Most of the time, a high uric acid level occurs when your kidneys don't eliminate uric acid efficiently. Things that may cause this slow-down in the removal of uric acid include rich foods, being overweight, having diabetes, taking certain diuretics (sometimes called water pills) and drinking too much alcohol. Other less common causes are a diet high in purine-containing items or your body producing too much uric acid.

Factors that may cause a high uric acid level in your blood include:

  1. Diuretic medications (water pills)
  2. Drinking too much alcohol
  3. Genetics (inherited tendencies)
  4. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  5. Immune-suppressing drugs
  6. Niacin, or vitamin B-3
  7. Obesity
  8. Psoriasis
  9. Purine-rich diet — liver, game meat, anchovies, sardines, gravy, dried beans and peas, mushrooms, and other foods
  10. Renal insufficiency — inability of the kidneys to filter waste
  11. Tumor lysis syndrome — a rapid release of cells into the blood caused by certain cancers or by chemotherapy for those cancers

Also, you may be monitored for high uric acid levels when undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer.

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Dec. 12, 2015