What Causes High Uric Acid Levels in The Body?

We know that painful gout attacks are caused by high uric acid levels in the body, but what is causing those high uric acid levels?

Uric acid is a normal – and even perfectly healthy – part of our bodies. It is a waste product that’s created from purines (something we create in our own bodies and we eat through food). Normally, it simply exits out our body through urine.

What-Causes-High-Uric-Acid-Levels-in-The-Body

But then some of us end up having too much uric acid build up. If you are dealing with high uric acid, your body is either producing too much uric acid or it is not excreting the uric acid the way it’s supposed to. For some people, both can be happening at the same time.

The problem is this high uric acid will turn into urate crystals. These sharp tiny crystals head to one of your joints and cause the terrible inflammation of a gout attack.

The bottom line is this: we need to lower those high uric acid levels. But how? The first step is to know why it’s happening. There are a large variety of potential causes that could lead to high uric acid (also known as hyperuricemia). Below, you are going to find 11 of the most common ways this happens.

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What Causes These High Uric Acid Levels?

1. Genetics

There is a genetic component at play here. If hyperuricemia runs in your family, you may just deal with it too. However, this does not mean you are doomed. It just means you may have to be more aware and more intentional about making choices to avoid high uric acid.

2. Obesity

Being overweight is harmful in two ways – it ups your level of uric acid and it slows your excretion of uric acid. It is vitally important to begin a healthful diet (see a dietician or nutritionist if you need to) and to get on a regular, moderate exercise plan (this can be created with the help of a personal trainer).

3. High Purine Diet

Since purines turn into uric acid, consuming a diet really high in purines can cause a problem. Top offenders include: organ meats, game meat, red meat, and seafood. You may not need to completely get rid of these from your diet forever, but you should greatly limit your exposure. Eat them less frequently and eat smaller portions whenever you do have some.

4. Alcohol

gout-and-beer

Alcohol is actually considered one of the major causes of gout. Not only is it high in purines, but it can also slow the excretion of uric acid. One study showed that beer and liquor increase uric acid levels more than wine. So if you do decide to have a drink or two – a nice glass of merlot may be the right choice. Beer is the worst, though, so avoid it. Alcohol is also a diuretic, which brings us to point #5…

Keep Reading: The Gout and Beer Connection: Could GMO’s Be to Blame? 

5. Diuretics

These pills make you urinate frequently – which means you decrease the amount of fluid in your body. This is a problem because your kidneys start getting high concentrations of uric acid without enough urine to pass it properly. This concentrated version of uric acid can then turn into the urate crystals that create gout symptoms.

6. Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism

When your thyroid does not work properly, it can inhibit the proper purine metabolism. This happens for a variety of reasons – the unhealthy thyroid can boost your body’s production of urate, decrease plasma flow, and impair the filtration processes.

7. Psoriasis

Interestingly enough, having psoriasis doubles your chances of eventually developing gout as well. That’s because many people with psoriasis actually have hyperuricemia too. If you have psoriasis, taking steps to prevent gout is essential.

8. Kidney Problems

Of course, if you have any sort of kidney or renal problems and your kidneys do not function correctly by properly flushing out waste materials, you may end up with high amounts of uric acid.

Related: Gout, Kidney Stones, & Your Health: Understanding the Gout and Kidney Connection 

9. Vitamin B3

If you are simply getting the recommended amount of vitamin B3 (also called niacin), you should not have any need to worry. However, if you are being treated with high-dose niacin for some health condition (like heart disease, schizophrenia, or HIV), your uric acid levels may elevate.

10. Immunosuppressive Therapy

These drugs will help anyone whose immune system has falsely gone into overdrive – this is often found in rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Hyperuricemia is one of the side effects.

11. Transplant

Many patients who receive an organ transplant – especially those with either a heart or kidney transplant – end up with high uric acid levels for a time.

What’s Causing Your High Uric Acid?

Perhaps many of these factors are leading to your rise in uric acid levels. Fortunately, there are many choices you can make to help combat hyperuricemia. Aside from losing weight and reducing purine/alcohol content, you can also:

  • Take an all-natural uric acid cleanse: The Eu Natural G-Out! Uric Acid Cleanse combines the power of ingredients like cherry extract, hydrangea extract, celery seed extract, and chanca piedra to help your body keep the proper balance of uric acid
  • Talk to your doctor: If prescriptions like high niacin or immunosuppressive therapies are causing you to have gout, see if there are alternative treatments. Likewise, if you are dealing with kidney issues, be sure to work with your doctor to get those healed up.

There may be many ways to have uric acid, but there are also many ways to lower uric acid. Start taking some of these important steps toward change today.

Read Next: 3 Critical Foods To Avoid for Gout 

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/high-uric-acid-level/basics/causes/sym-20050607
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperuricemia#Causes
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15593346
https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/psoriatic-arthritis/articles/psoriatic-arthritis-increases-gout-risk.php
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gout/expert-answers/diuretics-and-gout/faq-20058146
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/niacin
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11791637