Tuesday, December 31, 2013

GAPS Intro Day 4: Stage 2-mostly reflecting on why we are doing this.

We ate basically the same today as yesterday except DD5 asked for a glass of kraut juice instead of a spoonful. DH got the opportunity to help feed them. He was quite annoyed. The minute the kitchen was done with the meal the children wanted more. They ate a full pound of ground beef between the two of them. It was boiled in broth. DD5 is mostly eating squash fries. Broth isn't going any better today than any other day. I am bored. I don't know whether to add a new food, which would take us to Stage 3, or to hang out here. The book is relatively vague when it comes to this. We aren't having any noticeable symptoms except fatigue. DD5 still has the same under eye circles and by afternoon, she is as emotional as she typically would be if she were tired. Maybe I just don't know how to recognize the signs. I am waiting for my new copy of the book to arrive to see if any helpful details are included.

While reflecting on Day 3, I had moments of wanting to quit this crazy, restrictive diet. Not because it is hard, but because it just doesn't seem intuitive to eat like this...or to make children eat like this. I pulled out DD5's IgG results and the rest of her blood test results. Only in reading these do I see the clear picture... the IgG will only show a reaction to foods recently eaten if the proteins are floating around in the blood stream. This is an abnormal function of proteins. DD5 reacted to ALL of the foods she had eaten recently. All of her favorite foods, except for crab, appeared to cause a moderate to nearly severe reaction. We didn't test her for IgE responses but based on her symptoms, it would seem she doesn't have any physical allergies to specific foods. Another blogger's experience on IgG results that are interesting to read are found here.

How can a child be reacting to ALL the foods they eat? The answer: they can't! Yes, her body is exhibiting signs of intolerance but they are erroneous. If she stopped these five foods and started eating five new ones, she would show up as having reactions to those as well. This is what brought us to GAPS.

 We could eliminate the foods for 21 days and test them back in. Most likely she would't exhibit any symptoms since she really only has low level irritation from the foods. Or, we could go to the extreme and just try to heal her gut...if this GAPS healing thing really works. Thankfully, GAPS is a temporary lifestyle change. Some people sit on Intro for weeks...months even (and goodness gracious, I think my brain has ignored anyone who said they have been on intro for a year or more). At this time, I don't have enough evidence to believe this is healthy nor beneficial for a child. I do think a fair 4-6 weeks of the strict introduction diet seems reasonable. We should either see results that prove it is working or we will see nothing change and just feel hungry and miserable at the end. 

Components of GAPS that I believe (either based on logic or research or a combination of both) focus on how a person simply can't react to so many foods...the food reactions *must* be a symptom of an underlying issue. Whether or not you believe in Creation--humans were not put on earth with a bunch of natural foods that they should have to avoid. We eat the cleanest foods we can find with an occasional conventional food item thrown in when we are outside of the house. Thus, the argument that only chemical-laden or improperly raised foods cause food allergies is negated. My DD5's gut really must be leaking. It must be allowing food proteins to enter the blood stream where they are attacked by the immune system like any other foreign agent...like an infectious organism. If she persisted like this, what types of illnesses might she develop and how many of them would be chronic? I hate to even ponder that question. Her start in life was not ideal with antibiotics given to me in labor, a cesarean delivery, a fair handful of childhood immunizations early in life and 2-3 doses of antibiotics for various issues between ages 1 and 3.

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