Sunday, December 4, 2011

Oxalic Acid is a No-No (and a follow up on curing Anemia)

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I have researched what I can do in order to increase my red blood cell count. One of the things I researched is the foods that I should eat that are high in the vitamins and minerals needed the body needs. Kale is one of the foods that is rich is iron, vitamin C and many of the B vitamins.

Last Tuesday, I ate some kale crisps, which is basically dehydrated marinated kale. I thought I was doing well choosing this food because it is also alkaline forming when digested which is exactly what is preferred during the healing phase of Crohn’s. By that evening, I had diarrhea that was almost as bad as what occurs when you take the prep for a colonoscopy.  Urrgggghhhh:(

Ironically, I had a scheduled appointment at 4:00 p.m. that day to speak with my holistic gastroenterologist, which was just after I ate the kale, but before the diarrhea began   I inquired about kale with her and she advised me that it is not wise to eat it yet because of the oxalic acid within kale. I didn’t tell her during this conversation that I had had kale earlier that day, and a lot of it. I wanted to see if it affected me as she suspected that it would.

Oxalic acid is extremely strong and salty, and since the healing diet is a cleansing diet, a strong acid reacts very negatively with the body. I was unable to make it to work on Wednesday because I couldn’t be away from the toilet for more than 30 minutes in the morning hours. By the evening, I only needed to frequent the bathroom every couple of hours. My bowel movements weren’t back to normal for three days.

Therefore, if you’re on the healing diet or any cleanse, avoid oxalic acid which is commonly found in spinach, rhubarb, collard greens, and kale. I’m sure it’s in many other foods, so it is worth exploring whenever you’re cleansing.

My last blog, I mentioned that I would follow up on a couple of things regarding curing my anemia. First, Dr. Azar confirmed that  there isn’t a way to get vitamin B-12 through plant based foods and she suggested that I get tested for it when I see my medical gastroenterologist on January 10. The specific test I will request is a methyl malonic acid and homo cystine test. If this shows that my B-12 is low, a supplement that dissolves in the mouth is better than a pill that settles in the stomach since it can aggravate the digestive tract. I’m going to start taking the supplement now so and not wait for the test so that it can hopefully assist in curing my anemia.

Additionally, she agreed that exercise is okay at this time as long as it’s not in excess.  Red blood cells are needed when rebuilding muscle, but the body tends to produce more of something it needs, so a little bit of exercise at this point could be positive and prompt more red blood cell production.

I went snowboarding this past weekend so I got enough exercise and did so at a higher elevation, of course. Because oxygen is not as readily available at a higher elevation, the body tends to produce more blood cells so it can carry more oxygen.  Hopefully the little bit of exercise at the higher elevation will also help.

Next blog will be more detail on the healing (cleansing diet). 

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