Monday, February 13, 2012

Adoption and the Gut

Sorry this blog isn't going to be entertaining or as inspirational as others, I guess you could say it's more informative.  I am a HUGE nutrition junkie.  I love learning about how nutrition affects our bodies and our overall health.  So naturally, bringing a child into our home adopted from another country with a different diet (to say the least, as far as orphanage food goes), with different parasites, viruses, mites, and infections would lead me into research mode.  I have been reading, researching, exploring, asking questions, seeking wisdom from those wiser than I.  M.D.'s, Naturopaths, Chiropractors, Nutritionists, More Experienced Adoptive Mommies, Nutrition Blogs...etc.

There are so many things that effect our health that begin with an unhealthy gut.  In my opinion.  Here is what I have learned so far...
Blake has a bad gut.  
His bad gut is due to: Parasites. (Giardia)  Bacteria. (H. Pylori)  Infection.  Highly processed food.  Too much sugar in his diet.  Bad absorption.  Low stomach acid.  Inability to chew his food properly.  Low Omega-3, Omega-6 fat intake.  Low vitamins and minerals in his diet.

His bad gut is leading to: Red, dry cheeks.  Low protein levels.  Low functioning thyroid.  Acid reflux.  Candida.  Congestion.  Chronic cough.  Allergies.  Eczema symptoms.  SMELLY poop.  Brittle nails.  Sugar cravings.  High cortisol levels.  Waking at night.  Irritability.  Gas.  Burping. Hyperactivity.  Lack of focus.  Low immune system.  High stress.  Behavioral issues.

These are all issues commonly treated with medications to hide the symptoms.  Not treat the root cause-->The bad gut.

I can completely understand how the poor boy has a bad gut and how it relates to these symptoms.  He went from eating mush, with no nutrient value on a daily basis to what we call American food...aka HIGHLY PROCESSED.  And I would like to think we do a pretty good job at feeding our kids lots of fruits and vegetables and lean protein or at least I make a conscious effort to eliminate most processed foods. Anyway, he has been contributing to his bad gut for 2 year's living in the we have some work to do to reverse this issue and make his gut healthy again now that he lives with us.  But part of this healing involves dealing with some pretty nasty cleansing effects.  He is detoxing you could say, as we work to eliminate foods that trigger to his bad gut.  Foods like:  sugar, corn syrup, cow's milk, wheat/gluten, juices, foods with soy products in them.  We are supplementing his system with Flaxseed oil, Vitamin C, anti-fungal drops and anti-fungal cream for his red cheeks, Adrenal-cream, Vitamin D3, and Liquid Calcium, Chamomile supplement, Lavender oils for bath time, Apple Cider Vinegar and honey...I using all of these in steps, obviously.  All for different reasons.  Right now we are focusing on healing his gut, that is of most importance.  We want his gut healed so his body can focus on healing other areas of his body that it can't address right now because of all the energy going into maintaining his digestive system and nervous system. If that makes sense...Our bodies will pick the most important system to throw all of its energy into healing and maintaining, if that comes at the expense of shutting down other important systems.  This is how you get behavioral issues related to food allergies...the body is focused on eliminating these foods it sees as toxins (milk, wheat in our case) that it leaves little attention for the brain and nervous system...they get neglected and therefore acting out, having anxiety, inability to focus, etc. are the result.  Still with me?

What most people don't realize though, is that these parasites, viruses, mites, and infections are highly contagious.  So we are treating the girls for the same issues that are starting to arise in their systems, since Blake has been in our home.  Saliva is a common sharing ground for passing these issues back and forth. So far I haven't noticed any symptoms myself, that could be related to these issues, but I am on alert.  As I get worn down with endless doctor's appointments, sleepless nights in the babies' room, long days of running and chasing after kids and their messes, my immune system can begin to fail.

This can be an issue with any child,  not just one adopted from Ukraine.  So like I said, pay attention to your child's issues and begin with looking at his gut and how all of these symptoms are most likely related.  Nutrition plays more of a factor in our health than any MD knows or cares to look at, so be your own advocate and make your child's nutrition of importance in treating and healing his/her body.  It is the silent culprit of many issues that are diagnosed as: ADHD, asthma, seasonal allergies, IBS, chronic acid reflux, high stress, anxiety, diarrhea/constipation...

I will keep you filled in on Blake's progress in this regard as we heal his gut over the next few months.  I am excited to get him healed up and healthy and for the results to prove themselves!


  1. Preach it girl! I think this post is VERY inspirational!

  2. You are a great momma.

    The gut and the brain are the biggest energy hogs in the body. In animals, size of gut is thought to be a limiting factor on size of brain (ie, cows, gorillas.) It makes sense that healing his gut can only help the rest of his body, including his brain!

    Other things that you might investigate and find helpful to him: magnesium, vitamin k2, probiotics/fermented foods (does not have to be dairy although many people find they can tolerate fermented dairy. Think real sauerkraut.) If he can tolerate them, eggs are wonderful -- shown in many many studies to reduce inflammation, possibly because they contain many required components to glutathione, a very important antioxidant. I personally avoid tylenol which uses up vast amounts of glutathione.

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