Nightwakings & Oxalates [Updated]

[January 11, 2010] Some weeks ago, I received an email about a little boy who was on GAPS but who was, aside from a few glimpses of healing, still struggling.

I advised his mother to return to intro, with a few modifications.

Recently, I very reluctantly took my own advice. Those of you who’ve read GAPS Guide know of the incredible recovery my son has sustained. His teeth, stools, speech, tolerances for baths and sounds, etc, all resolved early in our implementation of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet then GAPS.

Two issues persisted, though: night-time peeing and, aside from a few nights early on, night-wakings.

Because full relief from nightwakings was the absolute first sign of healing, I knew this symptom was diet related. I’d also heard of several other kids for whom nightwakings and/or bedwetting had been resolved by a change in diet. I was, however, resistant to returning to a stricter stage of GAPS -so I didn’t. Beyond happy with our progress in all other areas, I continued waking with my son 2-12 times every single night.

Finally, I posted to our support list. A number of different suggestions, based on what had worked for different families, came in. I collated the responses into one document, then pondered my starting point. I first tried the easiest potential solution: magnesium baths before bed. No luck.

I then tried a low oxalate version of GAPS (which intro basically is). I am very excited to report that my son has now slept through the night for four consecutive nights. Since he’d only ever achieved one night at a time ever before, I have trouble believing this is a coincidence. I will enjoy exploring the matter of oxalates and their effects, as well as finding the magic amount my son is able to tolerate. My plan is to stick with “no oxalate” and “very low oxalate” foods for two weeks, then start adding in “low oxalate” foods until his tolerance is determined.

It’s interesting to note that many GAPS children struggle with spinach and nuts, both of which are high oxalate foods, as are many commonly-used GAPS fruits. Apparently, one of the issues with oxalates is that in sensitive people, they can cause crystals to form, their sharp points actually inflicting pain internally.

Below is a detailed list of the foods we’ve been focusing on the past four days. On each day I have accidentally or in one case intentionally (to allow him to enjoy a surprise birthday party) included very small servings of some oxalate-containing foods such as onions or peanuts. These small amounts demonstrate that the goal is sufficiently “lower oxalate” and not “no oxalate”.

Note: To determine what I should narrow my son’s foods to, I cross-referenced several Low Oxalate Diet lists (some of which conflict with each other, so I looked for the lowest common denominators) against GAPS’. His list currently includes:

Green (not red) Grapes

Bok Choy
Red Pepper
Turnips (not for early SCD/GAPS)

Animal Products
Cheddar Cheese
Meats, including fish


School snacks are: hard-boiled eggs, leftover stew, canned salmon.

I would like to extend a huge thanks to the mamas -Kathleen, Anne, Maria, Millie, Cara, Irene and Teri- who submitted their experiences to help out my dear son and I. I am, of course, deeply grateful!!!

Update May 11th, 2010: In response to Noel’s comment below, I wish to provide an update on this post. Yes, Noel, reduced oxalates has been very effective! My son continues to do full GAPS, but with a focus on meats and other low-to-no oxalate foods. He does have small helpings of nuts (up to about 1/8th cup per day) and eats any fruits and GAPS veggies he wants at a birthday party. So long as his oxalate count over any given week is low, he sleeps right through the night. If he has increased oxalates for several days in a row, the nightwakings start up again. His night-time peeing has continued, but I’m not worried about that at all.

Update June 4, 2010: See also this post.

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47 thoughts on “Nightwakings & Oxalates [Updated]

  1. I have studied Oxalates as well in our GAPS journey and have read that Calcium Citrate helps the body process Oxalates. You can go to the Trying Low Oxalates yahoo group and ask over there. I heard about it both on the Yahoo group and the bio-chemist at Great Plains Lab.

  2. My mother already added calcium powder when cooking spinach, so this is a very old remedy. I also noted that my body becomes acidic at times of intense die-off.

    Best regards, Marijke

  3. Hello Baden,

    Oxalates are a food chemical. There are lots of food chemical sensitivites. (amines, sals, glutamates, oxalates…)

    Have you ever heard of Plant Poisons and Rotten Stuff, the website owned by Emma Davies? Well, she has had severe food chemical intolerance and has done extensive research into it.

    Turns out that suddenly she is not amine and glutamate sensitive now that she is getting treated for thyroid. This is a major breakthrough for her.

    Generally, thyroid is under diagnosed and under treated by mainstream medicine. It is more than possible that all people with food chemical problems are slipping through the cracks.

    Don’t know if oxalates will turn out to be the same problem, but it may be worthwhile to get an alternative practitioner to run a complete thyroid profile on your son. More info for you.

    I’m looking into it now myself.

    According to Dr Kharrazian, many thyroid conditions can be solved by treating the basis of the condition, and don’t need thryoid hormone at all. But you can only target the problem if you know it is there.

    Renee Cyr
    WAPF Chapter Leader

    • Wonderful info, Renee! Thank you!

      Of note, GAPS has resolved thyroid issues for a good number of people, so perhaps we’re already well on track! This will be an exciting aspect to delve into, in any case.

      All my best,

  4. Baden – This is most interesting as many of my issues have resolved on GAPS but I still wake up 2-4x a night and have to get up to use the bathroom each time. I’m going to try this low oxalate thing. Question: how long did it take eating low-oxalate before you saw a difference in your son’s sleep?


    • Hi Heidi,

      The very day we reduced oxalates -even with a high oxalate breakfast before the change- my son began sleeping through the night. Of note, except for one dry night, he still drenches his diaper -in fact, more than before. I’ve been wondering about whether this is a detox thing (as deeply increased urination does come up frequently in the GAPS intro and my son’s diet is now very close to that).


  5. Waking up several times a night to pee is very frustrating. Sometimes it can take a half hour or more to fall back to sleep. I would love to try a low oxalate diet, but unfortunately the only vegetables I seem to be able to tolerate are celery, spinach, and chard. How’s that for high oxalates! Recently, I’ve tried lettuce, kale, and carrots only to find that they cause significant reactions.

    I have a copy of Gaps by NCM, and will be purchasing the Gaps Guide soon. I am hoping that it may contain some tips and suggestions on how to pace myself and help my body move forward. If anything, I intend to use it to keep me feeling hopeful that I might find some improvement since many of the recommended foods, broth, eggs and fats etc., have worked very well for me. I haven’t been able to introduce any probiotics.

    My biggest issue is trying to move faster than my body will allow and suffering for days with the consequences. I am drawn to the idea that the Gaps Guide encourages slow purposeful introduction of supplements and food. I need this kind of discipline.


    • Hi Nina,

      A lot of people are unable to tolerate many or any vegetables at the beginning. They heal regardless. You can focus on meats, fats, broths at the beginning, then try adding into the broth a low-oxalate veggie, then another, then another.

      Yes, GAPS Guides shares tips on moving forward slowly, based on my own painful experience of going too fast at times!


  6. Hi Baden,
    I’m wondering if this low/no oxalate diet worked out well for you son.
    I’m thinking of reducing nuts and green leafies in order to decrease my son’s oxalate consumption. He’s 13 and has rarely ever been try at night.
    This and OCD are his main issues.

    And did you use seeds or seed flours during your low oxalate trial?

    Thanks again for sharing your journey,
    : )

  7. Dear Baden and Everyone,

    This thread interests me because of recent issues. I’ve been having some intimate irritation and soreness that hasn’t resolved after trying many things including suggestions from the GAPS List. It’s going on two months and doesn’t resemble anything I’ve ever had, though my history of such girl stuff is relatively clear.

    I began to look into oxalates and low and behold Vulvadynia (which is a huge umbrella and literally means “Vulva Pain”) is often treated with a low oxalate diet. I looked at the list of high oxalate foods and recognized many I’m inclined to lean on. And then there was a telling one — Stevia — something illegal on GAPS but used cautiously by many. I was forced to admit that I had been using it INcautiously and that in any case it had to go.

    It’s only been two days since I’ve started backing off the highest oxalate suspects and already I feel the first (albeit small) relief in my crotch since symptoms appeared in midMarch. I am hopeful that the often severe mood issues that continue to come and go after a year and a half on GAPS may also see some improvement.

    I must admit that I find the necessary continuing self-research and constant tweaking that goes with GAPS exhausting, but for the moment I am relieved that one more piece of my puzzle seems to be falling into place.

    Thanks to all and hello dear Baden.


  8. Hi, I’m fairly new to GAPs and am wondering if almond meal products like muffins are still high oxalate given that they are blanched and then ground into a fine meal and then baked.


  9. Eloise: Hello to you, too – How good to hear from you! Great news that some new light has been shed for you and that you are experiencing some degree of relief. Please keep us posted!

    Kelly: I don’t know. I would think almond flour would still be higher oxalate, ie. I don’t know the oxalates to be changed by blanching, grinding or heating. The best way to find out what we react to? Remove it from our diet for several weeks, then test it again!

    All my best,

  10. Baden,

    How apt you wrote this blog entry!
    I am 1 year post colon resection (May 11th to be exact!)
    I needed surgery as I had so much scar tissue that I had periodic bowel obstructions. Sadly, I found the very diet late that I couldn’t reverse this scar tissue damage already done by the Standard American Diet. The rest of my GI Tract that was so ulcerated in the past was completely disease free!! Which is amazing and a true testament to the diet!
    Due to the resection, sometimes I get the runs since my terminal ileum and part of my small intestine were removed including colon as well.
    I am trying to approach this as naturally as possible and one of the things I recently read about is that a low oxalate diet may help! So thanks so much for this.
    It is amazing to me, how some of these tweaks can apply to so many of us in such varying health circumstances.


  11. Hey Eloise,

    I was just at a GYN doc discussing Vulvadynia.
    Are you on any kind of Hormone therapy? Long history of Birth Control?
    She treats this with applying a steroid cream to the vestibule for 10 days and then uses a bio-identical Estrogen cream.
    Just a thought if you need to kick start and not be so uncomfortable.
    There is also pelvic floor physical therapy for this.


  12. We have also had luck with Calcium citrate added to foods. I just get the capsules off of iherb and open one into applesauce, butternut squash, or whatever with each meal…especially those containing oxalates. I have found it makes a big difference.

    Anne G

  13. I have suffered with severe Pelvic issues for years which became debilitating over the past years and spread to my entire nervous system, including perpheral neuropathy that most people with diabeties experience, not being able to breathe, extreme fatigue, chemical sensitivities, etc.
    The only thing that has starting making me able to function again is fermented cod liver oil with high-vitamin butter oil, maka powder and pelvic physical therapy. Along with diet I believe that Pelvic physical therapy is the ONLY thing that can actually somewhat fix any of these painful disorders.
    I have gone over this diet again and again and know that realistically I will not be able to follow it. I have completely changed my lifestyle already, but this is so extreme that I know I will not be able to follow through and then make myself even sicker. Has anyone had any experience with just incorporating certain aspects of the diet, like the soup and probiotics for example? Would really love any advice you can give me, I am desperate to be able to go back to work and have a normal life again.
    thanks – pam

  14. Dear Pam,

    A few thoughts…

    1. I think probably every single person looking at this program believed it would be “too hard” or “impossible” to do/stick with. We were all just so desperate that we felt we had no choice but to try it. I was saying to a friend just the other day that I didn’t believe I would last longer than four days! All my efforts in the past had proved impermanent, because I’d been left with cravings, etc. Granted, GAPS involves a steep learning curve -and GAPS Guide is intended to make that much easier- but once we get the hang of it, it’s as simple and straightforward as any other lifestyle one might choose. Participating fully on the support group can make all the difference in our belief and willpower.

    2. Yes, many people have found great benefits implementing even just some parts of the program. Two aspects bringing some people the most dramatic benefits is the removal of wheat and sugar.

    3. The GAPS Guide book offers a progression toward full GAPS called “Preparing for Intro”. What you could do is follow the steps in that section, stopping at whatever point you feel you’ve made all the changes you can cope with. Based on your post, this is the route I would suggest for you.

    May you be well.

    All my best,

  15. Hi,

    I’m assuming that slippery elm powder is allowable on gaps as I’ve used it with my patients for all kinds of IBS conditions with gentle good results.

  16. Hello,
    I am new to GAPS and am so happy to have found your blog. My son has severe eczema and only after reading this post that I was able to deduce the common denominator in his flare ups: high oxalate foods! We have since been on a low oxalate version of GAPS intro with immediate improvement in his temperament. The eczema is slowly getting better as well. Thank you!!

    I was wondering though, if you knew if hemp milk/ flour is GAPS legal. Dr. Mcbride mentions hemp oil in the book but not milk or flour. Since we are low ox, that means no nut milk/ butter/ or flour so it leaves us with very little options. My son is only 16 months so I would love for him to have a ‘milk’ option. Plus I have read wonderful nutritional information on hemp.

    Any information you could give us would be most appreciated! Thank you for your wonderful work!


    • Hi Teri,

      I’m SO GLAD to hear your son’s severe excema, as well as temperament, has improved, and that the post helped this to happen!

      Oftentimes oils of foods are permitted on GAPS when no other aspect of a food is, so it’s possible that hemp oil can be legal while hemp milk or flour may not be. I don’t know the answer off-hand, and suggest you go through the steps I do to find out what I can. The steps are here:

      Please let me know if you do or don’t find any information on this.

      In the meantime, I suggest checking out coconut for milk and for flour. We are able to use cow milk for kefir, but for flour we use coconut regularly and love it.

      All my best,

  17. I am just starting GAPS with my kids and really struggling and just now looking at the oxalate issue? (Of course it is a struggle to figure out if it is die vs. the cold they just got vs. oxalate/phenols, not enough calories?) Would you recommend changing the intro (especially the broths) to cook with lower oxalate veggies? Some people have said that the juices are more “bioavailable” so i wonder if broth cooked with celery, onion, carrots, and peppercorn could be an issue?


    • Hi Tracy,

      Yes, some people can be affected by any ingredient, including those used in intro, due to oxalates, allergies, etc.

      I recommend you keep it simple.

      1. Do intro as presented (meat -not bone- broths; simple veggies – low oxalate if you wish; fats… Working up from there).
      2. As you go, report to the support group your results and concerns. They will tell you what is normal, what might indicate a need to tweak, etc.

      The key is to choose a path and move forward on it :) The rest can be figured out as you go.

      All my best,

  18. Thanks for the reply. I am going to retry making the broths with bok choy, some zucchini? Maybe I will give them green beans or small amounts of squash as starter veggies (I didn’t see them on your list, but they were on most other websites?) Why did you say not to do a bone broth? I was reading how calcium is important and I wouldn’t think that bone broth would not pose an oxalate issue? Thanks for all your hard work and advice….I enjoyed your book. :) I just wish I could enjoy the outcome with my kids!

    • Hi Tracy,

      Some kids react to bone broth. We’re not sure why. Meat broth prepared the way Dr Natasha suggests, as outlined in GAPS Guide, is a good start. Bone broth can be tested when the child is doing well.

      All my best,

  19. Baden,

    Thanks for all your help (and your GAPS guide!). My son (and daughter are pretty reactive to the veggies and I am going to work on figuring it out better. I was looking back over my notes and I was outlining the veggies that I think will be ok (most fall into the low oxalates, but he has also done ok with broccoli and green beans sometimes). Anyway, when you went low oxalate, did you leave the saurkraut behind? What were your veggie ferments (we haven’t been able to do dairy yet). And did you just boil your veggies in the broth and still eat the broth or do the oxalates go into there?

    Thank you SO much!

    • Hi Tracy,

      I don’t quite remember the details of what we did at that time, to be honest. I would not have given him broth from veggies that were an issue for him. We were doing dairy by then. I was probably giving him sauerkraut too, though, as it was just a tablespoon or so each day. I found we didn’t need to be ‘no oxalate’ or even super, super low -just lower, or medium.

      All my best,

  20. Hi Baden,
    We have been doing GAPS for 3 months or so, but started on the full prgram as I am pregnant, and my children, tho having health issues, are not suffering from serious ailments. It has been so good for us. However, I stumbled onto the oxalate thing recently when our garden started producing ample amounts of spinach…. and we began eating ample amounts! After that, the 3 of us that tend to have the most health issues began to struggle again to varying degrees. Hunting on the internet I discovered that we likely overdosed on oxalates. After that (for the last 2 to 3 wks), I have limited our oxalates. It has definitely helped. But, here is my question for you: prior to this overdose of spinach, we ate a regular diet with no real issues (not to say that maybe we were affected a little once in a while; I think I will always be careful from now on to not overdo!): nuts, nut flours, berries, broccoli, even spinach (just in more moderation), etc etc. Now I am very discouraged because our diet is so much more restricted and I am wondering how long it will be before we can resume a more varied diet…. like before. How long before the excess oxalate is cleared? Surely, we’ve not done something permanent??! I appreciate your recommendation and input! Blessings to you!

    • Hi Michele,

      No worries! As you know I, too, found it helped to remove high sources of oxalates from my son’s diet for awhile. After quite a short time (a month, maybe?), I started slowly increasing them again and all was well. I think you’ll all be fine :)

      All my best,

  21. Hi Baden,

    I appreciate this posting about oxalates. My two daughters and I am on the GAPS diet. I have many more symptoms than they do, but as I read the book, it seemed to me that they would benefit from the diet as well, especially the younger (5) who has some learning disabilities. We went to the full GAPS and then to the intro and apart from hunger strikes at the beginning both daughters seemed to be making good progress. Then suddenly they both started having tantrum-like behavior and the younger started waking up more at nights. I had read this post previously and it tickled up in my brain last night as I lay awake after she had woken me up again. So I found it. I think this is an arrow in the right direction! From everything I have read it seems like it will help all three of us!

    I came across this great blog I wanted to share. It seems like different foods have different levels of oxalates depending on how they are cooked. The blog was helpful to me and I thought it might be to others as well.

    Thanks for this site and the GAPS Guide.


  22. Hi Baden,
    Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments and directions.
    I do have a question regarding the oxalates and a warning I received from the Yahoo group on low oxalates. What do you know about the risk of having a high fat diet like GAPS and the binding with oxalates?
    The warning I receive is the following:

    “Taking high fat WITH high oxalate in the meal leads to a higher percentage of
    oxalate absorption in the colon when it gets there. That is caused by the fat
    binding calcium in the gut, turning it into a soap, and that leaves more “free
    oxalate” to be absorbed in the colon.

    This is why we have suggested taking fat soluble vitamins away from meals that
    may contain oxalate and taking calcium before meals to bind the oxalate.

    There has been a lot of study of this phenomenon in steatorrhea associated with
    celiac disease and other malabsorption syndromes.”

    Any thoughts will be much appreciated.

    • Hi Ramona,

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any further information on the oxalate issue -merely that some see a reduction in symptoms when levels of oxalates are addressed, and that this addressing can be achieved by diet, the addition of specific supplements, etc. I suggest consulting with a GAPS practitioner about the matter.

      All my best,

    • Ramona,
      (I hope you don’t mind my opinion here Baden!)
      In my experience, when you supplement calcium with a high fat meal and you are also dumping oxalate in the gut, the calcium will bind with the fat and form a ‘soap’ and the oxalate will be absorbed.
      I have had an oxalate problem the entire time I’ve been on GAPS, although I’ve only known it for the first year. I healed really nicely when I first started and was mainly doing low-ox foods, and very high fat.
      I tried doing low-ox, low-fat because of the advice on the Low Oxalate yahoo group, but I didn’t heal AT ALL.
      Everything pointed back to GAPS. Heal the gut, get nutrition in you, reduce oxidative stress, improve gut function..
      I still believe it is really important to avoid high oxalate foods in conjunction with GAPS, but I wouldn’t worry about avoiding fat at all. You might find you HAVE to when you start dumping to the gut and get fat malabsorption, but once dumping is over and your nutritional status & gut integrity improves, a lot of healing will take place, including being able to tolerate higher oxalate foods.
      I commented below as well further explaining what I’ve found out about oxalate.

      • Hi Natalia,

        Not only do I not mind people responding here with their own tips, experiences, wisdom, etc, I greatly appreciate your kindness and generosity in this!

        (And yes, it’s great to have people adding to older posts, too, as people do search for and find any given topic, reading all the comments associated with it.)

        All my best,

  23. Hi Baden,
    I thought I should just put this here incase anyone searching your blog reads the thread..
    Glycine (in bone broth) can convert to oxalate in people under oxidative stress and consequently depleted of glutathione and vitamin B6. This is pretty much everyone that comes to GAPS. I really believe that is why so many people have trouble with bone broth in the beginning. As they progress on the intro diet, and the oxidative stress lessens as the glutathione and B6 levels increase, they begin to assimilate glycine normally.
    I have been on GAPS for 2 years now and was able to tolerate bone broth at one point after a few months of healing. I then started Vit C (converts to oxalate) and bingeing on high oxalate GAPS foods (this is actually what caused my gut damage and me to start GAPS in the first place.. i just didn’t realise it.)
    SO as a result I lost ghee, bone broth and more veggies. I discovered oxalate as the cause and started on supplement regimes (high dose B-vitamins), abandoning GAPS for a few months. The supp regimes were intense and too strong for my sensitive body, so I am back at GAPS with my oxalate knowledge and ready to heal! I am confident healing will come strong this time. I have already got ghee back! I LOVE intro!!
    Note: oxalate has to leave the cells, so it needs to be ‘dumped’ out which causes symptoms. My body like to dump through the digestive system, so I will get the black & white dots in stool, crystals in the stool, diarrhoea, fat malabsorption, bloating and gas as this happens. Enema’s help a great deal!

  24. I am just reading these posts on oxalates and GAPS. My daughter, mother of 3, including a 1 yo breastfeeding, has recently discovered most painfully that she has kidney stones. She had begun GAPS with her husband and children in October 2010. One strong motivating factor was her then 2 yo being discovered with rheumatoid arthritis. Thru GAPS and the wisdom of Dr. T. Cowan, that autoimmune condition has been cured. It took less than one year once she began. Praise be to God and thank you NCM.
    Now for her own kidney stones. She has reduced the oxalates in her diet and is still passing one stone which has finally reached her bladder. Regardless of what particular focus of damage the oxalates have, it seems to me the treatment is nearly the same: reduce oxalates, possibly take calcium citrate or I have also read magnesium citrate, and B6: these ideas came from the WAPF website. Any thoughts on this?
    AS A NURSING MOTHER, can the oxalate difficulty the mom has cause her 1 yo daughter’s high frequency of night wakings which she has been experiencing now for months?
    Thank you Baden for reading thru this and any comment you can make.

    • Hi Meredith,

      After you’ve waited so patiently for a reply from me, I regret that I have to say I have no additional information, nor an answer to your final question. They are excellent questions! Please do not hesitate to bring this topic to Dr Cowan or to another GAPS-friendly practitioner, as linked to from my site’s ‘Support for You’ page.

      All my best,

  25. Thanks for sending me to this site Baden,
    I am glad to see the dialogue widening with respect to how GAPS and those of us who are sensitive to oxalates work together in creating a diet that greatly heals. I have done SCD, GAPS, elimination diets and I can say for myself, that all diets are not created equal for everybody’s condition. Some heal on all vegan, some need protein and here on this blog some need a low oxalate diet. I belong to the Trying Low Oxalates yahoo group and have learned so much from the families who have made the efforts to heal their children and consequently heal their own health issues as well. Thanks to Susan Costen Owens who pioneered this website and through her dedication to the science behind it, there is a wealth of information in going LOW oxalate and combining GAPS and other food allergy diets. There is also an extensive food and supplement list as many foods have been tested as low, med or high oxalates. I don’t recommend anybody go from a high oxalate diet to a very low oxalate diet all at once – you will feel miserable as the oxalates start to “dump” out of your cells. There are supplements you can take as well as epsom salt baths that help to alleviate the “dumping” symptoms. Everybody is different when It comes to oxalate symptoms. I personally have issues with interstitial cystitis and BBPV when I eat a high oxalate diet. Oxalates can get stored in our areas of weakness. With a low oxalate diet I have significantly healed my leaky gut and food allergies; I have also been able to add some non-GAPS foods back into my diet. I encourage anyone who is concerned with an oxalate problems to look into the Trying Low Oxalates group for assistance.

  26. Diana, Thank you so much for your post. I have met Susan and think very highly of her work. At the time, when she saw my son’s test results, she mentioned that he had the highest oxalate numbers she had seen. Unable to get a grasp on combining Low Oxalate with other diets, I have been going crazy for the past few years. I hope that more info comes out on combining these two diets. Thanks Baden for all your work as well! God Bless!


  27. In reading some of the posts, Eloise commented that Stevia was on a list of high oxalate foods. I want to clarify, on the Trying low oxalates group, who gets their foods tested by the Autism Foundation, powdered stevia was tested HIGH, but liquid stevia with no other additives was in the low category.

    • Oh, Thank you!! Do you recommend a liquid stevis brand that has no additives? I assume that often extra ingredients are not disclosed.

      • Sure Christy, I get either SweetLeaf (Wisdom Natural Brands), Vitality Works (Sprouts Farmer’s Market brand) or the Whole Foods brand – all of them just have water added, some add other flavors. Glycerine is OK as an additive as well. I haven’t found any of them to be a problem for my oxalate issues. When in doubt call the company and ask what other ingredients they aren’t listing.

        • Wonderful! Thank you! Ginger tea has been a big healer for us and my son will only drink it sweetened. I panicked with the idea of losing stevia! Had ordered the body ecology brand but have SweetLeaf too, so now I am set! Thanks again!
          BTW, we have been on stage one GAPS intro this week and my 10 year old son is doing amazing! Yippee!

  28. We followed full GAPS for several years with my now four year old son. Even on full GAPS he developed a extreme sensitivity to phenols and oxalates. So we then went low oxalate/phenol, and have been for about six months. It just seems like a band aid. He is ok if he eats low oxalate/low phenol foods, but if he has any high oxalate/phenol foods we are back at square one with his behaviors. When he follows his diet he is sweet, calm, and everything is wonderful. When he has medium/high oxalate foods he has meltdowns, screams, cries, etc. If he has high phenol foods he gets aggressive, super hyper, etc. I was hoping if we went on GAPS intro it would heal his issues with oxalates and phenols, but after reading your post I am thinking maybe intro won’t help. Have you found a way to heal the oxalate issue permanently?

    • Hi Summer,

      Awesome tracking/observing! This is so important in the healing journey!

      Yes, a good number of people have healed their sensitivity to oxalates and/or phenols. My son, for example, now seems fine with absolutely everything under the sun (the only thing that triggers issues is too much non-GAPS food over the course of several days in a row). He has no noticeable reaction to oxalates anymore.

      In our oxalate journey, I was able to increase his oxalates by tiny increments to a certain level, without retriggering issues.

      Oxalates and phenols can be very cleansing, so for people sensitive to these, approaching them like we would other intensive healing foods -coconut oil, kefir, etc- can allow the body to cleanse at a manageable pace. This can be key. If we assume your son’s reaction is one of detoxification, as it may well be, focusing the die-off relief supports (such as the die-off relief baths, extra rest, bowel movements, etc) on the days you’re giving him oxalates or phenols may help.

      For a detailed approached to any food sensitivities, I present a whole section in GAPS Guide 2nd Edition. In it, I present NAET as a potential step -but a latter one because it can cost much more than other, homebased ones.

      Summer, in your several years with GAPS, did you at any point do Intro? If not, if I were in your shoes I would do it. My son and I did Intro several times, with noticeable benefits every round. It can work wonders in resolving persistent issues.

      Another option might be to explore an adjunct therapy -after doing the GAPS program for several months, this can be a helpful step. An adjunct therapy in this case might be NAET, for example. As you know from this post, in my son’s case the adjunct therapy that resolved the bedwetting without having to continue restricting oxalates was EMDR -a non-physical therapy that resolved a physical issue.

      Summer, I’d love to hear from you again on how this issue works itself out in your son.

      All my best,

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