If you are just looking for recipes come back Wednesday.
I'm basically carrying on the discussion about my daughter's leaky gut and food sensitivities. I am sharing this detailed information because I STRONGLY believe that behavior, learning, sleep and immune system problems in children (and parents) are intricately intertwined with their diets and digestive linings. Maybe not for everyone, but for those lucky ones pre-disposed to a weak digestive system.
And I wish someone would have told my Mom some of this many years ago - and saved me many years of flu's, stomach aches, bloating, insomnia, anxiety, etc, etc, etc.
If you are having problems with your child and don't know where to turn you may need to think about looking at their diet. And you might need a Naturopath and some IGG tests to help you sort things out. There isn't always a direct cause and effect relationship between what you eat and how you feel immediately afterwards. It can have a delayed effect or just impact your general well being over time. Or that is my personal experience and the experience I have had with my daughter. In both our cases just watching our diet/symptoms did not/could not pinpoint what the actual food trigger is.
I left off on Friday discussing how my now 5 year old (almost 6) showed significant improvement in her health and behavior when we tweaked her diet based on the results of her first IGG Food Senstivity Panels. We hadn't taken it too far/seriously at that point but we did switch her from drinking cow's milk to soy milk and eliminated egg-based meals from her diet.
We didn't fully eliminate all of her triggers (foods with egg or cow's milk in them as a secondary ingredient or the many other items on the list) and we didn't really follow up her progress. We didn't really feel we needed to.
Her behavior changed significant. She seemed happy.
Her immune system appeared to be working properly. She wasn't getting sick anymore.
Well, for a full year anyway.
But then something strange happened last summer. When she was just about to turn 5.
First - she had a "reaction" to chlorine in a friends pool from swimming with no goggles with her eyes opened. Extreme pain and redness in her eyes and a full on sinus assault. But it cleared up by the next morning. We didn't think too much of it. Same thing happened to me once when I was a child (that should have been my first red flag).
Next - she started daily swimming lessons at the YMCA for 4 weeks.
And we started seeing flashbacks to the 3-year-old unhappy, moody, difficult child we had before. Gone was the happy-go-lucky girl we had grown accustomed to. She was nasty and had numerous wicked temper tantrums. It was stressful and frustrating to be back there.
It took me some time to piece it together. My first thought was something in her diet had changed? But I wracked my brain and could not think of anything. And then I realized - ITS THE CHLORINE. In addition to her food sensitivities she had developed a sensitivity to chemicals.
Okay - quick fix. Get her goggles, rinse her off, wash her hair quickly after exposure and limit her pool time.
And we were back to normal. We had an awesome fall. She started Kindergarten. She loved school. She still didn't get sick.
But since Christmas break I started to sense that something was "off". She wasn't and isn't like she was at her worst from a behavior standpoint. She's generally a very good kid that loves school.
But my mama instinct was still saying that something was off. She seems sad once in a while. She started having night terrors for a month or so. She started getting up earlier in the morning. And after eating she sometimes gets SUPER HYPER. Like she can't hear a word I'm saying and seems almost out of control. And she has severe sugar cravings.
It is more subtle than her behavior when she was 3 and the summer she was turning 5. But still, something wasn't/isn't right.
As a parent I constantly question whether any given behavior is:
a) bad - do I just have bad kids? Really?;
b) a result of poor parenting choice - inconsistency, yelling, etc -are they feeding off me (and possibly my Candida temperament which isn't always pleasant);
c) normal - maybe I just have unreasonable expectations; or
d) a result of a trigger - food, heat, chemicals, etc, etc, etc.
And my niggling feeling that d) might still be an issue for our sweet girl finally prompted me to get her IGG sensitivity panels re-run. Which we just got back last week.
And my instinct was apparently right on. This girl has SEVERE leaky gut and her food sensitivities have not improved - THEY ARE WORSE. Insert swear. I was secretly hoping her leaky gut had improved from the many positive changes we had made in her diet as a indirect result of my own clean eating. And that this round of tests would show what her actual food triggers are. But that is not the case.
Maybe (likely) part of the problem is that eggs is one of her worst reactions and we actually re-introduced eggs (dumb, dumb, dumb - I know) around Christmas time. And now that I think about it, once we started on the egg-train, the frequency of having eggs kept increasing. She loves them.
So here we are. June 2013. I'm on the Candida diet AND I have 100% cut out the food sensitivities from my own IGG panel. No fruit (including banana's), no mushrooms, no dairy, no vinegar, no yeast, no pork, no sugar. A crazy restrictive diet.
A diet that is working wonders for me. Its hard but I am feeling incredible. My adrenal fatigue that has been plaguing me since October is suddenly gone - I feel rested and quite energetic. I have no anxiety. I cut back my adrenal support dosage by half (because I am on way too many supplements) and I still feel fine. And my Candida moodiness is gone. I'm still starving half the time but my cravings are not nearly as bad.
So how do I not do something with the information I got in my daughters IGG tests? How do I not take it seriously? How do I not move heaven and earth scouring the city for ingredients and the internet and Pinterest for egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, yeast-free, sugar-free recipes that she can enjoy. I am my own proof that this "hocus-pocus" Naturopath stuff actually works. And I want her to feel incredible. I want her to feel energetic and rested. I want to build her system up so that she can handle the heat or chlorine or a flu bug.
And so this time, I am taking these tests very seriously. And we are going to ELIMINATE eggs. Not just scrambled eggs. But products containing eggs. And we are going to try and ELIMINATE dairy. And we are going gluten-free. Not just for me but for the whole family.
I have no idea how I'm going to pull this off........................................I need to sleep on it. So look for Part 3 to this story soon. I still have a couple more things to say on the matter but I've got to get to bed. Because the key to keeping adrenal fatigue at bay is to bed by 10. And its past that........Goodnight!
Go here if you want to read the next instalment.
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