THE GAPS DIET
Natural Digestive Healing
"It is an honour and a privilege for me to publish these letters! These stories were written by real people, who have overcome their real health problems."
— Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome
Many of these stories are humbling: the kinds of horrific problems that people have had to deal with are hard to imagine for the majority for us. Yet these wonderful people tell their stories with such humor and such grace!
He was unable to eat anything except breastmilk for over two years. If other food came even near his lips, he would vomit profusely. He was iron deficient.. Despite proper brushing, his brand new teeth rapidly disintegrated. His language was severely delayed. He would snake backward across the floor on his belly, screaming, finally pressing his forehead against a wall, terror in his eyes. Day and night, he woke fully at least every 2-4 hours. He could not tolerate baths, haircuts or toothbrushing. Incontinent, he was unable to potty train.
Finally, just after his third birthday, he developed chronic diarrhea. On that count alone, my doctor suggested he might have Celiac Disease. When I researched CD, I learned that all of my son’s symptoms were addressed by that single diagnosis! There were two dietary options proposed for Celiac: The first, gluten-free, would be relatively easy to achieve, but require lifelong adherence to maintain even its limited results. The other, a diet temporarily permitting only monosaccarides, would be more challenging to implement, but would actually heal the gut, ultimately allowing for a wide range of healthy foods to be eaten. One website claimed that both Celiac and autistic symptoms could be relieved by the second one. The promise of addressing the full range of my son’s issues was the clincher.
On Day One, my son had a normal stool for the first time in six weeks and, for the first time in his life, he slept through the night. On Day Three, he spoke his first sentence. That week, he potty trained himself.
Since early on in the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, his language, cognition and physical development have continued to soar. He talks easily, his teeth have healed, and he eats everything we put in front of him. He is relaxed, easygoing and tremendously happy. He is highly sociable. His earlier behaviors and stools return only when he tries a food that proves too advanced for his system to handle.
Early June, I transitioned him to the full GAPS program. We have seen leaps even beyond those achieved by SCD alone. Temporary setbacks notwithstanding, my boy has become a fully healthy child. It boggles my mind, every single day, that something so simple (so to speak) could have brought such tremendous changes.
While GAPS’ benefits are definitely worth the effort involved, there is a learning curve. I stumbled about a lot at the beginning. The most important pieces for me have been information and support. The online communities provide these in abundance.
I do think that b/c we didn't vaccinate and figured out to keep feeding him this way, we were able to "coast along" like this for years. He had learning disabilities, lacked social skills and continued to have autistic traits like sensory issues, hiding under blankets, reacting to sounds, not liking people around, rigid in routines, and spinning and going on his head along with head banging. Long story shorter, we did get a diagnosis of Aspergers at one point. WE took him to doc after doc, specialist after specialist to no avail. He also strangely was NEVER once sick (we later learned that his immune sys was not working a bit) At 9 yo, he got pneumonia, followed by asthma and allergies. His eating had escalated to the point of feeding him every 20 - 30 minutes or he would have gigantic meltdowns. We eventually could not even have people over.
He was given an inhaler for the asthma and suddenly, without us making the connection, he began to not respond when called, became extremely hyperactive and began to run away at all hours of the day and night requiring police to find him and being very dangerous (we once lost him in the middle of downtown Chicago).
Eventually, I resolved to use only foods and do this without any kind of docs. So for this past year, I researched and researched and was determined to bring him back from this state. We have done a combo of GAPS and BED very successfully along with lots of fermented foods and drinks. The allergies and asthma are 100% gone, the seizures we have had only one in 65 days and very mild (compared to 5-10 per day). He sings every morning and has cried once in the last 2.5 months (he used to cry for 1-3 hours at a time each day) and he can go outside again without running away. He is in martial arts, acting appropriately at church, having eye contact, no autistic traits of late and learning academics after two years of not being able to open a book. He reads before bed at an 8th grade level. It is a total absolute miracle to which I give God all the credit (there has been endless prayer at our house). I know He led us to this diet and this recovery. I am still fearful of regression (it's so hard to believe it's for real, you know) and I also fully realize that it will be possibly two more years before he is fully detoxed. The rashes he has had have been monumental and scary and he would have terrible seizures when the detox and die off was going too quickly. I think we still have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do but there seems to be a light at the end of our tunnel. I think this is a very powerful diet and detox protocol and it really does work. I feel that there is much hope and healing and we are giving our kids an opportunity at a life and future.
Sorry to be so long but I want to encourage others and I thank you all for the wonderful support.
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I have been following the GAPS diet for 5 months now with my son. I recently had to go back and start over following the Introduction Diet as you have outlined on this site. I was unaware there was an introduction diet but I am very happy to have found it. The introduction diet has made all the difference for my son in determining the foods he is unable to handle. Since starting the diet over, we have seen a huge transformation in his behavior and BMs. We have felt captive in our house for the last 3 years as a result of Tim's behavior and constant watery stools. Last Saturday we actually had a day out. It was wonderful. We still have a long way to go but we are very hopeful as we have seen more improvement in 5 months than we had previously ever seen on anything else we have tried.
San Diego, Ca
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