In my last article, I shared how the Carnivore diet transformed my body and how I’ve been managing Lipedema. Now, I’d like to delve into an interesting aspect of my health journey: the role of kidney health and its potential impact on Lipedema progression.
As I reflect on my photo from Part 4 of my story, in 2015, this is when the Lipedema became visible in my lower legs and an ankle cuff started forming, I can’t help but wonder if my kidney health played a role in this. It all began with a procedure called hysterosalpingogram (HSG), which left me fatigued and in considerable pain, particularly in my back around my right kidney and the right side of my groin. The doctor assumed I had an infection and gave me a stronger antibiotic. This one procedure greatly impacted my mobility and found myself unable to go for my daily walks.
It wasn’t until I did some research that I realized the procedure’s iodinated contrast medium, might be part of the problem, if you have renal problems. It suggests drinking a lot of water to the flush the kidneys. Drinking copious amounts of water helped alleviate the swelling and kidney pain. I wish I had been given that advice in the beginning, instead further destroying my gut with more antibiotics, and living with 3 months of pain, fatigue, and swelling.
I believe the groin pain I was experiencing, was caused by a labral tear, which likely happened during the procedure. With a woman’s legs up in stirrups and with feet turned out, this can cause a labral tear. Having EDS and hip dysplasia can put me at high risk for labral tears. If I had known I had hip dysplasia and EDS, maybe this is something they would’ve looked into. Unfortunately, this is pain I still experience today, but has improved recently.
Last year in 2022, when I was experiencing severe dry eyes, dry skin, gout, kidney pain, fatigue, extreme thirst, the kidney pain came back. All of these can be signs that our kidneys are struggling.
The back pain I experienced seemed to intensify, affecting my mobility, and I sought help at an urgent care center, suspecting a kidney stone. However, I was told it was likely related to my back/hip and not my kidneys, as they detected a tight muscle. Although a urine test indicated normal results, the pain persisted, reminiscent of the discomfort I had after the HSG. They sent my home with a muscle relaxer, which only reduced the pain.
Additionally, I noticed swelling and opted to drink spring water as I had in 2015, which remarkably alleviated the pain. Surprisingly, the pain would return, albeit mildly, after drinking our tap water for an extended period. This tap water, though soft and filtered, seemed to lack essential minerals my body needed. It was only after reading Sally Norton’s enlightening book, “Toxic Superfoods,” that I connected the dots. My kidneys might have been stressed due to my “healthy” diet, which was exceedingly rich in oxalates. My daily menu included almond butter, chia seeds, hemp hearts, spinach, cocoa powder, sweet potatoes, raspberries, beets, hummus, and more—foods high in oxalates, those tiny crystals that can accumulate in our bodies and place a burden on our kidneys.
Could it be that some of the swelling associated with Lipedema is a sign of struggling kidneys, possibly hindered by oxalates? My experience with a kidney water flush in 2015 seemed to reduce the swelling significantly, and I didn’t observe any Lipedema in my calf, until pregnancy, two years later. While my calves remained substantial compared to their pre-Lipedema state, the swelling from the ankle cuff had vanished.
This revelation prompts me to question whether oxalates settle in Lipedema tissue, because they can settle anywhere in the body. Intriguingly, after consulting with Dr. Ginni Rosenfeld, she introduced me to Dr. Amron from the Advanced Lipedema Treatment Center. Dr. Amron has found glass-like granules in some Lipedema tissue. Could these granules be oxalates contributing to our pain? Perhaps this partly explains why some people with Lipedema endure more severe pain than others, or why our pain develops over time?
According to Sally Norton, testing for oxalates in Lipedema tissue requires prompt examination by a pathologist experienced in identifying oxalates. I’ve volunteered to be a case study for this, ready to contribute to furthering our understanding.
In sharing my experiences, I aim to shed light on the misconception that an anti-inflammatory diet, often recommended for Lipedema, suits everyone. For me, it exacerbated my condition, as many of the suggested foods were high in oxalates. It’s essential that we explore various diets to find what works best for each of us and not dismiss the Carnivore diet out of fear.
It’s not just helping me shed pounds and alleviate health issues; it’s helping my brain function optimally. Despite a history of learning difficulties and communication challenges, I now recognize that I’ve likely suffered from severe anxiety, ADHD, and possibly high-functioning autism, which is common with EDS. The Carnivore diet has transformed my relationship with food and my overall well-being. It’s sustainable and has changed the way my brain perceives food. I’m no longer carb or sugar addicted. If that’s not sustainable, I don’t know what is?!
The only drawback of the Carnivore diet is the oxalate dumping process, which can be painful as your body purges oxalates. But for me, the relief from suffering far outweighs any discomfort. I’m committed to an animal-based diet for life to keep those oxalates at bay.
In closing, my journey has taught me that embracing dietary diversity and being open to the Carnivore diet can offer unexpected solutions to complex health issues. Don’t let fear deter you from exploring what works best for your body, as I’ve learned that sometimes, the most unconventional paths lead to the most remarkable transformations.