What do you do when modern medicine fails? I have been challenging this “voodoo” diet called GAPS as a self-experiment to cure my lack of GI peristalsis. Last night I read a scathing review of the GAPS diet from a medical doctor at a website called Science Based Medicine:
“A correspondent asked me to look into the GAPS diet. I did. I was sorry: it was a painful experience. What a mishmash of half-truths, pseudoscience, imagination, and untested claims!”
This doctor’s points are not invalid, but I have to try something for my lifelong, stalled GI tract. I cannot sit here waiting for a partial colectomy in my golden years while suffering painful, itchy hemorrhoids in my wonderful 30s. Nothing in the conventional medical repertoire helped my GI tract for long, and things were just getting worse before this “voodoo” diet. Have you ever sat through a bad Sunday sermon? You can choose to scrap the whole lesson, or you can dig through it and find the valuable thread. I usually try to find the valuable thread to carry with me the rest of the week. That’s what I’m doing with my GAPS self-experiment.
“Alas”, my (ex) colleagues would say. “You can do that! You’re trained in physiology, pathophysiology, physical diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and pharmacology. These diets are being touted to people without training and being used on KIDS. It just isn’t safe and it’s quackery.” And that may very well be. Let me say it again. I am not promoting GAPS, Paleo, Whole30, Primal, SCD, or any other diet. Don’t use anything I write, do, or refer to as medical advice.
I do advocate that food counts and the less processed the better. The more you pay attention to your body and its food interactions, the better.
Despite my egg yolk and ghee intolerance, I did not give up on my GAPS Introduction. If I’m going to say “GAPS didn’t work for me” then I’d better do it as right as I can. Here are my random thoughts this week on my repeat of GAPS Intro.
- I am still hovering in Stage 2, at times putting in eggs and ghee and at times taking them out.
- My nose and head, for me, are my best indicators of food reactions lately. Ghee and egg yolks both cause similar reactions, a mild headache and sleepiness. Looking back through the years, I can say my nose is a pretty good indicator of my food intolerances. It was always stuffy and required daily Flonase. Now, it is rarely stuffy, and when I eat foods that don’t agree with me, when I blow my nose in the morning, it is mildly bloody and has mucous. Take out the food(s), and this symptoms clears in a few days.
- My GI tract has been bloated. I recently corresponded with someone about FODMAPs and GAPS. I think it might be time for me to start looking at FODMAPs, and I’ve started printing off information to read.
- I re-read the GAPS FAQs on the GAPS website and also I reread the GAPS Guide. It really seems like I can move on in Introduction and leave out eggs and ghee, I just need to 1) Periodically retry them 2) Even as I add in more foods, I need to keep broths, soups, meats, and vegetables as the huge majority of my food intake.
- This week, ginger tea and chamomile tea with honey helped a lot with sticking to it.
- Sometimes along this year-long journey, my GI tract found its forward motility groove. But for at least a couple of months now, it has either been magnesium or something else (FODMAP?) induced diarrhea or absolutely nothing. That is called Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Constipation Predominant. To me, it is a step forward from Chronic Constipation. But not good enough.
- I have been eating some offal. Offal meats are the organ meats. They are often dense in different kinds of collagen/proteins, vitamins, and coenzymes that we need in trace amounts. This week it was turkey heart, turkey gizzard, turkey liver, chicken livers, and marrow. For the marrow, I pretty much plug my nose and swallow.
- I sound terribly gross and disgusting talking about this diet. I sound unprofessional and unscientific. I sound medically unreliable. I can’t believe I am blogging about this. I hope heaven is smiling.
- Stage 3 foods revolve a lot around eggs, so I may not spend much time in 3. I may just continue mostly in Stage 2 and dabble in avocado, roasted meats, and olive oil here and there.
- I ordered some beef tallow. I’ve been working on incorporating tallow into my soups. I didn’t do that before. Once I could, I relied immensely on olive oil. So, I’m trying it this way this time.