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  • low-oxalate diet?

    Has anyone tried this diet, and if so, had any luck with it? I am wondering if it wouldn't also help with bladder pain, since the oxalates are excreted of course in the urine.

    Diana.

  • #2
    low-oxalate diet

    Yes, I tried it and recommend it. I feel much better when I follow it. I found that I only really need to avoid a few foods in the high-oxalate list, so the diet is not as bad as it seems when you read the list of foods you shouldn't eat. Also, I found that taking calcium citrate supplements really helps. Calcium binds with oxalates so that the oxalic acid does not end up in your urine. From what I've read, it is best to take calcium citrate over other forms of calcium (e.g. calcium carbonate) because it helps prevent calcium oxalate crystals from forming (kidney stones).

    Comment


    • #3
      My experience has been the same as katiemae's. Basically, I eat only small servings of high oxalate foods like spinach or blueberries, eat them as part of a meal & make sure I take calcium citrate at the same time. I'm not willing to give up these foods completely, as I am so diet limited (IC diet, IBS diet, low fat, food allergies & low oxalate diet = not much left to eat). But these strategies have worked well for me.
      Kadi

      -------------------------------------------------------------
      I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.
      ------------------------------------------------------


      New favorite quote: "God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently God thinks I'm a bad-ass" ~Author Unknown
      Source - Pinterest
      "


      Current treatments:
      -IC diet
      -Elavil 50mg at night
      -Continuous use birth control pills (4-5 periods/year)
      -Heparin/Marcaine/Sodium Bicarb home instills at night 3-4x per week, more often if needed
      -Pyridium if needed,
      -Pain medicine at bedtime daily, as needed during the day several times per week
      -Antibiotic when doing an instillation to prevent UTI
      -Colace & SmartFiber to treat chronic constipation from meds, Fleet enema as needed
      -Dye Free Benadryl 50 mg at bedtime
      -"Your Pace Yoga: Relieving Pelvic Pain" dvd, walking, treadmill at gym
      -Managing stress= VERY important!
      -Fur therapy: Hugging the cat!

      Comment


      • #4
        Can you both tell me more? For example, what happens to your symptoms when you avoid oxalates vs. when you don't? And when you take calcium citrate and when you don't? Are your symptoms bladder-related or vulvar or both? Do you notice immediate improvement or does it take a while (days, weeks)? Are you able to tolerate coffee?

        And last, what brand of calcium citrate do you both take? I tried it once, and it seemed that I could feel the stuff when it passed through my bladder later that day, the typical burning feeling. My understanding is that the citric acid portion of the supplement is changed in the body by the time it reaches the bladder so that it is not acidic, and yet, I seemed to feel something. I stopped then and there and never tried it again, despite reading lots of good things on this site.

        Thanks so much for responding, I was wondering if I was the only one on the site that had heard of oxalates! That's another thing; I wonder why we don't hear more about them, since they can cause problems for IC and vulvodynia patients?

        Diana.

        Comment


        • #5
          low-oxalate diet

          Let's see, when I don't follow the low-oxalate diet, I tend to start feeling a burning sensation in my urethra, similar to the feeling of a UTI, and strong feeling of burning on my vulva when I urinate. The feeling does not go away as soon as the offending food has "passed" from my system, but lasts several days afterward, feeling gradually better.

          When I take calcium citrate regularly (and stick to the diet that works for me), I feel pretty good. However, if I forget or get lazy about taking the calcium, the burning sensation increases over time, and then I realize that I haven't been taking as much calcium as usual, and start taking it regularly again. When I first started taking calcium, it took quite a while before I felt anwhere near what I would call good. I would say it took 1-2 months before I thought I was feeling better.

          The calcium I take is Wild Oats brand: Cal-Mag Citrate Complex, 1000 mg calcium, 500 mg Magnesium per 4 tablets. When I'm in maintenance mode, I take one tablet in the morning and one at night. When I'm feeling bad, I'll take a couple more tablets some time during the day. I also take a B-6 tablet in the morning (wild oats brand).

          You said you felt burning after taking calcium citrate one time -- you might check to see if the tablets contain any soy or some other ingredient that might be irritating. I have found that soy really triggers flare-ups for me. It is also on the high-oxalate list of foods.

          I can tolerate little amounts of "bad" foods. For example, I can usually have one cup of coffee if I 1) take my calcium and 2) follow it up with lots of water. However, I can't have two cups of coffee. Soy seems to be the thing I can't even have a little of without feeling it, which is annoying, since it's in just about everything.

          I don't know why more people don't talk about oxalates and calcium. When I first talked to my doctor about this, she looked at me like I was nuts when I told her it felt like my urine was burning me. She simply shrugged and suggested pain meds. If it hadn't been for me doing my own research on the Internet, I don't know how long it would have taken me to find out about oxalates/calcium.

          Oh, if you haven't tried a colloidal oatmeal bath, I highly recommend it. It soothes burning tissues so much. Aveeno makes packets of it; however, if you are cheap like me, you can grind up some regular oatmeal in a food processor. The resulting powder is not as fine as what's in the Aveeno packets, but it works just was well.

          I am curious, the onset of my problems came after a several treatments of a UTI with cipro. It was the first time in my life that I felt worse after taking antibiotics. I've had many UTI's over my life, but had never been treated with cipro before, always sulfa (until I became allergic) and after that macrobid. I read that oxalobacter formigenes is a gut bacteria responsible for breaking down oxalates. Cipro is in a class of drugs (fluoroquinolone) that kill oxalobacter formigenes. I have wondered if my UTI treatment with cipro didn't cause my IC/vulvodynia problems by killing off my good bacteria in my gut along with the bad in my bladder.

          Did your onset of problems occur after taking antibiotics?

          Comment


          • #6
            If I eat spinach or blueberries without taking the calcium citrate, I get really annoying vulvar itching, so bad I can't sleep. If I keep the quantity low & take the calcium citrate, no symptoms.

            No, the vulvodynia started about a year after I got IC. I got IC after quitting a birth control pill I'd been on for 10 years.

            I looked at calcium citrate in the regular drugstore & all the brands had preservatives or artificial colorants, so I went to the local health food store & got their brand with none of those problematic ingredients. It cost a little more, but no problem & a bonus is I feel good about supporting a small business.
            Kadi

            -------------------------------------------------------------
            I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.
            ------------------------------------------------------


            New favorite quote: "God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently God thinks I'm a bad-ass" ~Author Unknown
            Source - Pinterest
            "


            Current treatments:
            -IC diet
            -Elavil 50mg at night
            -Continuous use birth control pills (4-5 periods/year)
            -Heparin/Marcaine/Sodium Bicarb home instills at night 3-4x per week, more often if needed
            -Pyridium if needed,
            -Pain medicine at bedtime daily, as needed during the day several times per week
            -Antibiotic when doing an instillation to prevent UTI
            -Colace & SmartFiber to treat chronic constipation from meds, Fleet enema as needed
            -Dye Free Benadryl 50 mg at bedtime
            -"Your Pace Yoga: Relieving Pelvic Pain" dvd, walking, treadmill at gym
            -Managing stress= VERY important!
            -Fur therapy: Hugging the cat!

            Comment


            • #7
              What are the downsides of calcium citrate? Any side effects?

              I'm going to the healh store and get it. I hope i find it. I thought it was a prescription my dr never mentioned it and I always forget to ask him.
              I eat blueberries 3-4 times a week with my cereal, I also eat pears sometimes and spinach, brocoli and squash which are supposed to be high in oxalate. I drink lost of water. I have vulvodynia and it burns after I pee even though I rinse with water. I will try rinsing with water WHILE I pee as well.
              Of course, I don't eact chocolate or drink coffee or beer (high oxalates and bad for IC). I think it is very important to drink plnety of water to keep things diluted and help bladder, urethra and vulvar area.
              I have never tried the colloidal oatmeal though I have at home, I'm just lazy,I'll try it though. Too many things to do, rinse with water after I pee, blow dry after, wash cotton panties separately, rinse twice, + work fulltime, geee! I'm exausted.
              Laser cervical surgery after abnormal pap (moderate dysplasia) in 3/2004
              UTIs since mid 2004
              Recurrent yeast infections since mid 2005
              IC dx 3/2006
              V V dx 12/2006
              Other conditions: IBS, allergies, dry eyes.


              Current IC medications:
              Elavil (since 12/06) 10 mg;
              Cysta Q (since 5/07)
              Rephresh acid jel every 3 days
              D-mannose, fish oil, Calcium Citrate, Multivitamins & garlic pills (sometimes)
              Probiotics Femdophilus or other brands
              Gy-Na-Tren for yeast infections (started using it as needed since 2010)
              Other Rx:Omeprazole 20mg; benadryl as needed, Restasis


              Past Meds and why I stopped them:
              Elmiron: March to September 2006: headaches
              Lyrica:2 weeks in 2006: headaches
              Cystoprotek: from Jan to April 2007: nausea

              Femcon Fe (2/07 to 10/07):caused spotting/bleeding
              BCP:Loestrin (since Ocotber 2007) to stop spotting for 2 months. V V worse. Stopped the pill in Nov 07.


              "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it"

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks, Katie and Kadi,

                In response to KatieMae and the question about Cipro; I think your line of thinking sounds very logical. If things were cause and effect, then I would agree it sounds plausible. What's interesting is that if I take Cipro, even one tablet, my IC symptoms feel better. Go figure. I have to resist taking it due to yeast and also not wanting to build a resistance.

                I don't know why we don't hear more about oxalates. That's too bad your doctor didn't know anything. The Vulvar Pain Foundation is a good resource of information about oxalates and calcium citrate. Some of the info is free on the website, and is worth checking out. I wanted to learn even more, so joined for $45. They even have a low-oxalate cookbook. They take it pretty seriously!

                Do you think that oxalate sensitivity would mean that we would always have these symptoms, rather than have them come and go? Mine come and go. They can last for a very long time, but eventually they go (and come again). My diet never changes that much. My problem is by far worse in my bladder than in the vulvar area. When my urine feels hot when it runs over the outer area, I am usually having pretty nasty bladder and/or vulvar flare-ups.

                Diana.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Calcium Citrate

                  Questions to those of you already taking calcium citrate...
                  I got a bottle of calcium citrate for the health food store today. There were so many differents combinations and brands that I ended up getting Bluebonnet brand Clacium Citrate plus Vitamin D3 (other ingredients vegetable cellulose, stearic acid, magnesium stearate, vegetable glaze) The serving size is 4 caplets as dietary supplement.
                  Of all the brands this one seemed to have the less ingredients.

                  How much calcium citrate do you have to take when you are eating an oxalate food?
                  Is it too acidic? I have a sensitive stomach.
                  I haven't found a brad with ONLY calcium as ingrediets, all have either magnesium or vit D or both.
                  Laser cervical surgery after abnormal pap (moderate dysplasia) in 3/2004
                  UTIs since mid 2004
                  Recurrent yeast infections since mid 2005
                  IC dx 3/2006
                  V V dx 12/2006
                  Other conditions: IBS, allergies, dry eyes.


                  Current IC medications:
                  Elavil (since 12/06) 10 mg;
                  Cysta Q (since 5/07)
                  Rephresh acid jel every 3 days
                  D-mannose, fish oil, Calcium Citrate, Multivitamins & garlic pills (sometimes)
                  Probiotics Femdophilus or other brands
                  Gy-Na-Tren for yeast infections (started using it as needed since 2010)
                  Other Rx:Omeprazole 20mg; benadryl as needed, Restasis


                  Past Meds and why I stopped them:
                  Elmiron: March to September 2006: headaches
                  Lyrica:2 weeks in 2006: headaches
                  Cystoprotek: from Jan to April 2007: nausea

                  Femcon Fe (2/07 to 10/07):caused spotting/bleeding
                  BCP:Loestrin (since Ocotber 2007) to stop spotting for 2 months. V V worse. Stopped the pill in Nov 07.


                  "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    low-oxalate diet

                    Diana -- I don't know if oxalate senstitivity would come and go as you described. I know my symptoms came and went before I figured out what to eat/not eat, but I had a pretty varied diet, so I thought that was it. I have been pretty stable for a while now. (fingers crossed, and knocking on wood that the stability continues!) I also have bladder pain (mostly urethral pain) at the same time I have vulvar pain from urine burn, so I think they are connected. Thanks for the tip on the Vulvar Pain Foundation, by the way.

                    SMR218 -- I take calcium with magnesium. I imagine taking it with vitamin d is fine, too. However, I read that vitamin d helps your body absorb calcium into the bloodstream. I wanted the calcium to stay in my gut and react with the oxalates, so that's why I chose a calcium-magnesium blend. Another reason is that calcium can cause constipation, while magnesium has the opposite effect. Taking them together keeps you in balance.

                    I take calcium on a regular schedule as opposed to taking it when eating foods with high-oxalates. However, I suppose you could do that. I think that's how Prelief works. They recommend that you take it before eating "bad" food. Prelief contains a form of calcium.

                    katie

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi, Katie,

                      After having a couple of good bladder days, yesterday I ate 3 pieces of whole wheat bread (supposed to be high oxalate) and also made split pea soup with celery, carrots, and kale. Within a couple of hours of eating the soup I could feel my bladder pain starting. The whole wheat, celery, carrots, and kale are all medium to high oxalate foods. The Vulvar Pain Foundation research suggests that this would have well exceeded the daily allotment of oxalates in the diet. I just wonder........I asked my doctor for a lab order to test oxalates in my urine. Has anyone done this?

                      I suppose if one has IC to begin with and also either has a sensitivity to oxalates or spills a higher than normal amount into the urine, it could cause problems that are hard to track, since the flares last for days, well past when the offending food is eaten.

                      Diana.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Diana --
                        I haven't ever had my urine tested for oxalates, but am interested in doing so. I'm a full-time student now, so my health insurance is virtually non-existent. When I get a "real job" I plan on investigating this whole thing further. I would be interested to know how it turns out for you. I agree that it might be a hard thing to track, to know for sure whether or not it really is the problem.

                        Good luck!
                        katie

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          dminton,
                          I thought calcium citrate would help eliminating the oxalates, did you take it when you ate all those high oxalate foods?
                          I Since I'm kind of new w/ V V I'm just now paying attention to teh oxalates and I haven't started calium citrate, I got the one with Vit D but I will exchage it for th eone with magnessiun.
                          I drink lost of water to dilute my urine and sometimes I put some A&D oitnmet to protect the tissues from the urine.
                          Laser cervical surgery after abnormal pap (moderate dysplasia) in 3/2004
                          UTIs since mid 2004
                          Recurrent yeast infections since mid 2005
                          IC dx 3/2006
                          V V dx 12/2006
                          Other conditions: IBS, allergies, dry eyes.


                          Current IC medications:
                          Elavil (since 12/06) 10 mg;
                          Cysta Q (since 5/07)
                          Rephresh acid jel every 3 days
                          D-mannose, fish oil, Calcium Citrate, Multivitamins & garlic pills (sometimes)
                          Probiotics Femdophilus or other brands
                          Gy-Na-Tren for yeast infections (started using it as needed since 2010)
                          Other Rx:Omeprazole 20mg; benadryl as needed, Restasis


                          Past Meds and why I stopped them:
                          Elmiron: March to September 2006: headaches
                          Lyrica:2 weeks in 2006: headaches
                          Cystoprotek: from Jan to April 2007: nausea

                          Femcon Fe (2/07 to 10/07):caused spotting/bleeding
                          BCP:Loestrin (since Ocotber 2007) to stop spotting for 2 months. V V worse. Stopped the pill in Nov 07.


                          "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Does Calcium Citrate irritate your bladder? Because Citrate are bad for the bladder right? I am taking Calcium Citrate and my vulvodynia feels much better but my urgency got a bit worse. Does it have to do with Calcium Citrate????

                            Would love to hear from you all

                            Symptoms started November 2005
                            Diagnosed with IC in January 2007
                            Diagnosed with Vulvodynia 2006
                            Medications since July 2007: Gepan Installations now only every 2 months - Amitriptilyn(Elavil) 6 drops at night - Elmiron 200mg/day, Ranitic150 in the morning together with Desloratodine 5mg - Guaifenesin Capsules 300mg (for vulvodynia), Prelief with critical food
                            Vitamins/Minerals: Neutra C

                            Herbal Tea (Chamomille) 3 cups a day, sit baths with sea salt after sex - Hyalofemme Gel before sex - Multi GynActi Gel after sex - Macrobid 50mg after sex


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It should not irritate the bladder by itself; it is the other ingredients that can. Be sure it does not also contain Vitamin C or some B vitamin. These definitely can be big irritants! I buy a brand that has nothing else except cellulose. It's called "GNC". I take 2000-3000 mg per day with no problems. I heard from my doctor that the "citrate" part is alkalinized by the time it reaches the bladder, so in other words, not acidic. Good luck.

                              Diana.

                              Comment

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