High Oxalic Acid – Body & Bladder Pain

Oxalic acid testing has a lot of clinical usefulness in any functional medicine practice. People often present with a myriad of seemingly unrelated symptoms. This is a particular case of an individual who presented with significant body aches, tendon pain, and bladder discomfort.

A 43 year old female Presented to our practice with a history of the following:

• Pressure headaches
• Fatigue, brain fog
• Body aches and tendon pain
• Cyclical urinary pain (sharp)
• Digestive discomfort (bloating, painful bowel movements)

The vast majority of these complaints had been going on for years 7 to 8+, but the urinary discomfort and body aches more so over the past 1-1/2 to 2 years. She had been tested on many occasions for bladder infection all coming back normal.

Past medical history is significant for Blastocystis hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum infection (treated successfully), Raynaud’s phenomenon (excessively reduced blood flow in response to cold or emotional stress causing discoloration of fingers and toes), and irritable bowel. She currently takes periodic Ibuprofen and Atarax (for suspected interstitial cystitis).

One interesting fact obtained on taking clinical history is her “extreme muscle pain” when she eats nuts and vegetables. No other doctor has given much thought to this statement.

Our suspicion based on the following complaints was an elevated oxalic acid problem which was confirmed by testing to show oxalic acids over 350 (which is significantly high). Patient was given following instructions:

1. Avoid all soy, nuts (including butters), berries (including jam and juice), and spinach. Also, she was to self-evaluate her own diet for other high oxalate foods at www.lowoxalate.info.

2. Placed on approximately 250mg of calcium citrate and 100mg of magnesium citrate with each meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The citrated form of these minerals help to bind oxalates in the digestive system and prevents them from being absorbed.

3. High dose lactic acid probiotic upwards of 225 billion organisms per dose – given twice daily. This helps to degrade oxalates in the digestive tract.

4. L-Arginine at 1000 daily (need to watch for history of herpes lesions as L-Arginine is known to activate herpes in some people). However, the benefit of L-Arginine in high oxalate problems is to decrease tissue pain, particularly bladder discomfort.

5. Epsom Salt Bath at least 4 times weekly – 1 to 2 cups as tolerated in bathwater. Epsom salt helps to soothe the skin and aids in the bodies processing of oxalates.

This patient’s response was impressive. Over the next 3 months she reported complete elimination of bladder/urinary pain, and approximately an 80% improvement in muscle and tendon discomfort. Bowels become more regular and non-painful, and fatigue had improved by about 50%. In addition, patient no longer experienced Raynaud’s phenomenon when exposed to cold temperatures.

The test performed on this individual to evaluate for oxalic acid and other metabolic markers was the Organic Acids Test from Great Plains Laboratory. This is a urine test that evaluates numerous markers useful for toxicity, certain vitamin levels, bacteria and yeast biotoxins and much more. you can order this test from Lab Tests Plus.