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What causes high levels of uric acid?

I know that my gout is what makes my joints hurt and that uric acid causes the gout. But what causes high uric acid? Was I just born with it or should I change my diet or something?
I am sorry to hear that you are suffering from problems with gout! You are correct that there is an association between high levels of uric acid and gout, and reducing your uric acid levels can help to prevent flares of gout. This is definitely an issue that you should manage in consultation with your primary care doctor, as they will be able to give you advice over the years about the condition. Uric acid levels are in part controlled by genetics, and there is not much you can do about that. However, uric acid levels are also associated with being overweight and with drinking alcohol, which are two things that you should be able to work on. Higher uric acid levels are also associated with eating certain kinds of food, especially foods rich in protein. One excellent strategy would be to meet with your primary care doctor or a nutritionist to discuss the specifics of a diet that your can follow that will reduce your risk of gout attacks. Furthermore, if you have repeated gout attacks, it may be necessary to take a regular medication to reduce your uric acid levels, and this is something your primary care doctor can discuss with you.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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