:: Step 6: Food and Fitness Planner

The Trifecta of DBS/IBS, Lupus, MS, Alopecia, Autoimmunine, Mood Disorders, and Much More

By Kelly Burris, PhD, MSRT

Test Do Not Guess

If any of your numbers on the Burris Gut Health Checklist are a 5 or above consistently for more than 30 days, you must find a Functional Medicine Practitioner who can order the following tests. You can find a Functional Medicine Practitioner at The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Organic Acid Test (OAT): The OAT is a urine test that generates over 76 data points, including vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress, and neurotransmitter level; Great Plains Labs claims it is the only lab to include markers for oxalates. If you only want to check oxalate, Lab Corp offers an Oxalate, Quantitative, 24-Hour Urine test, which some consider the gold standard for oxalate testing. I found the oxalate markers with Great Plains to be very good, but the candida markers were poor, which was the case with three other urine tests for candida. This is why the next test is also imperative.

Comprehensive Stool Sample: Several labs will do this, but Genova has refined its testing over the last few years, and most insurance companies will cover it. You will want to discuss this with your MD. The bottom line is that you need to get a comprehensive evaluation of your microbiota. There are many more tests I would like to recommend but these are the absolute musts. Your functional medicine practitioner can determine what other tests you may need based on these tests.

Oxalate, Nutrition, Glycemic Index Food Intolerances, and Measuring Tools

·        Oxalate.org: It is critical that everyone has a full understanding of oxalates and measure their intake. This site will enable you to calculate your oxalate intake, which should not be more than 150mg per day.

·        MyFoodData.com: This site has several useful tools other than the stock nutritional tools. One I use often is the Nutrient Ranking Tool. This tool enables you to select a nutrient and a food category to find the largest amount of that nutrient per the selected food. You can also simply select all. This is very useful when attempting to lower histidine. Histidine can be decarboxylated to histamine by histidine decarboxylase187.

·        USDA: Considered the gold standard for food data but I prefer how MyFoodData.com is laid out.

·        GlycemicIndex.com: The Glycemic Index enables you to determine how fast a food is turned into glucose. This is also important to determine possible inflammatory foods.

·        HowMany.wiki: The primary tool I use on this site is the Volume to Weight Converter. This is an important tool when detoxing from oxalate.

·        Food Intolerances: This App covers FODMAPs, Histamine, Lactose intolerance, Fructose intolerance, Sorbitol intolerance, Salicylate intolerance (or aspirin intolerance), Gluten intolerance, celiac disease, and Multiple Allergy Profiles.

·        Monash FODMAP App: The Monash app is FODMAP only, but they do this one very well.

·        High Lectin Foods: This is a list by Dr. Gundry. There is no information on how he compiled this list, but Dr. Gundry is the super geek on lectins.

The Trifecta: Oxalatic Acid, Candida, and Histamine

Oxalate acid, candida, and histamine represent a self-perpetuating mechanism for a disrupted microbiota which leads to a host of disorders and diseases.

1.      Oxalic Acid

Oxalates are the most insidious of all plant toxins in that it is the only plant toxin that can accumulate in virtually every tissue of the body170. There are two primary ways to become poisoned from oxalates: endogenously (internal) via metabolism or incorporated exogenously (external) via the diet. Endogenous poisoning is usually from a rare genetic disorder.

Oxalic acid is a plant compound that is ubiquitous in the plant kingdom. It can do tissue damage and ultimately slowly kill you if you engage in large amounts of superfoods such as spinach, chocolate, swiss chard, or almonds, among many others. However, several factors other than eating large amounts of this can make one vulnerable to this toxin embedded in your bone and tissues. Humans should not eat more than 150 mg of oxalates per day. This recommendation goes down to less than 50 mg per day if you have experienced kidney stones. If you eat more than 150 mg of oxalates per day, the question is not whether you are poisoned but how poisoned are you?

Oxalate Poisoning Mechanisms

Escherichia coli are commonly found inside the nidus of calcium oxalate kidney stones and may play pivotal roles in stone genesis193. Candida albicans and Escherichia coli are also believed to be synergistic pathogens.194 This is why some, like Great Plains Labs, believe it is candida that causes excess oxalate accumulation. In other studies, a higher than usual concentration of oxalate was found inhibitory to many gut microbes, which would lead to dysbiosis and enable commensal candida to be converted to its pathogenic form.195 Once initiated, either mechanism becomes self-perpetuating and may eventually kill you unless you have a means of disrupting it. Death may not be directly from oxalate poising but the resulting disorders and diseases from being poisoned.

The question is, once either one of these mechanisms is initiated, how do you interrupt them and rebalance the microbiota. We will get to that in a moment. To be clear, oxalates are not the devil. Oxalates are produced in the liver as part of our metabolic processes. It binds with heavy metals and minerals and carries them out of the body. It only becomes problematic when there is an excess accumulation.

What Makes You Vulnerable to Exogenous Oxalate Poisoning

·        Stress

·        Antibiotics

·        Pharmaceutical or Illicit Drugs

·        Ingesting Excessive Amounts of Oxalate Rich Foods (More than 150 mg per day)

·        Inflammation

·        Alcohol

·        Inflammatory Foods

Systemic Manifestations of Oxalate Disorders185

Joints

  • Arthritis
  • Chondrocalcinosis of the metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Synovitis
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Bursitis

Kidneys

  • Acute tubular necrosis
  • Interstitial fibrosis
  • Nephrocalcinosis
  • Kidney stones

Heart

  • Arrhythmias
  • Diastolic dysfunction
  • Valvular abnormalities
  • Impaired ejection fraction
  • Infiltrative process

Skin

  • Livedo reticularis
  • Acrocyanosis
  • Papules and nodules on the face and digits
  • Non-healing ulcers

Eyes

  • Retinal oxalate deposition

Nerve and muscle

  • Axon loss and Demyelination
  • Polyradiculoneuropathies

Teeth

  • Periodontitis
  • Jaw bone and root resorption
  • Dental mobility
  • Bone marrow
  • Erythropoietin stimulating agent resistant anemia

Bones

  • Fractures
  • Pseudofractures
  • Sclerosis
  • Cystic bone changes
  • Dense metaphyseal bands
  • Increased bone density

There are many more diseases and disorders being linked to oxalate, including breast cancer. Even though I had many of the symptoms listed above, I had many more listed below. This is also why I list oxalate dumping as the first consideration when initiating a flexible carnivore diet.

Oxalate Dumping

Oxalate dumping or purging is a release of oxalates that has been stored in body tissue when the body detects that there are low no oxalates being consumed. If poisoned with oxalates, it is recommended that you slowly reduce the amount of oxalate you are eating by 10 percent per week. Planning which oxalate foods you will leave in to slow down this process is essential. I ultimately found that 3 rounded tablespoons of organic sprouted buckwheat flour at approximately 8 milligrams of oxalate per tablespoon were adequate most of the time. If needed to curb the heart palpations and bladder pain during a heavy purge, I would add a tablespoon of organic cacao, which is 25 milligrams of oxalate. The biggest takeaway from this process is that there is no linearity to the purging process. It can occur any time of the day or night and at widely varying levels of intensity. I found myself continually adjusting the amount of oxalate I was eating to match the intensity of the dump to reduce the symptoms. A brutal, horrifying nightmarish process would be a profound understatement to call oxalate dumping. Because oxalates and candida are self-perpetuating mechanisms, it is virtually impossible to tell which one is causing the symptoms. One cannot fully appreciate this until you have lived through it, and even then, it is difficult to get your head around the fact that the foods you were told were healthy superfoods your entire life is doing this to you.

Oxalate Dumping Symptoms

  • Kidney Stones
  • Gallbladder and Liver Stones
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidality (Suicidal Thoughts)
  • Exhibited symptoms of ALS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Aphasia, and Multiple Sclerosis
  • Vertigo
  • Skin Peeling off Lips
  • Increased Gait Abnormalities
  • Axon Loss and Demyelination
  • Arrhythmias
  • Periodontitis
  • Increased Chronic Fatigue
  • Increased Brain Fog
  • Plaque Build-Up on Lower Front Teeth
  • Itchy Skin
  • Large Amounts of Oxalate Crystals From My Eyes
  • Excessive Ear Wax
  • Dry Cough
  • Itchy Throat
  • Constipation
  • Stiff Neck
  • Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)
  • Dizziness, Poor Balance
  • Hyper Sensitivity to Light, Noise, and Odors
  • Interstitial Cystitis (Bladder Pain)

Probiotics have been used to attempt to facilitate the breakdown of oxalates, but the results have been inconsistent.168-169 Oxalobactor is believed to be the primary gut bacteria for breaking down oxalates and one of the first to be destroyed when under stress or taking antibiotics.

2.      Candida

Candida Albicans is the most common form of candida and can not be put under control until you purge the majority of oxalates stored in your body. As stated above, candida and oxalates are self-perpetuating mechanisms. This is one of the primary reasons, so many people report that it keeps coming back. This is not to say that medications like nystatin or antifungals will not work because they may if oxalates are not part of the equation, but most of the time, this is not the case. One can have a candida flare-up without oxalates being part of the equation, but it is highly unlikely that candida is not part of the equation if you are poisoned with oxalates.

Recurrent Vaginal Candidiasis

If C Albicans was cultured from the vagina, it was always found in the stool. Conversely, if it was not isolated from the stool, it was never found in the vagina. These data are presented as an explanation for the recurrent nature of Candida vaginitis, and thus a cure of vaginitis would not be possible without prior eradication of C Albicans from the gut.199 It is estimated that 75% of females will have a yeast infection at some point in their lives. This completely discredits the notion that yeast overgrowth is primarily found in immune-compromised people.

Bringing the Microbiota Back Into Balance

With severe oxalate poising and consistent candida flare-ups, I tried everything except medication, and most of it worked initially, but candida was very good at adapting. There is one thing; however, candida cannot adapt to, and that is starvation via fasting. The question was how to starve the candida without killing the host. After trying every form of fasting, I settled on a 3-44 schedule of fasting. This translates to 3 44-hour fasts per week. It took about 9 days to kick in, but I passed large amounts of yeast for 4 months once it did.

Following are the three most potent yeast killers I found.

Top 3 Yeast Killers

1. Crustless Unsweetened Pumpkin Pie

·        Pumpkin Puree: Pumpkin has been shown to be an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hypotensive, and hepatoprotective.192 There is a concern for high lectins and pumpkins, but these are concentrated in the rhine and seeds of the pumpkin when you get organic canned pumpkin puree.

·        Cinnamon: Cinnamon oil was found to be effective against nearly 50% of the Candida isolates.190

·        Cloves: Clove oil was found to possess strong antifungal activity against opportunistic fungal pathogens such as Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus, etc.188

·        Ginger: Ginger extract successfully inhibited biofilm formation by A. baumannii, B. cereus, C. krusei, and C. Albicans. The minimum inhibitory biofilm concentrations (MIBCs) of ginger extract for fungi strains (C. krusei and C. Albicans) were greater than those of fluconazole and nystatin. 189

·        Nutmeg: Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) was effective against all endodontic pathogens, including C. Albicans.191

Crustless Unsweetened Pumpkin Pie Recipe

·        One 15 ounce can of organic pumpkin puree

·        One tablespoon of pumpkin spice

·        3 whole eggs or 6 yolks

·        ¾ of a cup of heavy cream

Thoroughly mix the first 3 ingredients before adding the heavy cream to keep the spice from clumping, then stir again. I use a 9-inch glass pie pan and rub it down with butter or ghee, so it is easy to clean. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. Let it cool for 20 minutes after taking it out of the oven.

2. Olive Oil

·        Oleuropein constitutes over seventy percent of the phenolic compounds found in olive oil and olive leaf. This is why it has gained a reputation as the best anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-cancer, anti-aging, anti-candida, antiparasitic, and neuroprotective compound.157

·        Oleocanthal rapidly and selectively induces cancer cell death. As with Oleuropein, Oleocanthal is an effective anti-inflammatory along with several other attributes, including Anti-Alzheimer Agent, Anticarcinogenic Agent, and Cardioprotective Agent.158

·        Hydroxytyrosol reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, thus altering positively Metabolic Syndrome's key components.159 Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Counterfeit olive oil is a significant issue. If you are unsure about the purity of the olive oil you are using, you can go to https://www.aboutoliveoil.org/certified-olive-oil-list to see if it has been tested for purity.

An in vitro study showed that olive leaf aqueous extracts destroyed 15% of C. Albicans within 24 hours.155

3. Coconut Oil

·        VCO is an antimicrobial and antifungal.16

·        VCO is an antibacterial and antiviral.17

·        VCO (virgin coconut oil) significantly reduces plaque and plaque-induced gingivitis.15

3. Histamine

Histamine is an organic nitrogenous compound involved in local immune responses, as well as regulating physiological functions in the gut and acting as a neurotransmitter for the brain, spinal cord, and uterus.

Oxalate dumping and candida die-off cause the mast cells to release histamine. This, in conjunction with eating high histidine foods, can cause what appears to be histamine intolerance. I say "what appears to be" because there are virtually no MDs who understand the process of oxalate dumping and the results it produces; therefore, they label it histamine intolerance. In my opinion, if you are dealing with oxalate dumping and candida die off, it is histamine overload. Either way, histamine must be considered an important piece of the oxalate candida equation.

The first thing that is prescribed is antihistamines, and this is usually without an accurate diagnosis. The symptoms of histamine intolerance or overload are similar to some of the symptoms of oxalate dumping and candida die-off, so it just adds to the overall malaise. Diamine oxidase (DAO) is the enzyme that breaks down histamine, and I felt it was better to add a food high in DAO and reduce the amount of histidine I was eating.196 Beef kidney is high in DAO, so I took it in freeze-dried capsule form. I was able to tell the difference, which sold me on the idea of freeze-dried animal organs. You do want to be careful about reducing histidine because it has been found to improve mental fatigue, cognitive performance, and sleep disruption.200

The 3-44 Flexible Carnivore Diet: The Best Diet for Candida, Oxalate Poisoning, Inflammation, and Autoimmune Disease

The 3-44 Flexible Carnivore Diet consists of 3-44 hour fasts per week and is primarily a meat-based diet. Working up to this must be implemented slowly because if you are severely infected with oxalates and candida, the malaise of candida die-off, and oxalate dumping can be catastrophic. The Flexible designation of this diet is because it is not purely carnivore. The reason for this is that when the body detects low or, no oxalates coming in it will begin the process of purging the oxalates stored in the body. This is why it is important to come off them slowly because oxalates are much more toxic coming out than going in. When you add candida die-off to this equation, it is extremely unpleasant.

What is the objective of this food? This is a question you must ask of any food you eat outside the carnivore diet. Following are the non-carnivore foods I kept and why.

·        Lemon Juice: I kept the lemon juice because the citrate helps break down the oxalates, and I use it to take shots of olive oil.

·        Seaweed: My metabolic test indicated low thyroid hormone, and my voice quality was bad. Seaweed is rich in iodine.

·        Sprouted Organic Pumpkin Seeds: Along with being antiparasitic and having a good mineral profile pumpkin seeds seem to assist digestion. This is another high lectin food that must be sprouted.

·        Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut: I avoid the reduced-fat versions of this. Shredded coconut is the most potent parasite killer I have found and goes great with pumpkin pie.

Temporary High Oxalate Foods for Reduction of Oxalate Dumping Symptoms

·        Sprouted Organic Buckwheat Flour: To be clear, buckwheat is not a grain; it is a fruit and has a low glycemic index with a good mineral profile. I used a little over an ounce per day to take down the oxalate dumping symptoms. Sprouting deactivates the lectins.

·        Raw Organic Cacao: I used this when I needed to increase my oxalate intake to lower symptoms significantly. I only used this when absolutely necessary because of toxins other than high oxalates.

Acclimation to this diet can take from days to weeks to months, and you could very well heal yourself while in the process of implementing this. This was not the case for me, but I do not expect everyone to be as severely infected as I was.

3-44 Flexible Carnivore Diet Safety

The 3-44 Flexible Carnivore Diet is, in essence, ADF or Alternate Day Fasting, and it has been found to be safe in several studies. It has, in fact, not only been proven for eating disorders but enabled improvement.197-198 Anorexia is an exception to this if you are below a safe body fat percentage. Any diet protocol, in this case, must be under the supervision of your MD. ADF is the most studied fasting protocol I have found, and it has benefits that go far beyond killing yeast and rebalancing the microbiota.

A Short List of Other ADF Benefits201

·        ADF showed statistically significant reductions in weight and body mass index

·        ADF showed significant differences in terms of total cholesterol

·        ADF showed significant differences in low-density lipoprotein

·        ADF showed significant differences in triglycerides

·        ADF showed significant differences in fat mass

·        ADF showed significant differences in lean mass

·        ADF showed significant differences in systolic and diastolic blood pressure

·        ADF had the same effect compared with the control group in aspects of high-density lipoprotein homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance and fasting blood sugar

Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that ADF is a viable diet strategy for weight loss, and it has a substantial improvement in risk indicators for diseases in obese or normal-weight people.201

Inflammation is at the core of virtually all diseases, and digesting food is an inflammatory process. This is why if you suffer from any digestive disorder, fasting is fundamental.

Implementing the 3-44 Flexible Carnivore Diet

Implementation of this diet requires that you start slow with intermittent fasting. This means choosing an eating window of 8, 6, 4, or 24 hours. Anything past 24 hours is considered extended fasting. I started out with a 6-hour eating window and then moved to a 4-hour window which is referred to as the warrior diet. I then tried several 24-hour fasts to kill the candida, but it was ineffective. Next, I moved to a 44-hour fast once per week, then twice weekly. This was still ineffective, so I initiated an ADF, and 30 hours into the second 44-hour fast, I felt like I was experiencing multiple organ failures, so I cut it short. However, I did pick it up the following day and kept going.

ADF is a tricky proposition if poisoned with oxalates because fasting accelerates the exit of the oxalates from the body. The malaise can be pretty extreme, which is why you must closely listen to your body and continually adjust what you are doing. I was eating about 25 mg of oxalate per day to slow down the oxalate dumping, and I had to double it after starting this diet. Within two months, I was back down to 25 milligrams.

3-44 Flexible Carnivore Considerations

·        Oxalate Dumping

·        Candida Die-Off

·        Fat to Protein Ratio

·        Mineral Balance

·        Supplements

·        Glycine Balance

·        Water

Fat to Protein Ratio

Even though there are some carbs in this diet, I still found it necessary to pay attention to the amount of fat I was eating. If constipation is an issue, then I was not eating enough fat. I did not eat just any fat. Vegetable oils (grain oils) were not a consideration.

Top 3 Fats

·        First Cold-Pressed Organic Olive Oil

·        Organic Ghee from Grass-Fed Cows

·        Coconut Oil

There are many more good ones; these just happen to be the ones I use.

Mineral Balance: The Synergistic 4

Magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium work synergistically. Oxalic acid binds with heavy metals and minerals. This is why close attention must be paid to this balance. It is difficult to accurately measure calcium and magnesium because the body will pull these two minerals into the bloodstream from bone to keep them in balance. The question in regard to magnesium is, do I sleep well, and are my dreams clear and vivid? If this answer to this is no, sufficient magnesium may be an issue. 'Approximately 50% of Americans consume less than the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for magnesium, and some age groups consume substantially less'.203

Anecdotal comments made by others on this diet suggest there are no issues regarding mineral balance, supplementation, or glycine balance. Everyone seems to agree on the fat to protein ratio and water and salt. Nonetheless, I addressed all these issues. I addressed all issues because entering this diet, I had been battling candida for over a decade and was suffering from several mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Magnesium and calcium are based on RDA sodium, and potassium is based on AI (adequate intake). You will need to look up your requirements as the following numbers are based on my gender and age.

·        Magnesium: 420 mg per day

·        Potassium: 4,700 mg per day

·        Sodium: 1,500 mg per day

·        Calcium: 1,000 per day

Supplements

The majority of anecdotal evidence from people who are full carnivore state that a carnivorous diet is adequate for all vitamins and minerals, but this does not consider the oxalate-candida equation.

Top 5 Supplements

1.      Minerals: Magnesium Citrate, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Citrate

2.      Multivitamin: NATURELO for Men – For Women – No Iron

3.      Whole Food B Complex

4.      Alpha Lipoic Acid

5.      Collagen Peptides

1.      Anti-Nutrients and Plant Toxins: This includes Oxalates, Lectins, Goitrogens, Phytoestrogens, Phytates, and Tannins. Grains, in particular, can also alter the composition of gut microbiota.8

2.      High IgG4 Food Antigens: Symptom improvement confirmed by the elimination of beef, pork, lamb, egg whites, and wheat if over-stimulation of IgG4 is an issue.

3.      FODMAPs

4.      Alcohol and Sugar: Alcohol increases intestinal permeability by disrupting the microbiota. The dysbiosis caused by alcohol can perpetuate the habit of drinking.7 Refined and artificial sugars alter the composition of the gut microbiota.8

5.      NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These drugs are linked to the onset of IBD.9

6.      Milk Fat: MF increases the presence of Bilophila Wadsworth, which is a gut bacteria associated with IBD and Colitis.10

Note: Ghee is exempt as it is free of lactose, casein, and whey.

7.      Some Polyunsaturated Fats: Certain PUFAs disrupt the balance of the gut microbiota.10

8.      Preservatives: I discovered this one inadvertently while researching Candida antimicrobials. The nearly universal antimicrobial activity being attributed to grapefruit seed extract is merely due to the synthetic preservative agents contained within. Natural products with antimicrobial activity do not appear to be present.35 The assumption based on this research is that preservatives act as an antimicrobial. If one takes an antibiotic or antimicrobial, they must be accompanied by probiotics to assist in preventing dysbiosis, but I am certain very few people know that preventives act as an antimicrobial.

9.      Caffeine: Cortisol36 is a stress hormone, and caffeine can cause a robust increase in cortisol.37 I know how hard it is to quit caffeine and there are many benefits to coffee. There should, however, be a consideration to switching to decaf until the dysbiosis is under control.

References

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