Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
This is a story about a little girl who is loved very much.
This is also a story about poop.
Years ago, there was a man and a woman who wanted a baby very much. The man had no trouble making babies (he was tested by medical experts). The woman, on the other hand, had endometriosis. She was having trouble getting pregnant.
The man and the woman decided that their end goal was having a baby and that they really didn’t need their biological offspring in order to give love. They decided to forgo expensive fertility treatments and focus on adoption.
In due time, the man and the woman were thrilled to be chosen by a birthmother who wanted them to love her little girl. This birthmother was a generous and loving woman. She graciously invited them to be in the delivery room and witness the birth of their child. Words cannot express the emotions of a woman who could not give birth being able to witness her daughter’s entry into the world! The birthmother even instructed the medical staff to give the baby directly to the woman because she was the baby’s mother. (Thank you birthmother, for everything.)
The man and the woman took their new daughter home from the hospital and began their new life as a family. They had never been so happy to not sleep through the night. Sadly, the baby girl was not breastfed. What’s an adoptive mom to do? She read everything (or so she thought) about raising a healthy baby. She chose a premier formula and prided herself on feeding her baby nothing but the best.
When the daughter was four months old, she started to have explosive diarrhea, or as the man and the woman called it, total diaper blowouts! Of course, they had read about this, and it should have cleared on its own quickly. When it did not, the woman took the daughter to her pediatrician. The doctor told the woman that the daughter had an allergy to milk and she would have to go on a special formula for awhile, then switch to soy formula.
The woman was very sad. She knew that breastfeeding was the epitome of nourishment for her baby. Since she couldn’t provide her daughter with that, she believed the next best thing would be dairy milk-based formula. The woman had an innate distrust of soy products, but this was too early in her health education to put her finger on exactly what she didn’t like about it.
Eventually, the diarrhea cleared and the baby became a toddler. Then the diarrhea resumed. The pediatrician told the woman that it seemed her daughter was constipated. How could this be? She was having diarrhea. The woman was told that sometimes diarrhea will flow around a blockage in the intestines. She was given a list of things, like graham crackers, to feed her daughter. The diarrhea (and presumably the constipation) cleared again. The woman was very happy when she was told that she could switch her daughter from soy milk to Lactaid, and include other diary products with the lactose broken down, like cheese and yogurt.
Then came the acid poops. This is not a medical term, but the man and the woman had no other words to describe it. The daughter would poop in her diaper, and before the man or the woman could get her to the changing table, the poop would start tearing away at the skin on her bottom. Every time the daughter would have a poopy diaper changed she would writhe and cry. The man and the woman were heartbroken to see their daughter so miserable. They convinced their daughter that if she would poop in the potty, it wouldn’t have a chance to touch her bottom and burn her. The daughter learned to poop on the potty very quickly!
Potty training was not finished though. As a matter of fact, the man and the woman could not understand why it seemed like they could never figure out if the little girl was potty trained or not. She wore pull-ups through age four. Some children just have accidents sometimes. At least that’s what the literature said, so the man and the woman did not worry.
As the little girl aged to five, then six years old, the woman became suspicious that bladder accidents should not be common. She took the daughter back to the pediatrician. The woman was advised to put her daughter on a timer. She would tell her daughter when to potty instead of allowing the daughter to self-regulate. This did not fix the problem.
It is important to note that the daughter did not regularly have bladder accidents. Sometimes she had two in a month; sometimes she would go for two months without an accident. At this point the man and the woman would rejoice that their daughter’s problems were over, only to find that another accident was just waiting around the corner.
Finally, the woman decided she didn’t want to talk to the pediatrician about her daughter’s wetting accidents anymore and she decided to visit an urologist instead. The urologist x-rayed her daughter’s abdomen and reported that she was incredibly constipated. In fact, she was so constipated that the pressure from her bowels were blocking off the signals from her bladder.
The woman was stunned. Still constipated? Her daughter was now nine years old! How could she have missed this? In fairness, the woman was no longer attending her daughter in the bathroom so it was not easy to judge just how often bowel movements were actually happening. The daughter’s underwear sometimes had stains of poop in it, so the woman assumed that her daughter was pooping, but not always wiping efficiently. The urologist told her that streaky underwear was often a sign of constipation in children.
The woman was instructed to give her daughter a massive dose of Miralax in Gatorade in order to clear out her system and then keep her daughter on a daily dose of Miralax indefinitely. his did help the problem, but the woman was uneasy with the idea of keeping her daughter on Miralax for so long, even though she was told by the doctor that it was perfectly safe.
By this time her life, the woman had embraced the Primal Blueprint. The woman had had trouble with chronic health issues and was essentially dared by a family member to read The Primal Blueprint and give it a go for a month to see if it helped. Desperate to heal herself, she gave it a try. Lo and behold, it worked!
The woman, having healed herself, despite being offered various chemical cures from her own physicians, began to look at her daughter’s problems in a whole new light. She began n=1 experiments on her daughter and began re-monitoring her daughter’s bowel habits.
The daughter has blossomed into a beautiful girl, now 11 years old. The woman has learned that certain things help her daughter with bowel habits, like a daily avocado, which her daughter enjoys with a small drizzle of maple balsamic. A small nightly dose of magnesium powder in water also keeps things moving. The Miralax has been abandoned. The woman has learned that keeping her daughter away from wheat and sugar is also helpful for bowel regularity, although this is admittedly more difficult as her daughter wants to be seen as a “normal” child in public.
The man, woman and daughter have been joined by a son (also adopted) and a floppy family dog. The entire family is primal and doing very well. The woman can tell when family members fall off the wagon based on moods, headaches or bowels, but over time she has learned not to lecture as much as allow the experiences be their teachers. The woman and daughter do have conversations about healthy food choices, which foods will aid her body and which will likely have a negative impact. Oddly enough, dairy has ceased to be a problem for the daughter. And perhaps best of all, bladder accidents have become a story from the past.
To say happily ever after would be a great way to wrap up this success story, but the story is still so open and ever changing. The woman has become a daily MDA reader and is currently studying the PB Certified Expert course. The family still faces challenges from the outside and inside (sibling rivalry, anyone?).
The best way to wrap up this story is to say this: The man, woman, daughter and son are happy, healthy and grateful to Mark and his team for the research and information they have made available to the general public. They look forward to a beautiful and healthy life together. So maybe happily ever after does fit. Yeah, let’s go with that.