What We Did to Improve Gut Health


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I’ve been ecstatic to share our daughter’s journey. At two-years-old, her immune system was going crazy. She was reacting to SO many things, including latex, tree nuts, natural flavors, soy, dairy and wheat caused her eczema, and we avoided peanuts like the plague! She had reactions to contacting peanut, reacted to eating foods made on shared equipment with peanuts, and she went into anaphylaxis from eating a tiny speck of peanut butter. She even got rashes from eating homemade bone broth! 😫

While doctors gave us no hope of ever ‘healing,’ ‘outgrowing,’ or improving her allergies, I did a lot of research focused on ‘gut healing’ in an attempt to get at the root cause of her issues–rather than just cover them up or continue reacting to all her reactions.

It was not a quick or easy journey, but I’m thrilled to say just before her 8th birthday, she PASSED her peanut challenge and can now EAT PEANUTS with NO ISSUE. She can eat soy, wheat, dairy, tree nuts, and peanuts. She no longer reacts to latex, and she loves bone broth! 🙌

What We Did to Improve Gut Health

So the next question I often get asked is, “What did you use or do to heal her gut?”

And that is a loaded question…

But it’s fair and I would want to know too!

Here’s my disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and this is not medical advice. I am a mom who was desperate to help her children. (Yes, the younger sibling had a bunch of health challenges too.) I’ve learned a lot about food and health, and now I’m sharing what we did on our journey.

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1. Supplements

The first thing we added were dairy-free probiotics. Our daughter never “tested positive” for a dairy allergy, however, I noticed her digestion and eczema improved after we removed dairy and wheat for three weeks. We used Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic at first. There’s a Baby Powder for Infants and Chewable Tablets for Kids.

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After a while, we switched to MegaFood MegaFlora Probiotics for Kids. These are made without the top 9 most common allergens. If your children cannot swallow capsules, you can empty the powder from inside into their oatmeal, cereal, smoothie, etc.

MegaFood MegaFlora Probiotic Kids
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I remembered a few more supplements I used and still use when I was talking with some friends about gut health the other night and when I was scanning my cupboard of supplements and teas…

I also used Digestive Enzymes, Burdock Root, L-Glutamine, Aloe Vera Juice, and Dandelion tea to help with digestion and my gut health (for myself and because I was nursing a baby with tummy issues, eczema, colic, etc.). These also seemed to really help with the leaky gut issues we had!

I still supplement with these things to maintain good health or anytime my gut feels off and needs some support.


2. Detox Spray

Next, I also used TRS Advanced Detox Spray. I had a feeling her overreactive immune system (reacting to more and more new things) meant her little body was overloaded with toxins.

I wrote a post a while ago about some of the other things I did to focus on eliminating toxins, such as cleaning our air and water: Our 7 Prong Approach to Fewer Allergic Reactions


3. Clean Air / Environment / Body

Clean air also seems to matter, especially when it comes to mold. Mold can be toxic and harmful to your health. From what I’ve witnessed, spending a good amount of time in an environment with mold can cause your immune system to start overreacting.

I am not a mold expert by any means, but in layman’s terms, it’s like your body’s toxin bucket can only handle so much junk before your body and immune system start to “act out.”

“Exposure to a large number of mold spores may cause allergic symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, headache, and fatigue. Repeated exposure to mold can increase a person’s sensitivity, causing more severe allergic reactions.”

-DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RHODE ISLAND

Infants, children, and those with compromised immune systems and respiratory conditions, such as allergies and asthma are more likely to experience health risks from mold.

“People who live or work in buildings that are exposed to moisture and not adequately ventilated are more at risk of illnesses causes by mold. Populations at particular risk include: infants and children, elderly persons, immune compromised patients and people with existing respiratory conditions, such as allergies and asthma.” –DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RHODE ISLAND

If you suspect mold in your home, daycare, or school where your child spends a lot of time, there are a few options:

  • careful and professional remediation
  • removal from the environment and into a new one
  • use a detox spray, such as the TRS spray mentioned above
  • exercise and use a sauna to sweat out toxins
  • get an air purifier (we got this one)

Again when I was talking with friends about health stuff, I realized I had forgotten to add another big part of our gut health and allergy journey: vaccinations.

Our children received the recommended vaccinations when they were babies. However, when I was desperately searching for answers to their health issues, I came across concerning ingredients and side effects of immunizations. I also witnessed my son’s health finally improving, only to immediately decline after receiving immunizations.

I began to decline the immunizations and their health has improved dramatically. ❤️‍🩹


4. Eating Whole Foods

We avoided all foods that caused any kind of reaction. I kept a food diary and paid careful attention to how her body reacted. While each body is different, here are some general guidelines that have improved all of our health, especially our daughter with food allergies:

  • Cook at home. We ate at home and brought her safe, healthy meals and snacks everywhere. Here are some of the tools we used to make it easier to take food on the go. 🍽
  • Eat fruits, veggies, seeds, fish, beans, plain meat, eggs (if not allergic), nuts (if not allergic), and sourdough bread with simple ingredients (if not allergic). Focus on whole foods and the shorter the ingredient list, the better. Avoid allergens and things you’re sensitive to until the gut heals and the body no longer reacts. (But keep the hope for this glorious day!)
  • Drink smoothies with greens. We drank a simple healthy spinach smoothie most days. You also can use a meal delivery company like Nurture Life or Daily Harvest, which both offer healthy and tasty smoothies. Adding spinach and flaxseed oil are easy ways to add nutrients without changing the taste much. I sometimes added a small chunk of ginger root to knock out inflammation, but this alters the flavor.
  • Eat healthier snacks like these crackers and cookies if packaged snacks are a must and if these ingredients are ok (notice the short, simple ingredient list). We couldn’t eat these during our years of avoiding tree nuts, but we were thankful to find them once she stopped reacting to so many things. She did not and still does not eat anything like Cheetos, Oreos, Doritos, Little Debbies, or JELL-O. Food Babe is a good resource to learn about harmful ingredients in popular American foods. Unfortunately, many products that can wreck our health are marketed to our kids.💔
  • Keep inflammation down. Chronic inflammation can cause a lot of health issues, so we learned about how to eat anti-inflammatory foods and avoid foods that cause inflammation, such as sugar, dairy, and wheat. Here’s a quick article about ways to reduce inflammation.
  • Swap vegetable, corn, and soybean oils for olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil (whichever ones work for your allergies). We try to avoid vegetable oils, canola oil, and soybean oil as ingredients and only use avocado oil, olive oil, and coconut oil when we cook. Flaxseed oil can also be added to smoothies, but it’s not for cooking with. Here’s an article about oils and inflammation.🥑

5. Prayer

Initially, I was not very optimistic about our daughter’s allergies. She had her first reaction around 12 months. Over the next couple of years, she developed new allergies and began reacting even to food made on shared equipment as peanuts. I didn’t have much faith that she’d ever “outgrow” her allergy. Our doctors gave no indication that her allergies would improve–much less any information about how I could help her little body.

🫶 It wasn’t until a sister of mine told me she and her family prayed every night for her daughter’s healing that I considered my daughter’s body could heal. My sister and niece also went through years of focusing on gut health and eating an anti-inflammatory diet for her daughter’s Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Although our daughters’ bodies reacted differently to different foods, she understood the struggle of making every single meal at home and taking it wherever they went for years. She too faced the never-ending pressure and unhealthy snacks and “treats” given by schools, churches, neighbors, libraries, friends, etc. There’s a holiday for everything these days, and (unhealthy) food seems to be everywhere.😫

During this journey of improving gut health for my daughter (and our whole family), it wasn’t just our physical health that improved. My faith grew. When I learned more about Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and began a personal relationship with my Savior, I started believing and praying for our daughter’s healing.

It did not happen overnight. It took years of praying and listening. At first, I’m pretty sure my husband thought I had lost my mind.

But I felt led to continue our countercultural (and often lonely) journey of eating whole foods, avoiding fake foods, investing in supplements and resources to improve her gut health and keep our environment toxin-free, homeschooling, believing God designed our bodies to be able to heal, and that He has the power to allow them to heal.

Our sweet toddler turned into a little girl. Her body started reacting less and less. Her immune system grew stronger. The eczema she had for years cleared up (inflammation of the skin). The joint pain she complained of as a toddler stopped (inflammation in the joints). Her digestive health improved (inflammation in the intestines). Since I’m a stay-at-home/work-from-home/homeschooling mom, I am blessed to spend a lot of time with our children, and I noticed her body improving.

After years of sticking with the steps above, I took baby steps to test her immune system. I gave her tree nuts that were not from a peanut-free facility, and she didn’t react.

She was around kids who had peanut butter at the playground, and she didn’t react.

She drank homemade bone broth and didn’t react.

She touched latex balloons and didn’t react.

She ate other food made in the same facility or on shared equipment as peanuts, and didn’t react.

Finally, 7 years after her first allergic reaction, I felt it was time to test. I felt like her gut had improved, her immune system was strong, and I scheduled a skin test.

Her skin test confirmed she had no reactions to anything!!

We scheduled a peanut challenge, waited for the appointment, and prayed.

And prayed.

I asked for prayers from many brothers and sisters in Christ. I had faith that she had been healed or “outgrown it,” but I also knew there was a chance she would react again.

Improved Gut Health Reduces Food Allergies

Finally, a few days before her 8th birthday, the day of her peanut challenge arrived. The girl who said she never wanted to eat peanut butter again (after her anaphylactic reaction) ate spoonfuls of peanut butter like a champ!! 🥜

After she passed her food challenge for peanuts, she ate peanuts and peanut butter regularly. I swirled peanut butter into her 8th birthday brownies, and it was a joyful celebration for many reasons! 🥳

We also started letting her eat dairy, wheat/gluten, and soy. She ate her first Culver’s ButterBurger and first take-and-bake pizza from Aldi. We still eat pretty healthy–primarily whole foods–but is an immense relief to have more freedom in her diet and not to fear for her life anytime we’re around food.❤️‍🩹

It was an emotional journey. One that showed me the goodness of God. One that showed me bodies can heal, especially when we take good care of them. And it proved to me that our gut health matters a lot!

That got long-winded. If you’re still reading this, I hope it helps answer what we did to improve our daughter’s gut health and immune system, so she no longer reacts to tree nuts, soy, wheat, dairy, broth, latex, or peanuts.

I hope you and your children can someday also experience improved gut health, stronger immune systems, and relief from the stress of food allergies. 🙏

From one food allergy parent to another,

Val 💙

Medical Disclaimer

I am a constantly-researching food allergy mom, but not a medical professional. This is our personal experience, which does not predict your experience nor is it meant to be medical advice. Nothing on this blog should take the place of your doctor’s recommendations. Read all labels yourself before using products to determine if they’re safe for you or your child.

Share These Tips to Help Other Allergy Families

Living with food allergies is tough, but life gets a little easier when we support one another in our trials and share tips that can bring lasting relief.

Please save these tips for gut health to Pinterest and share them on Facebook to help spread the word about gut health to other food allergy families who could be looking for this information.

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Food Allergy Parents

Val started Food Allergy Parents to help overwhelmed parents find safe food and convenient products to make life with allergies less stressful. She wants every family to experience Fewer Reactions, Better Health, & More Joy! Val also shares homeschool tips as food allergies are one of the reasons she (reluctantly) started homeschooling. To her surprise, she actually loves it!

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