I found that taking uric acid measurements at home is easy. Taking CONSISTENT uric acid measurements is more difficult.
When you don't understand the factors involved, test results tend to seem almost random. However after years of testing, I feel I have a much better understanding of why uric acid levels fluctuate throughout the day:
1) Hydration level. How much you drink has an effect on the amount of uric acid that your kidneys can filter out of your bloodstream. At the same time, being more hydrated dilutes the uric acid concentration in your blood while being less hydrated raises the concentration.
2) Body temperature. After taking a hot shower, my uric acid level increases by about 1.0 mg/dL. I believe this is because uric acid is more soluble in higher temperatures (in the same way that sugar dissolves more easily in hot water than cold water). It also seems to be one of the few times that an elevated uric acid level is a good thing because uric acid crystals are dissolving in the bloodstream and can be filtered out by the kidneys instead of crystallizing in the joints, where they can cause damage and pain.
3) Post-meal purine breakdown timeline. It is not only important to learn how much uric acid level is raised after eating a meal, but how quickly it rises and how long it takes to come back down. This is helpful in determining which foods are safe, which foods contribute to long-term crystal formation, and which foods are triggers for a gout attack. The only way to measure this is to take uric acid readings at regular intervals after eating.
4) Workouts. In addition to raising body temperature (see #2 above), workouts involving muscle breakdown create lactic acid. Lactic acid competes with uric acid in the kidneys for removal, and the kidneys will remove lactic acid first. Since uric acid is removed more slowly, uric acid numbers will be temporarily higher until your body can get rid of all the lactic acid.
I truly believe that getting a uric acid testing meter is one of the best things I did to gain some level of control over gout. Testing allows me to understand how different foods affect my body and why. I also want to know if my medications are working and how close I am to the danger zone of 6.8 mg/dL.
Just for personal knowledge, I have gone through days of testing every two hours, just to see how my uric acid level fluctuates throughout the day. It is usually lowest first thing in the morning, and rises in the day as would be expected due to eating. It usually increases by about 1.5 - 2.0 mg/dL after a meal. Since uric acid crystals from at about 6.8 mg/dL, I target my early-morning test for around 4.8 or less. Anything higher, and I adjust my diet accordingly and drink extra water throughout the day. Continue on to read about the brand that I use for my uric acid testing.
My Testing Equipment
I own both the EasyTouch Uric Acid Meter and the UAsure meter. Both have served me well. Every time I have have my uric acid tested by a lab, I also do a home test as well, and found... Read More →
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