How to Reduce Uric Acid Levels

Maintaining healthy uric acid levels is crucial in preventing painful conditions such as gout. Long-term elevated uric acid concentrations in the bloodstream result in the creation of sharp crystals within the joints, leading to discomfort and swelling. 

Diet plays a significant role in managing uric acid levels. Some foods are naturally high in purines, which are compounds that contribute to uric acid production upon breakdown.

In addition to dietary changes, adopting certain lifestyle choices can also help lower uric acid levels. This article will provide actionable tips on effectively reducing uric acid levels in the body.

What is Uric Acid?

Often unnoticed until it causes health concerns, uric acid is a naturally occurring waste product in your body. When your body breaks down purines, substances found in various foods, it produces uric acid.

Typically, uric acid dissolves in your bloodstream, is processed by your kidneys, and then expelled from your body when you urinate. However, when your body produces it in large amounts or can’t eliminate it efficiently, it can have impactful effects on your health.

Confirming Uric Acid Levels

Regular uric acid level monitoring is essential for people suffering from gout or at risk of developing it. You should consult with your doctor to establish a uric acid testing schedule that suits your needs. 

Implementing the right changes in your lifestyle can aid in lowering uric acid levels and prevent complications. Several tests may be performed by your healthcare provider to monitor your uric acid levels.

Blood Test

A blood test is a standard procedure for monitoring your uric acid levels. In the lab, clinicians use a process called colorimetric testing on your blood sample to measure the quantity of uric acid present.

High levels could signal that your body is producing too much or not getting rid of enough uric acid, potentially leading to health concerns like gout or kidney stones.

Urine Test

Urine tests provide another means for evaluating your body’s uric acid levels. Over a 24-hour period, you collect all of your urine, which is then analyzed for its uric acid content. This helps determine whether your kidneys are expelling an appropriate amount of uric acid.

If the levels are too high, it may point to diminished kidney function or a tendency towards urinary stones.

Joint Fluid Test

A synovial fluid analysis, while less common, can be beneficial if you’re experiencing joint issues like swelling or excruciating pain, which are symptoms of gout.

In this procedure, fluid is taken from your affected joint and examined for uric acid crystals. The presence of such crystals could signify high uric acid concentrations, often indicating gout.

Causes of High Uric Acid

Numerous factors disproportionately elevate uric acid levels in your body. Understanding these causes can provide valuable insights into why their levels may be high and how to work towards maintaining them within a healthy range.

Meal and Food Choices

You may have a high uric acid level if you consume excessive purine-rich foods. Foods like seafood, red meat, organ meats, and alcohol, especially beer, are high in purines.

Consuming these foods in excessive amounts can result in an abnormal increase in uric acid levels, which can lead to gout or kidney stones.

Increased Body Weight

Your weight can play a significant role in your uric acid levels. If you are overweight or obese, your body tends to produce more uric acid, and your kidneys have a more challenging time eliminating it.

Losing weight can help decrease your uric acid levels and also reduce your risk of other associated health issues.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can push your uric acid levels high. Diseases like psoriasis, hypothyroidism, and certain cancers can cause the body to produce excessive uric acid.

Additionally, kidney diseases can hinder the body’s ability to efficiently eliminate uric acid, leading to increased levels in your bloodstream.

Diuretics and Certain Medications

Certain types of medications, especially diuretics and drugs for treating hypertension and heart disease, may elevate uric acid levels.

These medications can decrease your kidney’s ability to remove uric acid from your body, resulting in its buildup in your bloodstream.

Inherited Traits and Family History

Your genetics play a significant role in your body’s production and elimination of uric acid.

If your family members have a history of high uric acid or associated conditions like gout, you may be at a higher risk of experiencing the same issues.


If you are dehydrated, your kidneys may not be able to eliminate uric acid as efficiently as they should, consequently causing a rise in your uric acid levels.

Staying well-hydrated assists the kidneys in flushing out toxins, such as uric acid, from your body.

Effects of High Uric Acid

Understanding the effects of high uric acid in your body is pivotal to maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Elevated levels of uric acid could lead to a range of health complications.

Here, we’ll delve deeper into the consequences of carrying high uric acid levels to help you understand its importance better.

Gouty Arthritis

If your uric acid levels are high, you may develop gout, a kind of arthritis that can cause severe bouts of pain, often in the big toe, but also in other joints.

Gout occurs when urate crystals amass in your joints, triggering inflammation and severe pain during a flare-up of gout.

Kidney Stones

Elevated levels of uric acid can result in the development of kidney stones. This happens when uric acid concentrations in the urine are so high that crystals form and accumulate in the kidneys.

These crystals can grow into large stones that can block the passage of urine, causing severe pain and discomfort.

Kidney Disease

Uric acid’s harmful effects aren’t limited to gout and kidney stones. Over time, high uric acid levels can damage your kidneys and potentially lead to chronic kidney disease.

This damage happens slowly and silently, often going unnoticed until kidney function is significantly impaired.

Heart Problems

High uric acid levels can also harm your heart health. It has been associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and heart failure.

The mechanisms behind these associations are complex and not fully understood, but it’s crucial to manage high uric acid levels for your overall health.

Metabolic Syndrome

Elevated uric acid levels have been associated with a higher risk of having metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

This syndrome increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Joint and Muscle Pain

Constant high levels of uric acid can lead to persistent body pains, especially around joints and muscles. This is due to the accumulation of urate crystals in these areas, causing inflammation and irritation.

Often, it’s mistaken for normal body pain or tiredness but can lead to further complications if left unchecked.

Fatigue and Weakness

High uric acid in your body could lead you to feel continuously fatigued or weak. This is a non-specific symptom, which means many health issues can cause it.

However, in combination with other symptoms, chronic fatigue may be a sign of high uric acid.

Skin Problems

In severe cases of prolonged high uric acid levels, you may develop skin problems like nodules under the skin, especially around joints and on the fingertips.

Tophi are nodules from aggregates of uric acid crystals and are a sign of gout.

Worsening Psoriasis

Psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by itchy and scaly patches, can worsen if uric acid levels are high.

High levels of uric acid can trigger an immune response that exacerbates psoriasis, making the condition more complicated to manage.

Lifestyle Changes to Lower Uric Acid

Often, managing high uric acid levels includes incorporating specific lifestyle changes to help lower these levels in your body.

While these modifications may seem challenging initially, taking these steps can significantly reduce the risk of health complications associated with high uric acid.

Eating Healthily

One of the key ways to lower your uric acid levels is through a healthy diet. Limiting high-purine foods like red meat, organ meats, and seafood can be beneficial.

Opting for a low-fat dairy diet, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help maintain a healthy uric acid level in your body.

Moving Your Body

Engaging in regular exercise can help you manage your weight, which in turn can lower your uric acid levels.

Staying active through regular physical activity and daily chores can help your body eliminate uric acid, maintain flexibility, and reduce your risk of gout and other related health conditions.

Drinking Plenty of Water

Drinking lots of water has been shown to reduce the risk of gout attacks.

Water helps to flush out toxins from your body, including uric acid, thereby maintaining its reduced levels in your body.

Reducing Stress

High levels of stress can contribute to increased uric acid levels.

Thus, engaging in stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or other enjoyable activities can be helpful.

Restricting Alcohol Intake

Consuming alcohol, especially beer, can interfere with the removal of uric acid from your body. This can result in high uric acid levels and contribute to gout.

Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume, or abstaining altogether, can play a significant role in managing your uric acid levels.

Limiting Sugary Drinks

Soft drinks and other sweetened beverages often contain high fructose corn syrup, which can lead to higher uric acid levels.

These drinks not only increase uric acid production but also reduce the body’s ability to eliminate it. Therefore, cutting back on sugary drinks can help keep your uric acid levels in check.

Adjusting or Replacing Certain Medications

Certain medications used for hypertension might increase uric acid levels.

If you’ve been prescribed these, talk with your healthcare provider about potential alternatives or adjustments to the treatment regimen.

Scheduling Regular Check-ups

Regular health check-ups can ensure early detection and treatment of high uric acid levels. 

Recognizing and addressing this issue at the earliest opportunity can prevent further complications.

Medical Management to Lower Uric Acid

If you’re looking to lower your uric acid levels, it’s important to consult with your doctor to discuss appropriate treatment options. There are a few medications that can be effective in managing uric acid levels and gout.

Reduce Uric Acid Production

Xanthine oxidase inhibitors (XOIs) slow down the rate at which your body produces uric acid and lower its concentration in the bloodstream.

Restricting the production of uric acid minimizes the risk of gout and kidney stones.

Remove Uric Acid through Urine

Uricosurics work by aiding the kidneys to expel more uric acid. Selective Uric Acid Reabsorption Inhibitors are used in combination with an XOI for the treatment of high uric acid levels in people with gout.

This medication increases the amount of uric acid that gets passed in the urine, effectively reducing the concentrations in your bloodstream. It aids the kidneys in eliminating uric acid by blocking a specific transporter in the kidney responsible for reabsorbing uric acid.

Vitamin C Supplements

Supplements containing vitamin C may aid in reducing the levels of uric acid in your bloodstream. They function by promoting the removal of uric acid through the kidneys.

Consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating vitamin C supplements into your regimen to ensure they’re appropriate for you.

Cherry Extract Supplements

Cherry extract supplements have been associated with decreased levels of uric acid. Cherries contain compounds known as anthocyanins that might help to reduce uric acid levels.

However, more research is needed in this area, and you should discuss it with your healthcare provider before starting cherry supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some lifestyle changes I can make to lower my uric acid levels?

To maintain healthy uric acid levels, consider adopting a diet low in high-purine foods such as red meat, organ meats, and seafood. Engage in regular exercise to manage your weight and lower your uric acid levels.

Drinking plenty of water can also help flush out toxins, including uric acid. Moreover, try to reduce stress, limit alcohol and sugary drink consumption, and avoid certain medications that might increase uric acid levels.

Always remember to go for regular health check-ups for early detection and treatment of high uric acid levels.

What are some medical approaches to lowering uric acid levels?

Medication is often prescribed to lower uric acid levels if lifestyle changes aren’t enough. Medications can be prescribed to decrease uric acid production or facilitate your kidneys in removing more uric acid.

Regular blood testing is advised to observe the effectiveness of these treatments. In some cases, Vitamin C and cherry extract supplements may also be recommended, but always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regime.

What are the effects of having high uric acid levels?

High uric acid levels can lead to several health complications. These include gout, a type of arthritis that causes severe pain in the joints, and kidney stones, resulting from high uric acid concentration in the urine.

Kidney disease may also be a consequence due to damage caused by high uric acid levels over time.

This can additionally lead to heart-related issues and metabolic syndrome, characterized by heightened blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, excessive fat accumulation around the waist, and irregular cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

What are the causes of high uric acid levels?

High uric acid levels can be caused by various factors.

Consuming excessive amounts of purine-rich foods and alcohol, obesity, certain medical conditions like psoriasis and hypothyroidism, certain medications, and genetics can all contribute to high uric acid levels.

What does high uric acid mean, and how is it monitored?

High uric acid levels can suggest that your body is producing too much uric acid or it’s not able to efficiently eliminate it, leading to health complications like gout or kidney stones.

It’s typically monitored through regular blood tests or urine tests. In some cases, especially when joint issues are present, a joint fluid test is performed.