Health Issues--Thinking About Following GAPS


Mister Man is vomiting again.

Rats!

I let our diet go for Christmas and the last of the December birthdays, and he's having a rough morning.

But I have to admit that even when he was holding his food, he'd get a distended abdomen--sometimes he looked normal, and sometimes he looked like one of those photos of starving kids in third world countries--all skinny with a bloated belly.

And his eczema is back.

Through all of these weeks (now turning into months), he's been whiny and prone to tantrums because he just doesn't feel well.  

I've been researching a lot, and I'm becoming more and more convinced that following the GAPS protocol is a good idea for my family.  I can't get the teens to follow it (when they feel tempted to cheat, they do because they have their own money and access to junk food), but they need it, too, and I can cook this way at home and model what they need.

I don't believe that "all disease begins in the gut" (as quoted often in GAPS resources) any more than I believe that chiropractic care can alleviate all disease (seems that every chiropractic office I've entered has had had some version of that idea posted on a wall).  I do believe in a Heavenly Father that gave us both knowledge and resources to help us be as healthy as possible, and I do believe that this same Heavenly Father leads us to personal answers.

I've been praying and studying for quite some time about Rose Red's IBS, Super Star's hypothyroidism (or more likely Hashimoto's Sydrome), Rose Red's and Ladybug's impulsivity and apparent executive function issues, Beowulf's autistic behaviors, Brother's . . .  I don't know how to describe Brother's behaviors accurately . . . there's just something not quite "right" about him sometimes, and he's sad because of it, Pixie's terrible monthly issues, Sir Walter Scott's pre-diabetic condition, and my own depression/anxiety.

(Sheesh!  We're a mess!!!)

I'm reasonably sure that putting Mister Man on the GAPS phase 1 diet helped him stop throwing up, and I'm equally sure that stopping that diet plan during phase 2 in order to let him eat birthday and Christmas treats set him back again.

I'm also quite sure that my own mental health issues are significantly improved when I've joined Mister Man in following GAPS.  

What I like about the GAPS protocol is that it is a temporary diet that has convincing anecdotal evidence of actual healing.  Instead of living on a gf/cf diet forever as has become the standard for autism/IBS/other health issues, I have hope that by following the GAPS diet for a season, we can open our diet back up to all of the wonderful foods Heavenly Father created on this earth.

What I don't like is giving up the grains and starches that have formed the bulk of our diet for years!

But the science, as described in Gut and Psychology Syndrome, is compelling.

I have so many complicated feelings about committing to a change such as this.

Comments

  1. I am glad you are seeing some positive results. Our son did well on the GAPS diet but it did not heal his gut for long (maybe 6 months). It just didn't feel maintainable forever for us. Then we went grain free for two years while using fermented foods, probiotics, and supplements that heal the gut. We had to go to a nutritionist for a few years while he was on the diet to help maintain his weight. He is back (for three years now) on a mostly organic whole foods diet with lots of homemade food, supplements to support his gut and probiotics. He takes about 8 pills a day, but he can eat grains again without turning red, vomiting or getting extreme hives. We no longer need to carry an epipen either! We still avoid corn and all corn products. His allergy scores are still high for most food groups (including ones that he still eats in moderation) which the doctor says proves that his gut is still leaking and struggling every day. We watch and adjust as is body copes or suffers. We are blessed that he is so much healthier. Blessings to you on this journey. I hope it proves successful.
    Blessings, Dawn

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  2. I'm glad for your comment. My main concern for the kids has been keeping their weight appropriate. I'm adding fats and as many fruit and nut carbs as I can possibly squeeze in, but I'm still not convinced that it is really a good diet for kids unless overriding concerns exist. It's good for me to read your experience with GAPS and how it was not long-lasting. I'm completely convinced that an organic whole foods diet with plenty of ferments and probiotics is the best plan, and that's where I want to get, but I'm not sure we're there. I'm quite torn between starting that simply and then trying GAPS if it doesn't work or continuing our GAPS plan and working up.

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    1. Our son has lots of nut allergies so keeping up the fat ratios was really crazy. Even now he is a skinny one. I don't know what would be best. Maybe, you should continue with GAPS to give everyone's body a real break. Then move to whole foods. I do feel like our journey really did help our son. He is not "healed", but he isn't terribly sick either.
      Blessings, Dawn

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  3. We went through many dietary changes in the last years. Mostly to help with kids eczema and improve some behavioral stuff in one of my sons. Omitting grains did help with eczema but slowed growing of my kids to the point our pediatrician was concerned.

    Luckily I found out that fermented grains in form of sourdough bread does not do any harm for us. It took a while to learn to make it and adapt the recipes, but it works so good now. Bread, pizza crust, raisins buns... Plus feeding a family IS easier with grains.

    Fermented dairy in the form of probiotic rich kefir turned out to be very beneficial for the health too. I just need to get kefir grains once and it was much easier to make then yogurt.

    Good luck with you food journey.

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    1. That slow growth thing is what scares me most. I've been reading about families that are successfully raising healthy, growing kids and trying to absorb that advice. I'd really like to try the fermented grains and sourdough, but I'm kind of scared of bringing back Beowulf's behaviors.

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  4. My goodness, sounds so complicated! God bless your efforts as a careful, attentive, and caring mom. And God bless Mister Man!

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  5. Food is exhausting! I just really hate trying to deal with it all when kids are involved. Praying you are guided every step of the way.

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    1. Thank you. And I agree about the exhausting thing--in my make believe world I could just feed the kids what is available and real, and it would be fine.

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  6. Oh man. It is hard enough to feed a family when on normal foods; managing multiple dietary issues must be so discouraging! It’s obvious how deeply you love and are willing to sacrifice for your kids’ well-being. I agree that the Lord will help guide you to what is best for the family, but I know the search (and implementation!) is not easy. Good luck!

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