Thursday, January 26, 2012

GAPS Six Month Update

As you know, I started this diet for my kids, one in particular.  But it has turned out to really effect me and made big changes in my body that I want to shout from the rooftops! For the past ten years I have thought myself to be very healthy, energetic, strong immune system, fit, the works.  The past couple years I have had some things pop up here and there that had me questioning.  I had a handful of colds and flues and the symptoms were more severe than I was used to, regular headaches, non muscular back pain became an issue, I was often tired in the afternoon and took naps almost daily, I had this strange crawling feeling under my skin, I always seemed to be on the verge of a yeast infection and the cherry on top was passing a kidney stone last May (which explained my back pain). I talked to various professionals in health care about these issues and no one seemed to think they were anything to be concerned with.  Seriously, three different doctors told me anyone can have a fluke kidney stone, it is after the second one that we begin looking into what is wrong. I didn't want to wait for another one, I want to prevent another one!

As I type this, I have my notes all laid out before me.  One thing I have learned is that healing is slow, unperceived from day to day.  It is easy to miss things, important things, though small in nature, they add up to paint a picture that shows underlying problems.  This is in great contrast to our modern medicine that symptoms are improved in minutes, hours and days, but it is not true healing, of course. I have meticulously recorded our journey on the GAPS diet in a notebook and will periodically record summaries here since thumbing through nearly 100 pages of chicken scratch tends to be a pain in the butt.  I don't feel I have a full picture to write up the kids yet. The first person perspective gives me a much better understanding of myself.  Also, I have been doing the diet better than the kids in the way of more broth and fewer cheats.

In the beginning, things undoubtedly got worse across the board.  Weeks of brain fog has helped me empathize with my eldest.  Of coarse I had headaches and was tired.  I was often hungry to no avail.  Bad breath, dandruff and body odor that I hadn't had to deal with before. The yeast was raging and I had bags under my eyes that made me look ten years older. When you start something new and things get worse, your instinct is to stop. I had to grow deep in my understanding of what was going on within myself to clear this hurdle. It was about two months before I noticed my first big changes in a positive direction.

I have had issues with my blood sugar getting too low all my life, I would get dizzy and have even passed out a handful of times.  Missing a meal was rough, I got grumpy and nauseous.  I would always bring snacks everywhere and if I let myself get too hungry I would binge on candy and then feel yucky the rest of the day. I have been diagnosed  with vasovagal syncope, but am guessing there were some hypoglycemic issues going on too. This last year, my back would ache terribly when I was fasting, even before the stone, I knew it was my kidneys.  The first month of the diet, I was always hungry and ate constantly, but once my body transitioned, I had fewer of these symptoms and by two months in they were gone!

To me, this is a big change, not only because it had been a life long issue, but because I had no idea how liberating it was not to have to plan every outing around food.  I can pretty much eat whenever, I still get hungry, but there is no immediate need.  I am ache-free with my fasts (though this is more recent) I still get a little weak, but not dizzy.  Without cravings and blood sugar drops, I now make my eating choices with a clear head instead of just grabbing the quickest and most tempting food-like substance. It sure makes dieting so much easier.

The second big change, that means a lot to me, is a clear complexion.  I was plagued since adolescence with acne and as much as I tried to not care, I did.  I was so aggravated by it and desperate to rid myself of the angry redness and sometimes painful deep sores. I tried tons of topical solutions, even a couple years of tetracycline, nothing made a lasting difference.  I thought I was doomed, so it has been a dream to me to have consistently clear skin. I still have small blemishes pop up here and there, but they heal extremely fast, the scars and such from past break outs are healing too.  Along with this, I had an age spot by my eye that I started concealing about five years ago.  A few months ago, I brought my makeup brush to my eye out of habit and there was nothing there to conceal, it is gone!

I wear contacts and have yearly exams to check my prescription and order more contacts.  My vision isn't terrible, but I have worn corrective lenses since sixth grade.  A few times in the past 20 years, my eye doctor has added a little power to my prescription, but last month he took power off and noted there was a great improvement in my astigmatism!

I am fascinated by all of this.  This diet takes courage and faith and when I am in the middle of what I can only guess is die off, instead of giving up I will press on.  I never would have done GAPS on my own, it is thanks to my son and my maternal instincts to do the best by him I possibly can that I gain these benefits. There are so many toxic substances that contribute to deterioration of health that are uncontrollable, it can induce a real feeling of helplessness.  It is easy to summit to the ways of the world when we feel trapped in the world. We can control the food we put in our mouths and through these food choices, realize the power we hold.

15 comments:

  1. Wow, how exciting! I love reading these stories. Thanks for sharing. I too have seen improvement in my eye sight and after wearing glasses for almost 20 years, no longer need them (most days). And my hypoglycemia symptoms are only back when I don't eat a good breakfast. It's so exciting to heal through food!

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing....I have been getting that "Book of Mormon" feeling lately regarding the diet and so far have been ignoring it. In addition to my husband's myriad of problems I have been suffering from acne since having children and it has gotten to a pretty bad point. I will have to do more thinking and praying for sure! Thank you!

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  3. Ok, so I'm a total blog stalker. I found your blog when we started eating a little better... any how your blog was the first time I really heard about GAPS. So I would keep up with you, not doing the diet myself, but it's interesting. Well long story short, my father in law has been having hives for the last 2 years and it was getting to the point that he was physically ill from them. He'd tried everything and I just said to him one day - So I've heard a lot about this GAPS diet, you should look into it.

    SO he ends up deciding that it's what he should do, but my MiL is NOT healthy. So I end up doing all the research and lots of cooking for him. It's been 3 months now and his health has improved dramatically.

    It's so nice to see these updates though because it is so hard to remember that it takes time. I'm going to reiterate that point to him tomorrow and tell him what I read.

    So thanks. I also use lots of the recipes for him!

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  4. It is so nice to hear from you all, thank you for your support. One thing that puts the healing time into perspective is the fact that we are working against so many negative influences. With growing conditions, pollution and goverment standards being the way that they are, we are not working with the foods of our ancestors. We also take in so many environmental toxins everyday that our bodies have to take care of on top of everything else.

    Melissa, I am so proud of you for doing this for your fil what a blessing to your family!

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  5. I switched our home to gluten free when my ds was 1 yr and for the past 1 1/2 years have been on the gaps (my ds joined me 6 mos ago). My 2 yr dd has been on it with me her whole life. Nursery has been easy - I just bring her snack but I find that primary for my ds has been harder. The teachers are always giving out snacks and once I went to pick him up from a weekend primary program practice to find they had served pizza and "juice" boxes!! And they know all about his allergies/our diet. Luckely he was 4 at the time and just told them he couldn't have it but dang - they didn't say anywhere on the announcment that they would be serving any food. Have you experienced any of this?

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  6. We have has some rotten experiences like this one. My eight year old is into sneaking as much garbage as possible. The school year is more than half over and I found out that after lunch he helps fold up the tables and his reward has been a huge sugar-y colorful popsicle once a week. I grieved that one! I went back in my notes to see if there was any pattern on Thursdays with his behavior and every Thursday he has had bad behavior, not to mention the slowing it does to his healing. Another sad thing about it is that the aide said he cannot keep track who is and who is not allowed to have one, so if he is not going to pass it up on his own, he is not allowed to help in the lunch room...so messed up. I pretty much expect food to be at every event. I admit we skip a lot of things or leave early just so that we don't have to deal with turning down food.

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  7. Thank you for such an encouraging update. We have been on GAPS Intro since end-September and just moved onto full GAPS a few weeks back. Always nice to hear positive testimonies!

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  8. Kara, I am out of town right now but before I left I got all the food ready to go. Today the home teacher brought over 4 big pieces of chocolate cake and Travis put it in the refrigerator while he was teaching, knowing that he would be the only one to eat it. He came in and found that Max had gotten it down and had eaten an ENTIRE piece of chocolate cake! Which I am sure was a boxed mix or something. I am freaking out a little bit. First off, he is like *really* allergic to wheat and second off...AHHHH! I am a bit annoyed that I am not going to be home to see if he has any reactions. In some ways, if his reactions are quite mild, it gives me hope that we have seen some healing (yay) but I don't like that he ate that one bit and I am worried about what it will do to his healing thus far. Trying not to worry...!!

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  9. oh, Kami. I am so sorry. Praying for the best.

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  10. Thanks for the reply. We are always getting calls to come to ward parties and dinners and we never go because of the food and because my dh is quite a quiet guy and just doesn't enjoy that sort of thing.
    I wish I could gently, lovingly overthrow the nursery snacks though. lol No more frosted/sprinkled animal crackers and mini marshmallows and goldfish! And no more throwing 12 paper cups and napkins in the trash every week - recycle people! lol *sigh*

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    1. It's comments like those that get you called as nursery leader :)

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  11. This is a great post. After 16 years of Fibromyalgia I used GAPS to heal my body and became symptom free in 2008. My family went on the diet with me and we watched with amazement as symptoms of theirs that we didn't realize were there began to disappear and life as a whole improved. It was a scary process. Some of my die off experiences were terribly severe, but so worth it. I've been writing about the process at http://www.HealingRebel.com It's slow going, but I feel compelled to compile the information even if just to remind myself of the how and the why.

    Thanks for your blog!

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    1. It is so nice to hear success stories! Good for you and all your hard work.

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  12. I just found your blog and I LOVE all of your recipes and thoughts. I'm so curious how your family ended up with GAPS. We're 2 months in trying to cure ADHD in my son and you give me hope. I understand the need to ditch social media to focus on family. Keep on keepin' on and thanks so much for all you've posted here!

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  13. (Sorry if I'm posting twice, I'm not sure if it went through the first time.)
    I just found your blog and I LOVE your recipes and thoughts. I'm so curious to know how your family ended up on GAPS. We're 2 months in trying to cure ADHD in my son and you give me hope. I understand the need to ditch social media to focus on family. Keep on keepin' on and thanks for all you've posted here!

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It's rude to eat and run. Humor me with conversation please!

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