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Are Oxalates Causing Your Bladder & Pelvic Pain?

Are Oxalates Causing Your Bladder & Pelvic Pain?

By Dr. Mandy LaGreca DCN, CNS, FDN-P

Are you suffering with chronic bladder or pelvic pain, and are confused what may be causing it?

Is your doctor leading you through a rabbit hole of toxic medications or painful procedures that are providing little benefit?

I am here to tell you that your root cause may be right under your nose on the plate of food you are eating that you may think is healthy!  This is due to something called oxalate.


Let me fill you in on what they are and how they could be affecting your health.

Those little crystals called oxalates can be so pesky and they seem to be everywhere!

So what is an oxalate anyway and why should you care?  Chances are you may not have ever heard of this word. 

Or maybe you have, and you mentioned this to your doctor who looked at you like you’re a ten-eyed alien stepping off a flying saucer from an unknown planet. 

Don’t worry, most people do not know what oxalates are.  But the good news – there is a solution to the problem!

What are Oxalates?

Oxalates (AKA oxalic acid) are anti-nutrients in plants. Plants use oxalate for structure (think of it like bones for plants) and protection to deter insects from eating them. 

They are naturally occurring, but they are also considered anti-nutrients as they can bind to minerals (particularly calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron) in the gut to prevent their absorption.

In fact oxalates are very potent mineral chelators, and have an affinity for positively charged minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron, since oxalic acid is a negatively charged anion. They can also bind tightly to heavy metals such as mercury and lead which can cause a lot of harm. 

 In the case of leaky gut, this can also mean the formation of oxalate crystals (such as calcium oxalate) that can deposit in various tissues causing pain. 
Where does Oxalate come from?

high oxalate foodsThere are 3 main sources of oxalate:

1. Plant foods: Highest concentration found in spinach, beets, swiss chard, sweet potatoes, turmeric and nuts
2. Microbes: Mold and yeast can produce oxalates both directly and indirect
3. Endogenous production: The body produces oxalates during normal cellular metabolism

The downfalls of Oxalates:

*Can destroy mitochondrial function, which you need to produce energy

*Can mechanically shred surrounding tissues and drive further dysfunction since they have jagged edges

*If you have mast cell issues, histamine intolerance or even chronic inflammation and allergies, you may be dealing with an oxalate issue

*Can impair your immune system and cause Hyperoxaluria, which is characterized by elevated oxalates in the body. This can be in your blood, urine, gut, organs or tissues

Mechanisms involved in Hyperoxaluria:

1. Genetics

2. Fat malabsorption

3. Leaky gut

4. Histamine

5. Low sulfate

6. Low citrate

7. Mold and yeast

8. Toxin exposure

The good news is, all of this can be reversed!

Learn more about Oxalates in my complimentary ebook.