The Gaps Diet is a nutritional protocol devised by Dr Natasha Campbell McBride based on her clinical work with individuals with autism. She found that many of her patients with autism also had digestive disturbances.
Dr Campbell McBride found that when gut health improved in these individuals behavioral and sensory issues would also improve.
Through her clinical work she found that the same protocol was also successful in improving ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, asthma, bed wetting, thrush, finicky eaters, chronic ear infections, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type-1 diabetes, chronic cystitis (bladder infection), colic & eczema and many more autoimmune conditions.
The theory that there is a strong gut-brain connection has been mostly overlooked, but now, Dr Campbell McBride’s work is gaining popularity with people all over the world.
What is the basic premise of the GAPS diet? “It’s almost like setting the ‘reset button’ on your gut flora after a lifetime of antibiotics and toxins.” That is truly what the GAPS diet is all about.
It is not about a bit of a “fix”, or making some improvements in the way that our digestive system functions. It is so much more than that. Rather, it is about completely pulling back from all those things that exacerbate our already over-loaded, tired, lethargic, toxin-ridden, out-of-balance and damaged system, so that our gut can truly heal.
GAPS includes three main principles:
1) Healing the gut- By avoiding all foods that irritate it, and by consuming only foods that will nourish and heal it.
2) Repopulating the gut with beneficial bacteria- This is done by avoiding all foods that feed opportunistic (bad) bacteria/gut flora. As well, high quality probiotic supplements are used to actively repopulate the gut while all this cleansing/starving of the bad bacteria is taking place.
3) Getting rid of toxins- This happens in a number of ways. By limiting the diet to only foods that can be easily digested and eliminated, by strengthening the gut and the beneficial bacteria so that they can deal with toxins thoroughly, and by fresh juicing to speed up the elimination of toxins.
Detoxifying is one of the most crucial benefits of the GAPS diet. When there is an overgrowth of yeast, bad bacteria, fungi, parasites and anything else that stems from gut dysbiosis (an unhealthy, improperly functioning intestinal tract), myriads of dangerous toxins are produced.
These toxins are able to alter brain chemistry, cause auto-immune reactions, severely hamper immunity against infections and more. In a nutshell, “Through her research, [Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride] has determined a distinct correlation between unhealthy intestinal flora, poor digestion and toxicity from chemicals created by undigested foods, which can severely affect brain chemistry.” (Source- Weston A. Price Foundation book review).
For further information call us and speak to Sarah Fossick, our qualified GAPS Practitioner.