If you have an autoimmune condition, you know that your body can feel often like it is out of your control. The symptoms can vary by the classification of the condition that you have, but with all of them one common thread runs through – Inflammation.
Inflammation – Acute inflammation happens when you have an injury – that area of the body becomes red, swollen, and inflamed. This can cause discomfort and pain. Ice, rest, NSAID pain relievers or natural remedies such as Turmeric, Ginger, Boswellia, and Arnica all can help reduce and give relief.
Inflammation is your body’s attempt to heal. The problem becomes when the source of injury or irritation is ongoing. This is the case in autoimmune conditions. It becomes a very vicious circle of inflammation and pain that the person cannot seem to get relief.
Being in pain all of the time can wear you down and cause you to become frustrated, depressed, and even fearful of a life lived in your own body. It is a frustration and a feeling anyone who has not experienced living with an autoimmune condition can likely not fully understand.
Autoimmune conditions encompass a range of diseases including:
- Hashimoto thyroiditis
- Addison disease
- Celiac disease
- Grave’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myasthenia gravis
- Pernicious anemia
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD}
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Type 1 diabetes
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
What causes autoimmune disease?
The exact root cause of autoimmune disorders remains unknown. The most commonly accepted theory is that bacteria, viruses, or pharmaceutical drugs may trigger changes in the immune system. This happens most often in those who have genes that make them more prone to autoimmune disorders.
While there is no cure for autoimmune issues – Those of us living with them dig, research, and go through life with a trial-and-error approach to health care looking for relief. This is exactly how I stumbled on this piece of information that is helping me drastically as I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Elevated levels of Oxalates can cause chronic inflammation and pain!
What is an Oxalate?
Oxalate refers to Oxalic acid which is found in foods. It can reduce mineral absorption from the foods you eat. This can lead to mineral deficiencies, all of which come with their own set of issues when not balanced in the body. Oxalates also contribute to the formation of kidney stones.
How Oxalates Contribute to Or Even Cause Chronic Pain
Oxalates in the intestine break down and disburse but when found in very high levels they are readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Oxalic acid then combines with free-floating minerals or heavy metals to form crystals. These crystals are free to then deposit in the joints, bones, soft tissues, and glands, which can cause chronic pain.
High Oxalates interfere with the sleep healing mechanism so you may not feel rested even after a full night’s sleep.
Joints, Connective tissue, and fascia are high in sulfate receptors and oxalates can bind to these tissues, causing muscle, joint or soft tissue, or tendon pain.
Oxalate Arthritis can result from the deposition of calcium oxalate into tendons, cartilage, and synovium.
How Elevated Oxalate Levels feel in the body
- Your body feels far older than your age in years
- You wake up stiff and in pain
- It becomes hard to get up from a low couch or chair and you move more slowly than you used to
- Stairs may become exhausting
- You become fatigued easily even if overall you have energy
- Sleep does not leave you feeling refreshed
Oxalates are a very real cause of pain for the population in general but especially those with autoimmune diseases.
How do you test Oxalate Levels?
Hair or urine tests are recommended to check oxalate levels. Don’t guess, test. If you aren’t high, there is no point in following a low oxalate diet. This is an issue for many people, but not for everyone. If your tests come back showing elevation, reduction may very well help reduce your pain levels and restore a feeling of wellness and vibrancy.
Reducing High Oxalate Levels
This is a two-step process. First, you have to stop consuming what is harming you. This means going on a low oxalate way of eating. Common foods that are high in oxalate that you want to avoid include Spinach, raspberries, chocolate, soy, potatoes, almonds, navy beans, dates, beets, leafy greens, grits, peanut, and almond butter, and miso soup. There are many high-oxalate food lists online. A true low oxalate diet has the level set at 50mg per day.
Drink water! Aim for a gallon a day. Water will help flush your system as they are water soluble.
How long will it take to notice a difference?
You may begin to see a difference in just 2 weeks, but full effects can take as long as 8 to 20 weeks for the levels to fully drop down to normal. It all depends on the range you are in and how long it will take to flush them from your body.
Take heart. Health is a puzzle and every little piece we find helps bring us closer to true wellbeing.