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Avoiding Vitamin K

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Dainty, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    I'm curious to know if anyone else has found it helpful to avoid foods that are a moderate to high source of vitamin K, or if anyone else is willing to try it and report back with their results.

    Over the past two years I have personally discovered that whenever I eat one or more servings of something high in vitamin K (such as green leafy vegetables) I go from a Bell's# 30 to #20 within 24 hours and it takes me a day or two to recover. Discovering this connection a few years back is one of the key reasons I'm no longer at a #10. I have tested and re-tested this connection on myself multiple times with the same result every time. Just last week I ate a serving of spinach and I was out of it for two days, couldn't concentrate on anything, couldn't handle my own meds, suddenly became 95% bedridden and was so stressed by the presence of my caretaker that the moment she came in I'd be grabbing my head, whimpering, and begging her to just leave ASAP, at one point even yelling "I NEED YOU TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW, I NEED YOU TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW" because the cognitive stress was unbearably overwhelming. That's what one serving of spinach, or any other food similarly high in vitamin K, does to me. Foods that are only a moderate source in the same amount have milder, but still intolerable effects.

    My current diet is actually one of the most varied it's been since my illness became severe. I eat potatoes with a little bit of coconut oil, non-fish meats and broths (whatever I can tolerate at the time; it changes unpredictably), honey, pecans (or sometimes other nuts), a limited amount of eggs and a very limited amount of tomatoes with a little olive oil. When I'm doing badly I can only tolerate one egg every other day; when doing well I can do one egg per day. I generally have about one tomato per month; any more than that results in symptoms.

    In case it matters at all, any more than miniscule amounts of vitamin D causes me intense pain, so that's another limiting factor on my diet. I do try salmon occasionally to test it again.

    Anyway, since my experience with a correlation between foods high in vitamin K and a worsening of CFS symptoms (especially cognitive function, physicaly activity, and stress sensitivity) has been so consistent for so long, and the discovery has helped me so much, I'm really curious to know if the experience has been shared by anyone else, or if anyone improves by following the experiment.

    Edit: Just for the record, a single bite of spinach resulted in about 12 hours of spaciness and diminished concentration, along with abuut a 50% increase in my need for napping. Not nearly as bad as a full serving but still plenty bad enough for me to leave it out of my diet completely.
  2. starryeyes

    starryeyes Senior Member

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    I wonder if this reaction you have to Vitamin K is due to the fact that parts of our immune system in CFS are overworking and may yours goes into major overdrive with the added K since vitamin K stimulates the immune system.

    I don't react like that to it. Sorry you do. It's best to follow whatever diet works for you. Each of us reacts differently to different substances and foods. When you were describing holding your head and asking your Caretaker to leave, I felt so bad for you. I totally understand.

    :hug:

    tee
  3. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    I wonder, too. Though I did need to be on Heparin for a while, so I'm wondering if it has more to do with the blood-thinning properties of avoiding vitamin K.

    I was actually thinkin galong the lines of "If vitamin K makes the difference between #30 and #20 for me, then could someone who's say, at #50 possibly go to #60 by avoiding vitamin K?" I wouldn't expect that you'd notice a difference unless you avoided it for a while and then tried to reintroduce it, because it takes, for me at least, about 6 hours to kick in and lasts at least a day so if I ate it with every meal or almost every meal I wouldn't suspect any reaction, I'd just assume I had CFS really severely.

    But you may be right, it might just be an individualized idiosyncracy. Thanks for the hug!
  4. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Hi Dainty,

    I don't know much about Vit. K, but hope to learn more so thanks for your post.

    I am also curious if maybe you might be reacting to the oxalic acid in the spinach and not the Vit. K. Just "food" for thought.

    Take care and let us know how you are doing,

    Maxine
  5. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Hi Dainty,

    Vitamin K thickens the blood - right? Were you on the heparin because your blood was too thick? Sorry, just trying to learn stuff here.

    Thanks,

    Maxine
  6. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    I was thinking the same thing as Maxine - perhaps it's not the Vit. K, but the oxalic acid in the spinach.
  7. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Oxalic acid

    Hey Kim,

    Quit thinking my thoughts or I am going to have to charge you for them!:Retro smile:

    Thanks for posting the link to the oxalic acid information - very informative. I do take exception to something they say later on:"Nor need one be afraid to boost one's calcium intake". I am concerned about that statement since it does make a difference if you add too much calcium to your diet. Minerals, as you know, need to be kept in balance, and excess calcium can block magnesium absorption. Yep, I am still the magnesium maniac.:D

    Happy Wednesday...it is Wed. isn't it??

    Maxine
  8. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    I used the spinach example because it was the one I most recently tested, but I have had this same reaction with cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, and green beans are the ones I'm specifically remembering off the top of my head. I especially remember the cauliflower because I automatically assumed that since it wasn't green and leefy it must not have much vitamin K in it. My typical symptoms alerted me to look it up and sure enough it has a goodly amount in it. I'm not seeing these veggies listed as having high amounts of oxalic acid in the link provided. Again, this is something that I've been testing in myself for several years....and it was actually the first time I had tested spinach. So I'm fairly certain that it isn't oxalic acid, especially since the same exact symptoms are shared with other foods high in vitamin K that are low in oxalic acid.

    But I do appreciate the link; I hadn't read about oxalic acid before. *sings to herself* "Just keep learning, just keep learning, jus tkeep learning, learning, learning..."
  9. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Oxalic Acid Content of Selected Vegetables
    [​IMG]
    This table was originally published in Agriculture Handbook No. 8-11, Vegetables and Vegetable Products, 1984.
    VegetableOxalic acid
    (g/100 g)
    Amaranth 1.09Asparagus .13Beans, snap .36Beet leaves .61Broccoli .19Brussels sprouts .36Cabbage .10Carrot .50Cassava1.26Cauliflower .15Celery .19Chicory .21Chives1.48Collards .45Coriander .01Corn, sweet .01Cucumbers .02Eggplant .19Endive .11Garlic .36Kale .02Lettuce .33Okra .05Onion .05Parsley1.70Parsnip .04Pea .05Pepper .04Potato .05Purslane1.31Radish .48Rutabaga .03Spinach .97Squash .02Sweet potato .24Tomato .05Turnip .21Turnip greens .05Watercress .31
  10. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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  11. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    I was on Heparin because of severe POTS...they thought it might help my blood get to my brain more efficiently. It did help significantly with my memory problems at the time, though it was a struggle to stay on it because every new health professional I went to wante dme off it. I couldn't get off it for...a year? Two? because of how poorly I did without it. One doctor even refused to give me another prescription when my refills ran out...she changed her mind after seeing firsthand just how badly I needed it. :( Anyway, Heparin isn't something I'd recommend, but it did really help me when I was at my absolute worst. I'm fuzzy on the details of who first put me on it and why because I was so out of it at the time.
  12. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Hi Dainty,

    Your problem might well be with Vitamin K and not with oxalic acid. As you say, just keep learning, and learning.

    Good Luck!

    Maxine
  13. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    Hmm.

    I'm wondering, then, why I don'thave a problem with potatoes? My main staple food, eaten in large quantities at almost every meal? But then, perhaps the addition of a few bites of veggies puts it over the top?

    Brain overload, taking a break. Thanks for the help, everyone.
  14. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    that K stuff

    Hi; one does have to listen to one's own body, but just a couple of notes on K. There are basically two versions of vitamin K, K1 and K2 (there are several forms of K2, but let that pass for the moment.) The body can to a very limited extent convert K1 to K2, but the conversion is very limited. Over the last five years or so researchers have found that K2 plays a key role in how our bodies handle calcium--given enough K2, it gets sent into our bones, and kept out of our arteries and heart valves. K2 is found in limited quantities in fermented foods--some cheeses, and, in larger quantities, natto, a rather weird Japanese foodstuff made of soy fermented by special bugs.

    The key study that started this is called the Rotterdam study--a large epidemiological study; since then, there has been quite a lot of work on it, and either Google or PubMed will get you up to speed rapidly. K2 does not produce instant blood clots, but does interfere with Coumadin and similar drugs to some extent.

    Since my problems started with a heavily calcified aortic valve, I take K2 supplements regularly; it helps in conjunction with vit D in staving off osteoporosis. Depending on your own particular health situation, I think it is worth doing a bit of checking into K2, and thinking about it, preferably with the help of a doctor, who of course may very well never have heard of K2--you know how it is!
    Best wishes, Chris
  15. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Chris/Vitamin K

    Hi Chris,

    As usual, you are a great source of information. I was wondering where to go to check out more about K since there can be so much mis-information on the internet. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the Rotterdam study.

    Take care,

    Maxine
  16. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    I would agree...it could be something else. From a TCM perspective (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and also an ayurvedic perspective, different foods are classified by their 'tastes' (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent) and the effect those tastes may have on the body.

    For example, many foods high in vitamin K are also 'bitter' or 'astringent' foods. These tend to by drying and constricting...they may be constricting your blood flow or blood vessels ("may" is the operative word).

    I say so because I've been having trouble with dry eyes, skin and sinuses lately, and have found through trial and error that if I cut out the more astringent or especially the bitter foods (like broccoli, celery, kale, and especially bitter herbs) then I'm not so dry, and I am actually starting to turn this around...the dryness anyway...I hope.

    And not sure about this, but I don't think vitamin K 'thickens the blood'. To my knowledge it doesn't increase clotting, it regulates healthy blood clotting. And like Chris is saying, vitamin K is also extremely important to healthy bone formation and teeth -- it works with vitamin d, to keep calcium in the bones and out of the arteries.

    And finally, vitamin K is produced in a healthy gut.

    so......it might be something else.

    my two cents,

    d.
  17. rainbow11

    rainbow11 Guest

    Dainty,

    Best I can offer for you is, number one, it is possible that the pesticides on the spinach may be causing you problems.

    Spinach, unless you are buying organic, is one of the highest vegetables to be found contaminated by pesticides. This, compounded with CFS, is more than likely going to cause problems for you, as your already overloaded system with toxins is overloaded even more.

    You could try, for another source of Vitamin K, a liquid alfalfa extract, which you can put in your drinking water, which might work for you better.

    This way, you can regulate the amount of the Vitamin K you are getting, and more than likely will not contain the pesticide overload you are getting with the raw spinach.

    Secondly, although the spinach is more than likely highly contaminated with pesticides, since you also have symptoms when taking Vitamin D, your symptoms could also be coming from a detox angle.

    Overloaded kidneys and livers, lymph systems, and other organs in the body that are "stuck" with toxins, if you ingest something that usually, in a healthy individual, would be beneficial.... initially in a toxic individual, as the toxins are trying to become unstuck, this can most certainly cause an increase in symptoms.

    Not sure what blood type you are, but if you are Blood Type O, a diet of mostly potatoes and tomatoes is also, most certainly, a recipe for disaster.

    You might want to look into the Blood Type Diet and what are the proper foods for your blood type.

    I know it can be hard, when your system is not working right from a digestive angle to eat other things, but perhaps you could gently make some changes to something more healthy.

    The major key to detoxing is not to detox fast.

    So if taking Vitamin D, and it is causing problems, cut way, way back on the dosage until you can take it with no symptoms, and then very, very slowly increase the dosage.

    Same with the Liquid Alfalfa, for Vitamin K, you can start very slowly... and then increase.

    Distilled water is much better when trying to detox the body.... and if you can get some minerals (I personally like cell food) to add into the water, this would be ideal.

    It would be extremely helpful and beneficial... when trying to detox... to work on your lymph system. You can find some very good body energy work exercises on line by Donna Eden, to help with this process.

    rainbow
  18. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    To follow up re the pesticide point, here is a link showing the "dirtiest" fruits/veggies. Altho the items listed might vary from site to site if you search for them on the internet, many of them stay the same. One might think that the pesticide issue is only one concerning smooth vs. textured skins on the fruits/veggies. Unfortunately, it is more complex, getting into type of pesticides used and how many different pesticides are sprayed on some crops. Just an FYI.

    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nutrition/a/pesticides.htm
  19. VelvetBlade

    VelvetBlade

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    This is really interesting to me. First I recently started taking a Vitamin K supplement and it has made a huge difference if I take it in the mornings. My bounce back is better and my stamina and clarity have improved dramatically. I apparently have a Vitamin D conversion problem (it was "too low to measure" for 18 months despite high supplementation). I now am on 50,000 IU injections every 2 weeks and 12,000 IU a day with a stopping of the daily for 3 days after taking the injections. This has brought my levels up dramatically (BioForte emulsion for the 12,000 IU helps) but it is still way below the "normal low".

    Recently, though, I had to go on a low iodine diet for a thyroid test. (I test hyperthyroid by TSH only but have all the hypo symptoms so they are stumped. This in conjuction with multinodular toxic goiter). On that diet you can't eat leafy greens, soy, veggie burgers of any type or dairy among other things. Could it be that you are reacting to the iodine? That might also explain the salmon reaction, plus although salmon is low in mercury if caught wild, I can't take it due to mercury toxicity. Mercury or other heavy metals can cause reactions that are opposite of what's expected.

    Just throwing this out there. Not sure if it has anything to do with anything but I think unless you actually take a supplement you aren't going to fully know if it's the vitamin k you are reacting to or something else found in the rich greens.
  20. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    VelvetBlade

    So are your free T3 and T4 levels also high?

    Ema

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