It's funny: I never had these problems when I was eating S.A.D. (very little fruits and veggies). Now that I'm doing my best to eat healthy Paleo, I'm having several problems (but I think they are related).
I seem to develop progressively worse symptoms When I eat a lot of sweet potatoes, kale, dark chocolate, tomato juice.
The symptoms sounded like classic electrolyte or dehydration (muscle cramping, twitching, tension headache, brain fog), but I don't think it's that because I've experimented high and low quantities of sodium, potassium, calcium & magnesium, and 2 or 3 liters of water /a day. It doesn't think it's simply dehydration or electrolytes.
A few days ago, I began eating sweet potato 3 times a day for 3 days. I developed muscle cramping (hands & feet) and they got progressively worse. It then escalated into very painful joints, and the big toe on my right foot became very stiff and painful. In previous episodes, my ankle was swollen. I presumed I was retaining water, but maybe it was just inflamed.
It just occurred to me that the foods listed above are all high in oxalates (something I never heard of till just recently). However, in the course of googling, I came across a description of gout which described painful joints and inflammation of big toes.
I stopped eating all fruits & veggies yesterday, and am beginning to feel better.
In looking back through my food diary, I had several identical experiences with sweet potato binges.
I read a really interesting article about oxalates at: http://oxvox.com/oxalate-dumping-symptoms-what-to-expect/ :
"Since oxalates bind readily to minerals (especially calcium and magnesium), a great many of the symptoms associated with dumping are the same as symptoms of low calcium and low magnesium ??? muscle aches, twitches, cramps and spasms for example, or headaches."
I also read that over absorption of oxalate will also occur when the tight junctions between intestinal cells open up and let molecules pass to the other side going between the cells. This condition, called the "leaky gut"
So, with all that said:
1) could oxalates really be the cause of tension headaches, brain fog, muscle cramping, twitching?
2) Could the sudden severe joint pain that starts to ease after stopping fruits & veggies be from gout? (I thought gout was from too much protein, not particular veggies?)
3) If it is an attack of gout, do those crystals in joints just dissolve or once there, are they there forever?
4) Is there any relationship between oxalates and gout? I just purchased the book: "No More Kidney Stones" - even though I've never had a stone, it contained lots of good info on oxalates (but I'm only 17% through it so far).
If anyone has any thoughts, I'd very much love to hear them. I think I've been barking up the wrong tree This has been driving me crazy!
PS: As a side note, I recently read that dehydration can trigger a histamine release. The sneezing fits I get with certain foods my not have been the root cause, but a consequence of something else).
asked byCaveMan_Mike (3275)
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on June 15, 2013
at 12:08 AM
Interesting stuff regarding oxalates. I had been a gout sufferer for years, went paleo and got off allopurinol, had no gout flares for nearly two years. Tested autoimmune protocol in January and had a gout attack in week 3 (no dark chocolate, nuts or seeds, but definitely sweet potatoes and greens). Since then, I've had two more flares and can't figure out what the change has been. Perhaps oxalates could be involved. Now I'll need to pay really close attention...
on November 30, 2014
at 03:48 PM
Hey there - Michelle from OxVox here! I actually stumbled across your post completely by accident - my husband suffers from gout, and is having a flare that I was hoping to help him shorten by doing a little research. :)
Anyway, he and I both have known oxalate issues, and here is how I believe the two connect:
1. Oxalates bind minerals, thus reducing the number of minerals available for the body to use in buffering acidity.
2. Assuming high uric acid is (at least one) root cause of gout, it naturally needs to be buffered by the body.
3. If a high oxalate load has reduced your available mineral stores, it would leave less left over for buffering the uric acid (or other acidity) load that can trigger gout.
I mention other acidity because my hubs' most recent flare appears to have been triggered by a vinaigrette dressing, of all things. My hunch that overal acidity might have to do with the gout was reinforced by the post here on PaleoHacks entitled "Acid/Alkaline Theory: Does Body's pH Trigger Gout Attacks?" (I'd link to it, but I'm too much of a lurker to have enough posts under my belt...whoops!) Then this post was linked to in the sidebar of that post.
So anyway, that's my theory as it stands. I'd love to hear others' thoughts and experiences regarding this connection!
on December 24, 2013
at 11:05 PM
Actually I've had nearly the same experience as you. I tend to eat a limited arrangement of veggies everyday, and if that arrangement includes sweet potatoes or kale, I will inevitably get all this annoying joint pain, brain fog, very slight head aches, and a general feeling of weakness. Looks like its low-oxalates for me from now on. You should update this post with what veggies seem to not cause those symptoms for you. For me romaine does not seem to cause the symptoms.