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HealthInfo Canterbury

Gout tests & diagnosis

Your doctor may ask you about your symptoms and examine the affected parts of your body. Gout can usually be diagnosed by examining the sore joint. You will usually have a blood test to measure your uric acid levels, either at the time of the attack, or later on.

If it's not clear whether you have gout or an infection of the joint, you may need to have a procedure called a joint aspiration. This involves taking fluid out of the affected joint using a needle and syringe.

This may be done at your doctor's practice or at the Emergency Department of the hospital. The fluid is sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Diagnosis of gout

If you have a diagnosis of gout, your general practice team will manage your care, referring you to specialist rheumatologists if necessary.

Your doctor may give you:

It is important that you carefully take any tablets exactly as directed, as some tablets for gout have serious side effects. Contact your general practice team if you have any concerns.

On the next page: Living with gout

See also:

Preparing for your doctor's visit

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Review key: HIGOU-18727