Biomedical Autism Intervention –Oxalates, pain, behavior problems, the low oxalate diet and Autism

Posted on 18 November 2009 by admin

There is another type of dietary intervention that can be useful for many kids, teens and adults on the Autism spectrum called the low oxalate diet (LOD). The low oxalate diet has emerged from an organization called the vulvodynia foundation. Vulvodynia is a painful, inflammatory condition in the vaginal area in women that occurs because of an accumulation of things called oxalates and oxalate crystals. Oxalates accumulate in the vaginal tissues causing pain, inflammation and discomfort. We know that individuals with kidney stones can benefit from the low oxalate diet.

Many children on the Autism spectrum can benefit from a low oxalate diet as well since they seem to accumulate oxalates in their bodies. Oxalates are organic compounds that are found in a wide variety of foods. Certain foods like spinach and almonds for example have high oxalates. There is a whole list of high oxalate foods.

A good website with information is It is a website run by Susan Owens who is an independent biomedical researcher who has contributed a tremendous amount of information to the biomedical community with respects to oxalate problems. What happens in adults who are accumulating oxalates, they can be predisposed to kidney stones.

One of the first things a person with kidney stones can do is to reduce the amount of oxalates coming from their diet. We have also seen a number of children on the Autism spectrum who also have high oxalate problems. When you think about what happens when these oxalates form in the body, they form crystals.

When you look at these crystals under a microscope they are very jagged and pointy and can be very painful. You can accumulate these jagged, pointy crystals in any tissues of the body, the kidneys, joints, muscle tissue, nervous system and they are aggravating and irritating. Many kids tend to be very agitated, irritated, have poor coordination, poor sleep, behavioral problems, aggressive behaviors, etc.

The low oxalate diet can be very helpful for those issues. The low oxalate diet has also been shown to be helpful for ongoing inflammatory problems in the body including the digestive system. The low oxalate diet is something that can be very useful to look into. There are many types of dietary intervention for children on the spectrum for example the gluten and casein free diet (GFCF) and the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), etc. Understanding the principles behind the low oxalate diet can be useful. A few cues that you may want to look into this diet is if you have your child on a gluten and casein free diet and have not seen a lot of results. Or if you have transitioned your child to the specific carbohydrate diet and that has not helped resolve some of the bowel inflammation issues and your child continues to be very agitated, aggravated, aggressive, self injurious, have poor coordination, poor sleep, etc. then the low oxalate diet may be useful to look into.

One of the other things you may see in blood work is that oxalates form crystals with minerals and they can interfere with absorption or utilization of certain minerals. If your child continues to show low in zinc or other minerals then the low oxalate diet could be helpful in allowing your child’s body to absorb minerals appropriately.

If you’d like to learn more about the low oxalate diet you can go to And I also have a lot of information on my own biomedical education website at in the biomedical protocols section about the low oxalate diet and the other common dietary interventions for Autism.

I can also answer any questions in the parent forum on this and other biomedical interventions for your child with Autism.

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Jessica Alexander Says:

    My daughter is almost 4 and has been complaining of vaginal pain for 6 months now. We have gone through all the doctors trying to figure out what is wrong. She is autistic. PDD NOS. At 3 months of age she got weptic with ecoli and had many high fevers and UTIs, and by 5 months she was diagnosed with Stage V kidney reflux. At 6 months she had had about 10 UTIs and pneumonia and RSV. She had bilateral re-implantation of her uterers at 7 months of age. At 18 months she was diagnosed with an expressive speech delay. At 3yrs of age she was diagnosed with cognitive delay, personal and social delay and Autistic PDD NOS. About 6 months ago she started complaining of vaginal pain. The doctors said it was from her not wiping right. So we started helping her more and it still wasnt good. They then said yeast, so we did monistat. That wasnt it. So then we talked to her Urologist, Nephrologist, and we saw Diagnostic Referral at our local Childrens Hospital. She had 2 ear infections during this time and SHE was able to tell me “ear hurt” each time. So I know she is in pain. We now saw a neurosurgeon and they cant find anything. But they are doing an MRI just to cover all bases. I am at a loss. This article is intriguing me. What doctor would I see for this. Thanks

  2. autism Says:

    Thank you for posting a question on Dr. Woeller’s Autism Recovery Treatment blog site. Because of the high frequency of questions for Dr. Woeller via his numerous online resources he is unable to answer questions via this site. The best place to communicate with Dr. Woeller regarding Q&A for biomedical intervention is through the Parent Forum of Autism Action Plan website – Dr. Woeller is readily available on this website for members.

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