Recent science shows that there are far more neurotoxic implications with elevated oxalates.   Many of you may have heard of “kidney stones” which result from chronic oxalates.  They are the pre-cursor to kidney stones (when bound to calcium) but free oxalates (unbound) can present in all ages and particularly in children with chronic health conditions.

For the purpose of our focus, oxalates, during a toxic exposure, can cause seizures.

Per the definition, oxalates are molecules that may appear as sharp crystals.  Jagged edges result from these crystalline structures and can create pain and irritation in various areas of the body.  When oxalates are ‘free’ they can enter into the cell and create a cascade of systemic consequences including, disrupt mineral absorption, interfere with cellular energy, create oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, glutathione deficiencies, transsulfuration impairments, all of which have been strongly correlated as root causes of seizures.  Ultimately, oxalates are understood to be neurotoxic when elevated.  Symptoms can vary widely but if not identified can hinder the progress of any healing protocol.

There are two types of oxalates: endogenous and exogenous.  Endogenous oxalates suggests that the elevation of oxalates results from metabolic or systemic imbalances.  Endogenous sources often include those derived from a poor digestive environment that include infections.  Nutritional deficiencies, such as B6 and B1 can also lead to elevated oxalate toxins.  Exogenous oxalates can results from consumption of foods that are elevated in oxalates.  These high oxalate foods, become a startling surprise to many of my clients as they discover that they meet a ‘healthy’ criteria.  Examples are beets, spinach, almonds and other nuts, carrots, celery, swiss chard and soy, to name a few.   In addition leaky gut and poor fat absorption can lead to an elevation in oxalates.   It’s necessary to identify both endogenous and exogenous sources of oxalates and be sure to address other systemic imbalances to promote healing opportunities.

What are symptoms of high oxalates? Pain (practically anywhere, even behind the eyes), burning feet, weakness, bedwetting, poor growth, urinary pain, moodiness, aggression, headaches, IBD, fibromyalgia, Rett Syndrome, migraines and more, keeping in mind that each individual manifests symptoms differently.

The best means to identify if elevated oxalates are present, and whether the sources are endogenous, exogenous or both, is to complete an Organic Acids test.  It’s a non-invasive lab kit that can be shipped to you, can be conducted via urine, in the comfort of your own home, and returned with a label included.

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Díaz, Cándido, et al. (2004). “Long daily hemodialysis sessions correct systemic complications of oxalosis prior to combined liver–kidney transplantation: case report.” Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis 8.1, 52-55

Pfeiffer, H., et al. (2004). “Fatal cerebro-renal oxalosis after appendectomy.” International Journal of Legal Medicine 118.2, 98-100.

Chen, Chien-Liang, et al. (2002). “Neurotoxic effects of carambola in rats: the role of oxalate.” Journal of the Formosan Medical Association 101.5, 337-341.

New journal concludes that metabolic disorders should be considered in all cases of Epilepsy