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How can high uric acid levels be managed?

Q: I am a 39 years old male weighing 74 kg. I have been taking Epilex (200 mg) for the past 27 years. I had seizure 18 years back and in the last eight years, I underwent three check-ups. My EEG is normal but I was advised to continue medication of Epilex (200 mg) at bed time. My diastolic blood pressure (BP) is always around 100 mm Hg and my systolic BP is 130-140 mm Hg. I am concerned about my diastolic blood pressure. My uric acid level was always around 8 mg/dl or 8.5 mg/dl but recently gone up to 10 mg/dl. I have a healthy vegetarian diet and I don’t take alcohol and do not smoke. I am not regular with my workouts. I have been maintaining a weight of 74 kg for the past 15 years. How can my blood pressure and uric acid level be managed? I have already reduced my salt intake by 30%.

A:Regarding uric acid, there is no definite proof till now that slightly high uric acid causes any health-related issues. It is true that one of the medicines often given for blood pressure called ‘diuretics’ raise the level of serum uric acid. Therefore, your blood pressure doctor may like not to give you a diuretic, in case this is being given to you.

High uric acid can be controlled by reducing the amount of food one takes in a day (eat less calories), reducing weight with more exercise, and eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. A new finding is that vegetarian food items do not increase uric acid levels. This new research finding (reported from Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA), means that now tomatoes, spinach, all kinds of 'daal' (pulses), all can be eaten without worrying about uric acid. On the other hand, beer, sea-food, red meat increase uric acid levels. A very important new finding is that fat-free milk (double-toned) and yoghurt (curd made from this milk) intake reduces serum uric acid levels.

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