You may have heard that gout is caused by excess uric acid in your bloodstream, a condition known as hyperuricemia.1 But did you know that having excess uric acid in your bloodstream can increase your risk of other health problems besides gout?1,2 That’s why you need to know your numbers.3 Read on to find out more about the significance of your serum uric acid (sUA) level and other important health information for people with gout.
Your serum uric acid level
According to the Gout Education Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public and the healthcare community about gout and the related healthcare consequences of hyperuricemia4, maintaining a healthy sUA level of 6.0 mg/dL or below is critical to minimizing gout risk3. For those already diagnosed with gout, the organization recommends sUA testing every six months.3 It also emphasizes the importance of taking medication(s) and/or implementing lifestyle changes that can help you maintain a healthy sUA level.3
Your other measurements3
While a healthy sUA level of 6.0 mg/dL or below is key, other numbers—blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol and blood sugar—are important, too.3 Healthy benchmarks for these are listed below3:
- Blood pressure: 130/80 or less (140/90 or higher = hypertension)
- Blood sugar: 100 mg/dL or below (fasting)
- Cholesterol: 200 mg/dL or below
- HDL (good) cholesterol: 40-60 mg/dL (the higher the better)
- LDL (bad) cholesterol: 130 mg/dL or below
- Heart rate: 60-100 beats/minute
Be sure to ask about these measurements at every checkup and find out how you can maintain them in the healthy range.
What’s your serum uric acid number?
Be sure to ask your doctor to measure your sUA level regularly. Upon reviewing your health history, he or she can help you determine the appropriate sUA level for you. If you’ve had severe gout and/or hyperuricemia for many years, your doctor may recommend that your sUA level be slightly lower than the goal of 6.0 mg/dL—5.0, 4.0, or even 3.0 mg/dL.3
Talk with your doctor
If you suspect you have hyperuricemia or gout, make an appointment to visit your doctor right away. It is important to get the disease under control as soon as possible, and medication may help.3 Consider downloading the Gout Flare Questionnaire (from Resources for Patients), completing it beforehand and bringing it with you to discuss at your appointment.
NOTE: This article was not written by a medical professional and is not intended to substitute for the guidance of a physician. These are not Hikma’s recommendations for gout flare prevention, but rather facts and data collected from various reliable medical sources. For a full list of resources and their attributing links, see below.