Why GAPS? Why put myself and my family through this difficult diet? Good questions.

I've always had bad environmental allergies, but it really grew worse in my early 20s which I contribute to the Pill and round after round of antibiotics. I was really tired and seemed to catch every bug that came around. I saw several doctors; allergists, family practitioners, ENTs to no avail. I would become discouraged trying to find answers and give up, and then I would get tired of being sick and go through another round of doctor's visits. This cycle went on and on for years with no results. I suspected thyroid dysfunction, adenoid dysfunction, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc, but all of my tests showed that all was well and I was starting to feel like it was all in my head.

Both of our boys had bad reflux as infants and had to be on adult-dose medications to control their stomach acid. My oldest could not tolerate dairy - even through my milk - and we recently found that he cannot tolerate wheat, either. He has bad environmental/seasonal allergies and it got so bad he had to be on a couple of medications and was prescribed an inhaler for emergencies. On top of this, both boys had cavities every time we went to the dentist and my oldest ended up having a mini-root canal, which lead to an infection, which lead to an extraction and spacer. My youngest recently had 4 cavities. All this in spite of eating well and following a lengthy oral care protocol set by our dentist. The whole family has had digestive issues - constipation being the main complaint. Our Naturopath informed us that we all have an overabundance of Candida in our guts. And last, we've suspected some growth problems with our youngest.

All said, I'm sick of being sick and I want something more for myself and my kids.

We've been doing a lot this year to move toward eating better, but what kicked everything into gear for us was learning that everyone in the family had food allergies. We cut so many things out of our diet. Then our oldest, who had been tested in February, was tested again in July and his results showed that he was "no longer allergic" to some things we'd cut out in February, but was "allergic" to items that we'd substituted in their place. I'd read about "leaky gut" and it really clicked into place for me. I realized that we could be testing every other month and this or that would show up, not because he had any true allergies, but because his gut flora was wrecked and was letting undigested proteins through. Also, I was very discouraged at how unhealthy gluten-free foods are. They are very processed, refined, and starchy. Nothing beneficial there at all. Oh, and as I researched anti-candida diets I realized that we were headed for a very strict diet either way we went. Why not try a diet that could actually help our bodies to get rid of candida and heal?

So that what led us to where we are now. I'll talk about what we did to prep for starting the GAPS intro diet in my next post.

All of this said, I feel very fortunate that we don't have some of the dire issues that many GAPS patients have prior to starting the diet, but I can't help but think that the issues we do have point to the fact that while we are healthier than some, we are far from healthy. I do think that the food we eat has an incredible ability to harm or heal us and I think that the Standard American Diet is severely lacking in nutrition.


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