Struggle & Success Saturday: Our Health is Improving

I’m starting to get the hang of pre-planning meals (to a certain degree), and putting a little more effort into meals. This goes as far as hitting the farmers market in a neighboring city, so I can have really fresh produce (more enzymes), and then trying my darndest to get it all eaten in a week. There is such an abundance of food in the market right now, and we have a little growing in our backyard, too, so it’s hard not to overbuy.

What I really want to write about though, is how my little boy is doing. In case you missed the original post on this topic, my three year old son was suffering from intense meltdowns multiple times a day (and I was suffering as well), with major whining and other insufferable behaviors in between. I was convinced this wasn’t normal behavior for a child, much less my son who was born with a very pleasant disposition. I was also pretty sure it was a food-based problem.

My searching led me to believe he has a salicylate sensitivity, which means he reacts to an insane number of foods. A couple weeks ago, I started him on a strict elimination diet, and his behavior–and sleep–improved markedly. But then I read that some people react to a sudden strict elimination of salicylates by becoming more sensitive to them, so I eased up on the restrictions. This has been much easier, because I feel I can give him a few berries with a meal, instead of no berries, lightly season foods instead of leaving them bland, etc. This way of eating feels much more normal. The main thing I do not allow is binging on fruit. The fruitaholic has taken it well.

Something else I read in a salicylate forum was that the sensitivity, at least for some people, may have its roots in gluten intolerance. This was absolutely brilliant to me. I had assumed his sensitivity stemmed from overeating foods with salicylates (which may still be part of the puzzle), but it also made sense that the digestion disruptions caused by gluten could be to blame. Avoiding gluten is also way easier than avoiding salicylates. I’ve stopped making pancakes for breakfast. After he complained of a stomachache when he had bread a couple of times, I have tried not to give him any, although I did buy some sourdough at the farmers market, and I don’t know what the gluten content of it is (will have to ask the baker next time).

I also read that enzymes helped this one person with her salicylate sensitivity, so that could be another piece of the puzzle. I haven’t started giving him enzyme supplements, but I do try to give him “live” food multiple times a day, preferably any time he eats.

So low gluten, moderate restriction of salicylate foods, and live foods. How is he doing? Really well. I mean, there is the odd meltdown here and there, but now I can pin it to something that makes sense–like he’s tired, he’s hungry, he ate too much of something he shouldn’t have. Overall, his mood is much improved, and so is my sanity. He has longer spells of playing quietly–that’s the main thing, he’s quieter. My sensitive ears are very grateful. He’s also more cooperative, and laughs plenty. He is also having more nights of longer sleep.

I’m also doing well, too. I started an enzyme formula that breaks down scar tissue in the organs, and I am wondering if this is like the fountain of youth pill. I’m slowly beginning to feel more nimble and less pain. I’m also focusing on digestion–taking digestive enzymes, eating live food, avoiding gluten, etc–so my body can assimilate more nutrients. These two things may very well be two of the most important things I do for my overall health (adding in more exercise would be another–still only doing it here and there).

So yes, things are looking very bright.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Cassie says:

    The gluten thing is waaaay easier it seems like than a bunch of random fruits and spices. I hope it helps. I’m surprised that you couldn’t tell earlier but then again a small amount probably doesn’t do much. Which is a great reason to breastfeed so long, no food allergies when they are so young!

  2. Janice says:

    Hi Lisa: Glad to hear that your son is doing better with low gluten, low salicylates and live foods! I hadn’t really looked into a salicylate sensitivity in great detail before. Good for you for figuring it out. That’s generally one of the most difficult things to do — figure out what one is sensitive to. You are learning so much on this journey! Thanks for sharing the knowledge!

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