Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fighting the Bad Guys

I've decided to pick up my blogging pen once again, only this time I am going to be joined by my eight-year-old. I told her I was going to add a cooking blog to our family blog. I asked her if she would like to be my sous chef, my food critic, and my fellow blogger. She replied, "Ummm...I don't really know what you're talking about, but sure!" I think she'll catch on.

I want her to be involved because we have started a rather challenging diet in an attempt to heal her little belly. The doctors call it Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) - every four weeks or so she spends 4-5 days hanging over a bucket. In my search for answers, I had a lengthy discussion with a friend whose daughter experienced the same symptoms and whose doctor offered the same diagnosis. Like me, she wasn't satisfied when the doctor said, "There's not much you can do but get through each episode." So she sought answers and finally found them through another doctor who told her that her daughter had an overgrowth of yeast (sometimes called Candida) and needed to be on a gluten and sugar-free diet. My friend's daughter has been CVS-free for 8 years now.

I explained it to Audrey this way:

Your tummy has good guys and bad guys in it. The good guys help you fight disease and stay healthy. They are also supposed to stay numerous enough to keep the bad guys from taking over.

The bad guys like to eat sugar. So when you eat lots of sugar, the bad guys start to grow and multiply and TAKE OVER! (And you know that we - you and me - have a sweet tooth, right? So even though I homemake most treats, they're still sugary.)
(The dots are sugar. Duh. We're getting really scientific here.)

Once the bad guys take over, you start to feel bad. Different people feel bad in different ways. For you, your body gets mad about all the bad guys, and you throw up a lot.

So what we have to do is stop feeding the bad guys. In addition, we need to take what are called probiotics because those will help the good guys grow and multiply and then THEY can take over!

And so that is how we came to the conclusion that Audrey needs to be on a gluten and sugar-free diet. And really, I've adopted more of a primal/paleo approach because I think all of the starches and weird flours of the gluten-free diet are as bad or worse than a standard diet.

I hope and pray this is the answer. "Mainstream" doctors will not admit this is a problem. They will tell you not to believe all of the hocus pocus a naturopath will tell you. Well, a week of vomiting every few weeks is no way to live, and all the mainstream doctor is telling me is that we have to "get through each episode", so I have no choice but to listen to a naturopath (or, rather, a friend who did listen to an alternative medicine doctor). I did contact a lady on a CVS forum who sent me a list of specialists in the country. Though there are only a handful, there is one in Boston and one in New York, so it would be feasible to make an appointment with them. However, I was a bit discouraged because the lady told me that, with medication, her grandson went from having episodes every 4-6 weeks to only having them every 4-6 months. She called that a miracle. That's no miracle to me; that's still a week of vomiting two or three times a year.

I am joining my sweet little girl on this journey. It wouldn't be fair for her to go it alone, plus I suspect most of my health problems stem from too many bad guys in my gut. The rest of the family, by default, is adapting as well, though I also don't think it would be fair to enforce it 100% with them. For her part, my baby girl is an absolute champ. She has accepted her new way of eating without a single complaint. I hope blogging her journey will make it more enjoyable for her so she doesn't get discouraged.


tsinclair said...

I have heard such great things about this kind of diet. Unfortunately I think it takes an illness to help most of us develop the resolve needed to make these changes.
It sounds so simple...yet, we are so weak (at least I am). I have not thrown in the towel and know that continued learning from my healthier friends WILL rub off. :-)
Praying that this is the answer for her, and looking forward to hearing your results.

Sheryl Alvernaz said...

I am so interested in watching and learning about your diet. What foods you eat what you don't. I've had such severe stomach problems for years, accompanied by all sorts of tests and NOTHING seems to be off BUT there's a reason i'm having the pain and, if it's nothing else then it has to be food related.

Julie said...

I'll be praying that your new food venture goes well and that it puts an end to all her sickness.
Oregano oil can help with yeast overgrowth (and other "bad guys") as well. It comes in capsules now to help disguise the taste. It's usually taken along with probiotics.