Wondering if you are having oxalate dumping symptoms?
I’m sharing my experience with switching over to a carnivore diet and experiencing oxalate dumping.
How Are Oxalates Formed?
Oxalates are formed from oxalic acid which is an organic compound found in many plant foods, including leafy greens, vegetables, a few fruits, cocoa, nuts, seeds, and most plants in general.
They bind themselves to minerals like calcium in our bodies forming glass-like crystals that can be very destructive.
“Oxalic acid and its salts occur as end products of metabolism in a number of plant tissues. When these plants are eaten they may have an adverse effect because oxalates bind calcium and other minerals.”
A plant makes high oxalates to defend itself against harm, bugs, and being eaten.
Some people can break them down more easily than others, and those with leaky gut can get major issues such as calcium oxalate kidney stones. The oxalic acid can be absorbed through the digestive tract and bind with minerals leading to crystal formation.
Leaky gut issues are common with autoimmune disease.
Many people don’t realize oxalates can cause issues other than kidney stones though.
Since I have kidney stone issues, I don’t have to wonder, I know I struggle with calcium oxalate accumulation.
I have heard many switching to a keto-type high meat diet and feeling oxalate dumping but not knowing what it was.
If you have switched to a low oxalate diet or are just wondering what are oxalate dumping symptoms, let’s see if we can find out.
What Are Oxalate Dumping Symptoms?
Let’s take a second to review some issues that oxalates can cause other than kidney stones.
- Histamine type symptoms
- Vulvodynia (vulva pain in women)
- Muscle cramping
- Joint pain like arthritis
- Painful eyes or sandy eyes
- Brain fog
- Gum issues
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Skin sores and rashes
- IBS and digestive issues
Most people know oxalates collect in the kidneys like oxalate stones but these oxalates can collect all over the body mimicking things like arthritis.
It’s most likely that wherever your oxalates collect is where you will have dumping issues as the crystals move around to find their way out.
Most people can dump through their intestines by passing oxalates through their stool and then through the kidneys as urine. The body releases the oxalate you have stored up when you are “dumping”.
Are You Oxalate Dumping?
If you are eating lots of high-oxalate foods, this isn’t the time you will feel dumping. Most people don’t start dumping until they start a low-oxalate diet.
If you have recently stopped eating high oxalate foods this is when your body will want to start dumping them.
It is different for everyone in the time frame. For me personally, I personally started dumping after a week of eating meat and cheese.
I felt great until the dumping started.
The first things to hit me were fatigue and migraines. Having a fatigue test was able to measure the deficiencies or imbalances in my body.
I do have a large oxalate problem though, I’ve had kidney stones and extra calcifications in my hands.
It manifested as extreme hip and lower back pain. It was excruciating and lasted for days. I also had gritty sandy eyes for almost 2 weeks.
Before and after the dumping I felt really well but the “arthritis” type pain from the dumping was unbearable.
Overall I would say that dumping oxalates is cyclical and your body will periodically dump to get rid of excess oxalate.
Vitamin C and Endogenous Oxalate Producers
There are a group of people who produce oxalates in their liver more than others. They are known as endogenous producers. Often excess vitamin C can be converted into oxalates as well as some types of collagen.
If you know you struggle with high levels of oxalate, reducing vitamin C may slow down the production. This is mainly an issue for people supplementing with large amounts of vitamin C on a regular basis.
Even for someone who is an endogenous producer, eliminating high oxalate foods will greatly improve their situation.
Having an OATS test (Organic Acid Test) is one of the best ways to see your amount of oxalate and how your body is handling it.
For most endogenous producers, vitamin B6 can be helpful starting with small amounts.
“Sufficient B6 is required to help with the conversion of glyoxalate to glycine in the body. Maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin B6 will help with endogenous production. However, the active form (P5P) is poorly absorbed. It’s recommended that patients in pain start with low doses of pyridoxine hydrochloride (10 mg) and work up to higher doses as tolerated. The upper limit is 100 mg per day. Patients without pain can usually safely start at 50 mg per day.” -Great Plains Laboratory
Supplements for Oxalate Dumping?
There are a few things that can help relieve the pain when you are dumping.
Sipping on baking soda water helped my pain tremendously. I’m not sure exactly why it works, but it helped more than anything, including pain medication.
One teaspoon in a cup of water twice a day cut my pain in half.
I am sensitive to magnesium sulfate so I skipped this one. If you have tried it and it helps, please leave a comment below.
Chanca Piedra is also used for calcium oxalate crystals and I have found it to be extremely helpful in breaking down oxalate crystals.
For many vitamin B6 and B1 can lead to more dumping but it does help with those who are endogenous producers.
I would recommend taking B6 and B1 extremely slowly and paying attention to how you feel, I don’t do well with even medium doses of these.
You may not be able to eliminate all oxalate dumping symptoms because those oxalates have to come out, but you can slow them down to reduce the pain.
Slowing Oxalate Dumping Symptoms
Yes, the oxalates need to come out of your body but sometimes they can come out too fast and lead to an emergency.
There have been people hospitalized for dumping too fast. It tends to dramatically lower your potassium and can lead to heart arrhythmia symptoms.
You want to dump oxalates slowly so your body can handle the dump.
To do this you need to lower your foods slowly instead of stopping them all at once.
If you are eating tons of oxalates, cut out just one high oxalate food once a week and wean yourself off of it.
You want to give your body a way to get rid of oxalates slowly so it doesn’t cause huge dumping symptoms.
If you know you are dumping heavily, you can slow it down by eating a small amount of oxalates.
Share Your Symptoms Below
Understanding oxalates is a very new idea and we need to all learn together. Share your experience in the comments below and join the Trying Low Oxalate Facebook group which is very helpful.
More people are learning about the connection to oxalates in arthritis, brain fog, skin issues, and digestive issues every day.