September 4, 2009

* "What are we doing?" and "Why are we doing it?"


Many people know from their interactions with us that we have so many allergies and sensitivities. We have never sought any diagnosis, so I can’t officially say what we are dealing with in terms of labels.

I can say that my children have suffered from eczema, asthma, regular forgetfulness, extreme rage, meltdowns, extreme sensitivity to sound, extreme sensitivity to touch, trouble concentrating, trouble reading, flipping letters and switching letters, severe depression, lack of eye contact, difficulty with social skills, extreme literal interpretations of instructions, non-responsive when spoken to (seems not to hear),extra sensitivity to pain (hurts to write, to cut fingernails, to brush hair), feelings of anxiety or despair with no real explanation as to why, becoming angry after arguing with a voice in his/her head, seeing things clearly that do not exist, repeating an activity for no apparent reason because of having to get a ‘right feeling’ when pushing a button or opening a door, regular difficulty falling asleep at night, regular waking in fear in the middle of the night, regular waking in pain in the middle of the night, chronic leg cramps, tummy aches every day, chronic constipation in some, chronic diarrhea in others, undigested food, serious food aversions because of texture or smell, inability to swallow certain foods, tired all of the time, nauseous all of the time, constant clearing of throat, constant runny/stuffy nose, headaches, eye pain, many unexplained rashes, fevers that come and go for no apparent reason, snoring, being klutzy and uncoordinated, accident prone, mucousy spit up and excessive congestion as infants, anxiety in new places and new situations, rigidity about schedules and ways of doing things…all of these symptoms are regularly exhibited in our kids, but none of our kids have all of these symptoms.  As a result, we have always had at least one child wake us up in the night at least once every night.  Sometimes, we have had two or three kids waking us up in the night.

Most of the above list has been resolved or reduced by reducing our exposure to toxins around us and by diet changes. We have been a Feingold Family for 3-4 years now.

We started to research the GAPS protocol for healing the gut this summer. Our intention was to start in September and follow this protocol for two years (give or take) to heal our gut issues so that we will be able to enjoy the whole bounty of the foods our God created for our nourishment. That was and is our specific prayer.

However, something happened this summer that caused us to start the GAPS protocol immediately. We have been on the diet for almost two weeks now. Here is what happened:

Long story made short is that our 2 year old boy and 5 year old girl reacted to vaccines they were given on May 15, 2009.

Our little girl began to throw screaming fits when she didn’t get her way, screaming very hateful things and she will not listen to reason, in fact she will not listen. Every time we open our mouths to say anything to her she starts screaming again. She NEVER acted like this before. Not once has she gotten her way from this kind of tantrum. It starts suddenly and ends abruptly, like a switch. We just smile and let her see that we are not angry with her and quietly speak to her letting her know that she must listen and obey (when we can get a word in edgewise) and she eventually runs out of steam, cries, apologizes, gives us a hug and runs off to obey. Then, she is fine.

Our precious little 2 year old boy, the happy and healthy one, started waking up in the night screaming in pain. He was inconsolable. At first, he woke up nearly every night and later it was at least every other night. Prior to the vaccination, he NEVER woke up in the night. He was a great sleeper. He started grabbing at his eyes during the day and crying in pain. He became grumpy and needed a nap in the middle of the day again and was grumpy in the evening. He started to throw fits at bedtime. He used to crawl right into bed and say, “Night, night.” His clear words disappeared and we suddenly had a hard time understanding him. He stopped repeating what we said to him. He stopped paying attention to us. He stopped bringing us books to read. He stopped greeting Grandma and Grandpa at the door. He stopped smiling. He stopped playing toys. He started throwing his toys and scattering them around the house. Instead of putting a puzzle together or stacking cups or building blocks or fitting shapes into a shape sorter, he would just scatter the pieces or carry them around or stuff them into things. He began to repeat words and phrases over and over and over and he became very rigid about his routine and what he would or would not wear. He used to be an easy going, go with the flow, happy kid. He started to cry, “Hurt!” when I cut his nails. He used to like it when I cut his nails. He started to fuss in the bath. Bath used to be a favorite past time. He started to fall down a lot and spill things and run into things and knock things off of the table. He was using a spoon and a regular cup like a pro before the age of 18 months. His eyes were not straight anymore, which might have something to do with the loss of eye contact. He didn’t like mealtimes anymore. He wanted cookies all the time. Nothing else. He became fearful of things that never bothered him before. He became clingy and needy. We have always characterized him as easy going and independent. There’s more, I’m sure. Some of this was immediate and some of it happened slowly over the course of two months, then he ran a fever of 102.4 F for 30 hours and things got dramatically worse from there. Eye contact was gone! He stopped responding to his name. He stopped listening and following directions. He started throwing tantrums over every little thing. He would jerk suddenly and lose his balance, sometimes falling over and sometimes catching himself. I think they may be small strokes or seizures. My happy and healthy little boy was gone. He was very, very sick.

I had been learning about the GAPS protocol for treating Autism, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, and Schizophrenia, so we started him on the diet two weeks ago. One week in, we are no longer seeing the sudden jerks that caused him to lose his balance. Two weeks in, his language is blossoming. His eye contact is improving. He has dropped the nap. He is no longer grumpy and he is not tantruming at every little thing. He let me cut his nails. He plays toys again. He is greeting his grandparents at the door. He is smiling again. He is listening and obeying again. He is eating good food happily and willingly. He is 90% recovered (not healed). If you were thinking autism, so were we. We can hardly believe he is doing so well after only two weeks. We are so blessed and so thankful to God for providing us with this knowledge at just the right time. We have an appointment with a pediatric neurologist next Wednesday, but we don’t know if there will be anything for him to see.

I read the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) – Natural treatment for Dyspraxia, Autism, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."  Galileo Galilei, Italian Astronomer & Physicist (1564-1642)

I edited this post in December of 2014 to remove out of date info and to give a link to guide readers through our story.  We are no longer following the GAPS Diet and have been free from fear for three years now!  Praise God, our Healer!  If you only have time to read one post, be sure to read Healed Because of the GAPS Diet and all of the comments!

Go to to find links to walk you through our whole story (without having to read every post of a multi year blog).  We are free!  You, too, can be free from the fear of food and toxins!

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