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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. They can usually diagnose gout by examining your sore joint. They will usually arrange a blood test to measure your uric acid levels, either at the time of your attack, or later.

If it's not clear whether you have gout or a joint infection, 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 general 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 a specialist rheumatologist if necessary.

Your doctor may give you:

It's important that you carefully take any medication exactly as you're told, as some medications for gout have serious side effects. Contact your general practice team if you have any concerns.

On the next page: Living with gout

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated September 2017.

Sources

See also:

Preparing for your doctor's visit

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