I haven’t posted about the GAPS diet in a while.
We are still on it. It’s been over 3 months now.
GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome, a book by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD. She is a pediatrician in England who is reversing autism, allergies, and other disorders in children in her practice.
Three months on the diet and Seth is happier and more easygoing than I’ve ever known him to be. His anxiety is gone, his depression, his fatigue, his nightmares. His gut pain is gone, too — except for when he cheats and eats a piece of regular bread. It’s amazing how fast the gut pain and anxiety and nightmares come right back.
It’s funny because we felt so deprived when we first started the diet. No grains, no potatoes, no sugar, no starches. But we adjusted pretty quickly and honestly, we didn’t really miss any of it.
We have added dairy back into our diet. I added it after about 3 weeks — I had no issues with it. With Seth we added it back slowly over a couple of months.
Started with ghee then butter the first week (the second month on the diet) then kefir and yogurt the next week. He did fine with all of that. A week or two later we tried cheese. He did fine with it. Now he asks for milk in his coffee (he never did before — he never could digest it) and he even tolerates ice cream just fine.
That said, he still only does a small amount of dairy — he eats it pretty infrequently (just a little milk in his coffee, cheese maybe two or three time a week, and homemade ice cream once a week at most).
He has also had sprouted grains here and there and he seems to do fine with them. We limit them though. He only gets grains occasionally. Since his gut is still healing.
He’s also eaten French fries a few times.
We’re not perfect on the diet but it’s about progress, not perfection.
I wanted to share this testimonial written by a mother on the Yahoo GAPS Help group. I was so inspired and moved, I wanted to share it with my readers. Millie was kind enough to give me permission to post it.
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, especially 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 because 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 doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist to no avail. He also strangely was NEVER once sick (we later learned that his immune system was not working a bit).
At 9 years old, 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 doctors. 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.
— Millie, Chicago, IL
Thank you so much, Millie, for sharing this testimonial. It is a total miracle.
Maybe someone out there will read this and find hope for their son or daughter who suffers from an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), allergies or food intolerances, ADD or ADHD, or other behavioral problems.
Or someone with bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety, or other psychological problems. Or digestive disorders.
It is truly miraculous what this diet can do.
* BED is an acronym for the Body Ecology Diet. It is very similar to the GAPS diet. For more information on the Body Ecology Diet, go here: Bedrok Community.