A uric acid blood test, also known as a serum uric acid measurement, determines how much uric acid is present in your blood. The test can help determine how well your body produces and removes uric acid.
Uric acid is a chemical produced when your body breaks down foods that contain organic compounds called purines. Foods and beverages with a high purine content include:
Purines are also created through the natural process of cell breakdown in the body.
Most uric acid is dissolved in the blood, filtered through the kidneys, and expelled in the urine. Sometimes, the body produces too much uric acid or doesn’t filter out enough of it. Hyperuricemia is the name of the disorder that occurs when you have too much uric acid in your body.
High levels of uric acid are associated with a condition called gout. Gout is a form of arthritis that causes swelling of the joints, especially in the feet and big toes. Another cause of hyperuricemia is increased cell death, due to cancer or cancer treatments. This can lead to an accumulation of uric acid in the body.
It’s also possible to have too little uric acid in your blood, which is a symptom of liver or kidney disease. It’s also a symptom of Fanconi syndrome, a disorder of the kidney tubules that prevents the absorption of substances such as glucose and uric acid. These substance are then passed in the urine instead.
The following may interfere with your uric acid test results:
certain medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Motrin)
high levels of vitamin C
dyes used in X-ray tests
Tell your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements you’re taking.
You may need to fast (refrain from eating or drinking) for four hours before the test.