If you’re the mama of a sensitive child then you can understand the title of this post. So your breastfeeding and you notice that your baby is starting to have mucousy stools, maybe your baby has blood in their stool, or they’re super super fussy, or maybe your pediatrician suggested cutting out dairy and/or soy. So you decide you want to try out an Ellimination Diet. You get on Google and you type in Elimination Diet for breastfeeding and one of the first things that comes up is Dr. Sears Elimination Diet. Now you’ve been on the diet for over a month and your baby is still not improving. You know that Dairy takes about a month to get out of your system and baby’s system and you know that soy takes about a week. What now? You thought you were doing everything right and now here you are stuck in the same boat that you’ve been in! This is a very frustrating place to be I’ve actually been here twice. The only difference is I didn’t do a Dr. Sears Elimination Diet my second time around; I decided to do a modified version of gaps.
So let’s talk about why dr. Sears Elimination Diet does not work. If your baby is having reactions to the foods that you eat then it’s very clear that you have leaky gut syndrome. Now you’ll hear mainstream Medical Professionals say that leaky gut does not exist, but I assure you it does. If you go to PubMed and search leaky gut syndrome or go to any database system where you can look at scientific articles you will find thousands upon thousands of studied articles on leaky gut syndrome. You really can’t argue with the science, but it’s very hard to get conventional Medical professionals on board with this because it would eliminate the need for prescription drugs. I won’t even go into the whole controversy of how big Pharma controls our entire medical system. If you have leaky gut and you’re leaking proteins out to your baby then your baby is going to eventually develop allergies and intolerances to various Foods. Babies by nature have a leaky gut and then when their system is bombarded with proteins and a disrupted gut microbial Flora, then they will continue to have leaky gut and reactions to various food proteins. If you look at the protocol for allergic proctocolitis in the breastfed infant you will see that the best solution to this problem is to remove the offending proteins in the mother’s diet. However, this is not a solution because it does not solve the mother’s leaky gut and begin to heal the baby’s leaky gut. What needs to happen is a diet that will heal the mothers leaky gut and reestablish the gut microflora in a healthy balance and then, in turn, the baby’s gut will heal. Okay so now on to the specifics of why the dr. Sears diet doesn’t work. First of all you eat rice. It is true that rice is probably the safest or most gentle grain out of all the grains you can eat, but the problem is when you have leaky gut and your gut is already irritated eating any kind of grain, even pseudo grains, can be detrimental to the repair of your small intestine. Next, the dr. Sears diet recommends eating gentle fruit such as pear. The problem with eating fruits and veggies like pears, apples, oranges, squashes, ect… is that these foods are often waxed with a vegetable wax that’s either soy or corn. This wax cannot be cooked or washed off and you will most likely get some type of contamination even if you try to be very careful and are peeling. It is because of the above reasons that I choose a gaps style diet.
Now I have heard people speak about Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. This is a really great protocol to do. The only problem with Autoimmune Paleo protocol is that if you have sibo or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth then this diet, when not done a certain way, will more than likely contribute to your issues and you will continue to have leaky gut. Overall gaps and Autoimmune Paleo do parallel in many aspects. What I like best about gaps is that it outlines exactly how one should be eating to heal thier gut. Really I believe either protocol is great when applied properly.
So let me tell you a little bit about my experience. Whenever I did gaps with my first fpies baby he was about 7 months old and I had been struggling on a dr. Sears diet since he was about 3 months old. I had been unsuccessful on the dr. Sears diet and continue to have problems with my baby. When I did gaps the first time I followed the protocol exactly with the exception of doing fermented fish. In the beginning I felt like the diet really wasn’t going very well because I couldn’t do the egg yolks in soups and I couldn’t even do whey that had been separated from the milk proteins or ghee. Unfortunately, I think that both my baby and my leaky gut were just so bad at that point that we were having multiple reactions to different foods. After I went through all of the phases I moved on to full gaps even though I still couldn’t have dairy or eggs. I did this healing diet for about 6 months and then when my son was about 13 months old he was able to eat everything. The second time I did gaps I was a little bit wiser. I modified the diet and started in the first couple of weeks just doing meaty soups. During that time I discovered that I had an intestinal parasite causing my leaky gut. Once I was able to heal from that intestinal parasite I was able to keep moving through my version of gaps protocol. Currently, I am drinking cultured whey and eating a full gaps diet along with rice and oats. My baby is reaction free and he is able to eat so many more foods than my first son was able to eat. This is pretty amazing because my second fpies baby seems to have been even more sensitive than my first. I believe that my gut infection is what was causing all of these problems in my babies.
If you are struggling and you think you want to try the gaps diet I do have a few recommendations for the nursing mom. I would start gaps by eating lots of soups made with lots of veggies and grass-fed meats for the first few weeks. Then I would move on to making bone broth from grass-fed bones and taking that bone broth with every meal. After about one to two months on this protocol I would bring on fermented foods as well as probiotics. Do all of this very slowly to deter from creating bacterial overgrowth or furthering leaky gut. Be sure to avoid anything that comes in a box, bottle, or package. The only things that I would use are things that you verify and know 100% are free of various allergens. Once you’ve done this for about 3 to 4 months then I would go ahead and try taking it fermented whey from milk kefir. Whey is loaded with vitamins and probiotic bacteria and it should only contain very very minimal amounts of milk protein. If the baby tolerates this very well in your diet after about a month of doing this you can try dipping your finger in the whey and putting it in the baby’s mouth and start the baby on it slowly. Then comes the scary part of trailing dairy amd some of the other big players. Please do this under the supervision of a practitioner. Every child is different and has different reactions. Therefore, every child’s case should be evaluated individually. Consider cutting out all foods that are waxed or possibly waxed. Look at everything from the products you put on your body two the salt and pepper that you use to season your food. If you use olive oil please make sure to only use California Olive Ranch or Kirkland organic. Pretty much all of the olive oils in the United States are cut with soy oil or other inferior oils. You have to look at every single thing in your environment as a possible contamination. There are many other things that I do and I will try to blog about each thing to help you in your journey. It’s a very difficult protocol and a very difficult lifestyle, but if you stick it out you’ll be amazed at the results!
If you are needing some one-on-one help, or have some questions that you’re just not sure of the answer to, and would like a consultation I am offering one-on-one consultations for a nominal fee. In the past I would do these consultations for free, but as a mom of 3 boys I am very busy these days and I find it difficult to spread myself so thin. I am not a Dr, but I have 2.5 years of experience in TEDs and I was able to heal my first FPIES son and my second is doing extremely well. Please check out my profile to read my background and if you would prefer to not have a consultation, but you are still looking for answers to one or two questions feel free to contact me because I love to share with others my knowledge!