Uric acid is a substance the body forms as it breaks down purine in the blood. Purines are found in a variety of foods and drinks, including alcohol, red meat and certain types of fish.
Usually uric acid dissolves in the blood and is passed out of the body through the kidneys and in your urine. However, when the body produces too much uric acid or if it is unable to remove enough uric acid, then high levels the acid begin to build up in the blood. This condition is called hyperuricemia.
How High Levels of Uric Acid Can Lead to Gout
On its own, hyperuricemia isn’t dangerous. However, if large amounts of the uric acid begin to crystalize, then the needle-like crystals can deposit themselves into the body’s joints, tendons and tissue — which is very painful. When this happens, the disease is called gouty arthritis or gout for short.
Causes of High Uric Acid Levels
Some things that can cause extremely high levels of uric acid in the blood include:
- Ingesting foods high in purine levels (including steak, seafood and anything containing fructose)
- Heavy drinking (alcohol affects the body’s ability to pass uric acid)
- Obesity (additional weight affects the body’s ability to expel uric acid)
- Certain medications, including Levodopa, Cyclosporine, niacin (a vitamin), aspirin, and many diuretics
- Lesch-Nyham syndrome/Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome (a rare condition in which the body lacks the enzyme needed to break down uric acid)
List of Foods High In Purines
There are several foods high in purine levels, so if you need to reduce the amount of uric acid in your blood, you may want to cut back on these items:
- Kidney beans
- Lima beans
- Navy beans
Notice concerning medical entries:
Articles having medical content shall serve exclusively for the purpose of general information. Such articles are not suitable for any (self-) diagnosis and treatment of individual illnesses and medical indications. In particular, they cannot substitute for the examination, advice, or treatment by a licensed physician or pharmacist. No replies to any individual questions shall be effected through the articles.