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Welcome to Niugini Medical Services Welcome to Niugini Med-Lab Services website. Specialist Clinician & Pathologist-owned & operated Private Medical Laboratory in Port Moresby city, Papua New Guinea. Please visit us at Sect 83, Allot 11, Leander Street, Manu AutoPort (directly opposite Manu Cash & Carry Supermarket Shop, few meters from POM Grammar/Vadavada Roundabout, Thank you.

Uric Acid/Gout Testing


Question 1. What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis just like rheumatoid or osteoarthritis that is caused by uric acid crystals getting caught in the spaces between the joints of the feet, the hands and some larger joints. The tissue around the joints becomes inflamed, and this inflammation triggers the sensitive nerve endings at the joint, causing extreme pain. Uric acid is a waste product from the body, especially from proteins called purines. It is passed out in the urine by the kidneys, which sometimes cannot cope with the load of uric acid, and this causes a build-up in the body.

 Question 2. What are the symptoms?

The main symptom is severe pain, usually in the hands or feet, especially at the base of the big toe. Sometimes gout can strike in other joints, such as the elbow or the knee. The pain usually comes on without warning, often in the early hours of the morning, and soon the joint becomes so tender that one cannot bear even the weight of the bed-sheets. The inflamed skin over the joint is often red, shiny and dry. The first attack usually involves only
one joint and may last from a few hours to several days, generally about 2 or 3 days depending on how soon treatment is commenced. Sometimes there may be only one attack in a person's lifetime.

 Question 3.  Who gets Gout? 

Almost any person can get gout, because all human beings produce about as much uric acid as the kidneys can handle. However, it does appear to be hereditary and is far common in men, especially between the ages of 30 and it is one of the oldest disorders known to humans, some well-known victims include Alexander the Gr Kublai Khan, Michelangelo, Martin Luther, Isaac Newton Henry VIII, John Wesley, Francis Bacon and Benjarnir Franklin.

 Question 4. How is Gout Diagnosed?

If gout is suspected by doctors blood test is done to check for Uric Acid level. Gout patients may have high uric acid levels. The normal level for uric acid is less than 0.4mmol/L.

 Question 5. What brings on Gout?

Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessarily brought by high living and wealthy lifestyle. Overindulgence in rich food and alcohol can certainly bring on an acute attack in those who are prone to gout. It is associated with obesity and high blood pressure. Some drugs, particularly diuretics (fluid tablets), injury, surgery or starvation can bring on gout but alcohol is the main factor.

 Question 6. What are the risks?

Gout is a curable disease, but if it is untreated it can cause kidney disease, including kidney stones.

 Question 7.  What is the treatment?

The earlier the attack is treated the better. Various medicines are available for treatment of Gout. Your doctor will prescribe what is best for you but may include indomethacin, colcichine, ibuprofen, diclofenac in combination with strong pain killers such as codeine. Aspirin is not recommended for the pain of gout. Bed rest is important. Some relief can be obtained by applying a hot compress or ice to the affected joint. Keep the weight of the bedclothes off the foot by placing a bed cradle or similar object under the bedclothes. Avoid alcohol during attacks.

Since gout may strike only once, no further treatment is needed apart from following the 'rules of moderation'. If gout keeps returning, it will be necessary to go onto tablets that may have to be taken for a lifetime in order to prevent more acute attacks.

 Question 8. How can I avoid Gout Attack?

The following lifestyle changes may assist severity of gout attacks.

restrict intake of food high in purines, especially organ meats (liver, brain, kidneys, sweetbread), shellfish and tinned fish (sardines, anchovies, herrings)

reduce your intake of alcohol

eat a normal, well-balanced diet

drink plenty of water

maintain a normal weight, but avoid 'crash' diets

wear comfortable shoes

get regular exercise

Sometimes doctors will prescribe prophylaxis tablet called allopurinol to prevent attack of Gout especially if you get more severe or frequent attacks.