Uric acid is a waste product formed from the breakdown of purines, which are substances found in various foods and also produced by the body. It is normally dissolved in the blood, processed by the kidneys, and then excreted in urine.

High Uric Acid Levels: Elevated levels can lead to gout, a type of arthritis caused by uric acid crystal deposition in joints. High uric acid can also contribute to kidney stones and kidney damage. It may be caused by a diet high in purines, obesity, certain medications, alcohol, and some medical conditions.

Low Uric Acid Levels: Less common and usually not a concern, but can occur in conditions like liver disease, certain genetic disorders, or can be due to excessive uric acid excretion.