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Uric Acid in Blood

What Affects the Test

High values

High uric acid values may be caused by:

  • Individual differences in the way your body produces or gets rid of uric acid.
  • Conditions, such as:
    • Kidney disease or kidney damage.
    • The increased breakdown of body cells that occurs with some types of cancer (including leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma) or cancer treatments, hemolytic anemia, sickle cell anemia, or heart failure.
    • Other disorders, such as alcohol dependence, preeclampsia, liver disease (cirrhosis), obesity, psoriasis, hypothyroidism, and low blood levels of parathyroid hormone.
    • Starvation, malnutrition, or lead poisoning.
    • A rare inherited gene disorder called Lesch-Nyhan syndrome.
  • Medicines, such as some diuretics, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), lower doses of aspirin (75 to 100 mg daily), niacin, warfarin (such as Coumadin), cyclosporine, levodopa, tacrolimus, and some medicines used to treat leukemia, lymphoma, or tuberculosis.
  • Eating foods that are very high in purines, such as organ meats (liver, brains), red meats (beef, lamb), game meat (deer, elk), some seafood (sardines, herring, scallops), and beer.

Low values

Low uric acid values may be caused by:

  • Severe liver disease, Wilson's disease, or some types of cancer.
  • The syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH), a condition that causes large amounts of fluid to build up in the body.
  • Not eating enough protein.
  • Sulfinpyrazone, large amounts of aspirin (1,500 mg or more daily), probenecid (such as Probalan), and allopurinol (such as Zyloprim).

What To Think About

  • Having a high uric acid level does not mean that you have gout camera.gif. If your uric acid level is high and you do not have any other symptoms, you will not need to take any medicine to decrease your uric acid level.
  • A high level of uric acid in the blood does not always mean that a person with a painful joint has gout. Testing the fluid taken from an affected joint for the presence of uric acid crystals is the only sure method to diagnose gout. To learn more, see the topic Joint Fluid Analysis.
  • Uric acid may also be measured in urine. If your blood uric acid level is high, a 24-hour urine collection may help your doctor find out whether your body is producing too much uric acid or your kidneys are not getting rid of enough of it. To learn more, see the topic Uric Acid in Urine.
  • Uric acid blood levels vary from day to day. The level is usually higher in the morning and lower in the evening.
  • Blood uric acid levels that increase during pregnancy, even if the levels remain within the normal range, may help diagnose preeclampsia.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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