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:
- Diuretics (water retention relievers)
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Genetics (inherited tendencies)
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Immune-suppressing drugs
- Niacin, or vitamin B-3
- Purine-rich diet — liver, game meat, anchovies, sardines, gravy, dried beans and peas, mushrooms, and other foods
- Renal insufficiency (inability of the kidneys to filter waste)
- 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.
Nov. 24, 2020
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Uric acid. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/uric-acid/tab/glance. Accessed Oct. 6, 2015.
- Questions and answers about gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/default.asp. Accessed Oct. 6, 2015.
- Kim SY, et al. Hyperuricemia and coronary heart disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arthritis Care & Research. 2010;62:170.
- Ohno, I. Relationship between hyperuricemia and chronic kidney disease. Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids. 2011;30:1039.
- Kanbay M, et al. Uric acid in hypertension and renal disease: The chicken or the egg? Blood Purification. 2010;30:288.
- Hochberg J, et al. Tumor lysis syndrome: Current perspective. Haematologica. 2008;93:9.
- So A, et al. Uric acid transport and disease. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2010;120:1791.
- Becker MA. Asymptomatic hyperuricemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 2, 2015.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 29, 2015.