Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cheesy Diets and Sweet "Life" Choices

My annual physical used to be a non-event; check the BP and cholesterol, be appraised of how healthy I am now, talk about what may lie ahead...nothing special. But as I get older, it seems my body has begun to develop other issues...those along the "oh, you're just getting older" meme.

But these changes may have led to one mystery, that of my new gouty condition. My uric acid levels are way up (gout cause!), but it seems my Vitamin D levels are now really low, as well.

My doctor was not happy.

Hashing this out with my doctor, we realized that I have been getting mega dairy cravings for the past few months, something I never really had before. I mean, I am a fan of a piece of cheese & some fruit for dessert, but looking back on recent times, I've been scarfing large amounts of cheese, keffir, skyr, sour cream, Mexican crema, ice cream, get the idea.

And it turns out that excessive dairy products can increase the uric acid in your system which can lead to gout episodes. Which means my lack of Vitamin D meant more intake of Vitamin D rich foods which led to an increase in gout prone blood.

So have we found the culprit?
© Evan Dorkin

It's a good possibility, although there has been some research that a uric acid increase in and of itself may be responsible for Vitamin D deficiency among gout sufferers.

Which means my new found dairy addiction is purely based on my own shortcomings. Or getting unhealthy uric acid levels THEN led to dairy cravings, which is sad. Or maybe gout was just a bad timing sort of thing as I get older. (Age is also a common factor for Vitamin D decrease in the body, too).

So now I'm on Vitamin D supplements AND uric acid reducing drugs. Probably on both until...well, until forever. This sort of lifestyle change will get me so ready for my 50th year in 2015 (helped along by the referral the doctor gave me for my first colonoscopy. Yay!)

But I also look at this as another way of seeing that even "healthier" foods do not necessarily mean health.  Perhaps eating goat brie and yogurt is better than boxes of fudge, but it still comes down to portion control and sensible ways of eating. Thanks god I stayed away from the "fat free" cheeses, with all the added sugars and fillers.

Which brings me to my next rant. Chronic gout has meant my running activities have been way curtailed. This weekend, I finally managed to go out for a chilly 5K run, which felt great. But I came across a billboard for a product I hadn't heard of before this week: Coke Life.

I guess it's been on the shelves for a bit, but I don't tend to wander the soda aisles as of late. What gets me is that they're marketing this as a healthy drink and putting "cane sugar" in the same phrase as stevia, showing them both as natural, healthy ingredients.

OK, they both come from plants but "cane sugar" is SUGAR! YOU'RE DRINKING SUGAR! It is a processed product that isn't good for you in excessive amount! Is it healthier than high fructose corn syrup (which, technically, also comes from "natural ingredients")? Perhaps, but you're still drinking sugar water. You might as well just drink Coke non-Life (I won't even touch that one.)

Why do we continue to fall for this crap and why do they still try to push this on us like this? And in what world is sugar a "green" choice? If my toe wasn't all gouty, I'd get up and write an old man letter of complaint to the company.

But for now I'm just gonna cut back on the dairy. Because it's bad enough being grumpy from idiotic health marketing. Not being able to exercise or walk as I get older isn't gonna diffuse that grumpiness.

Who wants to buy some cheese?


Takahashi, Sumio, Tetsuya Yamamoto, Yuji Moriwaki, Zenta Tsutsumi, Jun-ichi Yamakita, and Kazuya Higashino. “Decreased Serum Concentrations of 1,25(OH)2-Vitamin D3 in Patients with Gout.” In Purine and Pyrimidine Metabolism in Man IX, edited by Andrea Griesmacher, Mathias M. Müller, and Peter Chiba, 57–60. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 431. Springer US, 1998.

No comments:

Post a Comment