Do oxalates cause thyroid problems? For starters, I have never even heard of oxalates before!
Preliminary research has tied oxalate build-up to thyroid disease, and while I’ve never had a problem with oxalates (knock on wood), other thyroid patients have reported oxalate issues.
While oxalate build-up has been predominantly tied to kidney stone formation, a study of thyroid autopsies found that 79% of adults were found to have oxalate crystals in their thyroid glands, with prevalence increasing with age. Interestingly, people with Hashimoto’s had a lower incidence of oxalate crystals, especially in the parts of their thyroid gland that were inflamed! This led the scientists to conclude that oxalates may play a role in contributing to Hashimoto’s, potentially causing inflammation that may trigger the autoimmune response that results in destruction of the oxalate crystals and the surrounding thyroid tissue. In some cases, giant cell reactions were found around the crystals, suggesting an ongoing immune response.1
A 2000 case report featured 4 people with a rare genetic disorder that results in oxalate build-up who developed hypothyroidism, and highlighted the role of oxalates in causing damage to the thyroid gland, and, thus, hypothyroidism.2
To complicate things further, a 2006 study reported that a person developed excess oxalates due to hypothyroidism that was induced by amiodarone (one of the most thyroid toxic drugs)!3
Oxalate sensitivity should be suspected if you have any of the following symptoms (in addition to a thyroid condition like Hashimoto’s or Graves’):
pain in the body
burning with urination (interstitial cystitis)
burning with bowel movements
Additionally a recent study even tied excess oxalate build-up to breast cancer!4
Here is the full story: