SCIENCE: Can I have normal blood work and still have gout? Yes!

Dr. Holdren Otis

Dr. Holdren Otis DPM
Dr. Holdren Otis, DPM

Gout is a type of arthritis that affect joints making them red, hot, swollen and yes, PAINFUL. It occurs mainly in men but it doesn’t leave women completely out. A flare can occur out of nowhere, waking you up at night and even the light touch of the bed sheets can cause you to jump to the ceiling. The most common place to find gout is the in big toe joint but it can show up in the knee, ankle and little toes too.
Gout is an accumulation of uric acid crystals in and around a joint. These crystals can be removed from the joint and seen under a microscope, looking like shards of glass, which makes sense because that is exactly how it feels!
When blood is drawn to determine if you have gout, it measures the concentration of uric acid. It is normal to have some uric acid in your blood because it is a breakdown product of some types of foods that you eat. These foods include steak, seafood, beer and some fruits.
If your blood is drawn during an attack, looking for uric acid, it may register as normal. Why? The majority of uric acid is not in your blood, but is in the form of crystals in your joint! It only makes sense. It is better to draw blood a few weeks after the flare has resolved to see if you need to be on a longer term gout medication. It is important to keep this uric acid in check because gout is a type of arthritis and can cause permanent damage to your joints.
Do you have gout flares? If so, there are treatments in the office that can make you feel better quickly! You don’t have to suffer during a flare. Call Fenton Foot Care for an Appointment (810) 629-3338.