I list a range of borderline uric acid levels in my Uric Acid Levels Chart. Though many authorities quote 6mg/dL as a target for gout control, there are some potential problems with this range, and I describe them below.
Borderline Uric Acid Levels Measurement Scale
Before I explain about borderline uric acid numbers, you need to be clear about measurement scale. The most predominant scale for uric acid measurement is mg/dL, but other scales are used, and mixing them up makes the numbers meaningless.
When map reading, you might confuse miles and kilometers. In gout, you might confuse mg/dL with mmol/L or with μmol/L.
It is usually obvious as mg/dL is usually in single figures or tens. mmol/L is usually in decimal fractions. Finally, μ mol/L is usually in hundreds. Unfortunately, people remember the numbers. But forget the scale. I’ve heard from many gout sufferers who think they are OK because they remember their uric acid number as “about 6.” If they actually mean 0.60 mmol/L, they are not definitely not OK.
Always be sure of your uric acid number, and always quote the measurement scale.
Borderline Uric Acid Levels
I define the borderline uric acid levels range as:
5.1 to 6mg/dl or 0.30 to 0.36mmol/L or 303 to 357μmol/L
You can convert uric acid concentration between different measurement scales with my uric acid calculator.
Borderline Uric Acid Levels Warnings
Since 6 is below the crystallization point of 6.8mg/dL, it is used as a target by many doctors. In theory, this should be OK, but there are other factors to consider:
- Uric acid levels vary during the day, and from day to day. If your test result shows a “good” day, your average could be higher than 6mg/dL.
- Uric acid can crystallize in joints where temperatures are lower. You should not be troubled by brief exposure to cold, as uric acid crystals grow very slowly. However, as we get older, joint temperatures get lower, and the risk of gout increases.
If you have kidney problems, or other health reasons why uric acid cannot be brought down to 5mg/dL or below, then you might have to settle for 6. As you are borderline, you must make the best efforts to stay warm and well hydrated. Getting as low as you can below 6mg/dL will give you a better safety margin. Also, you should get uric acid tested every three months to ensure it is not moving towards dangerous levels.
Leave Borderline Uric Acid Levels to browse more Uric Acid guidelines.
Related Gout Facts: Uric Acid Levels
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