A high uric acid level, or hyperuricemia, is an excess of uric acid in your blood. Uric acid is produced during the breakdown of purine, a substance found in many foods. Once produced, uric acid is carried in your blood and passes through your kidneys, where most of it leaves your body when you urinate.

A high uric acid level may result in attacks of gout, but not everyone who has high uric acid gets gout, and not everyone with gout has high uric acid.

Your doctor may check to see if you have a high uric acid level if you have had an attack of gout, although you can have a gout attack even if your uric acid level is normal. You may have no symptoms with a high uric acid level; it's often found when your doctor tests for another condition.

If you're concerned that one of your medications may be causing your high uric acid level, talk to your doctor. In the meantime, continue taking your medications unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Dec. 14, 2012