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Every Sunday, I answer your questions. I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week. If I didn’t answer your question this week, please check back next week.
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1. Question: Recommendations For Treating Eczema With Diet And For Staying Healthy And Avoiding Hormone Trouble?
Hi Anne Marie,
I really appreciate the information that you put on your blog more than I can say. So many people these days have serious hormone issues, my mom and sister included. I have two questions.
1. The first is regarding my mom and sister. My mom’s in her early 50s and she’s had hormonal issues probably going on a couple decades now. Cold hands and feet, severe mood swings, extreme fatigue, dairy and gluten intolerance, ect, ect. Also in the last couple years she has developed an eczema that has spread over her entire body. My sister is 20. She restricted her calories and did intense workouts for several years and then went through navy boot camp. Now she is stationed overseas and problems are starting to show. She has itchy skin that drives her crazy with no sign of a rash, racing heart, hormones way out of wack, random nausea and weight gain (not pregnancy), etc. etc.
I originally advised both of them to do GAPS to heal their gut, as they obviously have food sensitivities. Now I am thinking better of that because of the recent posts from you and Matt Stone. I know GAPS can be done while eating lots of carbs, but I don’t know if it would be best for them to go on a diet that restricts grains when they have hormone issues. In one of your posts you mentioned that Matt Stone healed his gut without GAPS. Would you recommend doing what he did? If so, what did he do?
2. My second question is regarding myself. I’m 25. I don’t show any signs of food sensitivities or real hormone problems. I do have PVCs which definitely get worse when I don’t eat enough. I have always had hypoglycemia which seems to come and go. But other than that I feel great and have energy. However, without understanding the dangers of what I was doing, I have restricted my calories for the last 2-3 years, also I’ve been up all night for several months with my daughter who has nursing issues. I’m afraid of the road I’m headed down. What would you recommend for someone who is basically healthy and wants to avoid all the hormone trouble?
Thank you SO SO much for your blog and all of your helpful information.
1. Everyone is different. Some people will do better on GAPS, while others should not do GAPS. There are many paths up a mountain and I think people need to figure it out for themselves.
They may need to work with holistic practitioners. That said, I personally would definitely work on the thyroid issues first, as helping the thyroid can clear up may of those other issues.
2. I would say just make sure you eat enough, eat nutrient dense foods as often as possible, and get as much rest as possible. Especially while nursing and while recovering from nursing.
2. Question: Thoughts On Kombucha Tea And Rejuvelac Producing Dangerous Toxins?
I’m in the middle of reading The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates. In the book she states, “Kombucha tea and Rejuvelac contain wild yeast that produce dangerous toxins.”
I’d like to know what your thoughts are on this and the diet itself. I currently brew kombucha and have been following the GAPS diet for nearly a year. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information about kombucha.
Also, what type of diet do you think is best if you have a suspected Candida overgrowth. When it comes to Candida there are lots of different options out there. Some say avoid raw milk kefir and yogurt; others say you can have it and it is beneficial because it keeps the Candida in check.
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride more or less says that if you are following the GAPS diet, the Candida will begin to balance out once your body starts to heal. Donna Gates and other anti-candida diets say no sugars of any sorts even honey, which is allowed on GAPS. It gets so confusing!
A big thanks for helping sort all this out!
Hi, I’ve never heard of that before. I haven’t personally read her book yet, but it’s on my list. I drink kombucha often and I’m not worried about any “dangerous toxins”.
When I healed from candida overgrowth, I avoided sugar but did eat honey and fruit. During the 2 years I was healing, I never gave up grains — just gluten, as I reacted to it. I also ate yogurt and other fermented foods (never gave up wine either!).
3. Question: Information On Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Hi Ann Marie,
I have scoured your site looking for more detailed info on your healing of RA specifically. Can you point me in the right direction please?
My daughter has been diagnosed since 16 months and she’s 4 1/2 now. I really want to take her off the meds (methotrexate) but my family is so hesitant that she will relapse. I’m convinced that GAPS will help her recover fully.
Any thoughts or resources you could offer would be so wonderful. I’ve been GAPS for 5 months now myself.
I can’t counsel you on what to do as I am not a doctor.
I will say that I did not follow GAPS when I reversed my rheumatoid arthritis; it did not exist in the mid-nineties. I did an elimination diet for 4 weeks (similar to the GAPS Intro Diet). During that time, I ate just meat, fish, and non-starchy vegetables.
After that 4 week period, I began to introduce new foods one at a time. If I reacted to a food, I continued to eliminate it from my diet. As long as I continued to avoid foods that I did not react to, I did not experience any pain from the arthritis (or other symptoms such as sinus infections). I had to stay away from gluten grains and sugar. I still ate fruit and honey and non-gluten grains. I ate potatoes and other starches as well as I was recovering.
So it was similar to GAPS but nowhere near as strict. I believe that some people (such as autistic children) may need to do GAPS, but other people may not need to follow it as strictly. Also, some people will recover faster than others. It is a personal journey.
I was also taking strong therapeutic-grade probiotics, as well as other supplements such as thymus gland and adrenal gland. It took me about 2 years to be able to reintroduce gluten grains and sugar without symptoms.
4. Question: Suggestions For Treating Acne?
Hi Ann Marie -
I’m experiencing some skin issues and I’m hoping that you can guide me in the right direction on what I can do.
I have always struggled with acne since a teenager. I have used Proactiv in the past and it helped keep it under control. When I started the GAPS intro back on 10/22/11, I stopped using it and all chemical-laden products. The first two weeks, my skin looked fine. Then it started to break out, almost like a rash reaction. It got so bad (people were starting to notice), that I reluctantly went back on the Proactiv.
It didn’t work this time. So I stopped and started trying a new safer product from Giovanni. It helped a little, and then I read about putting coconut oil on my face. I’ve been doing that for two weeks. My skin is no longer red, but I’m still having breakouts around my chin and forehead.
I initially started GAPS to see if my egg allergy would reverse and it did within 3 weeks. I’m very happy about that. Now that I can eat eggs, I’m trying to transition off GAPS and eat some properly prepared grains. This is where I think I have a problem. The only grains I’ve had is spelt in the form of soaked pancakes (each Saturday morning) and maybe two slices of sourdough bread in the last month. It seems that when I have grains, I break out even more.
Should I stop eating the spelt and go back to full GAPS and see if my skin clears up or is there something else I should try?
Sorry, but I have no idea! I really don’t know enough about your situation and I’m not a doctor. I think you will have to experiment on your own and see, or you could work with a holistic doctor.
5. Question: Thoughts On Magnesium Oil Causing Acne?
Would you happen to know why magnesium oil breaks me out? I already have a pretty terrible case of acne, and have for years tried many things. One day I heard about magnesium oil being helpful. Well, every place above my chest that I spray it on breaks out HORRIBLY in these terrible tiny little beastly red pimples in the matter if hours, then after a few weeks starts to clear that spot completely. Right now my shoulders have cleared up immensely, and so has the back of my neck (which was never broken out before the use of the oil) and now I believe my face is starting to get the idea and follow suit. But it seems as if the oil is constantly putting me in the phase of terribly broken out then positively clear.
Also, I am a 22 year old female with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Not sure if that weighs in on the matter.
Thank you so much,
I have heard of people breaking out after applying magnesium oil. You may have very sensitive skin and you may need to dilute it with water.
6. Question: OK To Take My Toddler Off Gluten?
My biggest question that is facing me right now is whether or not to take my 16 month old off of gluten. He has many food allergies, to my knowledge gluten isn’t one of them, although I could be wrong. And he has diaper rashes on and off.
Can you test for gluten allergy, other then doing an elimination diet.
Do you have any good gluten free bread recipes, like ones with quinoa or millet? Do you know where I could go for more info?
As far as I know, there is no good test for food allergies. I recommend an elimination diet for a 3-4 weeks.
There are lots of other websites out there with gluten-free bread recipes.
7. Question: Will Flour Lose It’s Nutrients If Not Frozen Immediately?
I understand that any flour will lose all the nutrients and turns rancid if not frozen immediately after grinding it. That is the reason we should not buy commercial flour but make our own.
OK, my question is that is it the same with sprouted flour? Does it also lose nutrients and turns rancid if not frozen immediately after grinding? If that is so, is it also not recommended to buy sprouted penne etc.?
White, refined flour you find at the store can be stored in a pantry — it will not go rancid. That’s because there’s nothing in it to go rancid. It has very little nutritional value.
Whole wheat flour and other whole grain flours WILL go rancid, so yes, they are best freshly ground and they should be stored in the freezer or fridge.
Sprouted flour will also lose nutrients if not stored in the freezer or fridge. You can buy sprouted pasta but it is most nutritious to make your own from sprouted flour (or soaked flour) that has been freshly ground and frozen or stored in the refrigerator.
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