Many people are able to troll through life ignoring their body’s cries for help. I am not one of them. Perhaps I would be if it weren’t for my son, but he deserves to have the best start in life. When he was just a few months old, I realized that he had a milk allergy because one night I binged on Werther’s Caramel candies and he suddenly started spitting up. He was never a spitter upper. I avoided blatant forms of dairy but didn’t eliminate it completely. When he began teething, I bought those Hyland teething tabs that are so widely recommended. He started spitting up again. It took me a while to realize that it was soon after giving him one of these pills that he would spit up. I checked the label and it had dairy (lactose). When he got older and would accidentally get anything with milk, cheese, or butter, he would projectile vomit soon after. Diarrhea would follow. And the eczema, which was thankfully mild compared to others. He started getting “bronchiolitis” pretty frequently and was referred to an allergist/pulmonologist. We had allergy testing done and it showed he was allergic to dairy, so I cut out all traces of it and he had some improvement. No more eczema. But he still continued having asthma attacks pretty frequently, and the medicines weren’t very good at controlling it–we still ended up going to the emergency room several times. I eliminated soy and it improved a little. I didn’t eliminate egg whites or wheat, the allergist told me if he hadn’t had any reactions not to as it could “cause” an allergy when re-introduced, especially wheat.
I was getting pretty sick of the frequent asthma attacks and the vomiting all the coughing would cause, so I kept searching for information. I ordered several books and spent many nights scouring the internet for information. I found a million things that were related to asthma but had a difficult time finding cures. Then I discovered information about leaky guts and knew that must be the ultimate problem, especially since he seemed worse after things like vaccinations, medicines and introducing solids. He began to develop more allergies as time went on and we both seem to have blood-sugar regulation problems. I saw several protocols for healing the gut, but only the GAPS diet appealed to me. I was already leaning more towards a Weston A. Price type diet so I think that played a key role. We tried raw goat’s milk but while he didn’t seem to have an allergic reaction, the loose green stools didn’t normalize so I figured it was more than die off–he must have also been lactose-intolerant. Lactose intolerance is another sign of leaky gut, and that’s when I decided we need to at least try GAPS.
While many people think of GAPS as a really difficult diet, to me it seemed very simple. Focus on animal foods and fats, meat broth, and fermented foods/probiotics. Try and incorporate raw and cooked veggies with each meal. Cut out processed foods. The best part was that I saw an improvement almost immediately. He lost his pickiness, had a bigger appetite, and gained 2lbs right away. He was a chunky baby but started gaining pretty slowly once solids were introduced, sometimes alternating between losing and gaining 2lbs. Everyone said it was normal but I just didn’t feel that it was. His asthma flares became much less frequent (I attribute that to having less fruits, as it seems he is sensitive to salicylates and oxalates and the ones we had regularly are high in both) and I found natural ways of stopping them. We have been using a whole vitamin C supplement when he starts wheezing or coughing and it has done wonders. We’ve used both Pure Planet’s Amla-C and Nature’s Way Alive! with success, although there are others (amla, acerola, camu camu, etc. are well recommended). His tooth decay is also much improved.
I discovered through him that I also had issues that could be fixed through diet. I never thought of myself as constipated because my stools weren’t hard to pass, but they were infrequent and now I go daily. He, however, alternated between constipation and diarrhea and while it has gotten much, much, much better, certain slip ups cause regression, so complete healing isn’t quick. We are actually slowly transitioning off GAPS right now to do our own form of gut healing, but for me GAPS was a great way to inundate myself with information about healing a leaky gut, food combining, nutritional deficiencies, and a whole host of ways that food is related to health.