Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fad Diet? I think not.

I hate it when people give me weird looks; like when I'm telling them about something and their face just melts in to this "Are-you-sure-you're-not-crazy" kind of pose.

Everything from that point on just bounces off of them - they're no longer listening.

Especially when they ask about my kids' diets.

If you don't want to know, don't ask! If you do want to know, read this!

As you know, Luke didn't have the best start in life. Right off the bat, before he was even born he was exposed to a mega dose of antibiotics because I had tested positive for Group B Strep. His little body was teeming with antibiotics so much so that any good bacteria he was exposed to was killed before it was able to colonize. Problem #1.

Problem #2 came with the fact that he was failing to thrive for six weeks and no one noticed. His body was begging for nourishment and he was literally starving. Problem #2.5 came with the addition of 17 different kinds of formula in the space of nine weeks (18 if you count the formula I made for him) and weeks and weeks of projectile vomit and diarrhea. The lining of his intestines were pretty much pulverized.

Problem #3 came with the addition of baby food. It also caused a reaction in his little gut and though he wasn't on it for long, even a little damage is harmful when your digestive system is so weak.

Problem #4: More antibiotics. When Luke had an "unexplained" seizure the day before his first birthday, he was given a horse size dose of antibiotics "just in case". Any good gut flora that had been able to colonize from being on donated breastmilk was wiped out.

In short, Luke had constant diarrhea for over two years. After he was no longer receiving milk from the Milk Bank, his rate of weight gain and growth decreased. He was still growing, but just not as quickly as he did on breastmilk. He always had a diaper rash no matter how quickly I got his diaper changed. His doctors came up with a ton of random reasons for his issues. They wanted him to see a pediatric gastrointerologist. They wanted to use a scope down his throat and in his colon.


Luke was already sick constantly. Respiratory, vomiting, head colds, you name it. He didn't sleep well. He didn't eat much. He was mentally unstable (smiling one minute, screaming and hitting people the next). I refused to put him through any more suffering at the hands of people who were just guessing. I was once again on a mission to find someone with answers.

In the mean time, I used up all of my sick time because the babysitter would not keep him even if he had a runny nose. I was afraid she might report me because I wouldn't take Luke to the doctor for his diarrhea. It took a couple of months, but I finally found a pediatric natropath. She is 60 miles from where I live, but I was willing to do about anything.

The thing that appealed the most about her method of care was the fact that she took a full history; from my health at conception to what happened during his birth to now. It took nearly three hours to tell her everything that had happened to Luke in his short life; and she was appalled.

The natropath gave me some homeopathic supplements for him, but what helped the most was her recommendation to exclude gluten from his diet. Though I couldn't afford to have him tested ($300 out of pocket), he had all the signs of gluten intolerance and possibly Celiac's Disease.

It was really hard, but it made a difference in a few days! Luke was happy, sleeping well, eating, rash free and, after about two months, diarrhea free! Hallelujah! Nathan was also affected by the new diet - his little spots of eczema cleared up and his nearly constant runny nose was suddenly gone! I lost 10 pounds in the first three weeks (granted I have gained it all back ... the joys of shift work) but now I know what works as long as I can stick to it.  

For anyone who says going gluten free is just a fad, I beg to differ. It does seem to be the "in" thing to do, but for us, it has literally been a lifesaver.

As always, you do what's best for your family and I'll do what's best for mine as long as we're both making educated decisions!

<3 ~SML~

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