Introducing… Curly Girl! (Part 3)

Curly Girl, age 9

Sorry to leave you all hanging after Part 2! Life caught up with me, and you know how that goes. Where was I?

Ah yes… In our last episode, we tried replacing GFCF with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet but found it too restrictive despite the gains Curly Girl was making. We returned to GFCF and that was that.

There’s not a lot to tell in the following few years. Curly Girl continued to grow and mature, making improvements along the way. She was in a regular classroom at school, and for the most part, keeping up with her peers. She still lagged socially, but even that got better. But there was one thing… She kept getting sick.

When she was 5, 6, 7 years old, it was ear infections, one after another. Those seemed to clear up but then the UTI’s started. At the age of 8, Curly Girl started to get urinary tract infections. Every few months we are back at the doctor for more antibiotics. Every test comes back normal. There is really no good explanation. I hate to think what the antibiotics are doing to her gut. And yet, we don’t have any real options. The infections need to be treated. But, I digress.

When Curly Girl was 9, we discovered a liquid vitamin supplement made from seaweed and aloe vera. Radio Dad & I started taking it and had great results! We started giving it to Curly Girl. Within a month she was a whole different person. She interacted with us in a way that she never had before. She played with her siblings and it was almost like a normal family. It was wonderful! We’ve kept her on it since then, falling off the wagon for awhile when we moved and when the baby was born, but trying to get her back on it as much as we could. She definitely functions better when she takes it. But it hasn’t been the miracle cure we were hoping for.

Things have been rough lately. We’re blaming it on puberty & hormone changes, but I think there are a number of contributing factors. She’s been on a lot of antibiotics. Let’s face it. Every time we have to give her another round, we are causing even more damage to her gut. We’ve also had a lot of changes in our family, first moving then having a new baby, and those cause stress for her. She’s also increasing in awareness and with that awareness comes frustration. She can’t do the same thing as everyone else. She can’t even eat the same things. That would frustrate anyone.

So what role does diet play in all this? Where do we go from here?

We certainly can’t stay where we are. GFCF is only a band-aid to cover up the problem. It doesn’t heal anything. By removing gluten and casein you address part of the problem, and you can improve behaviors somewhat by avoiding them. But the real problem is the leaky gut, the damaged gut wall, the overgrowth of bad bacteria, the lack of good bacteria. As long as you continue to feed the baddies with starchy gluten-free food, you will never heal. Compound that with a constant barrage of antibiotics making things worse with each round and well… GFCF will never be enough.

We must do more. We must do better. Enter the GAPS protocol.

I’ll be back (soon!) to talk about how I discovered GAPS and why I feel like it’s the right thing at the right time. Stay tuned!

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