The primary care doctor is usually the doctor who treats gout. They may order uric acid blood tests, perform joint aspirations, and prescribe medications to treat the disease. A blood test can check the level of uric acid in the blood. A high uric acid level could mean you have gout.
A urinalysis can check the level of uric acid in the body. The urine sample should be taken for 24 hours. Gout occurs when uric acid, a body waste product, accumulates in the bloodstream and forms as crystals in the joints. A blood test that shows high levels of uric acid may help confirm the diagnosis of gout.
However, not everyone with gout has high levels of uric acid in their blood, and not everyone with high uric acid levels has gout. The diagnosis of gout can be made in several ways. Gout is often diagnosed by finding uric acid-based crystals in the affected joint. The doctor may use a needle to remove fluid from an affected joint and will study it under a microscope to determine if there are urate crystals.
The crystals can also be found in deposits (called tofos) that can appear under the skin. These tofos occur in advanced gout. The symptoms caused by gout are similar to those of other inflammatory conditions, so it's important to work with a medical team that specializes in diagnosing and treating gout.