Two things I have come to learn is that medical doctors are not adequately educated in nutrition and relating disorders to gut health and teachers are not adequately educated or trained in handling or identifying children who fall into the "alternative care" category ie: ADHD, dyslexia, autism spectrum, sensory processing disorders, etc. This is information direct from the horses mouths to me and from books I have read written by medical doctors and educators. They tend to pick up on these things after years of experience or by being self motivated to discover and develop fully in their profession of service.
I'm open to being re-educated about my above paragraph. I'd like to learn and know that things are changing. But for now and forever, don't blindly hand yourself or your children over to someone's degree or title. Stay empowered and informed on your journey, whatever that may be. (Trust, but verify).
I'm not an expert on any of this. I'm just a mother who has been successfully following the advice (or NOT) of other people/professionals and my own inner guidance about our needs. Our GAPS journey and mainly the reason we went in this direction was out of necessity for our son. He has a very sensitive system and he must be in balance at all times or his neurological system starts to go haywire. The clearer we got him the clearer we saw that he needed to be clean and clear and that includes environmental toxins. We saw that his issue was not behavioural but neurological secondary to leaky gut syndrome which includes an issue methylating. Methylation refers basically to the bodies ability or inability to detoxify itself. There is typically a genetic factor and you can usually tell if it runs in your family if there is a history of depression, bipolar disease, schizophrenia, suicide, constipation, attention deficit disorder, alcoholism, and autism. Somehow chronic inflammation is involved which triggers an autoimmune response. There is a proper chapter devoted to this topic in the book, "Healing and Preventing Autism" by Jenny McCarthy and Jerry Kartzinel, M.D. ADD, ADHD, OCD, learning problems and a lot of other disorders respond well to the protocol outlined in their book.
I have learned this mostly from alternative care practitioners and various people (whom I have met at the right place at the right time) and from the books these people have lent or recommended to me. Of course I add my own skills in conscious observation and then there is trial and error. I have thankfully learned from reading the "GAPS" book that medicating is the worst thing for leaky gut. I'm not trying to nay-say any convention. I'm spending my time focusing on what I feel is right and steering clear of what I feel is damaging. Sometimes it can take awhile to identify what is damaging, whether it be food, surroundings/environment, schools, medical facilities, people or practitioners, etc. Throughout all of this, a "team" of resources and people/professionals have formulated around us and we are finding ourselves always in better and better company. Actually, more and more of our friends are discovering their own families food allergies. There is an upswing in dinner parties these days. ;-)
To be honest, sometimes this change gets me a little down. It's a lot of work and I'm in the kitchen all day. Having pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers is so easy. Giving crackers and cookies that you can buy and don't have to dehydrate is so convenient. I would have given up a long time ago if it weren't for my husband's support and if I didn't see or feel the need. People write me all the time and tell me that I am strong and dedicated but I don't always feel it. I've needed support and there are some challenging moments. I didn't just happily jump on the bandwagon of health and nutrition. Every morning when I make almond milk, the effort of it makes me feel like I'm going out to milk a cow (my husband has graciously taken over that task as long as I soak the almonds). It's not something I willfully chose. It is something that chose me and we have learned, grown and benefited so much from it that we can't turn back now.
Everytime I felt stuck, like I didn't know the next step I would just put it out to the universe, "What now?". Within days someone would recommend a book to me that was perfect or recommend recipes or websites, or a nuerofeedback specialist, etc. I could go on for hours about all of the times this has happened but just to get you started like I promised I want to give a few basic remedies that have worked for us. Back to the good ole days!
A few weeks into GAPS, there is a detox period and my son had this terrible rash on his neck. A friend (who knows an incredible amount of chinese medicine practices) alerted me to the possibility of detox (duh!) and told me to give activated digestive charcoal to absorb the toxins and epsom salt baths (known as Sal de Inglaterra if you are in Costa Rica). Charcoal can also be used for diarrhea or stomach upset and gas. It will sometimes relieve my headaches because they are usually assoicated with some sort of toxin buildup. I believe you can ask any pharmacist for it. Don't use charcoal all the time because it will absorb all the good stuff too.
Epsom Salt (Sal de Inglaterra)
The Epsom salt baths also help calm my children. If they are unusually cranky, I start thinking toxicity and use the salt bath and they are transformed afterwards. It gently pulls out toxins and also replaces the much needed magnesium in people who become easily nutrient deficient. They have salt baths several times a week and I will add essential oils for different effects.
For earaches, instead of antibiotics, crush
and put it in olive oil. Let it infuse for a bit. Then put a drop in the ear every several hours until the earache is gone. You can also rub
tea tree oil
(high quality only- I recommend DoTerra Oils) around the ear or put a drop on a cotton ball and put that in the ear. This worked for my little son. He was complaining of an earache after a day in the pool. I rubbed tea tree oil all around the outside of his ear and no complaints since.
Tea Tree Oil
is a great antifungal as well. You can use it on athletes foot or jock itch, use on cuts as an antibacterial ointment.
To Prevent Lice
you can just use olive oil in the hair. Add a drop of Tea Tree Oil and it also helps to prevent lice.
mixed with water first thing in the morning is a must. Follow this link to find out why and how it aids in liver detox and digestion amoung other things.
Try Dry Skin Brushing:
Or Oil Pulling:
More remedies and resources in my next blog.
My small collection of essential healing oils and a bottle of charcoal.
Feel free to ask me about something, I may have the answer. :-)