High uric acid level


A high uric acid level is too much uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is made during the breakdown of purines. Purines are found in certain foods and are formed by the body.

Blood carries uric acid to the kidneys. The kidneys pass most uric acid into the urine, which then leaves the body.

A high uric acid level can be linked to gout or kidney stones. But most people with high uric acid levels don't have symptoms of either of these conditions or related problems.


A high uric acid level can be the result of the body making too much uric acid, not getting rid of enough of it or both.

Causes of a high uric acid level in the blood include:

  • Diuretics (water retention relievers)
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Drinking too much soda or eating too much of foods that contain fructose, a type of sugar
  • Genetics also known as inherited traits
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Immune-suppressing drugs
  • Kidney problems
  • Leukemia
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Niacin, also called vitamin B-3
  • Obesity
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Psoriasis
  • A purine-rich diet, high in foods such as liver, game meat, anchovies and sardines
  • Tumor lysis syndrome — a rapid release of cells into the blood caused by certain cancers or by chemotherapy for those cancers

People having chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer might be monitored for high uric acid levels.

When to see a doctor

A high uric acid level is not a disease. It doesn't always cause symptoms. But a health care provider might check uric acid levels for people who have an attack of gout or have a certain type of kidney stone.

If you think one of your medicines might be causing your high uric acid level, talk with your care provider. But keep taking your medicines unless your provider tells you not to.

Last Updated Dec 14, 2022

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