GAPS Diet and Overall Health Update

So. GAPS. The bottom line is that we are still on the diet, but we've been slipping a little. There have been some health issues pop up that I'm trying to navigate, but for now we're sticking pretty closely to GAPS.

The first health issue was with me. I'll focus on that for this post and then do another post about Luke, my oldest.

About 8 weeks ago I noticed my hair was thinning rather rapidly. I was also extremely tired all of the time. I prayed hard about what to do because conventional medicine has failed me in the past and since GAPS seemed to be failing me, too, I was feeling pretty low and stressed out. Well, God answered. It turns out that my mom and two friends have all had wonderful experiences with naturopaths. After asking some questions and getting some info, it turns out that they were all seeing the same person! She doesn't take insurance, but Ben and I talked it over and he encouraged me to give it a go. I met with Dr. Angie and felt I was in good hands and felt hopeful she could help me.

So what was her diagnosis? Adrenal fatigue, struggling thyroid, and low progesterone. Eeeenteresting. Some backstory: I've been dealing with certain issues for years and they really picked up after having my youngest, 6 years ago. Two friends suggested I have my thyroid checked. I read up on thyroid stuff, thought it sounded like it could be my problem and got tested. In fact, I was tested by 3 separate physicians over a span of 5 years. They also tested vitamin levels and blood sugar and who knows what else. Their diagnosis? All's clear. Huh? How can I be "healthy" and still feel like crap? Then about 18 months ago I downloaded a free e-book that talked about the connection between the thyroid, adrenal glands, and hormones. They all work very closely with one another. So closely, in fact, that if just one is struggling then it is highly, highly likely that another of the Three Musketeers are struggling, as well. Huh. Well then.

I didn't know much about adrenals so I started looking them up and everything I read about adrenal fatigue seemed to fit me dead on. The bummer part about that is that everything I've read says that adrenal fatigue is very hard to fix. It can take 6 months to a year and involves no caffeine, lots of sleep, no hard exercise, etc, etc. Whaa?

Now, on the GAPS side of things I've also read several blog posts where women have said that they initially felt great on GAPS only to experience symptoms similar to mine after about 6-9 months. Their fix was to get off GAPS so that they could consume more carbs. They also admitted that it is possible to consume adequate carbs while still on GAPS, but that you have to be very intentional about it. Okay, good to know.

So, back to the visit with Dr. Angie. She suggested enzymes to help me digest fat and then 5 additional supplements. She said that one supplement I would only take a month and be done. She scheduled a visit with me 5 weeks out and said that she'll retest and see where things stand. Her goal is to get people to a point where they are healthy and NOT relying on supplements all the time. I've been taking all of the supplements faithfully and my hair seems to have stopped thinning. Also, for the first time in years, my last two cycles were 28 days instead of 21. SO grateful. I'm going back to see Angie later this week, so we'll see what  the next step is.

My thoughts? GAPS has been amazing in so many ways. I don't think I'm done. However, I'm wondering if I, too, need more carbs. So here's my game plan for now:

1. Add carbs to absolutely every meal. This will call for a lot of carrots and squash and some berries. I want carbs, but I need to be careful about how much glucose I'm consuming because I do not want to gain weight.

2. Continue taking enzymes with every meal/snack. Angie said that I didn't have enough fat in my diet, according to my tests. I reminded her that I'm on the GAPS diet which is very high in fat. She said that my problem then is that I'm not digesting the fat I'm eating. If I'm not digesting the fats, then my body isn't able to make the most of them which is a major bummer because healthy fats are so good for us and so essential to digestive healing!

3. Cut out crazy exercise. I'm laying off off my beloved 30-day Shred DVDS. They are awesome, but they are very intense. Instead, I'm just going to walk every day and keep my butt-sitting to a minimum. I'm also doing some light weight training. That's it.

4. Sleep when I need to and not push myself too hard. This is so hard for me. I feel like a bum when I go to bed early or when I sleep in. But I keep reminding myself that pushing too hard benefits NO-ONE in the long run.

5. Pray and meditate some every day. Sometimes you don't know you're a control freak until something is beyond your control. I can do a lot to heal myself, but I can't control everything. I need the healing and wisdom of the Master Physician. I need to remember that he's with me every step of the way.


So, that's what I"m thinking, for now. Things may change after my next appointment, but I can do what I can do until then; eating well, resting, and seeking God for wisdom.




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