Student or Learner
Gout | Better Health Channel
Gout is a common form of arthritis. Pain often occurs in the big toe joint, knee, ankle, elbow and other joints. A gout attack is sudden and painful. Gout is caused by a build-up of a waste product, uric acid, in the bloodstream. Excess uric acid settles in joints causing inflammation, pain and swelling. Alcohol, overeating, dieting and dehydration can trigger a gout attack.
Can I say "An excess of uric acid" in place of Excess uric acid?
I am not a teacher.
No. Excess uric acid is what settles in the joint. Too much (an excess of) uric acid is in the bloodstream. It is only the excess that settles.
First I thought that I can interprete "an exess of uric acid" as "exessiveness! of uric acid", so I though that "an exess of uric acid" can't settle in joints, but it can cause inflammation and ... .
Later I look it up in the dictionary and came to the conclusion that they are the same.
So if you could, please explain more.
It is a matter of wording. The dictionary isn't much help with that. Your first thought was correct. If the normal amount of uric acid in the system is 100 grams, and your system has 110 grams, it has "an excess of" uric acid---the exact amount does not enter into it. There is "excess uric acid" in your system amounting to 10 grams---"the excess uric acid"---which is what settles in your joints. I hope that helps. Let me know if I made it worse so I can try to do better.
(I'm sure that if you had 100 grams of uric acid in your system you would have to be a herd of dehydrated elephants. I am not a doctor, either.)