One of the most urgent reasons people come to me to learn about the GAPS Nutritional Protocol is because they have multiple food allergies and sensitivities. Today I’d like to share Allison’s story of turning around anaphylactic food allergies on the GAPS Diet.
Allison was using an EpiPen two to three times a month for her anaphylactic food allergy reactions. She’d had digestive problems and asthma most of her life, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she realized they were linked with her food sensitivities.
Once she realized her trigger foods, she eliminated them, and felt better for a couple weeks. Then she started reacting to new foods that she didn’t have problems with before, so she eliminated those too, and ended up caught in a vicious cycle. What she reacted to was always rotating, and she lived in constant fear of how every food might affect her. She also generally felt terrible all the time, which wasn’t working for her while raising four kids, and homeschooling.
Allison was one of those rare people who heard about the GAPS Diet, recognized that it might just save her life, and began the Intro Diet right away. Her goal was “to eat without fear of how it would hit me later.” She said that being able to eat the variety on the Full GAPS Diet would be an awesome upgrade. Allison’s kids also suffered with asthma, seasonal allergies, and eczema, and she planned to start them on GAPS once she felt stable on it.
A week after beginning the GAPS Intro Diet, Allison told me that she felt better than she had in years, both digestively and energetically. She was able to stop using her inhaler at night, and eating sauerkraut with every meal was erasing the mild stomachache she always seemed to have when she ate. She reacted to the introduction of egg yolks, so I advised her to leave eggs out, and to continue on with the Stages.
By week three she was able to eat a whole avocado a day, and have cashew butter with no problems. I helped her focus on getting in plenty of meat stock, lots of animal fats, and beet kvass and sauerkraut to add friendly bacteria to her digestive system.
Allison spent the better part of the next month with a head cold, and then a prolonged stomach flu, so she went back to Stage 2, for the gentle soothing foods. I assured her that this type of setback is common at the 2 or 3-month mark on GAPS. As your body gains energy from nourishment, it can actually fight nasty bugs that have been lurking inside you all along. Something you’ve dealt with off and on for years comes back with a vengeance. The good news is that if support your body to overcome it naturally, it’s usually the last time you’ll have that flare.
Once Allison conquered that old problem, she was able to eat the Stage 5 foods again without issue, and continued adding the next new foods. In less than three months, Allison worked her way to the Full GAPS Diet, and eats a wide variety of foods with no scary reactions (and no use of the EpiPen) the entire time. Talk about life-changing!
Here’s what I think Allison got right in turning around anaphylactic food allergies on the GAPS Diet:
- She began her own GAPS Protocol before she started her family on GAPS so she could regain her energy and better handle their ups and downs.
- She was all-in. She restructured her life to keep her commitment to follow GAPS for at least a couple of months, to give it a fair shot. No complaints.
- She developed a system for her cooking. It wasn’t fancy, or fun, or cute food for her kids. There was soup every day, meat and veggies for another meal, and ferments for everyone. GAPS cooking has become routine for her now.
These things added up to fast improvements for Allison, but she still considers herself to have a long way to go to turn around her asthma, and life-long dairy and wheat allergies. At the eight-month mark she was able to reintroduce egg yolk without issues. She no longer lives in fear of cross-contamination or worries over every food she puts in her mouth, and she plans to continue following GAPS for about two years in order to receive the full benefits of nutrient and flora restoration.