Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cherries on Top

It is hard to find blogs or resource websites that provide real food and GAPS information without any fluff.  Those of us in the trenches with severe situations get tired of wading through the waffling opinions and fence sitters who don't have to worry about a child having a life threatening reaction to the chemicals in a sticker.  A 'virtual' friend has a no-fluff website I truly appreciate, complete with a section titled 'Cherries On Top'.  This section caught my attention because it is exactly the situation we are in. 

Any autoimmune condition has a spectrum.  Food allergies and FPIES are no different.  GAPS heals the majority of those with autoimmune disease without additional supplementation.  Still....I know too well by now that when I hear 'majority', I can count Ellie into the 'minority'.  The emotions behind that, and the reasons I believe this to be true, are material for another post.  But as I hear great success stories from other moms in the GAPSkids forum, I am affirmed that Ellie's body is having trouble jump-starting her healing. 

The average person can plan to be on GAPS for at least 2 years, moving through the stages at an individual pace.  I have heard Dr. Cowan mention to plan on 32 months.  Dr. Natasha says a child before the age of 5 has the ability to heal quicker than an adult, and will have much more healing success on GAPS than an adult who has been sick for decades (my summary, not a direct quote). 

Ellie has been on the barely beginning stage for over a year now.  This is not typical.  Her inability to progress is complicated, but largely in part to her body's inability to detox naturally.  The body has an amazing detoxification system that takes care of many things on it's own. Environmental pollutants, occasional ingestion of toxic foods, name it.  It binds it up and shoots it out via the colon (a little over simplified there).  Unfortunately it takes proper digestion and nutrition for all of that to work. 

One year later, Ellie is still not making sufficient bile, and not detoxing properly.  We have given her body a year of healing, and have now decided to give a few new things a shot.  They are not things we should have tried at the beginning, and I want to be sure that is clear for those on the GAPS journey.  Again: 80%+ do not need additional supplementation beyond GAPS protocols. 

So what's the plan? Well due to the recent probiotic drama, her body is having great trouble getting itself back under control.  We have stopped giving her coconut oil entirely.  She is back to her diet of broth, meat, zucchini, iodine paint, liver, fermented cabbage juice and GutPro.  Lots of detox baths are on the list as well.  And we are continuing two prescriptions we started shortly after our visit to see the doc- one is a liver enzyme, the other is a hard one to explain.  They are being delivered topically, and in a base that should be safe.  She has not appeared to have any reaction to the base but if her eczema refuses to clear after pulling coconut oil we will have to take a look at these medications next.  Because of the recent events we have no idea if they are helping yet.  They are both well studied medications for bowel disease, and our hope is that they will help move along the healing process.  Our intent is not for her to be on these medications for life.  (Due to that whole spectrum issue I no longer say things like 'long term', because that is relative. Everything for Ellie is long term.)  The medications are tools to help GAPS, if that makes sense?

Forward march, this time with the cherries on top.  Short term healing for a life time of eating.  Healing sounds so much better than a life time of the alternative.  Now to remember that 'short term' is relative to the spectrum.

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