Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Getting your child to eat GAPS Foods...can it be done?

So, this is where we are right now.  Jeff and I are fully on intro, and Joshua....Joshua is not really eating. We were offering him "transition foods," by putting homemade sweet potato chips in his broth, or letting him have a banana at the beginning of the day, but the starchiness of those foods perpetuate the problem (feeding the bad gut bacteria) and prevent him from getting hungry enough to start eating the GAPS foods.  We are offering him plenty of food, and he went most of the day Monday without eating any of it; then he devoured lots of cooked-in-broth broccoli florets that night for dinner.  He went to town.  But he maybe overdid it, and he did not get a lot of the FAT from the broth the broccoli had absorbed, and so now....he is constipated.  Being constipated, he is not very interested in food.

Addressing the constipation is interesting.  I know it is partly because he needs more fat, and the source of fat that is most accessible is the fat in our broth.  He will not drink the broth (even though before he started self restricting he LOVED to drink broth) while awake, so we have been waiting until he is asleep.  We hauled the bottles (that we used twice back when he was nursing, haha) back out of storage and cleaned them.  Then, we put some bone broth in the bottles once it had cooled sufficiently (but the fat was still liquid, very important). Joshua gets to a certain point of sleepiness where the pacifier just falls straight out of his mouth, and I waited for that moment to slip in the bottle. He sucked a few times (though a little trickled out of the side of his mouth) before realizing something was up.  He started to wake, and I quickly slipped the paci back in and he settled back down.  We did this several times with him in my arms like when he was nursing.  Eventually he woke enough to roll over onto the bed, he put up with me giving him one or two more sucks like that, and then  rolled over onto his belly.  I did not want to aggravate him or interrupt his sleep further, so I left it at that.  We'll give it another go at bedtime (maybe rocking him in the rocker at the same time?).  Anyway, the broth is so he gets enough fat to help move things along.  Also, we are giving him some kombucha with each cup of juice he drinks.  Dr. Campbell-McBride talks about probiotics being key in resolving constipation, and her other suggestion is an enema (with probiotics included in the water).  But with all the frequent diarrhea Joshua has had in the past, he is really touchy when it comes to his "diaper area," and I am just not prepared to create one more battle by trying to give him an enema.

The juice is totally not GAPS legal, but it is the only thing he'll drink right now, and is a great vehicle for the kombucha.  Honestly it is mostly water, with a splash of juice, and a little more than a splash of kombucha.  It was more juice, but we have been gradually stepping that down.  So he is still drinking plenty of liquids throughout the day, and I am confident that once we resolve the constipation his appetite will return and he'll eat the veggies.

If all of this seems a little drastic (as I am fully aware that it may) I should explain that Joshua is your "typical GAPS patient."  Every time we have removed a food he is allergic to, he is fine and symptom free for a little while, and then develops a new allergy. Milk and eggs were the two at the beginning, and all his eczema began to disappear and his bowel movements normalized very shortly after removing them, this lasted a few weeks.  Then he was suddenly reacting again, this time to wheat and corn.  We remove those, and he develops an allergy to coconut (we had been giving him coconut milk) and to oranges (and this is when we discovered his allergy to our much-avoided soy and peanuts).  He develops an allergy to peas (related to soy), we get all of this out of his diet, and then after the typical symptom free period, he develops an allergy to rice and (apparently, though it has not been tested yet) quinoa.  I mentioned this tendency to his ped and she shrugged it off.  But, because of this trend, I am fairly confident that if we keep removing foods, he will keep developing new allergies. This is something Dr. Campbell-McBride has said is standard to GAPS patients, and I had mentioned my concerns about this to his doc long before reading Gut And Psychology Syndrome.

So, basically, we are covering all of this in massive amounts of prayer.  How can I let my son go on eating only one or two foods, and foods that will worsen his condition, at that?  But waiting this out feels pretty cruel, too.  Massive amounts of prayer are the only way I am getting through the day right now.  Still, I am convinced that this is the best route.  Because of all his allergies, the foods on full GAPS are basically the only foods he is not allergic to, but how can I get him to eat any of those foods without resolving the gut flora issues that have him craving starchy foods? Prayer needs to be (and is, now) my first response, my constant practice.  God gave us this boy, and He is obviously the one we should look to in caring for him.

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