When I began this diet, my uric acid levels were slightly elevated. My guess is they've always been elevated, which is why I had kidney stones in the past. While beer has been shown to increase uric acid in the body, can it alone be blamed for my kidney health?
I dunno. But it was enough to make me think about what the purpose of this diet was, and why I'm doing it.
First and foremost, I want to lose weight. That's the main goal.
Second, I wanted to see what a beer-only diet does to a person for 30 days. But not to the degree that my health suffered in any large-scale way.
Third, I wondered if I could even do it. A month without food? Would I have the self-control?
This is hardly a scientific experiment, so I have no idea if my results are typical or atypical. There was no control, no large data pool, and I'm a subject with uric acid issues in the first place. I've lost 20 pounds in two weeks, but I also may be hurting myself.
Along with the increased uric acid, I can visibly tell I'm losing muscle. And who knows what other internal problems are happening because I'm missing nutrients?
So I decided it was time to make a decision. Quit the diet, or modify it.
What ways could I modify?
Well, the first thing I obviously needed to do was reduce my uric acid. I DO NOT want kidney stones.
A search of the internet and a quick trip to the vitamin store provided a few products touted to lower uric acid and improve kidney function.
But before I get into that, it's worth knowing something about me. I'm a skeptic. As such, I'm not a fan of alternative medicine. I like to base my actions on hard data, not on anecdotal evidence. Alternative medicine is filled with anecdotes, hearsay, and loosey-goosey studies. That doesn't mean there may not be some truth to what certain supplements can do, but as far as I'm concerned the whole nutraceutical needs a LOT more scientific scrutiny.
That said, I bought a few products that anecdotes and a few studies say help reduce or neutralize uric acid. First of all, good old sodium bicarbonate. Then some tart cherry juice concentrate, and celery seed extract. Finally, some dandelion root for supposed kidney health.
I took these last night, slept well, and haven't had any more kidney pain in ten hours.
Okay, that's hardly conclusive. But it got me thinking.
Technically, all of these things I'm taking are unproven. And technically, I've already broken the rules of my diet (it was supposed to be beer and water only.)
So if I'm taking some medically unproven supplements, it would be stupid not to take some medically proven ones.
Later today I'm going back to the vitamin store and actually getting some stuff that I know my body needs. A multivitamin. Omega 3 oil. Protein powder. Calcium and magnesium.
I'm still drinking beer. I'm still avoiding food. But I've decided to try and make this diet smarter and (hopefully) healthier with some supplements.
This diet is no longer about the healthful properties of beer, which disappoints me. I would have loved to have shown that I could live on beer alone for a month, and come out better at the end of it.
Instead, I'll settle for losing weight drinking nothing but beer, and taking some supplements so I (hopefully) don't hurt myself.
Still no food. Still beer as my main source of calories (other than 200 calories in whey protein, tart cherry concentrate, and fish oil.)
We'll see if I continue to lose weight, and if the bad numbers in my blood work go back to being good...