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Last updated July 16, 2023

What Are Oxalate Dumping Symptoms?

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
  • Fatigue
  • Gum issues
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Depression
  • Migraines
  • 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.

Magnesium Citrate helps to break down the oxalate crystals as well as calcium citrate. Many have also said magnesium sulfate or Epsom salt soaks can help alleviate pain.

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.

oxalate dumpling symptoms

Sources: Medpub and Healthline

Zucchini and Sweet Potato Fritters (Paleo, Whole30)

Pumpkin Protein Muffins (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

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  1. I just started lowering oxalates a few weeks ago. Just a few days ago I started having histamine type symptoms, primarily itchiness all over and some hives. Driving me batty. And I have eliminated slowly. Also some depression that I’m not 100% is related. But, most of the joint pain I’d been having is gone or drastically reduced so very happy about that. I did have kidney pain a couple days in week 2, I’ve never had kidney stones but lots of bladder infections in the past.

  2. I’ve had 7 colds in the past few months. They started over a month into carnivore when I stopped drinking coffee. Every other week I seem to have a cold for a day or two. Is it oxalates or histamines or is my immune system crashing? Really would appreciate some help❤thank you

  3. I’ve been carnivore since June first this year. I started to heal my body and health issues and hopefull drop 100 lbs in the process. I started having a lot of issues by July and didn’t know about Oxalate Dumping until August so I didn’t understand what I was dealing with. The symptoms I have been having are: severe hystamine reaction, occasional lightening strikes in the vulva area, cramping in the thighs, foggy brain, fatigue, gum swelling and aching, headaches/migaines, digestive issues. I have had digestive issues for decades so I didn’t equate that to this, the allergy symptoms have been in overdrive and nothing helps, the thigh cramps are weird for me, I noticed today the inflammation in my mouth is subsiding, and the headaches are not unusual for me but I was wondering what i was doing wrong that they weren’t going away like they did when I was living keto. Now i have more understanding. I’m also dealing with itchy patches on my skin/hands and issues sleeping. I stopped dairy thinking I was reacting to the heavy cream in my coffee and I’ve stopped drinking coffee because it was only a way to get the cream thinking they were causing the flare up to be so severe. I have seen a slight improvement removing those but the histamine symptoms are still very bad.
    I know I have a lot of healing ahead of me and I’m pushing forward. This is my new way of life and I’m determined to keep going no matter how miserable the healing process is!

  4. I started carnivore in January. I’ve always had some problems with trigger finger and mild arthritis. No pain. All of a sudden I have pain at the base of both thumbs and developed peronies about 2 months ago. Not sure if it’s oxalates or coincidence.

  5. I’m experiencing eye issues e.g. lights and redness in both eyes. Also, I’m using organic castor oil (glass bottled) which helps with dryness. Going to see the eye doctor tomorrow to see if there is any effect on the retinas.

  6. Not totally carnivore but wow, the fatigue is crazy. I already have adrenal problems so this seems worse. Achy shoulder and lower back. Kinda light nausea, I went from pescatarian to this and I am very anxious. What helps and how long does this last. Probably about 2-3 weeks now.

    1. Have you looked into vein compressions? Your symptoms sound like my daughters. She has may thurner and nutcracker syndrome

  7. I did carnivore for a couple of years and then had a break for a year. I have now been back on carnivore, very strictly, for 4 months. While not doing carnivore I ate a heap of almonds, which are said to be one of the high oxalate offenders. I have had a lot of lower back and hip paid, maybe kidney pain as well, but difficult to distinguish. Also, shoulder pain. All areas of old injuries. This has gone of for months and been unbearable at times but feeling like it is slowly progressing. Other symptoms for me include brain fog, lack of energy. I have fingers crossed that the discomfort is part of the proper repair of old injuries.

  8. I’ve been practicing a carnivore diet for 6 weeks. I have been feeling so good until 10 days ago. Lower back and hip pain is excruciating. Also I have bladder issues and they’ve gotten worse. Laying down or walking hurts so bad I’ve been doing a lot of sitting. Could I be experiencing oxalate dumping? Thank you

  9. This just happened to me after doing a 3 day water fast. The pain in my hips and low back was unbearable last night. I managed 3 hours of sleep by using my biomat mini. Epsom salt bath this morning did help. The pain is still here today and has fluctuated in intensity. Can’t wait for it to stop. Ugh. I had forgotten oxalates were a problem for me. Lesson learned! Living in a home with aspergillus mold will cause high oxalates as well as high ox foods. I think mold is the biggest problem I face regarding oxalates but I also haven’t been too careful with my ox food intake.