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Thread: Healing with GAPS

  1. #127

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    We are a few days away from our one year GAPSiversary! I wrote another blog post:

    So, it's been a year!! When we were first preparing to go onto GAPS I was thinking we would start transitioning off after 6 months... and then when we started it was such a haze and an incredibly difficult time that I couldn't think beyond days, or even hours at times. But now life is good and we're going well. And we'll be on GAPS for a while yet- no way are we stopping now! I think it's time to sum up what a year on GAPS has done for all of us. In a nutshell, good things. And with the promise of much more good to come. I feel like this year has brought so much healing, but it's also been a foundational year and put us on a solid path to future healing, so there is a lot more to come.

    The Big Boy- our GAPS 'patient'
    The changes in E from this point now and a year ago are utterly mindblowing. Firstly I should say, he is still autistic. Absolutely. But he is vibrant and engaged and alert and happy in a way he just wasn't before. And oh boy does that make life more fun! He is now 4 years 4 months old and I would approximate most of his development to be around an 18 month to 2 year old level.

    But firstly, just his gut health, which is the area we really need to focus on and heal. It's still pretty bad. His stools are a big mess. We've had periods throughout the year where they were formed and looked well digested but for the most part they are still similar to when we started GAPS- big sloppy mess with some undigested food, the only new thing being there are some more solid parts and it's darker in colour. We have given him Lutimax which did great things for his stools & wellbeing but then it seemed to stop making a difference so he's off it now. Reading back over GAPS (I need to read the whole book again and we need to do more on the diet now that we've settled comfortably at what we're doing) I realise that I'm pretty sure we ALL need Betaine HCl. We probably always did but oh well. I can only change tomorrow, not yesterday. So we'll be starting on that as soon as it arrives. I have a good feeling that assisting our stomach acid production is going to be a great step and we'll be able to get all of what we need from this wonderful food we're eating. I hope it helps E's stools become more solid and stop his tummy bloating. And then that may help him feel less resistant to eating new foods. He's still very selective and doesn't really add new foods in, except for some baked treats.

    He struggled with all probiotics in the beginning and we had to go so slowly but over the past couple of months we have been steadily increasing his dosage and he's coping fine.

    We really need to get him (and the rest of us) tested for the mthfr mutation, but in the meantime we have started E on a 5-mthf supplement. Not entirely sure at this point if it's having an effect. Nothing negative at least and I think it may have increased his happiness & cognition.

    We haven't be able to get E onto juices yet to assist his detox and I created a detox nightmare by giving him too much coriander/cilantro a few months ago so we absolutely know he has detoxing to do. We decided to start him on NDF Plus drops a few weeks ago as they have everything balanced in them to assist smoother detoxing. That's going well. His stools have been smelly! But his happiness has increased again so I think it's doing good things overall.

    He also has fish oil, fermented cod liver oil & high vitamin butter oil daily.

    The good news is that even with poor digestion he has made huge developments and is a much happier little boy. A lot of his sensory, motor planning and transition issues are gone. He tolerates loud noises with no problems. He transitions into new rooms, or changes his course of action at your request without too much stress. He very, very rarely bangs his head and never has bruises anymore. He still hates hairwashing, is scared about haircutting and wants to use his dummy pretty much all the time. But tooth brushing and new shoes are no problem. He can cut with scissors (when he was previously very anxious about even touching them), stick stickers, and enjoys doing art and craft. He will occasionally attempt to ride a trike and can pedal with assistance.

    He is interested in self help skills and attempts to dress himself when prompted. He is currently interested in watching potty videos and will sit on the toilet or potty (he was previously terrified of the toilet).

    He has less obsessive behaviours now. He doesn't just fixate on a pile of rocks, or kicking dirt, or tapping the walls... he actually plays with toys. He drives cars around, or digs dirt, or mostly he likes to play with toy animals. He walks them around, puts them in and out of houses, slides them down slides, pretends to feed them and more. He does group them though, and they need to remain with their paired partner and often get lined up together.



    His language has come so far I can barely begin to describe it. He will say "I need help" or "Some more nuts please Mummy" or "I hear wind blowing" or "I see a bird. Two birds". He is able to express himself so much more, and is occasionally creative in changing a word in a scripted sentence to give it the content he wants. Sometimes he takes a few attempts and thinks hard about what he wants to say and comes up with a complete sentence to say what he wants... it's amazing to see him trying so hard and feeling so powerful with his words. He has just recently started to sometimes answer questions. If he's unsure of the answer he will just repeat the question but if he knows then sometimes he will answer such as, "What is the lion doing?", "Jumping" (because that's what lions do, right?).

    And did I mention he's happy? He is so proud and confident. He knows he can do things, that he has mastery over his body and that he is a contributor. This all makes such a difference to the way he approaches new tasks, environments and people- he does it without anxiety and with excitement and happiness. Our family is much happier and relaxed as a result!

    The Little Boy
    F is 20 months old now and developing well. He has just started to create his own 2 word sentences such as "bye-bye rock" or "more rock". He likes rocks! He is social, imaginative and processes the world with ease and comfort.

    I was very concerned about him for many months however as it was looking like he was going to end up with a Gut & Physiology condition. All his life he had wind and a lot of trouble sleeping, just the same as E. He was ALWAYS congested. I don't remember him ever not having a snotty nose. It really concerned me- I know this isn't a sign of good health! He also has slightly bowed legs, is becoming a fussy eater and prefers sweet foods such as fruit. So a few months ago I became much more diligent about giving him his probiotic & bone broth every day and we went to an osteopath. Wow! He was very unsettled and much more snotty after his osteo visits- he even developed some eczema patches on his elbows at one point. A healing crisis! Yay! It's been 3 weeks since his treatment completed (just need to keep up with maintenance now) and he is snot free! He is sleeping better too. He is mostly waking just once a night and the good bit is that he is sleeping calmly and isn't tossing, turning & arching with digestive pain. He is still dealing with some nappy rash, and rash around his mouth so I think the candida is an issue but I'm hoping these are healing reactions as it LEAVES his body.

    The Mumma
    As for me, I feel like I've spent a year realising how sick I actually am! My own poor gut health would have started the day I was born so I guess I've never known any different and I actually thought I was pretty healthy. It's hard when people ask how I'm going as I want to sell GAPS to them and tell them I feel fantastic but coming off my drug induced high created by eating all those refined carbs has left me feeling pretty flat while I work my way to a healthy starting point. I have lost quite a lot of weight on GAPS. Prior to starting I still had about 8 kilos of baby weight and I lost 15 kilos, making me slightly underweight by my BMI. Not sure if that's a good thing, but the weight loss has been level for pretty much the whole year now and I'm not scrawny so guess I'll just enjoy it!

    As a vegetarian for 15 years prior to going onto GAPS I was surprised to find that I was quickly repulsed by the idea of eating legumes so we haven't had beans or lentils for the whole year! I also didn't even want many vegetables for quite a while. I just wanted meat. Meat with lots of pink Himalayan salt. This is finally subsiding and I'm really craving lots of vegetables cooked in plenty of fat and served with a bit of meat & salt. I really battled with my sugar cravings for a long time. For months and months I lusted after bread. I ate WAY too much fruit, especially lots of dried fruit. I would also devour cheese with a fervour that I knew wasn't a good sign. But as time went on and I made sure to eat lots of sauerkraut & take my probiotics it became easier to let those things go. I still eat too many sweet things (mostly fresh fruit) but I don't miss bread, I don't eat dried fruit and I don't eat dairy (except butter). I'm sure I'll be able to keep cutting my sweets down. In trying to help F I decided to go off dairy so we did that then after 6 weeks introduced ghee then butter. We're now on butter for a few months until we'll slowly start trying more dairy.

    I have always been very, very hungry and would eat and eat then often feel bloated and ill. Pretty sure my adrenal glands are shot! But the trouble with low adrenal function is that I haven't been able to find the energy to do anything much about it. After months I made my way though The Mood Cure and decided to take some amino acid supplements to give me a bit of a boost. And finally I feel full after my massive breakfast! I also notice that the amino acids are having a good impact on my moods- I'm pretty grumpy when I don't have them! So I hope this helps bump my healing along and give me the extra pep I need until my own digestion & nutrient levels catch up again.

    I have cheated a few times over the year. After 6 months on GAPS I decided I could occasionally have maple syrup & raw milk. Nope. Both of them upset my gut and the maple syrup made my tongue break out in lumpy sores. After about 11 months I had hot potato chips while out with friends and didn't notice any adverse reaction- it was nice to be able to eat while out without feeling like I can't because of the diet so I'd do it again. We go out VERY rarely anyway and we wont be changing our diet at home.

    The Dadda
    M was never quite as sick as the rest of us, but he has digestive issues of his own. He has struggled with the high fat diet of GAPS. My plate would be scraped clean after a meal, and his would be swimming in fat because he avoided it. He said it upset his tummy so clearly his bile production was low. This has been improving, and the HCl should really help.

    Neither of us could keep up with making all of M's lunches for work so he pretty much cheats on GAPS every day. He tries to eat as close to the diet as possible but I'm sure his lunches would always have the wrong oils,, hidden grains and sneaky additives. He also has beer sometimes. But overall we figure his diet is better than it was and is full of healthy, healing foods so he should be able to cope with the toxic load of a few 'bad' food choices while continuing to heal.

  2. #128

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    Thanks for the update. It's awesome to read about the positive impact GAPS has had on your family

  3. #129

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    Oh gosh, you had to mention your awesome breakfasts didnt you i still dream of those....mmmm mm mmmmm.

  4. #130

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    The Little Boy
    F is 20 months old now and developing well. He has just started to create his own 2 word sentences such as "bye-bye rock" or "more rock". He likes rocks! He is social, imaginative and processes the world with ease and comfort.

    I was very concerned about him for many months however as it was looking like he was going to end up with a Gut & Physiology condition. All his life he had wind and a lot of trouble sleeping, just the same as E. He was ALWAYS congested. I don't remember him ever not having a snotty nose. It really concerned me- I know this isn't a sign of good health! He also has slightly bowed legs, is becoming a fussy eater and prefers sweet foods such as fruit. So a few months ago I became much more diligent about giving him his probiotic & bone broth every day and we went to an osteopath. Wow! He was very unsettled and much more snotty after his osteo visits- he even developed some eczema patches on his elbows at one point. A healing crisis! Yay! It's been 3 weeks since his treatment completed (just need to keep up with maintenance now) and he is snot free! He is sleeping better too. He is mostly waking just once a night and the good bit is that he is sleeping calmly and isn't tossing, turning & arching with digestive pain. He is still dealing with some nappy rash, and rash around his mouth so I think the candida is an issue but I'm hoping these are healing reactions as it LEAVES his body.
    How is your little boy now? He sounds like he was just like my DD2 is now. She sleeps very badly, waking every hour or two throughout the night and I am convinced it is from wind. She also reacts badly to sugar - either her eating small amounts or through my breastmilk. If I eat it, she will be unable to get to sleep and/or stay asleep for longer than 30 minutes. She also gets grizzly and windy/spewy. This is making me think that there may be a candidia issue - surely if anything is going to react with sugar it would be a yeast organism? She had a vomit bug when she was only 3 weeks old and I wonder if this damaged her stomach lining? Like your DS2, she is always snotty. In fact I was just saying to DH this morning that she has only had 2 days without a snotty nose in the last 3 months. She also has really runny nappies. I would have thought that by 1 year old there would be some bulk, rather than liquid with raisins and corn!

    I have some probiotics to give her. Thinking I might give some to DS as well, who was/is also sensitive to sugar and who has issues with anxiety.

    As it dawned on me that she might have a Candidia overgrowth I remembered this thread so I will have a proper read through.

  5. #131

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    the probiotics and bone soup make a huge difference. it takes a couple of weeks to notice though
    I make bone and veg soup and everybody has it. its cheap and you know your kids are getting good stuff. particularly when meat is getting expensive.

  6. #132

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    Hi everyone, just dropping in to see how everyone is going? I'm not too bad. I've been on and off dairy & grains for the last 6 months and notice a massive difference in my eczema when I'm off them. I'm happy that I've found some yummy alternatives to my fav grain foods such as muffins/cookies and bread and dh has planted some spaghetti squash so I can't wait to try that out as a pasta alternative! The best thing is that I've lost all my baby weight now plus a further SIX kilos So excited! dh has never seen me this slim so I'm feeling pretty good about myself. You will notice I said I've been on and off grains.... I really need to commit 100% for the long haul to see permanent change. I go back to eating grains and dairy thinking that my eczema has gone (gut healed) but I only get away with it for so long! As the moment I'm trying a fasting (minimal food) approach paired with slippery elm bark gruel to aid in giving my digestive system a break from food intake and the slippery elm bark to repair the gut lining. I know it's not really GAPS protocol but I'm giving that a go for 2 weeks and then after that I'll get back into broths etc.

    Anyway, hope you are all doing well

  7. #133

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    Hi ladies. I've been reading a little about the GAPS diet (just a quick look so far), but I was wondering if you have to commit to it completely? Can you add some of the "good" things and remove just some of the "bad" things and still see benefits? Even just with a glance I can see that there are quite a few things on the good list that I wouldn't eat, and there are a number of things on the bad list that I don't think we could give up right now.

    If it's possible to make a partial change, is there somewhere to find GAPS diet recipes?

  8. #134

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    Finally got a copy if nourishing traditions cook book! saw pre-sales for a baby/child version. thats exciting

  9. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artechim View Post
    How is your little boy now? He sounds like he was just like my DD2 is now. She sleeps very badly, waking every hour or two throughout the night and I am convinced it is from wind. She also reacts badly to sugar - either her eating small amounts or through my breastmilk. If I eat it, she will be unable to get to sleep and/or stay asleep for longer than 30 minutes. She also gets grizzly and windy/spewy. This is making me think that there may be a candidia issue - surely if anything is going to react with sugar it would be a yeast organism? She had a vomit bug when she was only 3 weeks old and I wonder if this damaged her stomach lining? Like your DS2, she is always snotty. In fact I was just saying to DH this morning that she has only had 2 days without a snotty nose in the last 3 months. She also has really runny nappies. I would have thought that by 1 year old there would be some bulk, rather than liquid with raisins and corn!

    I have some probiotics to give her. Thinking I might give some to DS as well, who was/is also sensitive to sugar and who has issues with anxiety.

    As it dawned on me that she might have a Candidia overgrowth I remembered this thread so I will have a proper read through.
    My little guy is going great! He had a super fussy eating stage but he's about 2.5 now and seems to be coming out of it. The bags have gone from under his eyes which is a big relief. We're still off dairy, we only have ghee now. I could try it again but I'm just feeling like we're not ready and perhaps we'll only ever be able to eat minimal amounts as it's not for us. He sleeps calmly now but he still wakes in the early morning for a breastfeed, rather than sleeping through. Worlds part from his windy days of squirming all night and having to lie on me to be able to sleep. He's developing well and we have no concerns there.

    Quote Originally Posted by ~ Mylitta ~ View Post
    Hi ladies. I've been reading a little about the GAPS diet (just a quick look so far), but I was wondering if you have to commit to it completely? Can you add some of the "good" things and remove just some of the "bad" things and still see benefits? Even just with a glance I can see that there are quite a few things on the good list that I wouldn't eat, and there are a number of things on the bad list that I don't think we could give up right now.

    If it's possible to make a partial change, is there somewhere to find GAPS diet recipes?
    I think adding in some healing things and taking out some bad offenders can absolutely be of benefit. I don't think you would ever see the full healing of GAPS for a chronic, serious disorder without doing it completely but anyone will see health benefits by making at least some changes. Removing sugar, processed grains, switching to cooking in good fats and adding in probiotics and bone broth would be the best changes IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly Dawn View Post
    Finally got a copy if nourishing traditions cook book! saw pre-sales for a baby/child version. thats exciting
    I know! I'm keen to get that book too. In case we try for number three

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