Go For Six

Don’t know your serum uric acid number? You may be at risk for gout.

Gout is a painful form of inflammatory arthritis resulting from deposits of uric acid crystals in joints and other tissues. Today, more than 8.3 million Americans are living with gout – a number that has increased sevenfold over the past five decades. Unfortunately, just 10 percent of gout sufferers are getting needed, ongoing treatment.

It’s normal to have some uric acid in your body – but too much could increase your risk for gout and related health issues, including kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes.

Through the “Go for Six” campaign, the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society is raising awareness about the importance of knowing your serum uric acid (sUA) level – especially if you have gout or other health issues impacted by elevated uric acid – and helping you set a goal to keep your levels to 6.0 mg/dL or below.

The Gout & Uric Acid Education Society recommends that all patients work closely with their physicians to have sUA levels checked every six months and determine any medications or lifestyle changes that may need to take place in order to help keep sUA levels within a normal range. Your physician will determine the optimal sUA level that you should reach – whether it be 6.0 mg/dL or lower. In advanced cases of gout and hyperuricemia, sUA levels should typically be around 5.0, 4.0 or even 3.0 mg/dL.

Maintaining a healthy sUA level of 6.0 mg/dL or below is vital to minimizing risk for gout.

Like other healthy benchmark numbers for blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol and blood sugar, this one is important, too. While sUA testing is not a part of the standard blood panel today, it is critical for those who have or who are at risk for gout.

Ask your doctor for a routine sUA blood test, and know your number.

Know Your Healthy Benchmark Numbers

When it comes to gout and uric acid, the number to shoot for is 6.0 mg/dL or below – but make sure you’re keeping track of these other healthy benchmarks, too!

    • 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

Gout & Other Health Issues

Left untreated, gout can lead to permanent joint damage. There are other serious health issues associated with untreated gout and hyperuricemia, which is why early detection, treatment and ongoing monitoring are important.

Extensive destruction of the joints and large collections of uric acid under the skin, called tophi, can lead to deformities – particularly to the hands and feet – and lead to loss of normal use.

Obesity, diabetes, heart problems and kidney problems are also associated with gout. Read more about gout and other health issues here.