Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Connection Between Grains and Child Behavior

Over the last month while my daughter and I have been transitioning off the GAPS diet, my husband and I have noticed that eating grains really changes our daughter's behavior.  Eating grains makes her:
  • Less even-tempered - She is more likely to meltdown.
  • More disobedient - She is more likely to blatantly disobey, and to argue about doing what she is told (even simple things like changing into her pajamas).
  • More grouchy and rude - She is much more likely to be downright rude and to be in a bad mood.
  • Have less focus and concentration - She has a very hard time focusing on the task at hand.  She gets easily distracted and forgets what she is supposed to do.
  • More of a picky eater - She is much more likely to fight about what we're having for dinner (she almost never did this while on GAPS), and to complain that she doesn't like the food.
Needless to say, these behaviors really have us concerned.  And we haven't even been doing gluten-grains! So far, she has been eating corn, rice, and potatoes. With the exception of popcorn once a week, the corn and rice have been properly prepared by soaking.  My daughter did eat some wheat flour in the form of a sopapilla at a restaurant last weekend, and she was downright hyperactive afterwards.

So, we're backing off on the grains for my daughter.  It is actually very easy to do this without her even knowing or making a big deal about it, since she is used to eating GAPS anyway.  We're not going to totally eliminate grains, but we will make sure she's only having them a few times per week to see how she does.  We'll also be a bit more methodical about it to see if she is reacting to a specific food or all of them in general. The last couple days, she hasn't eaten any grains, and she is back to her old sweet self.

This makes me really wonder how much of children's poor behavior is linked to eating grains.  Granted, properly-prepared grains can be a healthy part of the diet for healthy people with uncompromised guts, but it seems like the vast majority of kids in our country could have a compromised gut due to widespread antibiotic use. I am really shocked that after 17 months on GAPS, our daughter's behavior could change so dramatically from consuming non-gluten grains (and she did not have any learning deficiencies or psychological problems going into GAPS).

Have you noticed any correlations between grain consumption and bad behavior in your kids?

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Monday Mania!

64 comments :

Anonymous said...

I have to ask.....why were you going OFF the GAPS diet in the first place?

Your child's symptoms were quite interesting. It sounds very similar to the symptoms of too much sugar, too. But I guess they all break down into sugars, be it from grains or sugar cane.

Thanks for sharing.

Nicolina and Mike said...

I wonder. I have been told specifically that corn and rice are very acid forming in the body and are harder to digest, then say - quinoa, millet, amaranth or buckwheat. I would start with those grains and avoid the corn and rice, and see if she has a similar reaction. And the comment above has a point - fermenting these grains to eliminate the sugars, as well as making sure there is enough fermented vegetables in her diet might be helpful for her transition to eating more grain.

I wish you well in your journey of exploration.

Nicolina and Mike said...

Also, it is interesting for her to be disliking what is on her plate more than normal. I think about Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride talking about trusting your true intuition. Smell the food first, and then taste it, and if it tastes divine, then eat it because your body needs it. And this can change in a matter of hours, depending on what your body needs. Perhaps there is a way to allow your daughter to channel that more, and if you are eating it, ask her to smell it and if she wants to, taste it. If she does not like it, trust her instincts. This intuitive approach to food will really allow her to listen to her body, so that when the time comes where she is offered something outside of home, she can make a good decision about whether or not her body needs that. Interesting thought I would share. Food for thought. And always, always trust your intuition, because your know what is best for your daughter.

Anonymous said...

As someone else pointed put, you know your child best and follow your intuition. However, my child has been behaving similarly, at 4 years old and a few months, however, hers has been a stage.....she has bee. Having a new boundary testing stage. As well, 4 is when they are exploring the more dark emotions.

Jenn

Diane Jaquay said...

oh absolutely! My daughter has ADD, and she has experienced remarkable improvement in behavior since our family started on the Primal Blueprint diet (similar to GAPS, we are mostly grain free except for the rare exception of white rice). Within weeks of eliminating grains we noticed her moods had evened out, her focus had improved, and her teachers noticed a difference too. She does still sometimes eat the school lunches, but even with that, having a 99% grain free home has helped her tremendously. We are also 99% sugar free and processed food free too, so I don't know how much that contributes to the improvements compared to the grain elimination.

Sarah Smith said...

The GAPS Diet is supposed to be a temporary diet, lasting 18 months to 3 years in most cases. Once the gut is healed, you are supposed to transition back to more of a Nourishing Traditions type diet. We were going off it because I thought we were done healing (my husband is definitely not done yet, but I thought my daughter and I were done). But this shows that perhaps my daughter is not quite ready yet.

Sarah Smith said...

We tried quinoa and amaranth, but weren't really fans. I did actually soak the corn and rice, so they were fermented (with the exception of popcorn a few times). She also eats plenty of fermented veggies, like sauerkraut, so that shouldn't be an issue.

Sarah Smith said...

I've been thinking quite a bit about intuitive eating lately, and I've definitely been letting that guide my daughter's snacks more. I also give her options to choose from for breakfast and lunch most days. But I haven't gone so far as to let her do it much with regards to dinner. I don't know if I'm ready to take it that far, as I don't intend to prepare individual meals for each person in the family. But I definitely think listening to our bodies makes sense.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks Jenn. Yeah I definitely need to pay attention to what is developmentally appropriate at each age. But the grain thing really is like a night-and-day change that is very quick to change if she abstains from them.

Lisa said...

It's my understanding that all grains convert to sugar and affect blood sugar levels. Maybe eating them causes her blood sugar to rise and then quickly plunge. Negative behavior is often seen when blood sugar levels go too high or drop too low. Also, food sensitivities or allergies can cause the brain to "itch" which also shows up in a child's behavior. As a young child, my son acted badly after several foods including apples, wheat, corn, etc. Unfortunately, I knew nothing about GAPS. But, even properly prepared grains may still cause blood sugar issues. I'll be interested to see how this is resolved.

Jeanette said...

Hi Sarah,
I thought you might be interested in my experience with corn specifically. I found out in my 30's that I was allergic to corn. I have been dealing with depression for most of my life but once I cut corn from my diet my ability to cope was noticeably improved. My husband tells everyone that if I eat corn it causes my depression to be worse and that if I am already enduring a bout of it that corn makes me suicidal. While my reactions are not quite that extreme they aren't too far off the mark either. My emotions are Very unstable when I have any form of corn in my system. I get angry easier, cry easier, etc.
Your daughter may not have an allergy to corn but there is obviously something in its makeup that deeply affects our brains. I do know that had I known much earlier that I was allergic to corn my whole life would have turned out differently.
Avoiding corn and all its forms is almost impossible but the more you learn the more you can avoid it. A partial list of previously unknown ingredients to me - Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, nearly All fake sugars/sugar substitutes (i.e. Splenda, etc.)
I know this was a little long but I would advise to keep you & your family on GAPS since you are already used to doing it.

Taryn Kae Wilson said...

That is so interesting.
Before we started the GAPS diet, I ate wheat one day. Then Bracken nursed awhile after that. He threw a huge tantrum and I intuitively knew that he was reacting to the wheat in my system.

Anonymous said...

As others have pointed out, these reactions are typical for most kids after eating a lot of sugar. Recently a friend of mine told me that she noticed that every time her daughter has a cake (at bday parties) within 10 minutes she has a tantrum/fit. My daughter also seems to react (not as obvious) to sugars and grains, including those prepared GAPS legal (w/ coconut flour and honey). I noticed less of a reaction w/ grains than w/ concentrated sugars (honey, maple syrup and table sugar). She is definitely less affected by a slice of nice wheat bread w/ butter than by a muffin or cupcake that is GAPS legal, just because the latter has a lot more concentrated sugar. I also noticed that adding a substantial amount of fat to the grains (as in bread w/ lots of butter) make a huge (positive) difference.
I would also encourage you to try more w/ the grains, as she may be definitely going through a phase or fighting a virus or something else...or it may also be an adjustment period to grains, and once her body accommodates she will be fine.

Anonymous said...

As a GAPS Nutrition Consultant It sounds to me like her gut is not sufficiently healed to tolerate the new additions. Corn & soy are very similar proteins to gluten and so have the same bad side effects.
On page 155 of the new edition of the GAPS book Dr Natasha under the heading "Coming off the GAPS Diet" she lists what order foods should be trialled when attempting to come off the diet: new potatoes,buckwheat, millet, quinoa. Because of their starchy content they need to be served with lots of fats. Rice is not on this list as not appropriate for early stages of transitioning.
You need to go very slowly and introduce a very small portion of one food and then wait 3 days for any reactions before adding another small portion of the same food - so it can take a number of months to introduce just a few new foods.You should also do the skin sensitivity test described in the book before trialling a food.
Dr N would say that store bought popcorn should never be allowed as it is so processed. My hunch is that the fact that she reacted to potato ( the first transition food) means that her body has not finished healing and so none of the other foods should be attempted just yet. You don't want to undo all your good work over the last 17 months by rushing at the end.
There has been a lot of talk on various forums of late about the "goodness" of grains which is all very well if you can tolerate them but remember gluten takes 9 months to leave the body so it will definitely set you back if your gut is not healed. All the symptoms your daughter is experiencing are what I see in the children with ASD while they are eating grains and which disappear once they are eating GAPS style. So in my mind there is a definite correlation to what she is eating and can't just be dismissed as developmental.

Danielle said...

This is fascinating, and probably a little discouraging for you too, after all your hard work at GAPS! We notice behavior issues on Sunday afternoons when the kids have had wheat-y snacks in Sunday School that morning (Bummer! Good for soul, bad for the body, I guess), but we're lucky enough to do fine with most non-gluten grains. Good luck to you guys! Your kids are lucky to have a mom who equates their behavioral changes with their diets!

Kimmy said...

We are eating paleo and Jamie was off all grains for 3 months when I reintorduced white potatoes and white rice. He is fine with these! No behaviour change at all and according to the "perfect health diet" these starches are safe. I would probably leave out the corn and do a trial with potato and rice :) !
I reintroduced them for Jamie as he needs the starch without them he was very lethargic on "pure paleo".
Just wanted to mention - I think corn is one of the worst foods to eat in any way!

Kimmy said...

Oh and just to add - after 3 weeks of paleo his dad gave him an oatcake - and his behaviour was really scary - hyperactive and grumpy at the same time. He had eaten those for all his life before without any behaviour change!!

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for sharing your experience Jeanette. A few others have also mentioned corn as a possible culprit, and that is definitely worth investigating! We will definitely be experimenting to see what works best for our daughter. She seems to be able to handle at least some amount of grains without any detectable difference in behavior, so we'll just have to figure out how much that is.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts. My daughter doesn't seem to react at all to GAPS-legal baked goods. We'll see as we go and keep learning!

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for your input. We did start with potatoes, but my daughter has never really liked potatoes and still does not like them much. Then we tried quinoa and amaranth, but none of us like the flavor. So then we tried some white rice (which is supposedly easier to digest than brown rice, then moved to soaked brown rice and corn. I am sure that we have done it all a bit too quickly (it is hard to go slow, as it sure feels liberating). So we are definitely slowing down now. I did not realize the sensitivity test should be used at this stage: how do you apply things like potatoes and corn to the skin to test them?

We have not used store-bought popcorn. We made homemade popcorn, cooked in coconut oil and topped with lots of butter and sea salt.

I agree absolutely that the reactions we have seen are from the grains, and not developmental. At this point, she has been off grains again for about a week, and her behavior is right back to normal. We are going to go slower now and be a bit more specific about what we introduce and when. It does seem like she can easily tolerate a small amount of grains with no adverse behaviors (as in once a week), so that is where we are starting and we'll take it from there. Please let me know if you have any other advice.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks Kimmy. I keep hearing how white rice is superior to brown. I am planning to read the Perfect Health Diet soon, and am interested to see what is said about the "safe starches". And we're definitely planning to try experimenting with the individual grains to see if one in particular is causing the problem (such as the corn).

Sarah Smith said...

Part of the reason we have been rushing things is that I have been having such bad energy problems while on GAPS (lethargy and fatigue every day). Increasing the carbs has helped some, but I can only eat so many lentils and white beans.

Anyhow, I know you are right that we have rushed things too much. And a more methodical approach is in order.

Please let me know how one does a sensitivity test with grains. We did it with dairy way back, but I'm not clear on how you would do it with potatoes, grains, etc.

Christine said...

Sarah and Kimmy, is lethargy a common problem on GAPS or Paleo? I am thinking about doing it for my 18 month old twins, but I don't want to damage their health by not giving them enough energy, and since they can't tell me how they are feeling. I just need to read the book, but right now I feel stuck.

Christine said...

It seems like I have heard several times where kids show problem behavior when certain foods are re-introduced after being on GAPS or Paleo, but that they didn't necessarily have problem behaviors before. Could these diets be causing this reaction? I know it's actually supposed to help, but it seems like sometimes it makes it worse... Any thoughts?

Sarah Smith said...

As far as I know, it is only a problem for women, and specifically women who are nursing or pregnant. Neither my daughter or husband have had any energy problems on GAPS.

Sarah Smith said...

I don't think the diet is causing the problems. But I do think the diet helps us see more clearly which foods are problematic.

Here is a quote from Dr NCM's FAQs:
13. I am mostly doing GAPS because of multiple food intolerances in my kids and a history of the same for myself. It seems that it really is only getting worse. I need to understand the ‘science’ of why that is.

There is a so-called masking phenomenon in food allergies. When the person keeps eating offending foods, reactions to them overlap with each other and it is impossible to know what exactly the person is reacting to. When you start removing foods hidden allergies get unmasked, which is often a nasty surprise. In GAPS people their gut is damaged and porous, so they may react to most foods, if not all of them. As we cannot starve ourselves, we need to ignore those reactions and get on with healing the gut lining. If a particular food is causing an unacceptably severe reaction, then keep it out for a while. But if the reactions are not too drastic, just live with them, while working on your GAPS Introduction diet. In the meantime bio-resonance therapy, medical neutralisation, homeopathy, NES and other vibrational forms of medicine can help you to reduce the severity of reactions.

Sarah Smith said...

Also, I think if there are reactions when foods are introduced, it means that the gut isn't healed all the way yet. So, my daughter is reacting to something she is not ready for yet, which means we need to do GAPS a bit longer and also methodically check to see what is causing the reactions.

Elisabeth said...

I take trusting your intuition with a grain of salt. If we all instinctively ate what we needed, then we wouldn't eat any Oreos. In a completely healthy gut we can trust our intuition, but how many of us have completely healthy guts?

Malenksha said...

Christine, we've been on GAPS for 6 months and nobody in our family has lethargy BUT I'm not pregnant nor am I nursing. My husband and boys (11 and 7) are full of pep when they aren't having die-off symptoms. Same with me... so far! Definitely have been on the alert for it, however, as I've seen a number of people mentioning how tired they got.

Malenksha said...

Thanks for sharing how the coming off the diet is going! I had hoped to be there with you sooner rather than later but we're still seeing tons of die-off and healing happening after six months on GAPS. I'm already dreaming of being off the diet. LOL Hoping you can get it fine-tuned for your daughter in the coming weeks. We loved quinoa in soups, btw, before we started GAPS. Maybe try a different recipe? Sneak it in here and there until you get used to it?

Lori said...

Very interesting post. We are slowly transitioning into GAPS for my daughter but definitely not the whole way there yet. She's been mostly gluten-free for about a wk now, but not grain free. I've been doing a lot of reading/googling/research on healing the gut and I wonder if it's possible to over time heal the gut without such restrictive diets..instead relying on probiotics, kefir, digestive enzymes, lots of healthy fats, and herbs such as slippery elm which are known to aid in the healing of the intestinal lining. Or is diet going to be the only way to fully and completely heal leaky gut? While i'm sure GAPS would benefit our entire family, my 5 yr old is the one with the issues and the one who really needs it. But it's next to impossible to cook that way for just one person and my husband is not about to jump on the GAPS bandwagon with me.:)So I'm reconsidering the whole GAPS approach..I would still greatly restrict grains (especially gluten grains) and sugar in her diet.. would I still eventually get somewhere with her? In my bit of research that i did it seems like this may be possible, especially with digestive enzymes. But I would love your input on this, Sarah. Or anyone else too. :)

Jill@RealFoodForager.com said...

Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!
http://realfoodforager.com/fat-tuesday-february-14-2012/

Kim said...

I've not done the GAPS diet yet. It's just too prohibitively expensive for us, but we will be doing it in the near future as my husband will be securing a better paying job in the summer. I am, however, refined sugar, gluten/wheat and corn free.
I was able to completely heal myself of OCD and severe anger/moodiness and anxiety by going gluten free but after a year I noticed there were times these issues would crop up again (without having eaten wheat). They symptoms would last a few days before going away. It took me a bit of sleuthing but I finally realized it always happened after eating corn. I'm not sure why it only recently started affecting me, but I now stay away from it.

Christine said...

I'm kind of in the same boat you are. I'm wondering if there's a way to do it with just restricting grains, but adding healthy fats, probiotics, animal fats, etc. My mom's chiropractor knows about leaky gut and suggested RepairVite. Anyone heard of that, either good or bad?

Sarah Smith said...

It s actually not discouraging alt all, as it makes me very glad we are doing GAPS for my daughter. It stinks that such wheaty snacks are the usual fair at so many gatherings!

Sarah Smith said...

My energy problems did not start until we had been on GAPS for about 6 months. Before that, I felt fabulous on GAPS.

Sarah Smith said...

The hard part is that my hubie is still on Full GAPS, and I don't like to make separate meals. But I like this suggestion and perhaps will just make some quinoa on the side and drop a spoonful into the soup.

Sarah Smith said...

Lori and Christine, you might both like to read this post that tells what the GAPS diet actually does to heal the gut, and includes a discussion of why taking a probiotic is not enough:
http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/heal-your-autoimmune-disease-now/

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, Kim.

Jenny said...

My son and I went through this a few years ago. It turned out to be a potassium deficiency. Avoiding grains and focusing on potatoes made a night and day difference. A potato has over 500 mg of potassium for a fist size amount of food, grains have about 50 mg for a similar serving size. When not eating potatoes, we add cream of tartar (potassium) to our food.

Ann said...

Interesting...this is exactly what is happening with my seven year old daughter. Because of all of Cheeseslave's posts, I got scared that grain free wasn't healthy. So, I started serving a little again. All of a sudden, she was throwing things, getting mad, etc. I realized THAT was the part of her that had gone away when we were grain free. She is not on the ASD so I didn't even know we had any issues until we started this and got comments about how well our kids get along now. Does anyone know how we can make sure they are getting all the minerals they need without grains? Also, as far as your carbs, I eat squash with almost every hot meal...kind of like "meat and potatoes" or "stir fry and rice" but with squash instead. We eat many pounds of squash with butter and sea salt. I don't know if that would help you or not. I'm also using magnesium lotion. Anyway, I'm hoping someone can comment about the discussion about whether kids need grains or not. Thanks!

Ann said...

Also...you can check out drcate.com to see other doctors' response to the concept of "safe starches"....let's just say they don't all agree. :)

KBcooks said...

I'm noticing similar behavior with my 6 year old. I have never really deprived them of carbs to the extent I have, but I've been tolerating a little more sugar now. My 10 year old is fine as far as I can tell. I've been under heaps of stress (school) in the last few months, and one thing I did is relax on their bedtime. Before I change food for them (again!), I'm going to increase their bedtime by 1/2 hour, 8 to 6:20 am. This has worked in the past before addressing diet, which is already very well-informed. Why don't you try increasing bedtime 1/2 to 1 hour? If you think that would be an avenue to take.

KBcooks said...

I wanted to add that sometimes we look too closely to something that we miss the big picture. Everyone on here is well-articulated on diet, and there's always room to grow, but we should remain open to the other ways we 'nourish' our children. I'm sure all of you noticed that our babies' emotions matched ours when we nursed. Whether it was because of food or something else, why should that be so different now? We probably need more sleep too. At least I know I do. :)

Laura said...

I couldn't believe the transformation in my daughter's behavior since we have nearly eliminated grains and all gluten. It's amazing how negatively it was effecting her. I hope you guys figure things out... good luck!

Sarah Smith said...

I don't think bedtime is the answer for my daughter, as she already sleeps over 12 hours/day (that includes her afternoon nap). But I know I sure need more sleep!!

Christine said...

I would like to know about this for kids, too! Also, does squash give you the benefits of carbs without the negatives?

Christine said...

Thanks, that was a very helpful link!

Sarah Smith said...

I am not sure, myself, whether or not kids "need" grains. I've seen various points of view, and there is no agreement. I know that, as a family, I would like to eventually go back to eating grains, but I don't know whether there is any need to from a nutritional standpoint. GAPS is so rich in nutrient-dense foods like meat, butter, eggs, broth, fruits, and veggies that I think all the nutritional needs could be met that way (and that is what Dr NCM says as well). Meanwhile, others say at least some starches are necessary. There are certainly indigenous peoples who ate no grains and were healthy (such as the Inuits who ate almost no carbs whatsoever). So I think we all will have to figure out what works best for our families.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read through all the comments to see if anyone else mentioned it, but are you making sure the corn you are serving is not genetically modified? I at one time assumed all people on GAPS were aware of the dangers of GMO foods, but I've found many that do not understand it. If you're eating organic, then you are fine in that respect. I've also read some recent articles about rice (even organic) being contaminated with high levels of arsenic. Maybe it's not so much the grains themselves but contamination issues? Just an idea in your search for balance.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for your suggestions. I have made sure that the corn and rice are both organic to avoid the GMO issue. That is interesting about the rice being contaminated with arsenic. We'll definitely be doing some more methodical eating to see if we can identify what specifically is causing the reactions.

Ann said...

Christine, Yes, squash has helped me not to have ketosis (the result of going too low in carbs) but doesn't do crazy things with my insulin the way juice or sweets would. For now, we're following Dr. Cate's suggestions in her books/website because we feel good and the kids are so nice to be around...her information mirrors Dr. NCM well but allows for some soaked oats, sprouted Ezekiel bread, etc....probably less honey/sweets though. She recommends 100 carbs a day for an adult or 20 % of a child's diet...with seeds/nuts for minerals. Her stuff is based on research and I appreciate that. Sarah, your recipes are SO good; thank you; thank you; thank you!

Summer said...

Lethargy is sometimes a complaint of female athletes as well. Dr. NCM recommends mixing a jar of coconut oil with honey and taking a spoonful every 20 minutes or as needed for energy problems. You can also use butter if it is well tolerated. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK WITH COCONUT OIL. You know the drill. A bunch of coconut oil will definitely give you a bad tummy ache if you have candida. The good part is, at least you'll know you have more healing to do. But yeah, try that. A pinch of salt would make it yummy. You don't have to be limited to white beans and lentils. You could increase your baked good intake, have a GAPS shake for breakfast (fresh juices with 2 raw eggs and a big dollop of sour cream. Very satisfying. Keeps me going for like 2 hours at least without even thinking about food), have roasted carrots, squashes, nuts. Squash fries are a nice side to most dishes.

homemakingwithheart.com said...

Hi Sarah, I noticed when my daughter turned 3 she started to only want grains and starches all the time. I have noticed she has developed a bit of a temper which I must admit, I've struggled with, since she was such a sweet baby and tot, my little introverted child. We have been on GAPS for just a few months. I haven't noticed massive changes to her behaviour yet, possibly some small ones although hard to say this early on as it could just be that she's enjoying the summer holidays and is less grumpy! ha ha! One good thing is that her food pickiness is a little better which I'm glad for. But if she could, she would eat toast and cheese all day. I haven't been doing GAPS 100% for my kids, but am trying to get as much broth-based soup and fermented foods in them as possible.

homemakingwithheart.com said...

Hi Sarah, because corn is a grain it may need to be prepared in traditional ways to avoid issues. Some cultures eat it fermented. This is something I need to do more research on also. - Victoria

Sarah Smith said...

Yes, we do soak our corn (with the exception of popcorn, which we only eat occasionally). I have through working with our homeopath that there is one grain my daughter tolerates very well, which is millet. We soak it and make it into porridge and I also use it in my waffle recipe. My daughter can eat this with no behavioral problems. I wrote about that here:
http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2012/11/immune-system-grains-and-behavior.html?m=1

Sarah Smith said...

It is interesting that you mention the personality change. My daughter was very introverted and also very compliant as an infant and young child. Sometime after she turned three, she underwent a big personality change, to where she is now very outgoing and also a bit more obstinate/argumentative. From what I've learned about homeopathy, it seems like her constitutional type changed during that year, because her whole personality is different. Constitutional types can change with traumas, and I'm not sure if the trauma was having a new brother that year, going onto GAPS, or maybe just how she would have developed anyway. Regardless, we have adjusted to the way her personality is now, but it is interesting that personality can change so much! Now she is almost 6 years old, and we are having great results with homeopathy, which is helping her be less emotional and have many fewer meltdowns/temper problems.

Lori H said...

Hi Sarah, I have been scouring the internet for someone who feels my pain, then I stumbled upon your blog. My son and I have been on a different protocol and have recently been trying to add non-gluten grains back into our diet. For me, it has been going reasonably well, for my son, not so much. I did not initially see a difference when I added ng grains back in, but over a period of time, maybe 1-2 weeks, I did. Ok, so I have to admit that recently we have added back it more fruits, so that COULD be it as well. Like you, the difference in my sons behavior is like night and day. Everything you mentioned in your post about your daughter is what I see in my son.

I wish this wasn't such a frustrating process. I also wonder if most kids out there would react the same way if grains were taken away then reintroduced. I hope you have continued success with your daughter.

I know it has been some time since you originally posted. Did you go back on GAPS or how are you eating now? I see the homeopathy is helping, that is wonderful! Do you believe this may be something she will eventually grow out of?

Thanks for your informative website :)

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Lori H,
A more recent snapshot of where we are is here:
http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2012/11/immune-system-grains-and-behavior.html

While we still avoid gluten grains, my daughter can eat unlimited millet plus limited amounts of rice/corn without any big issues. Starches such as potatoes and arrowroot don't give her any issues, so we eat some of those weekly. (Both of my kids love this recipe for cheesy bread which uses a bit of arrowroot: http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2012/10/cheesy-bread-grain-free-primal-gluten.html)

Anonymous said...

Grains make my child who of which has never had antibiotics completely insane. Same with sugar. Not to mention red bags under his eyes and a swollen face. All grains contain LECTINS. Our guts are allergic to them. Soaking and sprouting grains first still causes him to go berserk. Not only that, but grains, even with sprouting, causes my auto-immune to flare up. (EVEN QUINOA) Same with dairy and factory farmed meat. My child is never sick, and behaves well when on the paleo diet. Raw green smoothies daily and fresh berries. Banana in very small doses works ok. They're high in sugar. No cooked fruits. Also high in sugar plus the heat does something to the fruit - rendering it toxic. Grains, legumes, sugar, dairy and soy cause mental illness and disease in a great deal of the population I am convinced.

Anonymous said...

My husband stopped having allergies and asthma after going paleo. He stopped getting the flu as well. Not only that, but he looks ten years younger. From bloated with a belly to a perfect face and body. We'll never go back to eating grains, beans, dairy, soy and sugar.

Anonymous said...

I stopped having ADD with paleo!

Anonymous said...

I'm loving this thread as I am thinking about GAPS for my family in the coming weeks. We LOVE quinoa. I'm sure that you are rinsing it sufficiently..but maybe not everyone knows that. It needs to be rinsed really well to take some of the bitter taste away. We often eat our leftover quinoa with a dab of honey and some raw milk in the morning (yum!)

Aydie said...
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