I list a range of risky uric acid levels in my Uric Acid Levels Chart. When uric acid levels are over 6mg/dL, you remain at risk of a gout attack. You might be OK, but you might suffer the dangers of uncontrolled gout. Before I explain the risks, let’s look at the numbers.
Risky Uric Acid Levels Measurement Scale
Uric acid numbers always come with a measurement scale. The most predominant scale is mg/dL, but other scales are used, and mixing them up makes the numbers meaningless.
In construction, you might confuse centimeters and inches. In gout, you might confuse mg/dL with mmol/L or with μmol/L.
It should be obvious as mg/dL is usually in single figures or tens, mmol/L is usually in decimal fractions, and μmol/L is usually in hundreds. Unfortunately, people remember the numbers and forget the scale. I’ve heard from many gout sufferers who think risks are low because they remember their uric acid number as “under 7,” If they actually mean 0.70 mmol/L, they are in dangerous territory.
Always be sure of your uric acid number, and always quote the measurement scale.
Risky Uric Acid Levels
I define the risky uric acid levels range as:
6.1 to 7.2mg/dl or 0.36 to 0.43mmol/L or 363 to 428μmol/L
You can convert uric acid concentration between different measurement scales with my uric acid calculator.
Risky Uric Acid Levels Warnings
In my opinion, this risky range is the worst there is for uric acid levels. It is not the worst range for gout, but it is the worst range in practical terms for getting proper treatment. Above this range, most doctors will help you get gout under control. In this risky uric acid levels range, you might find adequate gout treatment hard to get.
As I have explained in safe uric acid levels, 5mg/dL is recognized by most professional rheumatologists. Unfortunately, most frontline doctors are not familiar with these recommendations. Regular reader will be aware of my distress and contempt for “normal” uric acid levels. The confusion between a statistical average (around 7mg/dL), and an acceptable medical maximum (5mg/dL) means that gout patients suffer more than they need to in two important areas:
- When gout symptoms are examined as gout is first suspected, reliance is often placed on uric acid blood test results. The common misdiagnosis is “It can’t be gout because uric acid is in the normal range.”
- If gout symptoms are diagnosed correctly, uric acid lowering treatment should be started to make uric acid levels safe. Unfortunately, many doctors do not prescribe a high enough dose, settling for results that fall in the risky, or dangerous “normal” range.
If your uric acid levels are in the risky range, you have a chance of getting gout attacks. The further you move up the scale, the greater the risks become. If you are in the 6 to 7 range, you need to stop and think about how you will proceed. Either take steps to get uric acid lower, or risk more gout attacks. As you will see in my explanation of dangerous uric acid levels, the higher up the scale you choose to go, the more you risk serious, even life-threatening, consequences.
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