I have Lichen Sclerosis. It’s a horrible autoimmune disease. Several years ago my OB/GYN told me I had Lichen Sclerosis but at the time I didn’t have any symptoms. But in the last two years the LS has gotten so bad I’ve been desperate to figure out this disease. After researching the web for months I finally found the answers: “Eat a diet in Low Oxalates”. Within 24 hours of starting a diet in low oxalates I began to have relief of my Lichen Sclerosis. (After a month on the low oxalates diet, the LS is reversing at a quick pace, and my itching has been greatly reduced). How did I know to start a low oxalates diet to reverse LS? Based on the information from the VP Foundation, a Yahoo Oxalates Group, and Low Oxalates websites mentioned in the posting.
What are oxalates? Oxalates occurs in low to high amounts in a wide range of plant foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, spices, herbs, and almost all nuts and seeds. Meat, dairy, and eggs contain negligible amounts of oxalate. All of these foods are either low, medium or high in oxalates. You can download the list of oxalates in all foods from this website: http://lowoxalate.info/ and once you join the Yahoo Oxalates Group download there most recently list.
A low oxalate diet generally means keeping your intake of oxalate from food and beverages between 40 and 60 mg. per day, depending upon your weight. Some people find they need a very low oxalate intake, while others can tolerate more. Each person needs to experiment and find their own level. To use the diet correctly, you will have to count your daily intake and be cognizant of portion sizes. (Implementing the diet requires study, counting numbers, and ongoing dedication).
How does eating a low oxalates diet solve Lichen Sclerosis? For me I have a leaky gut. Why or how did I get a leaky gut? I have celiac disease which caused me to have leaky gut. For some people there are other reasons why oxalates may be a problem for you. But if you have Lichen Sclerosis there is some reason why your immune system has been comprised and you will have to figure that out (but that should not stop you from trying a low oxalates diet).
Many people are able to process oxalates in their body without any problem whatsoever, but others absorb too many oxalates which can then link to calcium and form into sharp crystals that lodge in almost any tissue in the body causing or contributing to pain, inflammation, and other conditions (like Lichen Sclerosis).
Oxalate is a very simple sort of molecule. It links up with calcium and crystallizes under some conditions, including when it encounters damaged tissues. The crystals formed this way can be quite irritating and painful to tissues where they cause or increase inflammation. These crystals can be especially painful if they lodge themselves in places where they get in the way of the movement of other things through tight places.
Unfortunately,I could not find ONE specific website that explains all of this. I figured it out by reading ALL the websites listed below and putting the puzzle pieces together. If you have Lichen Sclerosis, it costs you nothing to try a low oxalates diet to see if this will work for you. Yes, it’s a very restrictive diet, and not easy to make the switch, but it’s WORTH IT!
There is a lot of medical literature showing that when the gut is inflamed, when there is poor fat digestion (steatorrhea), when there is a leaky gut, or when there is prolonged diarrhea or constipation, excess oxalate from foods that are eaten can be absorbed from the GI tract and become a risk to other cells in the body).
Important Website to Read about starting a low oxalates diet:
(Purchase the cookbook which gives you more details on how to manage the diet, resources, etc.). Read the website for valuable information; the website refers to healing Vulvodynia but going on a low oxalates diet can relief the Lichen Sclerosis as well.
(Join this yahoo group. This is where I found great inspiration that staying on a low oxalates diet actually work from people who have first hand experience of reversing their Lichen Sclerosis).
(This site explains a lot about Oxalates but centered around Autism, don’t let that deter you from all the great information on the site. They also have detailed food lists that are categorized by levels of oxalates; you can download in PDF and get started right away. They do talk about Vulvodynia on this page which is on this page, and then click on the tab:
(By the way – steroid creams may give you some relief but it will NEVER solve Lichen Sclerosis. Don’t let any doctor tell you this. And actually steroid creams in the long run will not help you. If possible don’t use them. Take baths with ephson salts this will settle down the inflammation while your healing).
Other great websites on low oxalates:
**I started this website for people who might be searching the web for answers on Lichen Sclerosis – and hopefully this website will help you! I suffered so much with Lichen Sclerosis and hope this might help others. It’s unbelieveable that Lichen Sclerosis can starting reversing immediately just by changing your diet!! Good Luck!
You can leave a message or comment on this blog- however I won’t be monitoring these comments very often. If you have an urgent question about a low oxalates diet you should join the Yahoo group mentioned above. It’s an active forum with people who check the forum often!
TIP: Don’t start the low oxalates diet until you’ve read all these resources I mentioned!! Initially the restrictive diet is a shock to your system. If you have been eating a very high oxalate diet, especially for a long time (months to years), the symptoms at the beginning of the diet may be more severe than for someone who was eating an ordinary diet. It may be best for you to cut out the extremely high oxalate foods first for at least a week before starting to eliminate the medium oxalate foods. This way you can work your way gradually into a completely low oxalate diet.
***Update 2/18/12** I am also on a gluten free diet along with the low oxalates diet. Most likely you may need to go gluten free as well… but if you have LS that is really bad and you need immediate relief – start the low oxalates diet first, and slowly start the gluten free after a couples months. It might be much to start the diets at the same time. Of course this is my opinion, and I’m not a doctor… Just from my own personal experiences.
***3/2/11 Started a Paleo diet (and already on a Gluten Free, and Low Oxalates diet). And figured out I have low stomach acid. Started taking HCI tablets with pepsin with every meal you have protein with – O.M.G. what a difference!
***Update 3/11/12** Read all the comments below – they contain more updated information. New links have been posted on the sidebar of this blog.
When you read anything on this website, you must remember that I’m not a doctor (so there is some hope for us, after all), nor am I a trained healthcare professional. This website is for informational purposes only, and you should never rely solely on the information here if you have any serious healthcare needs (i.e.: find a trained professional). You remain responsible for what you do with this information, determining for yourself what is right or wrong for you.
Since I’m not a licensed physician, I can’t diagnose or prescribe for you; and any application of the information on this site constitutes the explicit waiver of any liability on my part.