Is high Uric Acid causing you pain….. and how to avoid gout
By Dr. Alan Kadish
We eat many foods that contain purines, which is an organic naturally occurring product found in all of our cells of our body and in many foods. Typically our body converts a percentage of our purines to uric acid which are then removed at a rate that keeps us healthy.
When they abnormally increase, due to a number of causes, they can create symptoms of a painful toe to pain in any joint in the body or even go undetected while changing our health. Abnormal amounts of uric acid are very much like having sandpaper in your joints and moving throughout your body. We refers to this elevation of uric acid as gout. This mechanical irritation is significant and should not be ignored.
The good news is that the overproduction or lack of excretion of uric acid can be modified, both naturally and by using medications.
Why Me ?
We can have a genetic cause or a simple change in our bodies function, such as a lack of adequate fluids to flush and dilute the concentration of uric acid or we many not be effectively processing the acids or we may be overloading the system with our dietary intake.We need to determine the cause to prevent any recurrences.
The normal levels of uric acid in the blood range between 2.4 and 6.0 mg/dL for women and 3.4 and 6.0 mg/dL for men. Any level above this range can lead to pain and changes in your joints, including permanent changes that can be life changing.
It’s important to note that although most patients understand the joint connections they don’t appreciate that your heart and circulatory system, along with your kidneys, are also being affected.
In the past the rich had much more of the classic symptoms of gout, due to their intake of much more protein than the poor folks, resulting in their elevated uric acid levels and the classic big toe gouty joint.
Meats, seafood, poultry, along with other high protein foods are purine rich. Over consumption of these foods can lead to an increase in the levels of uric acid. A proper diet plays an important role in maintaining normal levels and preventing problems.
We will present a listing of the foods below to start you on your diet control. An ideal diet for reduction uric acid should include a higher percentage of carbohydrates, coupled with a moderate intake of protein and a lowered intake of certain fats particularly those that are saturated. This dietary approach can also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, gout and kidney disorders.
I’d like you to keep prospective when reviewing the information on the listing of foods. There are contradictions…not a big surprise, as with any diet. I would direct you towards the listing of purine content in foods and the obvious experiences of clinicians for years. For those of you noting the low levels of purines in beer there’s a big but…… This beverage decrease our excretion of uric acid so it remains on the bad boy list ?
Also keep in mind that the quantity you eat is equally important, especially with some foods. As an example your ability to eat yeast in large quantity is pretty limited. Another example is the claimed mushroom concern found in many listings. Considering that most are eaten in moderation and except for the edible boletus, most are low in purines. Hence this limitation is artificial and perhaps misguided.
With that said, I firmly want you to consider remaining clear of the high and moderate level foods for a period of time if your experiencing any symptoms. One of the best of the charts on foods containing different level of purines can be found at, Dr. Barbara Hendel’s site.
What Not to Eat
Along with consuming the above-mentioned foods we want you to avoid the foods which will contribute to a high uric acid level. When suffering from hyperuricemia, (high uric acid) foods that are extremely or even moderately high in purines or decrease uric acid excretion should be strictly avoided.
Foods with really High Levels of Purine:
- Meats: Pork, lamb, processed meat, mincemeat, organ meats: brains, heart, kidney, liver, sweetbreads, meat extracts, meat broth, bouillon or consommé and meat gravies
- Fish: Roe (fish eggs), fish such as herring and mackerel. tuna, sardines, shrimp and mussels
- Poultry: Goose, duck, and partridge.
- Fluids: Alcoholic drinks especially …. Beer
Foods with Medium Levels of Purine:
- Vegies: Not really a consideration unless your focussing on eating an excessive amount of brussel sprouts
- Poultry: Chicken, turkey, goose, pheasant, duck
- Fish: Lobsters, tuna, sole, scallops, cod
- Fluids: Soft drinks/ especially high fructose containing products
- Grains/Beans: Dried beans, peas, lentils and legumes. green peas. oats and oatmeal, w wheat germ and bran.
What to Eat
A uric acid reduction diet should include:
Potassium-Rich Foods: A uric acid reduction diet should consist of foods that are rich in potassium, principally vegetables. Potassium is useful as it increases the excretion of uric acid. Here are some foods that you can include in your diet.
Whole Fruit, emphasizing apricots, bananas, and berries Cereals such as rice , millet and whole wheat Yogurts, including Greek and with fruit, not with added fructose High potassium veggies, celery, parsley, cabbages, squash, yams, potatoes and selectively the soy product, Tofu
Consider a green drink or smoothie to increase uric acid excretion and as a quick meal on the go. Ask us about better tasting and convenient packaging of these products.
Low Purine and Lower Protein Foods
Corn, Almond and Walnuts in any form (consider nut butters) Berries any form ,Vinegar, rice, millet whole wheat breads and pastas, citrus fruits and juice, eggs (with some limitations 3-4 wk), cheeses, pineapples, cabbages, peppers, flax and psyillium seeds, ow-fat dairy products, avocados
Some additional Considerations……
• Drinking plenty of fluids helps to flush out uric acid crystals from the body. Try drinking at least 10 glasses of water everyday.
• Incorporate healthy complex carbs, such as whole fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains in your diet. Increasing fiber will make a difference !
• Consider some apple cider vinegar , no there are no current double blinded studies however when you get loads of feedback and you have a non-toxic potentially inexpensive approach why not ? Use 3-4 Tbs. of organic and non-pasteurized, non-fermented apple cider vinegar in water 2-3 times per day. The acetic acid is thought to be the mechanism of action via a change in ph. Plausible and non-toxic as an adjunct to other therapies.
• Increasing your intake of Vitamin C and consider using a proteolytic enzyme complex supplements. These enzymes should be taken between meals. They may contain ingredients including: nattokinase, serrapeptase, papain, bromelain, rutin and/or ginger to name a few. We can recommend an appropriate complex.
• High-purine foods should be completely avoided. Substitute organ meats, fatty fish, etc., with lean and skinless meat. Especially if your experiencing symptoms in your joints or the blood levels are excessively high consider being very exclusive with any high or moderate level food source. • Increase the consumption of all kinds of berries, especially the skins of black cherries. They are known to help lower the uric acid levels, due to their high cyanidin content.
• Limit or better yet avoid all foods sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. Curiously fructose is the only carbohydrate known to increase uric acid.
• Remember that you need to have a blood test to monitor your uric acid levels, lack of joint pain is not an adequate indicator. You wouldn’t want to drive with broken indicator lights on your dashboard……so test don’t guess.
• There are a number of prescription medications that have been used for years and have a low risk of causing other health concerns. They should be considered if your uric acid levels do not become controlled with diet, hydration, or supplements.
• Proper body weight is another consideration, as you don’t want to place excessive pressure on the joints, causing additional wear and tear and increased inflammation throughout your body.
As you can appreciate this is a serious disorder that can impact your life significantly. A simple blood test can determine if this is an issue to be addressed.
At the Center we regularly address your health needs and optimize function. Isn’t it time you had a check up ?
Call us at: 541.773.3191
For additional reference you can read more at about high uric acid at: http://www.acumedico.com/purine.htm listing of purines in 224 foods http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=51 and http://arthritis.answers.com/prevention/reducing-uric-acid-through-diet http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/food-sources-of-potassium.php top 10 high potassium foods
Copyright Center of Health™ 8/2014 For permission to reprint this article, please contact the author.
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