Get a free REAL FOOD INGREDIENT GUIDE with clear 'buy this, NOT that' advice in every food category:

leaky quiz-2

Healing Arthritis and Osteoporosis on the GAPS Diet – Portrait of a GAPS Family

healing arthritis

Healing Arthritis and Osteoporosis on the GAPS Diet

Today a blogging friend, Dina-Marie, shares her story of healing with us!

gaps largerBefore we go further, were you just looking for some quick links?

I am Dina-Marie, the mom of 10 children, 7 of whom are still at home, and I am very excited to share my story with you! Living in West Texas, my husband, John, and I home educate our children and we all work together in our 22 + acre vineyard.

I began my blog, Cultured Palate, because unfortunately, my story is all too common. I think you will understand my passion to spread the word about REAL food as you read more about us.

Two years ago, if you had talked with me about my family’s health I would have assured you that we were healthy. After all, being the stay-at-home mother of 10, I had a vested interest in making sure everyone was healthy – my job would be easier! I made most of our meals from scratch, baked our bread, bought grains in bulk and because of my meat allergies, we were primarily vegetarians. I had breastfed all 10 babies until they were a year old and made sure they ate their veggies and took a daily vitamin.

Having been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and meat allergies in my late teens, my diet was limited to say the least. I was determined to do what I could to prevent these allergies in my children. So, thinking all my problems were meat related, meats were not introduced into their diet until they were a year old.

We had your typical childhood illnesses and my arthritis flared up especially after the birth of each child. While each flare up was worse than the previous one, I consoled myself with the fact that I was, after all, getting older. Not until I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at the age of 47, did I begin to question our diet. But, then again, I was getting older!

gaps largerStill, I felt that there had to be more to the equation. It was not, however, until my arthritis prevented me from doing such simple task as cutting my own pancakes, that I was introduced to the GAPS diet. My daughter-in-law went to a Weston A. Price conference and not only heard, but spoke with Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride about my condition. Her enthusiasm was contagious and I immediately began the diet. (Get the GAPS book here.)

GAPS Diet Results:

For me, the results were phenomenal. In about 2 weeks my hands were moving. The swelling took longer to go down, but the pain subsided. Progressing through the Introduction Diet very slowly, I was eating boiled meat by the end of stage 2! I could not believe that, as good as it was, I had missed out on 30 years of meat eating!

While I realize that not everyone needs the GAPS diet, I also knew that our family had the potential for unhealthy gut bacteria because of my own unhealthy gut. Feeling that we had nothing to lose and much to gain, we embarked as a family on the Introduction diet. Taking it at a quicker pace than I originally had, my husband and I were amazed to see the die-off symptoms, especially in our younger children. From vomiting to lethargy, the symptoms confirmed our fears that we were not as healthy as originally thought. As we continued through the phases, we began to notice behavioral changes — a definite calmness and peace was in our home.

Transitioning to a Traditional Diet:

After several months on the Full GAPS diet, I slowly transitioned the family to a traditional diet. At this point, I am continuing on the Full GAPS diet for myself to allow more time to heal and I am excited about the progress. For the children, the behavioral changes have remained and there is a greater ability to focus their attention on the tasks at hand.

I have now learned the importance of probiotics in the diet and we enjoy kefir, yogurt and fermented vegetables. I also have learned how to properly prepare grains by soaking them prior to cooking to break down the phytic acid. This is especially important since phytic acid is a calcium inhibitor and with my osteoporosis, I would like to help insure that my daughters do not experience the same. Other revelations include the importance of good fats in the diet and knowing where my food comes from. (Note from Kelly: Cod Liver Oil is also a crucial part of the GAPS Diet – find Fermented Cod Liver Oil here, find GAPS probiotics here, find yogurt and kefir starters here, learn to make fermented vegetables or buy them online here.)

Not for the Fainthearted!

The GAPS diet is not for the fainthearted! It takes preparation and commitment – especially for a family. In our case it was well worth the investment.

I have been on the GAPS diet for 1 year now and I am a new woman! I now eat (and love) meat – we have even butchered our own grass-fed steer. I am free from arthritis pain, and I am successfully reversing my osteoporosis. My hair has even started growing again! Through this past year, Kelly’s blog and others like it have been invaluable. That is why I started Cultured Palate – to encourage others in the GAPS diet and traditional real foods because healing occurs through diet. Come by and visit!

Thank you Dina-Marie. If you have stories of yourself or your family members being healed on the GAPS Diet, please share them with us in the comments!

More GAPS Diet Posts:


  1. I need to tell you the “new” bar that comes up when you are trying to read an article is veryyyyy disturbing. It has Tweet at the top and Share at the bottom of the bar. It keeps you from being able to read the full article without constant distraction. Please remove or I will have to quit your site which would be a shame. I am reading on an iPad.

  2. What a great story! I hope this will inspire others to take charge of their health! I work with people who equate vegetarianism with eating healthy. They all assumed I was a vegetarian because I am the “health nut” in the office who abstains from the processed foods and store bought goodies that are brought into the office. The two vegetarians in the office were surprised to find out that I wasn’t a fellow vegetarian. They are both around 20 years younger than me and overweight – one has many health issues. This year when we shared what we were thankful for this Thanksgiving season, one of them announced she was thankful she was a vegetarian. :( I wrote an article for our company newsletter a while back on the benefits of bone broth but I don’t think any of them bothered to read it……..:( I give up!

  3. Awesome article! Thank you, Dina-Marie and Kelly! I never cease to be amazed at the power of real food and of the GAPS diet to heal and reverse so many health conditions! My own daughter has reversed food allergies and healed lifelong digestive struggles and years-long severe acne on GAPS. I hope someday GAPS becomes more commonly recognized and appreciated by conventional medicine because there are literally millions of people whose lives would be changed!

  4. I believe the middle bar is gone. I shouldn’t have taken it for granted that you “wanted” it there. Thanks for your reply. I’m also not a fan of the side bar but I “can” still read the text on the screen. I love your site.

    • As soon as I can figure out how to get the Google+ thing to show above and below my posts with the other share buttons, that ugly sidebar thing that I can’t get to work is going bye-bye too.

      I can’t stand this kind of stuff! Sure wish I had a techie husband or son or daughter who handled all this yuck for me.


  5. Pak,
    I guess you didn’t see my second reply. I thought the “middle bar” was put there on purpose….hummmm lil harsh?

  6. GAPS is an amazing healing diet! It truly is not for the faint hearted though—-it can take up to 5 years to heal severe damage.

  7. GAPS is an amazing healing diet! It truly is not for the faint hearted though—-it can take up to 5 years to heal severe damage.

  8. A gentleman who has been on the GAPS diet in my local WAPF chapter in Southern California has been on GAPS for over a year and has found his arthritis pain to have disappeared.

    I myself I have not done GAPS but eating fermented foods has taken care of my issue with gas.

  9. The same with me – fermented foods help with the good bacteria so much that the gas seems to disappear. I have arthritis in my fingers (heberden nodes) – I wonder if GAPS would help that?

  10. K, I need to get this book. My MRSA has localized to my face and the infections are painful and my complexion is embarrassing. Also, I’ve dealt with consipation since I was a teenager. Even cutting sugar hasn’t been enough. Ready to find out for myself what the hype is all about. I’ll have to modify it since I’m expecting . . .Is FCLO legit for preggie moms?

    • Leigh, yes, I took it all through my pregnancy. :)

      For help with GAPS while you’re pregnant, though, it’s probably best to have a GAPS practitioner help you out.


Leave a Reply