Oxalates and Autism

This past weekend Dr. Paul Anderson spoke a lot about endogenous toxins – i.e. ‘toxins’ that are produced in the body. ‘Toxins’ because at the level some of these organic acids are at (although they can be a non-event at ‘normal’ levels), they can disrupt health if not eliminated properly. It got me thinking about how often I’ll see oxalate build up in a number of my patients with autism. Now…a wise (old…not so old actually!) man told us not to talk about oxalates online lol…however, I’m going for it!

Enter patients with autism. Clinically, what I often see in this population are two things (amongst many other symptoms that can guide you to answers on how to support): dysbiosis and inability to eliminate properly. Often when I want more insight into the disruption of health, I’ll run an Organic Acid Test.

On that note…testing! How can we look at this? Organic acid testing is a great way to understand it. The test shows three metabolites indicative of high oxalates in the body. Then, we can look at symptoms and the external environment to find and assess the root cause.

Oxalates come from a few different sources – fungal growth, foods, and lastly, our bodies can produce them.

Children with autism often present with dysbiosis in their gut. This can be very apparent (digestive symptoms – gas, bloating, abnormal frequency and consistency in stool) or not so much (for example, a child who presents with a digestive system that seems to be working well but may have skin issues, immune dysfunction and/or hypersensitivities, ADHD like hyperstimulation, aggression, abnormal sleep patterns or speech apraxia, to name a few).

When a child has dysbiosis, specifically a yeast or fungal overgrowth, you’ll always (hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t say always) you’ll often see the markers under oxalate metabolism high.

How do we treat this?

One of the pillars of naturopathic medicine is treating the root cause, so we do just that. We understand the source of the fungus (is this yeast overgrowth in the body? Is this an external effect, such as mould in the home?), remove the source, and help eliminate it from the body. The treatment type depends on the type of fungus found.

Secondly, we support the body’s emunctories—these are routes of elimination—digestion, kidneys, liver, lungs, etc. It is important that these are working properly so we don’t have the fungus released from hiding spots in the body, floating around causing harm to various organs (aggravation is what it’s called…).

Lastly, we also want to support the body’s elimination of the actual oxalates so as not to enhance symptoms of dysregulation. How do we do this? We make sure that the cofactor that helps this breakdown/elimination process is in abundance: Vitamin B6 in its correct form. Using minerals, including mg, is beneficial to flush oxalates, too. And although so simple, water, water, water!

We also know that oxalates can be hard on other organs in the body, such as the kidneys. Using vitamin E and omegas (which are also suitable supports for the liver to function effectively) is beneficial to fend off any damage to this organ.

As all patients with autism are complex, multi-faceted, and layered, supporting the body to rid itself of oxalates is not the only answer to supporting the overall vibrant being, however, one piece of it that can make a huge difference in their overall health.

Questions? Ask away!


Signed off with a big hug!


Dr. Hillary


Dr. Hillary Dinning

Dr. Hillary Dinning

Dr. Hillary Dinning is a Pediatric Naturopathic Doctor at Marda Loop Naturopathic and Wellness Clinic in Calgary, Alberta. 📅 Book Your Appointment With Dr. Dinning 📞Call Us

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