A uric acid urine test does exactly what it sounds like: It checks how much uric acid is in your pee.
Your body makes uric acid when it breaks down purines – chemicals that are found in your body tissues and in many foods you eat.
Uric acid usually dissolves in the blood, passes through your kidneys, and leaves your body when you pee. But sometimes, too much of this acid stays in your body. Either your kidneys can’t get rid of enough of it or your body is making too much.
High uric acid doesn’t always cause health problems, but it can.
Why Do I Need This Test?
Also, if you have kidney stones, a uric acid urine test is a way for your doctor to figure out what’s causing them. One type of stone is formed when uric acid builds up in your urine and makes crystals that stick together. If the stone is big enough, it can block the flow of urine and be painful to pass when you pee. It could even damage your kidneys (though that usually doesn’t happen).
How Do I Take It?
This is not like other urine tests. It will take a whole day to complete. Your doctor wants what’s called a 24-hour collection.
Here’s what to do:
- When you wake up, pee in the toilet and write down the time.
- For the next 24 hours, collect every drop you pee in the container your doctor gives you.
- The next morning, try to get up at the same time you did the day before. Collect your first morning pee and write down the time.
Keep the container in the fridge in between bathroom visits. After you’re done, take it to the lab. The name of the lab will be included in your doctor’s instructions.
What About Medicines I’m Taking?
Some medications can affect your test results:
- Aspirin (and other drugs that contain salicylate)
- Cyclosporine (sometimes used for autoimmune diseases)
- Levodopa (for Parkinson’s disease)
- Some diuretics (water pills)
- Vitamin B-3 (niacin)
Tell your doctor about any medicines you’re taking. You may need to stop some of them before the test, but don’t make any changes until you talk with him.
Ask your doctor about avoiding alcoholic drinks before and during the test. Alcohol slows down how fast your body gets rid of uric acid.
What Do the Results Mean?
Your doctor probably will call within a few days. He’ll talk to you about your results and may order more tests if they aren’t normal.
Most adults lose between 500 and 600 milligrams (mg) of uric acid in their pee every 24 hours. More than 800 mg is too much if you’re eating a normal diet.
- With blood cancers like multiple myeloma or leukemia
- Who are extremely overweight
- Who are getting cancer treatments or have cancer that’s spread
- With a genetic condition called Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (It makes your body produce too much uric acid.)
Some foods and drinks can raise your uric acid because they’re high in purines:
- Red meat
- Organ meat, such as liver
- Beer and liquor
Your doctor may want you to limit or avoid these foods.
He also may prescribe medication that lowers uric acid. This may prevent a new kidney stone from forming or another gout attack.