I just wanted to tell all the families who have come to this crossroad of GAPS to take the plunge! As a mother of 2 children on the spectrum, I have been where you are. I have been desperate, alone, and overwhelmed. I have cried a lifetime of tears and every moment of despair is worth the joy I feel now. Three months ago I didn’t know what I was going to do with my son. He was regressing and angry. I knew I had to get my little boy back! I would rock him to sleep in tears whispering," come back to me my sweet Trent." I promised myself that if I ever had the answer that I would do it no matter how hard! GAPS is giving me my son back! That is worth fighting for! Trent is now categorizing cubes, cones, spheres, and cylinders! Every time I think about it, I cry! He can choose a sight word and turn it into a sentence! The point is, reach for the stars! My sweet Trent is coming back to me! My oldest son is on his way. His healing needs a little more time. His only issue is focus, other than that he is quite a character! He used to have to be on medication for anxiety. GAPS has taken anxiety away! He really is doing phenomenal! You owe it to yourself and your children to strive for better! When the going gets tough, you have your new friends here to lean on!
Reaching for the stars,
Since developing the GAPS Nutritional Protocol, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has been receiving letters from GAPS people from all over the world. Every one of these people feels that they have learned very valuable lessons on their healing journey: lessons which they are keen to pass to others, who may be struggling through the same difficulties. These stories should be used as case studies, to study how to progress through personal healing and how to deal with problems that may be faced on the way.
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
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 of us. Yet these wonderful people tell their stories with such humor and such grace!
3.5 Yr Old Boy
From birth, my son had many challenges: he was premature and struggled both to breathe and to coordinate the reflexes involved in eating. Later, if not held 24/7 he would scream. People suggested he was “manipulative”, “spoiled”, etc. But to me it was clear that something was wrong and that he was simply expressing that. 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.
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Originally posted on yahoo Group GAPShelp:
Kevin lacked oxygen at birth, so in the first year of life, I already saw that he was not developing like my other kids (he is our 5th). His motor skills lagged and he cried a lot, didn't sleep so well, etc. At two, his behavior was just not right. He never responded right to correction, would throw things in anger or frustration, cried all the time, esp when waking up, basically never happy. He didn't walk until two and then he would fall down constantly. He also began to always be starving. When he was really hungry, his face would get distorted and frozen in a strange way. I now think he was having seizures of sorts. We did not vaccinate at all and we figured out that if we fed him lots of protein type foods like meats, he would relax his body and face and be able to go play for a bit until it happened all over again in a short time. 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). He would also try to jump out of moving vehicles, out of windows and required constant restraining. The seizures got bad, he would fall down the stairs and lose consciousness several times per day. They tried psych drugs and he almost died twice from his reaction to them (I am now grateful that we couldn't go that route). We became so desperate that we brought him home from hospital and got deadbolts to keep him from running, did all our own restraining and called alternative docs to help us. We began kefir and diet from nutritionist (basically a BED/GAPS version), took him off inhaler. His allergies were totally out of control, he could barely open his eyes from swelling, and his chin was deformed and swollen, his belly too, his whole body. He would only eat junk food and fast foods and it was incredibly difficult to transition him to the diet. The DAN (Defeat Autism Now) protocols we followed, made him worse in lots of ways b/c the chelation made him extremely violent, the B12 shots kept him awake for nights on end without any sleep, the antifungals and all those other interventions were nightmarish for him. 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.
"It is an honor 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
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Gut And Psychology Syndrome.
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