One out of my 3 children (4 yrs old) has experienced loose stools, daily tummy ache, and a bloated tummy for over a year. The whole family went gluten free close to a year ago and then paleo for several months. During the gluten free/paleo he still had a daily tummy ache but his stools firmed up and the bloating went down. I noticed in myself some bloating and gas build up as I started the transition to gluten free/paleo but then it cleared up as I stayed eating little to no sugar, little to no dairy and about 85% grain free except for occasional rice and corn.
We just moved out of state and during the chaos that comes along with a move, we REALLY fell off the wagon and have been eating a lot gluten, as well as more dairy and sugar than we did before. Now my bloating and gas has returned, and ALL 3 children are now experiencing health concerns...where as before it was just one. Now my oldest child is complaining of a daily tummy ache, my youngest has frequent rashes, and the child that had previous problems has all of his previous symptoms again.
Here's my question. Other than my child with the original digestive problems, everyone else was symptom free prior to paleo. So why is it now that everyone is having digestive problems? We had none prior to paleo, so why are there problems now? We are on our way to eating paleo again so I'm hoping things will go back to normal. I'm also wondering if it's a mistake to be completely paleo with my kids because of when they are at a friends/relatives house or school or something and they don't have paleo options or choose to not eat paleo. Have I now caused a food intolerance where there wasn't one previously?? I wonder if we kept small amounts of gluten and such in our diet, would we feel back to "normal". THANKS!!!
This kinda happened to me. Now I can't drink milk, and pizza makes me really gassy and bloated. My mother told me that as a nursing baby I was fussy, and especially fussy after she drank milk. So she switched me to formula (cows milk facepalm). she proceeded to give me milk and allowed me to drink it for 25 years. Now thy I'm nursing my 2nd baby, I eventually figured out that milk was making her spit up. After quitting it for over a month (still ate cheese, butter and cream), I got a milkshake one day and had a reaction. After telling my mom about the baby, she informed me about my infantile intolerance.
My point is that maybe they had problems with it, but after eating it long enough their bodies just dealt with it. Now that their bodies know better, they may be blatantly rejecting it.
This reaction to gluten (or wheat or dairy . . .) may be similar physiologically to the reaction people with carbohydrate intolerance and hypoglycemia issues have to carbohydrates. People who have trouble with hypoglycemia either have chronic symptoms or acute symptoms. The acute symptoms are the ones most people are familiar with: shakiness, irritability, concentrations problems, headaches, sudden dips in energy and reduced motor skills. The chronic symptoms are fatigue, brain "fog", and more fatigue. After dealing with too much carbohydrate and huge variations in blood sugar and insulin levels, people usually stop having acute symptoms. That's because their body can't keep giving the high-energy warnings of acute symptoms, but has instead slipped into a low-energy state of self-protection. That's why a lot of people don't realize they have carbohydrate intolerance and hypoglycemia issues. They just think they are really tired, and after a while they may begin to accept that as normal for them and forget what true health and energy feels like. That was me about 15 years ago before I found the Zone Diet and started my slow path toward a Paleo life-style. I had severe, disabling fatigue for years with no acute symptoms. Now my energy levels are usually great, but if I eat too much honey or other high glycemic load carbohydrate, I will often have an acute symptoms of hypoglycemia a few hours later as my blood sugar levels plummet. The point here is that the chronic and acute symptoms are very different and could lead someone into believing they didn't have symptoms before a dietary change. I definitely did had symptoms; it's just they different because my usual diet was different then. Your family could be having a similar reaction to gluten, wheat, or dairy, where you are experiencing two sets of symptoms for the same sensitivity--one acute and obvious right now, the other chronic and possibly not noticeable except as a general depression in health before you went Paleo.
It may be gluten and/or dairy. If you and your children are gluten sensitive, it is not unusual to have a severe reaction when re-exposed to gluten again. You do not have to have celiac disease or even the genes for celiac disease for gluten to cause damage. You may want to remove gluten again and see if symptoms disappear.
As far as getting back to "normal" by continuing small amounts of gluten, that may not be wise. Years ago doctors thought that celiac disease was a childhood disease that could be outgrown because symptoms disappeared as the child grew. Turns out all they were seeing was a "honeymoon" period and the disease and symptoms, along with other autoimmune diseases, returned years later. Now they know that celiac disease is forever. Gluten sensitivity has not been well studied yet but my best guess from all I have read, it does not go away either.
A good place to learn more about gluten is The Gluten File. http://sites.google.com/site/jccglutenfree/
From what I've read, when you keep (especially) children off a particular food for more than 3-6 months, they lose all the antibodies they have for the particular food, and so the next time they eat it, their body has forgotten how to deal with that food and they get sick. This is why some people in this site (from what I've read) give breadcrumbs to their children every few months, so they don't develop intolerance for that food later in life. It might also be that while being off grains for so long, the kids lost the stomach enzymes that break down gluten or carbs. Although I could be wrong for all this. What I'd do is go back to Paleo, and give a piece of bread to my kids every few months.
If all you did was keep them gluten free and give them raw or live cultured dairy they should be fine. I would feed my kids more fermented foods till this blew over. Everything begins and ends in the gut. I am gluten sensitive ate it my whole life. Since I was a child I always had a tummy ache, gas, bloating and on and off loose stools. From eating it with a sensitivity I developed scoliosis from malnourishment and ended up having Harrington rods put in my back when I was 14. Diagnosed hypothyroidism when I was 18. Had a really rough pregnancy when I was 21-22. Had a flare up of ulcerative colitis so bad when I was 22 only 8 months after having my son had a complete colonectomy spent about a year in out of the hospital next to death. Finally well enough to care at for child who at the time was about 2yrs old had ADHD or possibly autism. Almost lost my Jpouch and spent a almost 2 yrs catching hell from daycares and fighting to stay well and during that time was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and slept nearly 14-16 hours a day. Worried about my child who also complained of constant tummy ache and gas. I found out about a gf/cf diet and we did it. 3 months later my son would look me in the eye when I spoke to him and all the problems I had faded away more and more with time. I don't have stabbing pains in my stomach for the first time in my life. I don't eat grains and it fairly close to paleo. I do not digest complex carbs well. I wish my mom would have figured this out when I was a child. I probably would not have had all those health issues. The gluten was slowly killing me and causing one auto immune problem after the other. Give your children the gift of good health.
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