GAPS Diet

GAPS-DietIf you want to change someone’s gut, and hence their neurological system, try the GAPS Diet!

If you don’t correct the gut function, you won’t correct the neurological function.

Basically, like the Simple Carbohydrate Diet, this diet gets rid of all the junk.

The beauty of working on the gut, which is most definitely involved in so many of our kids with ADHD or autism spectrum, is that the gut will heal very quickly, especially if we replace nutrients and give probiotics.  Many will improve with just avoiding toxins and eating organic.  Many others will need to determine food sensitivities and likely have to avoid gluten and dairy.  For those children, the GFCF diet is adequate for a huge improvement in not just diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal symptoms, but also brain function and autism or focus symptoms.  There is a definite gut-brain connection. If you have tried eating healthy, or the GFCF diet, and you still feel the progress is slow or minimal, then please do consider the GAPS diet.

www.Gaps.me  (authors website)

www.GapsDiet.com

 

Dr. Paul

Celiac Disease and Gluten Issues

celiacdiseaseHave you noticed the new buzzword on the packaging of food products? Yep, that’s the one….Gluten-Free. But what does gluten-free mean? Why is this such an important topic as of lately? Well, gluten comes from barley, rye, and wheat, and is a form of protein. In breads, it is what gives dough its elasticity and chewy texture when baked into bread products. It is even added to certain foods to increase the protein levels. So, then why gluten-free? As it turns out, some people can be genetically predisposed to have an autoimmune disorder in which the small intestine is not able to properly absorb certain nutrients from foods. This is known as Celiac Disease in the USA. Keep in mind that this is completely separate from a wheat allergy. Some of the symptoms of Celiac Disease can include abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and fatigue.

The PediatricConsultant has done a wonderful article on this topic, outlining some of the history of this disease, the epidemiology of this disease, the presenting symptoms of such, and the diagnosis/management of this disease. I encourage you to read the article linked below. For some of you, it will be a review of things that you are already experiencing, but for others, this may be an eye-opener and could possible give you insight to help your family live a more comfortable life. 

Celiac Disease in the Pediatric Population

The issue of food sensitivity to gluten and use of the Gluten-Free Casein-Free (GFCF) diet will be addressed in an upcoming blog.

 

Probiotics- Pregnancy, Newborns, and Infants

probioticsProbiotics are the good bacteria that colonize our intestinal tracts and are known to be important for a normal immune system, digestion, and the production of some vitamins. We know that babies are born basically sterile and within hours are rapidly colonized with the bacteria from mom’s vaginal canal if a vaginal birth, from moms milk if breast feeding, and from the environment. The hygiene hypothesis is considered the best explanation for why babies these days who are born in more sterile and “clean” environments, lacking in the typical “normal” exposure to bacteria, are more likely to have certain conditions like allergies, eczema, asthma and allergic conditions.  It seems a good balance of probiotics (the normal healthy bacteria) in our intestinal tract can be very protective. 

 

A recent study out of England has verified that indeed not only is it safe to give pregnant moms these particular probiotics while pregnant, but it is desirable.  The study started moms on probiotics (strains selected for their normal prevalence in the newborn period and young infants) during the last half of pregnancy, and they were continued for the infant from birth through 6 months of age. 

 

Results not only showed them to be completely safe, but also showed:

  • The babies given Lab4b were 57% less likely to develop allergic eczema than those receiving the dummy product.
  • The babies given Lab4b were 44% less likely to develop allergic reaction to the common allergens including pollen, cow’s milk, egg, and house dust mite.

 

http://www.lab4probiotics.co.uk/the-swansea-safety-in-newborns-study/

 

Studies have shown safety with premature infants and a reduction in deaths and NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis).

 

Here at Integrative Pediatrics, we support the use of probiotics for all infants, doubling up the dose during and after antibiotics are administered.  While in our office, please ask us about which probiotics are best for your infant, for use while you are pregnant, for your older child, and for the antibiotics-associated diarrhea situation.

 

The following link is provided to a short video by Dr Nigel Plummer, chief researcher in the Swansea study that is quoted in this blog.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFN1MnmzaAs

Dr. Paul

 

Normal Spit Up or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)?

babypukerMost babies spit up.  If you are “blessed” to have your doctor order an upper GI radiological study, results on most babies show some reflux.  I don’t recommend these studies except for rare instances where the concerns involve serious failure to thrive (not gaining weight), or a chronic cough that might involve a TE fistula (tracheo-esophageal fistula).  Consider this normal.  Babies spit up.  So, it’s a matter of how much, how often, and is this spit up causing any harm to the baby?

As physicians, we are required to put a diagnosis for each doctors visit, so for the visit that concerns normal spitting up, don’t be surprised if we put GERD as the diagnosis. 

The article here makes a good point.  If that label (GERD) is used, parents are more likely to want medication. Medication is rarely needed and I reserve its use for the baby who is not able to gain weight due to excessive spit up and for the baby who is so irritable and it is quite apparent that the stomach acid going up the esophagus is a major cause of that irritability. 
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/27/peds.2012-3070

 

Dr. Paul

 

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