|I spent more than a year trying to heal the gut with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and then the candida diet. Both look very similar to the GAPS diet, except it looks more regimented than SCD and allows more foods than the candida diet. At the end of that time I was WORSE than I had been, and DD had not only not healed from any of her food intolerances, she'd developed new ones. At this point I really don't have a whole lot of faith in diets to "heal the gut". Certain probiotics and supplements helped us more and are a lot easier than gut-healing diets. Sure they work for some people, but they don't work for a lot of people, and many of the people they work for start having problems again soon after they go off the diet or add more foods in.
And my DD seriously would not have hardly anything to eat if I tried GAPS with her.
I get that you have a strong frustration with "gut healing" type diets, and I understand, given your experience. It is very frustrating trying so many things-- that are stressful enough to do-- and they don't work. And then someone says if you did it just a little differently it would work this time? Yeah, I know. But I will answer the concerns you mentioned above, anyway, just in case other people reading are interested.
The SCD (Specific Carb Diet) was a rudimentary precursor to the GAPS diet (and protocol! It's not just a diet!) We also did SCD first, and I tried a Candida diet for myself, too. SCD seemed a bit like bungling around in the dark compared to the lucid and logical GAPS program. So just because the SCD and/or Candida diets didn't work, doesn't mean the GAPS program won't work for you. The British doctor who wrote the GAPS book explains in detail what is really going on at the root of the problem-- things that the author of "Breaking The Vicious Cycle" (the SCD book) didn't understand and was basically just guessing at through trial and error (and God bless for it, she helped pave the way for further research). This is what I love about the GAPS book-- even if you don't ultimately follow the diet, understanding so clearly the physiology behind the symptoms makes it much easier to decide what you can do to fix the issues.
As far as the sensitivities to food, I believe that she would have you reintroduce certain foods that your daughter still reacts to. Now, I don't rememebr this exactly because I haven't read the book in a while and I don't have it anymore. But I remember this is what we did. Yes you will get some strong reactions in the first few days, and then they subside and healing begins. My son used to get big red splotchy cheeks from eating eggs. I reintroduced eggs anyway and the first couple days were quite hard, yes they were! But after the first few days he stopped reacting to them. I believe she discusses which allergic reactions to go ahead and "ignore" in this instance and which are more serious. I know I felt I had a good understanding of what I could do and how to work with my son's sensitivities after reading the book. Again, I don't think it would hurt to read the book.
BTW, I agree that a diet on its own probably cannot heal the gut. The diet is simply a way to give the gut a break from foods that are causing damage, so that other kinds of healing actions (like detox programs and probiotic supplements and other modalities) can take affect. This is why I try to always say GAPS diet and protocol or GAPS program. It is more than a diet.
I can't explain any of this as well as she can, because I am not a doctor of nutrition and neuroscience like she is!
Do I think that the GAPS program is always necessary to healing GAPS symptoms? Not always, but the only alternatives I know of involve energy healing and/or Chinese Medicine (like acupuncture etc.) Homeopathy might work too, with a really experienced homeopathist. But these thigns are expensive and often dependent on the skill and knowledge level of the practitioner. The GAPS program seems to be less expensive and you can research it and do it yourself.
But either way, I just want to say I really feel for where you are right now, it's really hard and so frustrating. I just really want you to get to the other side! I hope you find a way to, one way or another.
Oh, if you are interested in doing energy work without the help of a practitioner (thereby saving money), you might look into EFT, which is free, or the Energy Medicine Kit by Donna Eden (start with the kit first, not the huge book), and/or the book Feelings Buried Alive Never Die by Karol K. Truman which is great and can be purchased used to save even more money.