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!


Lauren :)

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Lauren, somehow I missed this last reply.

Coconut oil and palm oil are equivalent, as far as I understand. Both are medium chain fatty acids which kill candida in the gut. I believe that coconut oil may be a bit more likely to be allergenic.

A red ring around the anus, is usually an allergen, rather than a die-off reaction, I believe. Generally dairy. Dairy is hidden in everything! I'm trying to recall if YOU have had any allergy testing done on you? Here is a list of hidden dairy: http://heal-thyself.ning.com/forum/topics/healing-leaky-gut-with-food?page=3&commentId=2814160%3AComment%3A1888&x=1#2814160Comment1888)

I'd be surprised if you have pink pee, since you have been eating fermented veggies for a while. With the coconut oil, Epsom salts and multivitamin, you are most likely increasing your detox pathways. Without reading the whole thread again (can't at the moment), I don't recall if you have mercury fillings?

If so, I'd slow down the detox and wait on adding the kefir, since you have a few things going on which are not settled.

*I* would not eat non-organic liver, personally. Grass-fed is preferable by far. The liver is really stressed when the cow is fed grain.

You might try removing the Brazil nuts for a week and see if the rash clears. If not, I'd go ahead and remove the coconut oil. Nuts are more allergenic than coconut, I believe. But, remove one, then both and see if that changes it. I know it feels like a two-steps-forward-one-step-backwards process.

Note: the iodine will increase detox reactions also.

Are you doing the bone broths and vit C for ds directly?

Good to know about palm oil--we may switch to this if coconut seems to cause reactions!

DS gets red ring w/ gluten/corn/soy/eggs and dairy. So maybe we got one of them in somehow! Good to know it is not usually die-off.

I do have mercury fillings. I will take a break on adding anything new and wait for the kefir. What about juice kefir/water kefir? Would this be too much right now? (I have a fermentation obsession...) I also just made some beet kvass and drank a small amount yesterday--should I hold off on this as well? I get into fermentation kicks and kinda go wild...I never thought that it might release too many toxins and overload my little ds!

I will wait for organic liver as well!

I've been eating the brazil nuts but not giving them to ds. His pinhead rash has actually cleared (maybe one little bump left on his bum). I'm going to wait a bit more to see if the red ring clears. I've been putting the coconut oil in the green smoothies (my new favorite thing in the world! I *crave* them!! And they are so filling!)

Ds is getting bone broth directly (in soup form and in rice--he loves soup!). He is not getting vit. C directly. I have trouble finding supps he will take and not react to--all of my supps (currently prental vit, cal/mag, zinc, vit c) *I* take and he gets some through my milk (I believe).

I am not taking an iodine supplement, should I? I'm certain we're low in it w/ River's thyroid issues and just our diet and lack of iodine intake. Would adding in kelp help w/ this? Could I add in kelp/seaweed *in place* of an iodine supplement? I still haven't bought iodine to do the iodine test w/ as they don't have it at my local grocer--I'm sure they have it at a drugstore but I just haven't gotten it yet. Should I wait to do the test b/4 thinking about supplementing? I'll get around to it one of these days... ;)

Thanks again for all of your help!! This group, and of course you Pat, are AWESOME!!!

Lauren :)
With the mercury fillings, I'd go slowly on increasing fermented foods, especially in conjunction with coconut oil. It is a balancing act, since the coconut oil (and kombucha) kill off candida, which releases bound/stored mercury, from my understanding. Mercury is then circulating and must be redeposited or excreted. Some is excreted in breastmilk, is the concern. Some may be moved from its "safe" location in the gut and redeposited in the brain or other organs. Cheery, I know.

So, when you get die-off, you are basically dealing with toxins circulating, per my best understanding. Adding probiotics has the benefit of helping to heal the gut by altering the ph and improving the gut integrity. However, the mercury has to go somewhere. There are chemicals which can bind with the mercury to carry it out through the bowels. That is what "chelating" is, basically. If you still have mercury fillings, some of those chemicals pull mercury from your teeth and make it circulating, instead of "stable". That is not desirable while nursing.

However, our immune system is weakened by the presence of candida in the gut. It is a Catch 22. There are some ways to help improve the detox pathways, with the assumption that a healthy mama is a priority. And the baby/child gets some toxins, but with a healthy liver, he can excrete/store some of the toxins. Not optimal, but...

If you add kefir, water kefir would be least challenging to your/his system, since you have some IgG issues with dairy. I'd start with just one ounce, increase by one ounce, each month. I'd most focus on giving ds some directly. A tablespoon a day is TONS of probiotic benefit!! And he doesn't have the candida mercury storage issues to contend with, it improves his immune system and helps with the whole detox system due to the nutrients, especially raw goat's milk kefir. He may be able to tolerate it directly, but not tolerate it through your leaky gut/breastmilk. Do you follow? Basically, usually, baby reacts not to the food, but to the undigested proteins in your milk. We have undigested proteins due to poor stomach acid and leaky gut, in basic terms.

Since the rash went away when you stopped Brazil nuts, again, it could be undigested proteins in your milk, rather than an allergen to the nuts directly. I'm not keen on nuts as a food for children under age 2 due to allergen potential, personally. And if you are getting selenium in another form, that could be adequate. Here are some other food sources of selenium: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=95

I don't have a vit C source to recommend. Jessica might have found a corn-free one, I don't recall. The green juices have a lot of bio-available vit C.

Oftentimes the mama's supplements have corn or dairy which causes the nursing child to react. You may need to call the company to be sure those are not an issue.

The iodine I was referencing is the Betadine for the skin test. But, kelp too could increase toxin release. Just go slowly, since you are nursing and don't want to be dumping your excreted toxins. Nor do you want to be releasing them into circulation to be redeposited in your organs. If you have fewer than four fillings, removal in the future is something to consider strongly, once you are done nursing. And then you can't get pregnant for 18 months after removal due to the circulating mercury, even with chelating, I've read. Tanya is much more informed about this alternative than I.

Vit C, selenium, and clay are alternatives to help bind or escort mercury out. I take vit C and selenium. But, I'm new to learning about clay. From what I've read, it sounds fascinating. Not sure yet, though.

HTH, Pat
Thank you Pat--sheesh--very freaky stuff! I'm going to try and keep going slowly. River's been drinking my beet kvass, so it's not going to waste!

I've continued eating the brazil nuts myself--only River stopped, so I'm not sure that he was reacting through my milk--but I didn't really formally test to see. I have actually never trialed a food w/ him just eating it and not me! I never even realized he might only react through me!

I'll be writing soon w/ updates a/b our trip to the homeopath tomorrow--I'm so excited!

Thanks again for all the info!

Lauren :)
Another Update: Homeopathy and Nightweaning

Today we went to a classical homeopath, who gave us CSE 12: Epidermal Growth Factor (http://www.biomedcomm.com/store/CSE12.html) and Carbo Vegetabilis for River. (To treat his gut issues and increase frequency of bms--he currently has 1 a day, with the homeopath said is not enough). We spoke for an hour and I shared our entire story along with a two page list of the details you mentioned to me Pat--I think that helped give him a very full picture of River and I was grateful for your advice!

He also urged me to work on nightweaning b/c he thinks River's waking (4-6 times per night) to nurse is making it harder on his digestive system. He was giving me strategies for nightweaning and it felt very much like he felt it was the best thing parenting wise--I wanted to check in with all of you on this.

I am totally comfortable with the current situation--River wakes, nurses to sleep, I basically sleep through it. Has anyone else found info that says nightweaning/not eating through the night helps the gut heal? This is not something I really want to focus my energy on or work on if it was more of parenting advice from his perspective and not really helpful for gut health...I feel like nightnursing is something really comforting and special for River, and would only work to change the situation if it would make a very big impact...


Lauren :)
Excited Update!

We have been doing really well. We've been eating a lot more coconut milk/oil on a daily basis and River has not been reacting to it in the manner I think he used to. (He used to react mildly to coconut milk ice cream and yogurt, and just coconut milk added to foods. His face would get really red and he would have trouble sleeping.) He also hasn't had a red ring in a while (used to happen often, even w/out eating his top 5 problem foods--he had been reacting to lots of random things I had trouble pinpointing as well in the past.) His skin in general has been really clear! His poop does not have undigested food in it anymore (huge change)! He has been sleeping well and eating lots and just seeming great. He does have a cold at this moment but other than that he has been very well.

I really feel like the nutrient dense food additions and all of the other recs. I've gotten here are making a huge difference. We are continuing the homeopathic treatment as well (carbo vegetabilis) and have not seen a different homeopath (as I had first mentioned I would)--for now this one seems to be helping, perhaps I'll look into a different homeopath in the future if needed.

I'm just feeling so positive and excited--we are going to start the raw goat's milk kefir at the end of next week (we've been waiting for River to be in a more baseline/healthy place) and I just *feel* so good about all of this. I think we are on the right path for us, and that we are just both getting better and better.

I found some Bubbies Pickles at a local HFS and was so excited--although I culture veggies myself, I've made pickles multiple times and only once made them yummy enough to actually eat (I've thrown out multiple batches of too salty/too yucky pickles :(--the Bubbies are delicious (ds ate 3 excitedly.)

Ahhh...just wanted to write and express my gratitude to you amazing mamas for your support through this part of our journey. Since joining this board, I feel like we've made more progress towards healing than ever before (and it's been a short time since my first post!) I'm so thrilled, feeling wonderful tonight, and excited for what is to come!

Just wanted to share! I'm so grateful for you all! (Especially you Pat!)

Lauren :)
Lauren, thank you for your lovely update. I'm delighted.

As an fyi, the Bubbies bread and butter pickles are heat pasteurized, I heard. The Bubbies Dill Pickles are a live ferment and have viable probiotics still. (we like the B&B though, and cucumbers are nutrient dense) Their sauerkraut is delicious too, imo.

Coconut oil topically helps with yeast and skin healing also.

>>>As an fyi, the Bubbies bread and butter pickles are heat pasteurized, I heard. The Bubbies Dill Pickles are a live ferment and have viable probiotics still. (we like the B&B though, and cucumbers are nutrient dense) Their sauerkraut is delicious too, imo.<

Goodie--we bought the dill ;). They had the sauerkraut too, I'll have to try it sometime and compare to homemade--the dill pickles gave me some new ideas to add flavor to homemade pickles (I'm hoping I can figure those out sometime!) so I bet the kraut will as well!

I love fermentation!! I'm going to make some salsa for the first time today--woo hoo!

Lauren :)
>>>Coconut oil topically helps with yeast and skin healing also.<

Could this be put around the anus to help heal a red ring as well? (Not that we've had one in a while--YAY!!!!) That would be pretty cool though!

Lauren :)
I believe it could help, yes.

Pat Robinson said:
Coconut oil and palm oil are equivalent, as far as I understand. Both are medium chain fatty acids which kill candida in the gut. I believe that coconut oil may be a bit more likely to be allergenic.


I hope that I'm not derailing this thread by asking here, but is there a difference between palm fruit oil and palm kernel oil as a replacement for coconut oil while working on gut healing? I've read that both are medium chain fatty acids, but I also saw a chart that showed palm kernel oil as having a similar balance of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fat to that of coconut oil. The balance of regular palm oil (I assume palm fruit) was fairy different.

I've been slowly adding foods from the awesome list of nutrient dense foods that Pat posted earlier in this thread and I am seeing a difference, but I know I can't add coconut oil. I have funky neurological symptoms with even small amounts of coconut oil, but tolerate palm oil (in the form of Spectrum-brand shortening) and I'm just wondering if I ought to upgrade to a different palm oil to see more benefits.

Lauren, I'm glad that you guys have been able to tolerate the coconut oil/milk lately. It gives me a bit of hope that I might be able to tolerate it after some more gut healing!
I use the spectrum 'vegetable shortening', and I thought it was palm kernel oil--I'll need to check!

>>>Lauren, I'm glad that you guys have been able to tolerate the coconut oil/milk lately. It gives me a bit of hope that I might be able to tolerate it after some more gut healing!br />
I have renewed hope about *all* foods now--it's been a year since we started working on healing, and I'm just starting to really feel this. Keep the hope alive, and keep working one step at a time!

Lauren :)

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