High uric acid levels can lead to a number of health problems, including gout and kidney stones. In order to keep uric acid levels under control, it is important to be mindful of the foods you eat. Uric acid is a waste product that is produced when the body breaks down purines, which are found in many foods. By choosing the right foods and avoiding others, you can help reduce your uric acid levels and prevent related health problems.
Foods to Eat:
- Low-purine foods: These include most fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. These foods are not only low in purines, but they are also high in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that can help support overall health. Fruits and vegetables, in particular, are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body from damage caused by uric acid crystals. Berries, cherries, and citrus fruits are particularly good options.
- Foods high in Vitamin C: Vitamin C can help the body excrete uric acid, making it an important nutrient for those with high uric acid levels. Foods that are high in vitamin C include oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, kiwi, and bell peppers.
- Foods with Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, which is a common problem for those with high uric acid levels. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
Foods to Avoid:
- High-purine foods: These include organ meats (liver, kidney), anchovies, sardines and meat extracts. These foods are high in purines, which can increase uric acid levels in the body.
- Alcohol: Alcohol, especially beer and spirits, can increase uric acid levels. Studies have shown that drinking alcohol can raise uric acid levels in the blood and increase the risk of gout.
- Sugary drinks: Soft drinks and other sweetened beverages can also raise uric acid levels. These drinks are high in fructose, which can increase uric acid production in the body.
- Processed foods: Processed foods are high in purines and should be avoided. These foods are also typically high in sodium, which can increase the risk of kidney stones in those with high uric acid levels.
In addition to paying attention to your diet, it’s important to stay hydrated and maintain a healthy weight. Adequate hydration can help flush out uric acid from the body, preventing it from forming crystals that can lead to gout or kidney stones. Drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water daily is recommended.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also important for those with high uric acid levels. Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of gout and kidney stones. Losing weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise can help reduce uric acid levels and improve overall health.
Some other lifestyle changes that can help lower uric acid levels include getting regular exercise and avoiding smoking. Regular exercise can help improve circulation and flush out uric acid from the body. Smoking can increase uric acid levels.
In addition to making dietary and lifestyle changes, your doctor may also recommend medication to help lower uric acid levels. Some of the most common medications used to treat high uric acid levels include:
- Allopurinol: This medication helps to reduce the amount of uric acid produced by the body. It can be taken orally and is often used to prevent gout attacks.
- Febuxostat: This medication is similar to allopurinol, but it is more effective in reducing uric acid levels in the blood.
- Probenecid: This medication helps to increase the excretion of uric acid from the body, which can help reduce uric acid levels in the blood.
If you have gout, your doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications such as colchicine or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help reduce pain and inflammation.
It’s important to note that these medications may have side effects and can interact with other medications you may be taking, so it’s essential to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits of any medication before starting treatment.
High uric acid levels can lead to a number of health problems, including gout and kidney stones. By eating the right foods, avoiding others, staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy weight, and making other lifestyle changes, you can help reduce your uric acid levels and prevent related health problems. If necessary, your doctor may also recommend medication to help lower uric acid levels. Remember that it’s important to consult your healthcare professional before making any major changes in your diet or treatment regimen.
About The Author
Dr. Krisca is a highly-educated and skilled physician who has obtained a BS Public Health degree from the University of the Philippines Manila and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute. She is a licensed physician and also a Registered Medical Technologist. She has received additional training in Hemodialysis for Non-Nephro Physicians on duty and has completed online courses in related fields like depression in populations from John Hopkins University and positive psychiatry from The University of Sydney. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of International Health in the University of the Philippines.
Dr. Krisca is known for her outstanding skills and compassionate approach to healthcare that make a positive impact on people’s lives. Through her passion for healthcare, she hopes to make a difference in the world and help people lead healthier, happier lives.