I’ve shared about our struggles with Farm Boy 1 quite a bit on this blog. I know that GAPS works for him. But GAPS (and the idea of Leaky Gut in children) is not accepted among most medical doctors. If blood work doesn’t show Celiac, a child is deemed “Failure to Thrive,” and that’s it. There’s no hope. Maybe a feeding tube with soy and corn and sugar based formula, but if that doesn’t work for your kid, there are no answers.
That’s where we are. The feeding tube helped our son grow a bit. But not like it should have, considering the fact that he was on the highest calorie formula available (it was expensive stuff!), with Duocal added in, and he was taking in the highest calorie foods, orally (Lorna Doone cookies, Chicken Nuggets, tons of cheese).
He still had severe constipation and constant vomiting. His weight went up a little, down a lot, up a little, down a lot. That’s how his life went.
Over the 2+ years we did Full GAPS, Farm Boy 1 steadily grew. Still slowly, but he didn’t go backwards. He didn’t vomit. His constipation was better. YAY!
In April, as I mentioned, we went off of GAPS and ate gluten free. Farm Boy 1 even had a couple of gluten-filled things.
He’s been seeing an endocrinologist regularly, who was concerned about his potential future height. This endocrinologist saw him in January, and then March. He saw the growth. Then he saw him again yesterday, and he saw, since that appointment in March (without GAPS), Farm Boy 1 went backwards on his growth chart (weight). He lost weight. Over 4 1/2 months he did not gain 1 pound, he lost weight instead.
The good news is that his weight does not appear to be impacting his height. YAY! He is short, but he is growing much faster than kids his age. He has slow bone age growth (which means, his bone age is 8, his chronological age is 10), and kids with slower bone growth are usually behind their peers as far as height growth. Not Farm Boy 1! At this rate, depending when he starts puberty, he will be between 5’6″ and 5’8″ or maybe a little taller (if he starts puberty with his bone age). That height, genetically speaking, makes sense for our son (The Farmer is 5’8″, I am 5’2″). YAY!!!
But back to the weight gain, and his nourishment. The doctor saw the chart–that he grew, and then he didn’t grow. He said that he thinks Farm Boy 1 has Celiac Disease. (This is what the medical community calls gut dysbiosis because it’s the only disease they have an easy blood test for. Unfortunately, if your blood test shows up normal for Celiac, you’re out of luck, as far as any medical help. 🙁 ).
The endocrinologist told us that he’s not going to refer us to a GI doctor, though. He said:
1. Our hospital system is hiring new GI docs and has a backlog, so that wouldn’t help us.
2. All they’re going to do is tell us to put him on a gluten diet so that they can get an accurate test for Celiac. While he’s on the gluten diet, he won’t gain any weight (the doctor acknowledged) and then, they’d simply tell us to feed him gluten free (which we already know).
3. He said to just keep on doing what we’re doing for Farm Boy 1, and that a GI doctor isn’t going to tell us (nutritionally speaking) anything we don’t already know. He said, whatever we’re doing is working, so just keep doing it, and he’ll see Farm Boy 1 back in a YEAR!
GAPS works for my kid! Now, he’s on the Intro, Stage 1 (our whole family is) and I’m figuring out how long he needs to be at this stage. I’m meeting moms who have had their kids on Stage 1 for a year+ because of severe digestive problems. Farm Boy 1, after eating non-GAPS for 4 1/2 months, is severely constipated again (we used to use Mirilax, mineral oil, suppositories, etc.!). The book is clear about moving on in the stages when diarrhea is gone. I am wondering if a kid with severe constipation and compacted stools and slow weight gain needs to stay on Stage 1 for a while, too. Anyone have experience with this?
Anyways, I just wanted to share our success with GAPS! I am excited to see how the Intro heals my sweet boy! 🙂