Another year, which means it’s time to set another goal for my boys. For those that may be new to my blog, the New year for me is not just a time for setting personal goals. It is also a time that I set goals for my children that as I mom, I am able to help them achieve. These would be the types of goals that they would likely not even be interested in setting for themselves but are things that are important for their overall development and wellbeing.
Last year we focused our efforts on independency with self-care. I would love to tell you that the goal was 100% complete, but I’d be lying. We did make some really great progress and I’m still happy with that, but still have a little way to go. Like everything else we will continue pushing for full independence in that realm as we have gotten into a good routine of working on it, but onto this year where I want to take a big dive again into the medical side of things and make some much-needed progress on that front. This year’s target: GUT HEALTH.
I wouldn’t say that working on gut health is anything new. We have done some big pushes in the past and seen great results but with many things in our life we get busy, and we start to slack a bit and it feels like it is time to get back on track. Gut health is so hugely important to all but seems to truly be at the level a necessity for most on the autism spectrum, including my boys. This is a large goal, and I am planning on trying to tackle it in three large phases.
For those that have been reading my blog for a while you may have read about the work we have done with an integrative pediatrician how aims to take a holistic approach to our boys’ health. They will be my go-to help in achieving this goal, at least from an informational standpoint, and from having our last checkup at the end of December we have a lot of things set to get rolling and start this resolution off write.
The first thing on the docket will be my favorite, a stool test (hope you could sense the sarcasm in that). Yes, these things are not fun but can be a way to get an in-depth way to get a look at what that gut really looks like. From there we will be taking recommendations on supplements or other treatments that they provide that can help.
Step two in my plans of helping improve their gut health will be to add in some additional or more effective probiotics, ideally not supplement but food based. I have been doing a lot of research on fermented foods and the number of probiotics received through eating versus just ingesting supplements and it seems like a promising thing to try. No doubt this one will take some work as well. Hopefully with the results from the stool sample I may be able to pinpoint which good bacteria they are lacking and help target the best fermented foods to try from there as well.
The last part of the puzzle, and truly the most difficult will be changes to their diets. Nobody likes diets but extremely picky eaters like mine add a huge additional level of difficulty to this. We know that yeast overgrowth seems to be a very large and consistent problem in the gut health of both of my boys, so that will be the main focus as we look to change their diet to be less accommodating in order to prevent yeast from thriving in the gut.
And there you have it. A very tall order, but one that I feel, if done well, could benefit my boys in so many ways. Gut health has always been in the back of my mind as something I know that we need to improve. I know it won’t be easy, because if it were easy, it would already be done. New year means it is the perfect time to set this big goal and hold myself accountable to achieving it for my boys.