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Have you ever heard of the high uric acid problem? Well, uric acid is a natural waste that is produced from the digestion of food items that contain purines. Purine is a chemical substance that occurs naturally from various foods and beverages in the body and when the body breaks down purine, this creates uric acid, a waste product. Purines are usually found in foods like certain kinds of meat, sardines, dried beans, beer, etc.
Normally the uric acid produced is filtered out through the kidneys and urine. However, there are certain situations when uric acid starts building up in your blood. The condition where there is a high level of uric acid in your system is called Hyperuricemia.
Dietician Hari Lakshmi, Consultant – Dietitian/Nutritionist, Motherhood Hospitals, Chennai, tells HealthShots, “Hyperuricemia leads to a disease called gout which causes inflammation, pain, and swelling in the joints. This happens when urate crystals (caused by high levels of uric acid) start accumulating in the joints.” Gout is a more complex and painful form of arthritis which can lead to severe inflammation as well.
Some of the causes of uric acid accumulation can be:
1. Consuming purine rich food items
5. Kidney disease
8. Drinking too much alcohol
If untreated, high uric acid levels may eventually lead to health issues like kidney problems, heart diseases, joint and tissue damage, high blood pressure and difficulty in controlling diabetes. To treat the condition you need to be careful with your diet. Here’s how you can do that.
If you suffer from high levels of uric acid, you should consume food items that have low purine levels according to Lakshmi. Here are foods which you should consume:
1. Fresh fruits (such as banana, apple, citrus fruits and cherries) and vegetables
3. Rice and Bread
4. Eggs- in moderation
5. Low fat and nondairy fat products. For example, skim milk and yogurt
6. Nuts & peanut butter
You should always skip food items that are high in purine to reduce your uric acid levels. This will help in lowering the chances of a gout attack. Try to avoid the following foods:
1. Beer and other grain liquors like whiskey and vodka.
2. Avoid red meat, lamb, and pork.
3. Seafood items like shrimp, lobster, and sardines.
4. Products which have high fructose levels like soda, certain juices, candy, ice cream, and fast food.
A healthy diet can ensure the levels of uric acid remain stabilized in your system; however, you may still need certain medications to control high levels. You can consult your doctor about your treatment options if you suffer from this condition.