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Two steps forward, one step back. That’s what I feel like right now. At the end of last week, I inadvertently went too low oxalate and that put me into an oxalate dump. If I needed confirmation that oxalates were a problem, and I did, now there’s no doubt in my mind.
Friday, I was exhausted and feeling very restless. I went to bed at 9:30 and once I got settled, I realized that my joints were aching, especially my shoulders and hips. I wasn’t able to fall asleep until around midnight. Saturday morning the pain woke me up early. I only had six hours of sleep. It was so bad I had a hard time staying still. Everything screamed, particularly my shoulder blades and the surrounding area. Large patches of skin felt raw, too.
I finally realized on Sunday that it might be oxalates- I am not counting oxalate intake daily yet, so I didn’t think about it before a friend asked. I then looked back over my food intake and realized that was very possibly the issue. I didn’t eat enough veggies in the two days before it started, and since it had begun I hadn’t eaten enough in volume or in amount of oxalates. I was hurting too badly to feel like eating much. I had dropped to below 20 grams of oxalates per day for several days, kicking off the dump then intensifying it.
So once we figured out it was oxalates, I took some measures to deal with it. I took some L-Arginine and B6. I immediately ate a high oxalate food to stop the dumping, took an epsom salt bath to help with detox and provide magnesium. I also rubbed on some magnesium oil. I had Jeff rub down my shoulders with a muscle rub and used a hot pack as comfort measures. I drank plenty of water to help flush out the crystals and dilute my urine to help prevent any sting that might happen from the crystals. Once lodged in your tissues, oxalates came come out through your skin, lungs or urine. The only place I didn’t notice it was my lungs.
I had a little chocolate to end the dumping. Surprisingly, I had been craving it, but having that little bit convinced me that it wasn’t as tasty as my memory said it was. So I didn’t binge, I was able to stop at just a little. That has ended my chocolate cravings. I also drank some beet kvass. Kvass hasn’t been tested for its oxalate levels, but beets are high, so I figured it might be a good measure.
I immediately improved, but what had gotten dislodged still had to make its way out. It’s now Friday and the area under my shoulder blades still has some dull ache to it. So now I’m convinced that oxalates really are an issue for me. And I dread having to go through this process again with back and forth, better and worse. Chelation for heavy metals was very much an up and down cycle, and I had hopped those worst days were behind me. Now I see that they are not. I’m frustrated and aggravated. I’m angry that I wasn’t told about these test results in 2008. Perhaps my life would be much different now if I had known.
Speaking of which, I’ve also found out that oxalates bind to heavy metals. I hope to spend some time reading about that soon to find out if I could run the risk of having issues with circulating metals during dumping, or if I should consider chelation as a helper, or if it would hinder removing the oxalates. My suspicion is that I should consider resuming chelation once I have fully worked down to a low oxalate diet. It can also bind to candida/yeast. While I do not suspect I have that as a problem, I will be investigating it, too.
I also met with my nutritional counselor, Lydia of Divine Health From the Inside Out, last week. We have decided that I need to consume seafood 3-4 times a week, need plenty of red meat, need more fatty acid supplements, and made some other decisions about mineral supplementation. I will continue on with consuming a large, protein-heavy breakfast and taking digestive enzymes and betaine HCl. I am finding the big breakfast with lots of protein really does help me feel better all day. I’m showing a very high need for protein and minerals while I rebuild, which is to be expected. Your body needs protein, high quality fats and minerals to rebuild and restore the gut lining and tissues damaged from oxalates working their way out. I will add calcium citrate to my meals to help bind with the oxalates so they can not be absorbed by my gut lining and go into circulation.
To that end, I have ordered more bison and lamb from Tropical Traditions and I’m purchasing seafood and breakfast meats from Green PolkaDot Box to make sure I meet my minimums. I’ve set up a basic meal chart guideline for which meat is to be served so I know what meat I’m going to have with what meal, and I just have to fill in the details. For the weekend, I’m planning simple meals that are easy on everyone then begin the rotation on Monday.
What’s On The Menu
In other news, I’ve decided to delay trying out the paleo auto-immune protocol. It’s just too much to get meals figured out and planned without repeating the same few meals over and over. And over. My kids are already dealing with some food fatigue due to how restricted I was for dinners, so I will wait on the PAIP until I’m totally on my feet with low-oxalate. Right now, I don’t need to unnecessarily eliminate foods, I need as many as I can find. So I added some seed and pepper-based spices back onto the menu. I also added very small amounts of sunnut butter back in, as that has some oxalates, too.
I have decided for now to stay on sweet potatoes as a food that will keep me high enough in oxalates to prevent dumping. I plan on tracking my oxalate intake daily and add a little sunnut butter or sweet potato at dinner if needed, in an effort to keep my intake levels stable. I will also finish the beet kvass I have here before I eliminate it.
What I don’t know, and what I’m trying to learn now, is if it is possible to do a low, slow controlled pull of oxalates instead of going through these dumping cycles. I’m hoping I can avoid having weeks like this past week. Somehow, I doubt that will be possible. 🙁
Some of you have been asking for help in knowing what to eat and what meal ideas there are for someone who is reducing oxalate intake. I don’t have an easy way to take pictures right now, since I don’t have a cell phone, but I will make an effort to blog more about what I’m eating and maybe list a weekly menu here on the blog. I’m finding the task of figuring out what to eat pretty overwhelming, just as you are.
Breakfast- coconut flour waffles (heavy on the eggs) with chicken and apple sausage, raw milk. I will bulk-cook the waffles and freeze the extras so the kids have another option when they’re tired of eggs.
Lunch- leftover roast chicken and roasted parm broccoli from Thursday night, a cup of bone broth
Dinner- Bunless bison burgers with stir-fried sumer squash and zucchini, a little raw milk cheese, kombucha
Breakfast- salmon four-egg omelets with raw cheese and Hollandaise Sauce
Lunch- Leftovers from Friday night, kombucha
Dinner- Poached dill salmon, cauliflower, bone broth
Breakfast- Bacon, fried eggs and raw milk cheese
Lunch- Sweet and sourish chicken made with bone broth, with rice for the kids
Dinner- clean out the leftovers in the fridge, kombucha