What Are the Most Common Causes of High Uric Acid Levels?

Overconsumption of alcohol, a purine-rich diet, medications and hypothyroidism are common causes of high levels of uric acid in the body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Genetics, immune-suppressing drugs, obesity and psoriasis are other causes. Additional causes include tumor lysis syndrome and renal insufficiency.

The heightened breakdown of body cells caused by cancers such as multiple myeloma, lymphoma and leukemia often causes uric acid elevation, notes WebMD. This condition is known as tumor lysis syndrome. Kidney disease or damage, lead poisoning, malnutrition and starvation may also play a role.

Medications can lead to increased uric acid in the body, including low-dose aspirin, diuretic, and blood-thinning drugs, such as Coumadin, says WebMD. Other drugs such as tacrolimus, levodopa and cyclosporine are also associated with elevated uric acid levels. Vitamin C and vitamin B-3 or niacin are others.

Diet plays a big role in high uric acid levels, reports the Mayo Clinic. A diet rich in purines, including game and organ meats, herring, anchovies, mushrooms, and dried peas and beans often results in elevated levels of uric acid. Consuming too much alcohol, particularly beer, can also cause uric acid levels to rise.

Tumor lysis syndrome, characterized by the rapid release of cells into the blood as a result of cancer or chemotherapy to treat cancer, can also cause elevated uric acid levels, according to WebMD. Hypothyroidism and low levels of parathyroid hormone in the blood are additional causes of uric acid increases in the body.