~ Food Has Power ~
Ok, this is VERY long! I am totally willing to do this as a consult (instead of in the group) if it’s too many details/too much to ask. The short version is this:
My almost 2 year old and I have been on a gluten/dairy/corn/egg/soy free diet for about 9 months, after an elimination diet and seeing various reactions to these foods. I believe he has a leaky gut which I’d like to help heal. I am looking for ways to heal this issue (and any others that exist) using whole food nutrients, and to avoid supplements as much as is possible. He has seemed to react to most of the supplements we’ve tried, or had trouble taking them. So, any recommendations you all have are welcome and appreciated!
Now, for the long version. I’ve included everything that might be helpful in understanding our situation (perhaps *too* much info--sorry this is so long!):
River (now 23 months) was born at home. I labored for over 50 hours, his heart rate was awesome the entire time. He was posterior. He had shoulder dystocia on the way out, and my midwife reached her hands in to help him out. Not long after his birth she gave him a vit. K shot, she said in part b/c *I* lost a lot of blood. (I lost about a liter of blood after he was born.) His umbilical cord was in a tight knot when he came out, (he must have swam through it in utero, and it probably tightened as he was born). So, the cord did not pulsate, there was a lot of blood in it that squirted out when we cut it. (Not sure how much info/detail you all need, I thought I’d tell you *everything*!)
I had trouble with breastfeeding, in part due to my blood loss, but mostly because of ignorance about breastfeeding. For the first 3 months of his life we used formula supplements (both milk and soy based) as well as donated breastmilk from a friend of mine. He was nursing most of this time, at one point was totally off the breast (but getting about 1/2 his nourishment from breastmilk, I was exclusively pumping). Using domperidome, lots of herbs, and tons of pumping, along with nursing, he came back to the breast and from 3 months on he was exclusively breastfed (and continues to nurse lots today at almost 2.)
He had the first 2 rounds of vaccines, but after the 2nd round, he had a fever and slept for a very long, uncharacteristic amount of time. He also had diarrhea for days. I started really researching vaccines and was shocked and horrified by what I found, so he has not been vaccinated since.
He also had ‘baby acne’ from maybe a few weeks old until 5 months.
At around 13 months he got an ear infection, and we did the antibiotics (amoxicillan). He got a rash on the back of his neck during this, and we stopped using them after 5 days.
Around this same time period, I noticed a lot of changes in him. He was seeming to be very irritable and easily frustrated (very uncharacteristic for him), not sleeping well (waking in the night and running around screaming for 1-2 hours), peeing his pants in the night (he was ec’d from 3 months and had never peed at night--this was a big change!), had the red ring around his anus at all times, ‘raccoon eyes’, and I’m sure other symptoms as well. With the help of the foodlab yahoo group, I learned a/b elimination diets and we found he reacted to gluten, dairy, corn, soy and eggs.
Since then our diets have changed dramatically. We avoid the above mentioned foods, along with most nuts/seeds and citrus, because I have thought he has reacted to them in the past. (I’m willing to try them again though! I did not formally test any of them.) Foods we eat on a regular basis include (listed in an order of the quantity/frequency we eat them): brown rice (in many forms--rice, rice milk, crackers, bread, cookies, etc.--probably 2 servings a day easily), green peppers, onions, garlic, carrots (whole/juiced), tomatoes (mostly canned), sunflower oil (used for cooking), chicken and turkey (we were vegetarian but started eating these after dropping dairy and eggs), beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, pinto, lentils etc.) canned and dried, broccoli, kale, other greens, potatoes, dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, etc.), berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries), apples, bananas, pears, cucumbers, buckwheat flour, oatmeal, enerG egg replacer, fruit & vegetable juices (fresh and bottled bolthouse farm), avocados, celery, green beans, sweet potatoes, zucchini, coconut milk, millet, maple syrup, agave nectar, sometimes brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, tons of spices and salt and pepper, palm oil...etc. Also cultured carrots, beets and cabbage for the probiotic value... In addition, I am not totally opposed to trying other meats, although it might be a difficult transition for me (I’ve never cooked meat before, and doing the poultry now has been a real learning experience! I was a vegetarian for 12 years b/4 changing our diets in this manner...) A lot of the food we eat is cooked. I do not soak our grains but am interested in learning more about this and other food prep. ideas that might help us. I also have been (irregularly) taking a prenatal vitamin and calcium supp. (which he does not seem to react to.)
I think I’ve included a majority of what we eat on a regular basis (at least 2-3 x per week). What I am looking for now is where to go from here. I believe ds has a leaky gut, and we have tried supplement after supplement (vitamins and enzymes) to help heal it. He has seemed to react to everything we’ve tried. I’d love more info on where to go with our diets--what to add to bring in the vitamins/nutrients he needs, along with how/if he can get the digestive enzymes he needs through foods. What supplements you all might feel *are* necessary, etc. I want to help heal his gut (and any other issues that might be going on). Any advice or suggestions you all have are greatly appreciated!
Beet Test (stomach acid?)
... I've also made some yummy gf sourdough bread and those blender batter pancakes quite a bit! We are not huge on the baked goods since going gf, but it's been fun eating these--and not as bloaty feeling as it used to be. I can *feel* the difference soaking grains makes...
We have had a lot of the same problems. Leaky gut is a hard one, but a doable one. There is much to do, but order is important. There is a book by Dr. Natasha McBride. "Gaps and Psychological Syndrome Diet"
She is very thorough. Get good at juicing and making broths. They are REALLY easy (even w/ not knowing how to cook meat - I was intimidated and WOW was it easy) My son has gone from diarrhea to healthy in a couple of years. We have learned much, but take it one step at a time. Her book really puts things in a perspective of order, allowing the gut to reset and rest.
I went throught this with my son at age 2.4. He was a mess and was already off of dairy, soy and bananas. I have worked with children for the past 25 years and have learned a lot. My first recommendation is to stop bananas. Many children have a hard time with them. I would also stop any foods that are hard on the digestive tract such as legumes (except lentils). The following is what I have removed from my sons diet since he was a toddler and he has been in excellent health ever since (he is 7 now). No top ten allergens except salmon, you seem to be doing that now. No citrus, no chocolate, no legumes and no bananas. I also do not feed my family chicken. I have noticed that when they do it eat it will upset there bodies a tad. It is filthy and also a high allergen. Another food my son didn't eat was peas, to upsetting on his intestives.
I know that this seems like alot but I can promise that you will notice results especially with the beans and bananas. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask. Iwill even help with food ideas but it seems like you're doing great.