This afternoon I got a call from a lab-technician at my Doctors office with a short brief regarding my blood tests. While ‘everything’ was excellent there were two problems; my tests indicated a vitamin D deficiency and my Uric acid levels were ‘too high’.
The vitamin D issue is really baffling. I ride my bike home everyday in the full Arizona sun. Yes, actually, I am sporting a hell of a ‘farmer’s tan’. That’s at least 30 minutes/day of full exposure (no sunscreen)- I just don’t get it.
The other issue, high Uric acid, came with a caveat; “..can lead to Renal failure”. Wait, what? Kidney failure??! Ok, that got my attention.
And now we have a problem. Searching high and low on the internet through both pro-Paleo sites as well as ‘Conventional’ sites have shown me one thing; the basic assumptions and cures to having high levels of Uric acid in my blood-stream are diametrically opposed. Paleo seems to suggest that eating more meats (or at least not cutting them from my diet) will continue to increase the insulin sensitivity of my kidneys making them function better at excreting the harmful acid levels from my blood. Something along the lines that more protein for my kidneys will make them better.. faster.. stronger. However, ‘Conventional’ wisdom states that ALL food items that are high in Purine (metabolizes into Uric Acid) should be limited, if not completely eliminated, from my diet. Oh, that would include things like Meat! Argh!! There are a lot more foods that are on the exclusion list, like most fish and even sunflower seeds but just as bad, from a Paleo stand-point, are those food items that are recommended; sugar, grains, soda (really? soda??), rice, pasta.. you get the picture; Carb-city!
So basically, if I want to go Paleo and lose weight and be healthy (in almost every respect) I have to suffer through high Uric acid levels and the effects that can have on me (gout). BUT, if I want to be free of high Uric acid levels, I have to drink soda? Either I’m missing something here or someone is full of shit.
What I definitely do NOT want is to be medicated for the rest of my life trying to control my acid levels. No no no. It almost seems like something other than my diet is driving this train. Indeed, a close family friend and doctor, told me that the whole meatless-diet thing is crap in relation to healthy Uric acid levels. That it sounded more like a ‘metabolic or excretion’ problem. So that begs the question; if it is an excretion problem then why are my kidneys struggling to do their job? I have been drinking tons of water for the past 3 weeks each day and have only had 1 glass of wine each night. No soda, no chocolate or sweets at all and most of my sugar probably comes from the 1-2 green apples I eat every day.. but I digress. Assuming (and I know it’s not a settled issue) that it isn’t my diet; again, what could be going on with my Kidneys that they wouldn’t pull the acid from my blood stream with efficiency? I’ve had no kidney stones and only one Gout flare-up my entire life (though my feet and toes do feel to be on the edge sometimes). And what of Metabolism? What kind of metabolic problem could lead to higher levels of acidity in the blood?
I have no ideas on that last one.
But true to form, my own doctor has given me a prescription (I swear, he hands out prescriptions like candy) to deal with the high levels. You know, treat the symptom and ignore the problem! I’ll take the pills too for one course.. but again, I refuse to be medicated for life. There has to be a better way.
To that end, I’d love to hear your suggestions or advice; I want to hear from as many sources as possible to best inform my next move.