A high uric acid level can cause gout, kidney stones and even kidney failure, Mayo Clinic states. Results of a high uric acid level are unpredictable, however, as it may cause frequent gout attacks or none at all. High uric acid levels are associated with heart disease or chronic kidney disease, but it is not known to cause these conditions.
If a high uric acid level leads to gout, the symptoms include inflammation and redness in the joints, combined with intense pain, explains Mayo Clinic. Gout is a type of arthritis where uric acid in the blood becomes too concentrated and begins to form sharp crystals within the joints, most commonly the joint at the base of the big toe. Normally, uric acid remains dissolved in the blood and is excreted by the kidneys, but when the kidneys don't filter enough or the body produces too much, crystals can form.
Several factors can contribute to high uric acid levels, Mayo Clinic says. These include excessive alcohol consumption, hypothyroidism, obesity, diets rich in certain proteins and diuretic medications. Other possible factors in developing high uric acid levels include genetics, immune-system-suppressing drugs and psoriasis. Cancer treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy can also raise uric acid levels.