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Rachel has been on the GAPS diet for 8 months since the first of the year 2013. She also has a 4 year old son who is on the autism spectrum and who is on the diet with her. She chose an image of a willow tree to represent her because “the willow tree symbolises our ability to adapt and adjust to life even in the presence of challenges.”
Photo from Danimages at Photo Express.
1. How long have you been on the GAPS diet?
8 months in gaps intro for my sonI was on intro for 4 months and in full gaps for 3 months. I am going back to intro now because I went too quickly.2. What was going on that made you decide to pursue the diet?My son has just turned 4 and has a diagnosis of ASD, ASD stands for autism spectrum disorder. We started gaps straight to intro as I knew that for autism intro is where you get the most healing. We started when he was 3.5 years old. We found out about it from his listening therapist. She had the book in her waiting room and i asked to borrow it. I read it and was convinced. Then I bought my own and prepared him over a period of 2 to 3 months by eliminating all the illegals from his diet. He had been on a gluten free casein free diet with not a lot of results. I decided to do the diet with him first to be supportive and also to sort out a touch of irritable bowel syndrome issues I always had. We started on the 1st January 2013 and very quickly we got great results. Die off symptoms for my son are an increase of stims like staring at the light, irritation and certain behaviours like grinding teeth or flapping and crying. He is normally a very happy boy with very little behaviours or stims so it is obvious when he is in die offs which typically would last 5 days. He would have been in die offs when I first introduced fermented cod liver oil, juicing and anti fungal treatments. My son is on stage 2 of intro plus avocado from stage 3 and occasional roasting and green veg juicing from stage 4. He has a yeast overgrowth so we cannot move on until this is sorted out. Dr. NCM also recommends to stay at the early stages of intro for ASD children for a longer period of time especially when yeast overgrowth is there.3. Did you start with Full GAPS or Intro first? How long have you been on each?My son has only been on Intro so far.I was on intro for 4 months and in full gaps for 3 months. I am going back to intro now because I went to quickly.4. What kind of progress or healing have you seen?For my son:
- an emergence of speech
- an emergence of social skills.
- Sensory issues are gone
- Overeating tendency is gone.
- Potty trained within 2 months
- Normal stool after 2 years of loose stools.For my part, intro help me to get rid of my migraines, depression and pain on the right hand side of my stomach below my rib cage. I had also lost a lot of the excess weight i had not lost from my pregnancies (2). However I stayed on intro for about 4 months but once I reached the fruit stage I noticed I was no longer loosing weight. My stool started to be loose but instead of stopping I continued and went to full gaps. I did not listen to my body. I was more obsessed with my son symptoms than my own to be honest. I had also lost appetite for all savory foods and was nourishing myself only with yogurt, fruits, and nuts. Things started to go wrong again and my pain on the side although not strong would come back and my stool would go from very loose to constipated. In fact I had not done intro properly, I was no longer drinking broth. Worst I regained all the weight I had lost. I also believe I have a yeast issue like my son. I decided that I would redo intro but this time properly. I actually have started recently and I am currently planning to do one veg at a time to understand my triggers properly. From my previous mistakes I know what i need to do and certainly not move on too quickly.
5. What other strategies have you implemented along with GAPS? Why?
Homeopathy only recently to help detox the liver. Felt he needed the extra help6. Are you off the GAPs diet?
No7. Are there areas where you have not seen healing so far?Not really but speech gains are extremely slow. I thought after the first gain it would come quicker8. What has been the hardest thing about following the GAPS diet?The constant cooking and the strong die offs. They can be heartbreaking9. What has been the best thing about following the GAPS diet?Feeling hope that it will make a huge difference in my son’s life.10. Do you have any advice for a person considering going on the GAPS diet?Don’t hesitate. It is the best decisions made for my son. Take one day at a time and go very slow to control those die offs.11.. Is there any you would like to add to the above comments.Follow the GAPS diet to the letter as outlined in the book and the FAQs. Cheating will only hinder your progress in my view.