I have not really wanted to write about our family's response to this new diet, mostly because things have just been so rough ever since we began it. Now, I do have to mention that I probably didn't choose the best time to begin GAPS. I didn't figure it would be a big deal for us as it wasn't that far off from how we were eating before. But at the time we started I was on the verge of burnout from an incredibly busy season and not sufficient down time to process the business and stress of life. Our second week into the diet my husband was out of town for a few days , and I think the perfect storm ensued and pushed me over the edge.
By week two of GAPS myself, my daughter Elise and my two younger boys all had mild colds. We don't get sick very often, and almost never all at the same time. This might have started with just some die off, though it is hard to be sure. Funny enough, Joel didn't get sick - and he is the one most in need of GAPS. I figure if anyone would have die-off reactions it would be him. Anyway, after about a week Elise improved and has been great ever since. After another week the younger boys and I were improving, when all of a sudden we all took a turn for the worse. James and I came down with a flu-type bug. This only lasted about a day, but for me it quickly turned into a heavy duty sinus infection which got so bad I resorted to a 3 day round of antibiotics. Now if you know me, you know I am VERY anti-antibiotics. It is largely what got us in this digestive mess to begin with. GAPS is all about healing the gut and antibiotics destroy the gut lining because they kill the bad AND good bacteria. So I was really not thrilled to go this route, but I couldn't function with the pain and my naturopath recommended a low dose to help me out.
I finally got better, though am still working to get to a place where my energy is back and my sinuses are completely clear. I am struggling with fuzzy ears and a bit of congestion, which is frustrating for me because I have enjoyed a very long season of health with not an ounce of congestion. And now Erik and James are both down with colds, AGAIN. James even has a minor fever. Seriously! These kids rarely get sick and if they do it is a minor cold, or James will get a minor teething cold - just lots of clear congestion and snot. But this feels a bit ridiculous. And in all honesty it is really wearing me out.
On the plus side Joel has been healthy and he has not been experiencing reflux or stomach aches. And everyone is doing fine with the food changes. Digestively we seem to be doing okay - no crazy stomach aches or anything. But overall there is very little positive to show for the GAPS diet so far. It is very hard to understand if this is all just coincidental, or if the diet is not just for us, or if we have a bunch of health issues we just weren't aware of that GAPS is bringing to the surface. I am working with a GAPS nutritionist and with my NP and am praying like crazy hoping God will bring some clarity to the situation and some guidance. I wish I had something better to report after these 6 weeks of GAPping it up. But this is where we are at. Hopefully I will have something more positive to share in the not too distant future!