Thursday, August 29, 2013

Absorption of Medication: Could This Be The Cause?

Somewhere between the last visit, with my oncologist, and the next appointment, my husband and I were visiting with my very ill father. Prior to his illness, he had planted a few red beets in his garden. Since he was hospitalized and unable to eat his beets; Hahaha…..we indulged.

I know that many of you are thinking “gross”; “Who wants to eat red beets?”, but we actually LIKE them! Shortly after we ingested the beets, I went to the bathroom and noticed that my urine had turned red; rather quickly, I thought. I asked my husband if he had the same “outcome” and he said, “No!”

Being of a curious mind, I figured that there must be something to this; we both ate beets, and one of us had red urine. What I found was that eating beets is actually a way to test for low stomach acid. Apparently, if you do not have enough stomach acid to break down the pigment in the beets, your body is unable to metabolize and assimilate the beetroot pigments properly,  thus you will experience something called beeturia; which basically boils down to red tinged urine.

This got me thinking; if I am unable to properly digest the beets, what are the chances that I am not digesting my Sprycel medication properly, as well? If I have low stomach acid, and the Sprycel is not breaking down, in a way in which it can be absorbed as expected, it might help to explain why my increased dosage of Sprycel, has resulted in an increase of my BCR-ABL; not a decrease, as expected.

So, the lack of absorption may be the underlying cause of my increasing Bcr-Abl, but could Sprycel be the underlying cause to the low stomach acid? I had successfully taken Sprycel for one year; with a decreasing BCR-ABL. At the one year mark this changed; my PCR began an upward trend; slow, but steady.

I could hardly wait for my doctor’s appointment. Luckily, my doctor and I have an understanding relationship; He understands that I question everything and research and read anything I can get my hands on. He listens to me and doesn't make me feel inferior.

I was curious as to what he would have to say about my theory; I thought it was a good one. Feasible, and possibly a simple answer to very scientific question.

After getting my test results and discussing my overall health, I proposed my theory, to my oncologist. He broke out in a great big grin and said, “You may just be brilliant!” “That is an excellent theory.”  “From now on, take your Sprycel with something acidic, like Coke.”

Since I take my Sprycel at night, and I am not a big soda drinker, I decided to go one step further. I had heard that “Mother’s” vinegar was good for you, in many ways. So I began to choke down my Sprycel, with a shot of vinegar, in water, every night. I hoped that it would be the key; the key that would lead me down the path to a negative PCR.

Now all I had to do was wait four months, till my next appointment…….


  1. Wow that's amazing for you to discover that. I hope you teach everyone of us out there how important good food products can be for our bodies This is something I've never heard of. My mother did make us a hot drink when we didn't feel well, allergies, colds, almost anything - equal amounts of honey and apple cider vinegar - love it to this day. I kind of forgot about it. I don't know if the honey is what you woud want to help it taste better or if this would mess with the acidity but just sharing.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing, funny thing is I thought about adding honey last night! lol

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  4. Well this is more than interesting. I love red beetroot, could easily eat five or six at a time but my urine gets tinged red so I avoid them! I am on Glivec but wonder if the concept is similar so although Glivec loves carbs I might also add some acid to that as well. It's worth a go! If it makes me sick I just won't do it again :-) Jackie xxxx

    1. I was told NOT to drink grapefruit juice or pomegranate juice while on Gleevec. Go figure.

  5. Jackie, you may have an absorption issue like me!

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