A GAPS Testimonial

Gut And Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) is a book by Natasha Campbell-McBride about how to treat allergies, autism, and similar conditions.  In this entry, Cheeseslave talks about her own son and then quotes another mother about the effects of the GAPS diet (plus other changes) on her autistic son.

Kevin lacked oxygen at birth, so in the first year of life, I already saw that he was not developing like my other kids (he is our 5th). His motor skills lagged and he cried a lot, didn’t sleep so well, etc.At two, his behavior was just not right. He never responded right to correction, would throw things in anger or frustration, cried all the time, especially when waking up, basically never happy. He didn’t walk until two and then he would fall down constantly.

He also began to always be starving. When he was really hungry, his face would get distorted and frozen in a strange way. I now think he was having seizures of sorts.

We did not vaccinate at all and we figured out that if we fed him lots of protein type foods like meats, he would relax his body and face and be able to go play for a bit until it happened all over again in a short time.

I do think that because we didn’t vaccinate and figured out to keep feeding him this way, we were able to “coast along” like this for years. He had learning disabilities, lacked social skills and continued to have autistic traits like sensory issues, hiding under blankets, reacting to sounds, not liking people around, rigid in routines, and spinning and going on his head along with head banging.

Long story shorter, we did get a diagnosis of Aspergers at one point. We took him to doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist to no avail. He also strangely was NEVER once sick (we later learned that his immune system was not working a bit).

At 9 years old, he got pneumonia, followed by asthma and allergies. His eating [problems] had escalated to the point of feeding him every 20-30 minutes or he would have gigantic meltdowns. We eventually could not even have people over.

He was given an inhaler for the asthma and suddenly, without us making the connection, he began to not respond when called, became extremely hyperactive and began to run away at all hours of the day and night requiring police to find him and being very dangerous. (we once lost him in the middle of downtown Chicago). He would also try to jump out of moving vehicles, out of windows and required constant restraining.

The seizures got bad, he would fall down the stairs and lose consciousness several times per day. They tried psych drugs and he almost died twice from his reaction to them (I am now grateful that we couldn’t go that route).

We became so desperate that we brought him home from hospital and got deadbolts to keep him from running, did all our own restraining and called alternative docs to help us.

We began kefir and diet from nutritionist (basically a BED [Body Ecology Diet]/GAPS version), took him off inhaler. His allergies were totally out of control, he could barely open his eyes from swelling, and his chin was deformed and swollen, his belly too, his whole body. He would only eat junk food and fast foods and it was incredibly difficult to transition him to the diet.

The DAN (Defeat Autism Now) protocols we followed, made him worse in lots of ways b/c the chelation made him extremely violent, the B12 shots kept him awake for nights on end without any sleep, the antifungals and all those other interventions were nightmarish for him.

Eventually, I resolved to use only foods and do this without any kind of doctors. So for this past year, I researched and researched and was determined to bring him back from this state. We have done a combo of GAPS (and BED) very successfully along with lots of fermented foods and drinks.

The allergies and asthma are 100% gone, the seizures we have had only one in 65 days and very mild (compared to 5-10 per day). He sings every morning and has cried once in the last 2.5 months (he used to cry for 1-3 hours at a time each day) and he can go outside again without running away. He is in martial arts, acting appropriately at church, having eye contact, no autistic traits of late and learning academics after two years of not being able to open a book. He reads before bed at an 8th grade level.

This story has many interesting elements. 1. Huge improvement. Very plausible that it’s due to the dietary change. 2. Autism and allergies go away at the same time, suggesting same cause. 3. Treatment with fermented foods. 4. A different “radical” solution failed, meaning there is no reason to think this is a placebo effect. 5. The mystery of why an inhaler made things worse. 6. Autism not due to vaccination.

5 Responses to “A GAPS Testimonial”

  1. Aaron Blaisdell Says:

    That is a VERY compelling account. Yet another example of how dietary intervention can have profound and positive health consequences. Add this to the list of dietary interventions that have ‘cured’ migraines and EPP (erythropoietic protoporphyria)–see here (http://epistemocrat.blogspot.com/2010/02/ancestral-fitness-bricoleurs-two-e.html), and here (http://pigeonrat.psych.ucla.edu/systems/file_download.aspx?pg=277&ver=1) for the poster.

  2. (original) Jeff Says:

    How much do you worry about self-reporting accuracy in a story like this? With just one example do you worry about something being a coincidence and that correlation is not actually identifying causation?

    A lot of aspects of this account (by Millie) struck me as strange.


  3. seth Says:

    Jeff, I worry less about the accuracy of this report than I worry about the accuracy of a scientific article reporting something similar. I don’t worry at all about “something being a coincidence”. I accept that the behavior changes were due to the dietary changes. There are many similar reports to this; nothing rests on the accuracy of just this one.

  4. Timothy Says:

    If you haven’t already found it, this article suggests a link between autism and gastrointenstinal abnormalities. Essentially, the cause of the unusual development in the brain may also cause unusual development in the enteric nervous system in the gut. There is also a brief mention of the interaction between the immune system, the enteric nervous system, and bacteria in the gut. It’s short on detail but full of hints to things you like to write about. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=gut-second-brain

  5. Sally O'Boyle Says:

    My 16yo son’s asthma has also been almost 100% cured by dietary changes and, oddly, gymnastics. We have cut out almost all sugar (that has been the most difficult part of the diet), eliminated diary (except for kefir from goat’s milk), only eat whole wheat flour, no white flour products at all, no processed foods, take a boatload of vitamins and have started chelation using the Cutler protocol.

    One of the biggest changes came when he started doing handstands at home. He watched a Damien Walters video on free running and yearned to do it. After a week of practicing handstands, he had a weekend of something like a cold: stuffed up, coughing (a productive cough which is what you want but rarely get with an asthmatic), tired, but no fever or any other symptoms.

    I’m a yoga person and happened to be reading the world’s greatest yoga book (http://tinyurl.com/bestyogabook) and noticed that upside down poses are great for the lungs. I concluded, not very scientifically, that he had dislodged some crap in his lungs… But after this sick weekend and his intense gymnastics workouts (see one here: http://www.abroadincostarica.com/2009/11/ffa.html), his asthma is 99% gone. When I hug him, there is no wheeze. I hear nothing which is a miracle.

    I’ve been studying, reading, exploring alternative paths to health since we moved to Costa Rica 4 years ago. I started out looking for ways to help (healing wasn’t even part of my vocabulary back then) Ryan’s asthma. I knew there must be a better way.

    I also started out convinced that mercury poisoning from the few vaccinations my kids did was responsible for the asthma and some learning disabilities for my oldest boy. I do still feel there is a connection but maybe just in the gut. Mercury does stay in your body, getting it out is critical for good health, but maybe it does not cause the autism/allergies, etc. Maybe it just creates other problems that then create the a/a… then there is the aluminum, viruses, and other toxins injected with the vaccines.

    Today, after treating colds, asthma, cuts, even my dog’s infections, preventing flu, a myriad of evidence piling up around here, I wouldn’t go to a doctor unless I had a broken arm. My husband manages his high blood pressure with magnesium… well, the list is endless.

    We have not followed the GAPS diet strictly but basically adhere to it in spite of that! We are all happier and healthier because of our new eating habits.

    I found you because I’m starting your diet. I am a firm believer in self-experimentation. Thank you for being out there!