I’ve been hesitating to talk about this because, quite frankly, it sounds crazy and is just a bit controversial. I’ve known for quite a while that something was off in my diet, but I wasn’t sure what it was. I wasn’t sick, but I had some pain that didn’t make sense to me.
About six years ago I started eating a low carb paleo diet due to blood sugar issues. I immediately felt better and my blood sugar stabilized. I’d gradually tapered off eating meat and leaned heavy on nuts and seeds for my daily protein.
In the past year, I had developed pain in my right side (and in my heart) and thought it was because I didn’t have a gallbladder. It had been removed years before. I went to an allopathic doctor and even had an ultrasound, a gazillion blood tests and everything turned out normal.
The doctor said my heart beat was a little off, but didn’t see it as a cause for concern. I honestly thought the heart pain was due to the loss of a relationship years before and I just needed time to heal emotionally.
I finally went to see my naturopathic doctor, and he was able to diagnose the right side pain as a weakness in my kidneys. He recommended some dietary changes and put me on hydrangea tincture to dissolve stones and help support the kidneys.
Being me, I took to Dr. Google and started researching how kidney stones are formed in the body. It is mostly diet related, specifically foods high in oxalates. All of the foods I had been living on for years are the biggest offenders. Nut, seeds, beans, spinach, kale and my beloved chocolate are all high in oxalates. Most people can pee the excess oxalates right out of the body. I was eating these offenders in excess, and my body couldn’t get rid of them fast enough. So, it stored them in my tissues, joints, organs, bones, and skin. Yes, everywhere.
My morning smoothie would consist of one or two tablespoons of nut butter, or a hemp protein powder, super green powder, two big handfuls of spinach and almond milk to mix it all together. That is about 1,000g of oxalate right there. And, that was only breakfast. Don’t even get me started on all of the recipes I’ve posted over the years. Most of them are high oxalate offenders.
I DID IT ALL WRONG!
It was suggested in the research to find out if oxalates are an issue simply reduce the amount you are eating. If your body has a reaction, then you are fucked. I mean you probably have an issue. What I didn’t hear was to do this slowly. If you are eating 3,000g a day of oxalates, reduce it incrementally over several weeks until you average 50g per day. Well, I didn’t do that. I went all in and reduced all of the high oxalates from my diet. I went down to 50g a day right away.
The first few days were fine. No symptoms. I felt fantastic. Then. . . dumping began. Dumping is a term for when the body begins to release the excess oxalates from the body. You feel like you’ve been beaten to within an inch of your life. Every. Part. Of. Your. Body. H.U.R.T.S. And, not just for a few days. I’m a month into this now, and I still hurt. But I am better.
I’m not going to explain the science behind all of this here. There are smarter people than I who have been doing so for quite awhile now. I will give you links to their info below.
WHAT THIS HAS TAUGHT ME
- Listen To Your Intuition – My intuition had been telling me for quite awhile that nuts were becoming an issue. I didn’t listen because on some level I didn’t want to have to change. Don’t wait until you have no choice.
- Slow Down – I am one of those people who is always going a hundred miles an hour. Nothing has slowed me down like this has. It has helped me to see that doing one thing at a time or simply doing the next thing in front of me is enough.
- Think Outside The Box – I’ve really had to completely change how I eat which has inspired me to create new recipes. I see creating a low oxalate cookbook in my future.
- Addictions Keep You Stuck – I had developed some unhealthy addictions around food and technology. Instead of watching hours of Netflix a day I have been reading instead. I am not sure how this correlates, but I know it does.
At the beginning of my oxalate dump, I could barely move my body. I was spending my days either in bed or on the couch. Exercise was out of the question. Here I had been eating what I thought was a healthy diet for so long only to find out I wasn’t eating healthy for me. That made me cry.
Now that I am past the grief I am hopeful. My body is getting better every day. I know there is a way to go yet, but I am positive that in the long term my body will thank me for the pain I am causing it now. This crazy experience has changed so many things for me in such a positive way that I am incredibly grateful it happened.
This really is the best oxalate talk yo will ever see. Once you get past the moderator (on the left) you get to hear Elliot Overton talk everything oxalate.
Sally Norton is a Health Coach who has a very informative website about oxalate poisoning. You can find her here.
One of the best resources I have had is the TLO (Trying Low Oxalate) Facebook group. It is helpful to know you are not alone on this journey.