside the kidneys can result in kidney stones as well as kidney damage. Most gout episodes turn out to be acute, only lasting a few days. However, the frequency and severity of attacks can increase, and some individuals wind up developing chronic forms of gout. 

Uric acid itself is a product from purines being broken down. Purines are compounds found not only in all tissues of the human body, but also in many foods, including anchovies, mushrooms, asparagus, dried beans, and liver. Uric acid is typically carried throughout the bloodstream before elimination through a person’s urine. If uric acid production goes up, an individual consumes high volumes of foods known for robust purine levels; or if a person’s kidneys can’t sufficiently eliminate the present uric acid, then concentrations of it can go up in the blood. This is known as hyperuricemia. If crystals build up in the joints, then they can trigger the pain related to gout. 

Gout is something that happens more often with men than it does with women. It happens more also in adults, typically happening in women after they get to menopause and men past the age of 30. Those with a family history of gout, those who are obese, and anyone with kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension have a higher risk than normal of developing gout. Gout is also known to be associated specifically with metabolic syndrome, which is a term frequently used for describing a set of these symptoms. Drugs, such as aspirin/salicylates, cyclosporine, and thiazide diuretics useful for treating hypertension, can all interfere with the excretion of uric acid. So too, can excessively use of alcohol. 

Gout must be distinguished from other conditions known to result in similar symptoms. These include rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune arthritis; septic arthritis, which results from some joint infections; and CPPD, which was once known as pseudogout but is now calcium pyrophosphate deposition, a condition resulting from deposits of calcium pyrophosphate crystals. Treating any of those conditions differs greatly from the treatments applied for gout management. 

Laboratory Testing

Testing goals include the identification of gout, distinguishing it from any other conditions (like kinds of arthritis which might have very similar symptoms), and the investigation of what is causing higher levels of uric acid in a person’s blood at the time. 

Synovial Fluid Analysis: Used to see symptoms or signals of joint infection, also used for the detection of any needle-like crystals, which are derivatives of uric acid. 

Uric Acid: Used to find heightened concentrations in the blood; when a gout diagnosis is made, then uric acid testing might happen for routine monitoring. 

Basic Metabolic Panel: A BMP is a set of tests useful in monitoring and analysis of kidney function. 

Complete Blood Count: A CBC can determine leukocytosis, where there are abnormally high volumes of white blood cells present and help distinguish between gout and septic arthritis. 

There are other tests, such as ANA, or antinuclear antibody, and RF, or rheumatoid factor, that can be done to rule out various other potential sources for arthritis symptoms. A synovial fluid or blood culture might be necessary if there is suspicion of septic arthritis.