This article has been on my mind and my heart now for a few months. Since writing the very first article (Crohn’s Disease: Chronic or Curable???) where I both recommended the GAPS diet and discussed in depth exactly what this diet entails, a lot has happened to me personally because of the GAPS Diet. I’ve been unable to share this information due to circumstances in my own life lately, but I believe it needs to be relayed for the sake of other Epileptics.
When I first began thinking up titles, I strongly considered naming it a “retraction” piece for my original article. However, the more I thought about it the more I realized how extreme that action would be for everyone when, in reality, epileptics are the targeted audience here.
The truth is, this diet is a fantastic option for those struggling with digestive or stomach issues, such as Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, etc. It is also a wonderful method for rapid weight loss and a healthy option too if the diet is executed correctly (i.e. homemade bone broth, organic food products).
However, there are some requirements in this diet that can cause increased seizure activity. For example, Phase 1 of the GAPS Introductory Diet is Bone Broth only for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Juice, Tea, and Yogurt are the recommended snacks for this phase.
This is literally as simple as it gets when it comes to carbohydrates. While this phase can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, it took me about 2 weeks to complete based on my symptoms and how much “gut” healing I truly needed. One symptom I had from the very start of GAPS was increased seizure activity. It got pretty rough for my family and I because we literally could not figure out the cause for this tidal wave of seizure activity. Ordinarily, I can pinpoint the activity to something I’ve eaten that may have contained questionable ingredients or my hormone levels at that particular time (check out more about Catamenial Epilepsy and my personal journey with this condition here)…
Like I said before, this is my ordinary mode of operation. But, if I reevaluated my diet at this time I would find nothing but bone broth for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So what the heck was going on???
I mean, if I simplified my carbohydrates any more I’d be reduced to consuming nothing but water and pretending that water could ever be considered a good meal substitute.
Well, as it turns out, my increased seizure activity had everything to do with my diet. Although the bone broth was incredibly healthy for me, the diet itself was too simple. As an epileptic, I face serious consequences if I do not maintain healthy blood sugar levels. I recently discussed in an article titled (The Key to Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels) just how easily my Partial seizure and Gran Mal seizure activity can increase if my blood sugar is allowed to drop throughout the day.
The simple carbohydrates that are supposed to be embraced in each phase of GAPS were just that…Too simple. Bone Broth in the first phase and stews in the 2nd phase were not enough to keep my blood sugar level up and therefore made my brain even more vulnerable to seizure activity. I needed foods that were more solid such as protein and fat. Unfortunately, my seizure activity became so intense that I literally had to quit the diet and return to my previous meal plan.
I had made it to the 3rd Phase of the GAPS Introductory Diet when I made this decision. After only 3 months of dieting, I really didn’t want to give it all up so soon. But it was clear that my body needed meals and snacks that were capable of keeping my blood sugar levels up and my brain strong. Simplifying my diet actually complicated my brain health rather than improving it like it was supposed to.
Now, I am not saying to avoid the GAPS Diet completely. If my body could have handled the simplicity of those carbohydrates, I would have tried my best to carry on to the next Phase of GAPS until I had completed every phase. I also believe that there would have been some much-needed healing to my stomach and brain.
I guess what this article is meant to be is an insight for those of you who may become vulnerable when your body’s blood sugar level drops. It is information I really wish I had known before beginning the diet because I definitely would have gone about this diet differently.
To those who can handle simple carbs without adverse reaction, I still highly recommend the GAPS Diet for healing, detox, weight loss, or whatever you may be needing that can be helped by GAPS.
You can find the links to all GAPS Diet-Related articles from Seize the Day Blog below:
GAPS Diet Reading List:
Crohn’s Disease: Chronic or Curable???:
The Key to Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels:
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