wikiHow to Dissolve Uric Acid Crystals

Two Parts:Taking MedicationsMaking Diet Modifications

If you've been experiencing sudden intense joint pain and lingering discomfort, you may be suffering from a type of arthritis called gout. Gout can be caused by high uric acid levels. Uric acid, a compound crystal, is usually filtered out by your kidneys and removed from your body through your urine. But, if you have high levels of uric acid, crystals can form causing conditions like gout. This is why lowering your levels of uric acid and dissolving these crystals is important. You can do this by taking medications, changing your diet, and exercising. Always talk with your doctor before modifying your diet or starting medications.

Part 1
Taking Medications

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    Learn the risk factors for gout. If you have gout, a type of arthritis from high uric acid levels, crystals can form in the fluid around your joints. Although older men are more likely to get it, it can affect anyone. No one knows the true cause of gout, but certain risk factors include a diet high in meat and seafood, obesity, chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, family history of gout or if you are on certain medications.[1]
    • Gout causes inflammation and attacks of joint pain (usually at night and experienced in your big or great toe), along with redness, swelling, warmth, and tenderness of the joint. The discomfort lingers for days to weeks after the attack ends and could actually develop into chronic gout, leading to impaired mobility.
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    Go to your doctor for an exam. If you have chronic gout, frequent or painful gout attacks, talk to your doctor about starting a prescription medication. Your doctor may do different tests to diagnose gout, including a blood test to measure your uric acid levels, a synovial fluid test (where a needle draws fluid from your joint), or an ultrasound or CT scan to detect urate crystals. With the results of the tests, your doctor will be able to decide if and which medication you should start.
    • Your doctor may prescribe medications like xanthine oxidase inhibitors, uricosuric drugs, and other less common drugs such as colchicine, which is for acute gout attacks.
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    Take xanthine oxidase inhibitors. These medications decrease the amount of uric acid your body makes which can lower your blood uric acid level.[2] Your doctor will most likely prescribe these medications as a first form of treatment for chronic gout. Xanthine oxidase inhibitors include allopurinol (Aloprim, Zyloprim) and febuxostat (Uloric). While these medications can cause an initial increase in gout attacks, they'll eventually prevent them. [3]
    • Side effects of allopurinol include diarrhea, drowsiness, rash and low blood counts. Make sure to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day when taking allopurinol.
    • Side effects of febuxostat include rash, nausea, joint pain and reduced liver function.
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    Try taking uricosuric drugs. These types of medications help your body to excrete more uric acid through your urine. Uricosuric drugs prevent your body from reabsorbing urate (uric crystals) back into your blood, which can reduce the concentration of uric acid in your blood.[4] You'll probably be prescribed probenecid, but it's not recommended if you have kidney issues. Start by taking 250mg every 12 hours for the first week. Your doctor may increase the prescription over time, but never to more than 2 grams.
    • Side effects of probenecid include rash, stomach pain, kidney stones, dizziness, and headache. To prevent kidney stones, you should drink at least six to eight full glasses of water a day while taking probenecid.
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    Avoid certain medications. Some medications, including thiazide diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide), and loop diuretics (such as furosemide or Lasix) should be avoided, since they can aggravate your condition. You should also avoid low doses of aspirin and niacin because they can also increase your uric acid levels.
    • Don't stop taking medications without talking to your doctor. In many cases, there are alternatives available.

Part 2
Making Diet Modifications

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    Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Try to eat healthy, fiber-rich foods and lean proteins.[5] Foods that are high in dietary soluble fiber can help to dissolve uric acid crystals. The fiber helps to absorb the crystals, removing them from your joints and helping to eliminate them from your kidneys. You should also avoid saturated fats, like cheese, butter and margarine. Reduce your sugar intake, including high-fructose corn syrup and soft drinks, all of which can promote gout attacks. Instead try to include:[6]
    • Oats
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli
    • Raspberries
    • Whole-wheat items
    • Brown rice
    • Black beans
    • Cherries (Cherries can reduce gout attacks.[7] One study showed that eating 10 cherries a day protected people from gout flare ups.[8])
    • Low-fat or non-fat dairy
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    Avoid foods that can increase uric acid levels. Naturally occurring substances in food called purines are converted to uric acid by your body. Studies have shown that eating foods high in purines could lead to a gout attack within a few days of eating the foods.[9][10] Avoid high-purine foods including:[11]
    • Meats: red meat and organ meats (liver, kidney and sweetbreads)
    • Seafood: tuna, lobster, shrimp, mussels, anchovies, herring, sardines, scallops, trout, haddock, mackerel
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    Watch what you drink and stay hydrated. Drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day has been shown to decrease gout attacks.[12] Liquids generally count toward water recommendations, but it's best to stick to water. You should also minimize or cut out drinking alcohol since it can metabolize and increase uric acid levels.[13] If you do want to drink something other than water, look for drinks that aren't high in sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, or caffeinated. Sugar can increase your risk of gout and caffeine can be dehydrating.[14]
    • You can still drink coffee in moderation (two to three cups a day). Some studies show that coffee may reduce the levels of uric acid in your blood, although the studies do not show a decrease in gout attacks.[15]
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    Get more vitamin C. Some studies show that vitamin C may reduce the levels of uric acid in your blood, although the studies do not show a decrease in gout attacks.[16] It's suggested that vitamin C can help your kidneys excrete uric acid.[17] Consider taking a 500 mg daily supplement after consulting your doctor. If you'd rather increase your vitamin C through your diet, try eating:[18]
    • Fruits: cantaloupe, citrus, kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, watermelon
    • Vegetables: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green and red peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, winter squash
    • Cereals fortified with vitamin C
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    Exercise. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. One study showed that exercising 150 minutes a week reduces uric acid levels. It can also reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and help you lose weight. Weight loss has been linked to lower blood uric acid levels.[19]
    • Even lower physical activity has been linked to some reduction in uric acid levels. For example, if you can't jog for 30 minutes, try briskly walking for at least 15.[20]


  • Your uric acid levels may not always correlate with gout. Some people can have high levels and not experience gout, or have gout and normal levels of uric acid.[21]
  • Currently there is no strong evidence or scientific research showing that other popular home remedies or natural supplements (devil’s claw) are safe and effective for gout.


  • Talk with your doctor before taking new medications or changing your diet.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Urinary Health