I know what you are thinking..... How can seizures be a result of a damaged gut?
Abnormal gut flora, is present in anyone with digestive problems. It starts out small, as many things do. Sweet and starchy food feed pathogenic microbes, which in turn allows them to grow in number and damage the gut lining. As I have learned, this damage is even escalated with antibiotic use. Think Candida on steroids! Olivia had monthly ear infections which were treated with monthly doses of antibiotics. In our modern day society (especially in the late 90's), ear infections = antibiotics. Antibiotics devastate the beneficial bacteria we all have in our bodies and it is not limited to our gut. They change bacteria, viruses and fungi from benign to pathogenic, which allows them to cause disease. As I read Dr. McBride's information on antibiotics, I was shocked to read that they actually damage our immune system, which in turn makes us more vulnerable to infections, thus creating the "vicious cycle" of more antibiotics and more infections. Obviously there is a place for antibiotics, they can be a life saving drug. What about finding out WHY a child is getting ear infections on a monthly basis instead? Genius!
Dr. McBride says:
Proliferating pathogens in the gut start producing large amounts of toxins, which absorb through the damaged gut wall into the bloodstream and get carried to the brain. As the gut function deteriorates, the foods do not get the chance to be digested properly before they absorb through the damaged gut wall. Once absorbed into the blood, these partially digested foods trigger very complex immune reactions (called food allergy or intolerance) which are capable of initiating seizures. The combination of toxins and partially digested foods (being dealt with by the immune system) flowing from the gut to the brain, cause the epileptic activity.
This small paragraph does my soul a world of good! As I have mentioned in earlier posts, this is what happened with Olivia !!! At the beginning of this journey, and with the first appointment with an alternative doctor we ran all the tests that were suggested to run. Allergy tests (IGE & IGG) included. The results of these tests were good - she was only allergic to mold (IGE), and a couple foods on the (IGG) form. For those of you not familiar with allergy testing - IGE indicates a "true" allergy, which usually results in an immediate reaction. IGG testing, on the other hand, is not a supported test in most conventional allergy clinics. IGG is a "delayed" allergy reaction. This type of allergy has been explained by several doctors as an allergy caused by the dreaded "leaky" or damaged gut (which Dr. McBride refers to in the above paragraph). IGG reactions are not immediate, but delayed, making them almost impossible to detect. Different foods break down at different speeds, causing different toxic reactions depending upon the food and your personal body chemistry.
Dr. McBride talks about one child's downward spiral, which ended with the development of a seizure disorder. He was a normal kid, who at two was mentally and physically advanced for his age, was bright and well-coordinated. His digestion was vulnerable - irregular stools and bloating. After he turned two, he began limiting his diet to sweet and starchy foods. His digestion worsened, stools looked green and smelled of rotten fish. His outward appearance became thin, very pale with dark circles under his eyes. By three he was lining up toys, becoming distant and became obsessed with things. Just six months later he became clumsy and hyperactive, continuing to limit what he would eat. Then he started having absence seizures, he would roll his eyes up for a few seconds, then become unresponsive. Shortly thereafter, he had his first grand mal seizure. Regression in his learning ability and development followed with all kinds of problems from the medication. He started the GAPS diet, including the Introduction portion and was able to wean off the medications and the seizures reduced down to one or two very mild absences per week.
I love reading stories like this! I felt as though I was reading Olivia's story from the early years. I will never forget when she was going #2 15-20 times per day. The smell did not smell human. I know that because I am only giving you bits and pieces of her story at a time it may seem as though I sat back and watched these things develop in my child. That is far from the truth. I did what most moms would do. I took her to my pediatrician (foul diaper in hand), who then referred me to a Pediatric Gastroenterologist. I will never forget this appointment. Just thinking about it causes tears to well up in my eyes. "No", he said, very confidently, "your daughter's apparent regression is not caused by these digestive problems." I explained the number of times she went #2 throughout the day, and pleaded with him to look at the contents of the diaper I conveniently had in my bag. But he refused. I really don't think he believed me. I mean, who goes that much? He ordered a basic smear test, which eventually came back saying "conclusively" that everything was normal and told me there was nothing he could do. Sadly, those were my trusting days, so I believed him.
Well, not surprisingly, one year later we repeated the allergy tests and within that year she had positive IGG tests for almost every single food! Her injured gut, which was first indicated by her foul stools and multiple stools/day, was worsening. The damage was deep, and the "experts" of the day were blatantly uninformed, usually by choice. This apparently was not taught when he went to school, therefore it did not exist.
Unfortunately, in Olivia's case the "injury" wasn't just once. The second injury to her fragile immune system was the MMR vaccination (she is a registered VAERS child).
This song has been repeating itself in my head since I sat down to write this post:
Can't you see everything happens for a reason
There's a time, there's a place for every season
He knows what's best for you
So don't be afraid.
The same God who was with you then is with you now
The same God that led you in, will lead you out
So take all the fear and doubt
Go on and lay them down
The same God, the same God is with you now.
Just keep holding on
Oh keep holding on (The Same God - Newsong)
That's my cue - I will keep holding on ;)