Can Open, Worms Everywhere

 

My eldest has had issues with food since she was a newborn baby and reacted to cows dairy coming through my breast milk. We received very little support from the GP, especially after RAST bloods came back normal. In Spring 2012 at our wits end with eczema, bad behaviour and poor sleep, we had her tested for food intolerance by a private allergy nurse. She diagnosed a long list, including corn and all its many derivatives, cows dairy and egg. We began an exclusion diet in the hope that we could start reintroducing problem foods three months later. This was not the case for us. We had several failed attempts which lead to ‘flare ups’ – cue out of control eczema (especially on the face), awful behaviour and waking up to ten times a night. The best course of action was to be super strict with her diet and not give her anything at all on the banned list.

Two years and a whole lot of heartache later when I took baby boy for his 8 week check, I ended up discussing all this with the health visitor. She was appalled at the lack of support and referred us herself to the Gastro-Paediatrics team. In August my newly turned five year old underwent a general anaesthetic and had a colonoscopy and endoscopy performed. We were told they’d be looking for Coeliacs, Colitis, Crohns, EGID; you name it they would find it if were to be found. At our recent follow up appointment we were told that all tests were negative. There is one last test we are waiting on to check for fructose/sucrose malabsorption, but all the others indicate there is nothing ‘medically wrong’.

Although my girls had been on Full GAPS since May, 5yo had to eat a gluten containing diet in the run up to the tests. We had a particularly rough time while she was on the gluten. She was full of rage and although she isn’t officially allergic to it, I’ll be keeping all three of my kids as far from it as I can. Incidentally, since having the results back we have reintroduced egg and she appears to be tolerating it now. I’ve also been giving her home made ghee, yoghurt and sour cream, made from buffalo or goats milk (often raw milk that I buy from a local farmers market).

Overall our girl is doing much better now. She sleeps most nights which makes *all* the difference, and can be reasoned with easier than before. She’s a total ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character though. In the same hour (or space of five minutes) she can be demanding, selfish, greedy, unpleasant, caring, considerate and wonderful. It often feels like she saves the best bits for anyone and everyone else outside of her immediate family. Us mere mortals get pinched, punched and proverbially kicked in the teeth on a daily basis (especially her poor sister).

 

I’m going to set the cat among the pigeons here. What if her problems aren’t being caused by standard allergic reactions to food, but by a toxic overload and leaky gut syndrome? What if the super clean diet of cooked from scratch organic goodness she has been eating all her life is the only thing saving her from an ASD diagnosis? It’s no secret that ASD and food sensitivities go hand in hand. I’m starting to think that my hubby and I have been tearing ourselves into pieces looking in all the wrong places. This documentary is fascinating, if you have a spare 50 minutes I’d recommend watching it.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been defying logic all my life. When I left home at 15½ my step father spat “you’ll be pregnant and living in a hovel by the time you’re 16”. Quite the opposite is true, but I have had to work bloody hard to get to where I am. I have had to question almost everything I’ve ever been told, trust my instincts and take the risks that most people just aren’t prepared to take. This situation is no exception.

My daughter fits the bill for several Autistic Spectrum Disorders, but I cannot go down that road until I have at least given GAPS a proper go. Hubby and I have a lot to think about, because there is no way we could put a five year old on the Intro Diet while she is at school. We would need to be in a position for me to not have to work, so that I could home educate her. For the time being having a diet so rich in natural and probiotic foods will definitely be helping her immensely. As will her daily supplements of Bio-Kult and fermented cod liver oil.

I truly believe in GAPS and knowing what an amazing effect GAPS has had over my own life, it would be insane to not try and use it for the benefit of my children. Dr. Campbell-McBride claims to have successfully reversed her own child’s autism, and there are testimonies all over the internet from parents who have done the same. I hope to add my family to the ever growing list of success stories.

What are your views on GAPS? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section 🙂

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40 thoughts on “Can Open, Worms Everywhere

  1. I think you’re doing the right thing by watching her diet closely and giving her all good stuff. You mention the eczema – presumably the diet controls that, but your daughter’s behaviour sounds like it is exacerbated by the eczema and the sleep problems which probably go hand in hand? I know there have been studies done which link ADHD with eczema in pre-school children.. I know you have a very strong instinct for what the root problems are though as you live with it every day so I think you should follow your heart on how to deal with it, and I wish you every success (and for the sake of your poor toddler too, bless her!). Xx

  2. It sounds as if taking out the gluten again has worked well… long may the improvement continue. It can’t do any harm at all to include so much healthy food in your daughter’s diet and I hope the improvement continues.

  3. I hope you find the solutions that work for you. The thought of ASD is so frightening (our son’s behaviour has recently been classed as ‘interesting’) but I hope you get the support you need xxx

  4. I think that it sounds like you have a very strong instinct on this, and as a parent it’s our job to follow our instincts up – ultimately, it surely cannot hurt? I’m afraid I know very little about the GAPS diet, but I do believe that there are triggers in what we eat and our environment, and if you can manage them in order to ease your daughter and your family’s life then do it! Really interesting post, thanks so much for linking to #AllAboutYou x

    • Thanks Zaz those are my exact thoughts – it can’t harm and it might be the answer to all our problems! Since going back to the Full GAPS Diet we’ve noticed huge improvements overall xx

  5. Its really interesting to read the about the links between diet and ASD, particularly the parents who believe the GAPS diet has helped or reversed autism. I have no advice at all other than trust your instincts exactly as you have been doing. Its really fascinating though! #allaboutyou xx

  6. This is a really interesting read. I love your decision to ‘think outside the box’ and try something different. Sounds like it’s working. For what it’s worth, I have a Jekyll and Hyde for a daughter too!

  7. I think that this is really interesting. It must be so so hard to deal with food intolerances/allergies with children particularly and I think that no matter what any test result does or does not say if what you are doing is working for your little ones then that’s all that matters!!! Pleased though that there was nothing serious found when your little lady was checked out! Xx

  8. In so many instances I really do think that a mother’s instinct is really the best judge, and this is no exception. It is definitely worth exploring all the issues surrounding food before seeking other avenues. I do honestly think that what we eat has a massive part to play in our mood and attitude – even for us as adults! I’m interested to follow your progress! Xx #sharewithme

  9. I don’t know much about it except what I have learned from you but I have a children with severe allergies and we were on the side of just can’t ever have or touch any of it and we all live a happy life. Not sure when he is older if he will be able to reintroduce but at this stage its manageable. YOurs sounds more serious where that may not be the case. Glad you are seeking more answer and support out. Hope you get it. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  10. I love reading these. It always interests me as my hubby is going through a similar journey. He’s just gluten out and it’s making some difference although not completely yet. I found it tough to find alternatives at first but now it’s a new normal. I hope your journey is an easy one and you get answers and good results quickly xx

    • Thanks so much Zena. We are *almost* in the clear, just one more test tomorrow… GAPS has been amazing for the whole family, a real life changer! I’m so fortunate to have stumbled upon it xx

  11. I’m so sorry her recent tests gave you no further clues 😦 Sometimes that can be due to avoidance of triggers beforehand – or your hospitals lack of recognition that things like “Lymphoid Hyperplasia” are relevant and immune responses…. some don’t. But I’m glad she’s doing a bit better regardless. There is a great deal of recent evidence to show that the way we produce and store our food also has a lot to be blamed for.
    Love your opening quote btw… #PoCOLo

    • Oh hon I can’t even go there tbh. I just hope this last test comes back clear and she continues to show improvements. Totally agree with the processing of food being a big culprit!

  12. Crikey, it sounds like a minefield to me.You really are making such a positive change and this isn’t easy in itself, let alone all the other things you have to go through. I love the quote at the top of your post. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 X

  13. Amazing and so important you are doing this, I think diet has such a huge affect on our and our kids’ health. Cutting wheat out for my family has seen such great results, son’s urticaria has almost gone and it’s improved all our health. Hope you still seeing good results, you’re an inspiration. Thanks for linking uo x

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment Vicki! It certainly feels like we’re winning now, just hoping there aren’t any nasty surprises lurking! So pleased that cutting out wheat has helped you. It’s so abrasive to the gut and isn’t good for any of us xx

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  16. arg, just found the answer to my last comment, your children are on the full GAPS diet, this seems do-able with Thomas then! He has egg allergy and used to have a milk allergy (recent blood tests showed no longer allergic, but he still has loads of reflux, upset stomach, no sleep whenever he has dairy!) and I am source gluten and/or wheat are problematic for him! Do you have an favourite kids recipes on the full GAPS diet? do they drink the bone broth? I’m not sure i could get him to drink any! and I’ve tried him on kefir and fermented veg won;t touch it! haha. I’ve just ordered pro-biotcs with colostrum from the States to see if that helps…

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