What is the GAPS™ diet?
GAPS is short for “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”. It is a term coined by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a physician in the United Kingdom whose son was diagnosed with autism and who she treated using the protocol outlined in her book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”. In her book, she concentrates on the conditions of autism spectrum disorder, ADHD/ADD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and schizophrenia. She points out that the diet can also be helpful for patients who are suffering from allergies, asthma and eczema.
The GAPS™ diet is based on the similar Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which was advocated by the late Elaine Gottschall. It is supported as a treatment for many similar conditions, but also specifically for patients suffering from Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, diverticulitis, cystic fibrosis, and chronic diarrhea. For patients that are specifically looking to use the SCD diet to treat autism, the following website may be helpful: www.pecanbread.com
The GAPS™ protocol focuses on diet, basic supplementation, and detoxification, including “cleaning up” your living environment. The diet emphasizes the healing power of traditional broths, fermented foods, and good fats. The goal of the diet is to “heal and seal” the gut lining, which has been damaged to the point that it has become “leaky”, allowing undigested food and toxins to enter the body, causing numerous unwanted reactions. Once this gut lining is sealed, the patient slowly introduces new foods. The diet also involves an Introduction phase, which involves six stages, before the patient moves on to Full GAPS™.
A must read for someone that wishes to start the GAPS™ protocol would be Dr. Natasha’s book, which outlines the plan that should be closely followed. The following websites are also very helpful:
www.gaps.me (Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s official website)
www.doctor-natasha.com (Dr. Natasha’s blog)
www.westonaprice.org (A link to the Weston A. Price Foundation, where you can find many helpful resource for healthy eating)
I also have a GAPS Support Group on Facebook. For more information, click here:
For those who are local to the Rockford, IL area, I offer several GAPS and fermentation classes in the Rockford and surrounding areas. (Please contact me to learn more about this).
The following links take you to articles I’ve written that help you understand the GAPS™ diet in more detail:
Traveling on the GAPS Diet (Part One)
Traveling on the GAPS Diet (Part Two)
When It Is Just Too Hard (a story of why we choose GAPS and health)
GAPS™ Introduction Diet – Stage Five
GAPS™ Introduction Diet – Stage Six
A list of FAQs can be found here and is regularly updated by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
Beginning the protocol can be daunting. Although the book explains things in detail, issues may arise as you go through the stages of the Introduction diet, leaving you unsure of what exactly you are experiencing. Yahoo! has a GAPS™ diet group that is very helpful when you have questions. Facebook also has a couple of groups (like GAPS Kids) for those looking for help, along with the GAPS Support Group that I offer (Healthy Home Body – GAPS Support Group).
Another option would be to hire a GAPS practitioner who can guide you through the roughest times. Certified GAPS Practitioners have been trained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and have extra experience and knowledge to help you on your healing journey. You can look for a local GAPS Practitioner (a list of GAPS practitioners can be found here), or if you do not have a GAPS Practitioner in your local area, I am a Certified GAPS Practitioner located in the north-central Illinois area who also does long-distance consults via email, phone, and Skype. You can find more information on the services I offer here; you may contact me with questions, comments, or to schedule a consult.