Print this topic

HealthInfo Canterbury

Gout tests & diagnosis

Your GP will 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 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 GP will manage your care, referring you to a specialist rheumatologist if necessary.

Your GP 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 GP if you have any concerns.

On the next page: Living with gout

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by rheumatologist, Department of Rheumatology, Immunology & Allergy, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed December 2017.


See also:

Preparing for your doctor's visit

Page reference: 680

Review key: HIGOU-18727