You always hear things like,
'Gut health is the key to overall health'.
'Every time you eat or drink you are either feeding disease or fighting it'
' All disease begin in the gut'- Hippocrates
Do we ever stop and think about the above? Or do we only start thinking about the above when we have to? Allergies? Chronic illnesses? Mental illnesses? Whatever the case sooner or later you will start to realise everything lies in the GUT.
So I am going to give you James' story again. Just because I have many new followers who don't know the extent of James' issues.
When James was born there were issues. Many issues around feeding.
Not tolerating my breast milk, not tolerating formula... fast forward three weeks, a 3 week old James was diagnosed with cows milk protein allergy. James was placed on an elemental formula, Neocate Gold.
James suffered severe reflux. To the point that we could never, ever lay him down. He slept upright at night on his Dads chest, he woke hourly screaming in pain. James never slept during the day. James was always severely constipated. The story goes on.
Fast forward to James starting solids at 6 months old. I was advised to start with rice cereal, as many new parents are. James vomited uncontrollably, he would go pale and limp, sleep for hours and then have the worst stool movements full of blood, mucous and acid.
After many issues with first foods James was diagnosed at 7 months old with FPIES (food protein induced entercolitis syndrome) by his immunologist.
James' severe food issues continued until he was put on forced gut rest at age 1. That meant nothing other than water and formula.
Fast forward till the age of 2.5 years when James started displaying many traits of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This Mumma started researching MORE. I say MORE because I was already a screwed up, sleepless walking zombie from endless wee hours researching.
I started reading so many articles about the gut/brain relationship.
When James was diagnosed his psychologist said to me, look in to healing James' gut... !!!
So we started. It started with getting an ASD dietitian on board, one year ago when James had just turned 3. She ordered bloods and stool sampling.
She saw many things on those bloods that were out. Not enough iron. Not enough vitamin D. Not enough Zinc. Copper too high. Inflammation markers way up... etc etc etc.
Stool sampling = High clostridia and PARASITES!!!!
So this dietitian was all for supplementation and healing James' gut. Getting rid of the clostridia and getting rid of the parasites.
I sent the results to James' team. The team included, immunologist, gastroenterologist, paediatrician.... they all said NO. They said NO to supplements, no to treating bacteria and NO to treating parasites. Ps this people are very good at what they do and are the top of their field, yet they don't believe so much in the gut/brain relationship.
Now at this time my son was in his OWN world. He didn't speak. He had constant meltdowns. He didn't sleep etc.
We went against the 3 specialists and started supplements. This was vitamin D, zinc, iron and probiotics.
Then with the help of our awesome GP we treated PARASITES..... not long after this James started talking, he had a way to go but he was making sound!!!
After the positive result of parasite removal I had james' immunologist onboard to treat clostridia. This was a 3 antibiotic, 3 week, 3 times a day mission. We did it. We made it through and I would do it again if I had to.
Fast forward to the last 2 months. James is still not eating food. We have seen every feeding team and therapist under the sun..... the consensus now is that it's all in his gut..... MMMMM. MMmm hmmmm could we have prevented some things if we knew back then what we know now???
TODAY... 2 months ago in fact. Diagnosis. SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Without testing that's where James immunologist and gastro now sit in their belief. Why ? Because the small intestine is what absorbs most of our vitamins and minerals and even though James has been on iron for a year his level has gone backwards, to the point of anaemic!!!
Just this morning I was staring at another stool sampling kit. For parasites. The Sharna a year ago would have been freaking out about the result of the test. Today's Sharna is EXCITED! I am excited to do all these things now... why? Because of the difference I have seen in my child!
This brings me to mainstream doctors vs integrative doctors. Where is the future? I believe you need both in your team. I believe you as the parent have the right to choose how you treat your child. Seek all the right specialists that are required for your child and listen, learn and implement what YOU WANT. Ask questions. Research externally.
So many people say to me... my gosh he has changed, what are you doing?
I used to give this big speech about gut health. Then I stopped. I stopped because people would roll their eyes, speak negatively about us etc. I am not putting all James ASD eggs in the gut health basket, it's a HOLISTIC approach. We do a lot of therapy too it's not just supplementation.
The last month has wanted me to open up again with my knowledge and our gut healing journey, mainly because of an awesome group of women that I am now involved with who ALL have the same view on gut health. Thank you ladies, for giving me the confidence to tell our journey.... one parasite at a time!