Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet
What you will find...
This article is about my personal experience with the GAPS Diet, also known as Gut And Psychology Syndrome Diet. The GAPS Diet was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a doctor of neurology an nutrition. The GAPS Diet is a natural treatment for Autism, A.D.D, Dyslexia, A.D.H.D, depression and schizophrenia but can also be implemented to heal many other diseases and states of damaged health, as was the case for me.
I didn’t have autism, or A.D.D or schizophrenia, no, I had a damaged digestive system, liver, spleen and brain, among other things, from the use of toxic antibiotics that were prescribed to me to treat simple uti’s. Drugs I didn’t even need because, as I came to learn, sadly too late, there are real, natural, safe, non toxic alternatives that work!
Alternatives I now use which have kept me 100% uti free since 2009. You can read all about those alternatives here and here, pages I developed based on my own personal experiences. This particular page however, is about one of the most important things I did to regain some of the health; the GAPS Diet.
Why I Got on GAPS
…and how toxic perscription antibiotics can be. In 2017, when I was 28 years, old I developed chronic urinary tract infections for which allopathic doctors prescribed me antibiotics. Antibiotics I took just about every day for 9 months culminating in the final round I ever took; 1500mg of ciprofloxacin. And that as they say, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Though a relatively small dose, that 1500mg of cipro did me in.
Ciprofloxacin is among the most toxic antibiotic class known as the quinolones. So toxic is that particular class of drugs that they have black box warnings. A black box warning is the highest rating of danger/toxicity a drug can have and still be on the market. My body was already sick and weakened from the 9 months of another antibiotic that the cipro just devastated me. I sustained toxic damage to my brain, liver, spleen, kidneys, and digestive system among other things.
I needed help, and while not much of anything at all can be done about quinolone toxicity, a lot, as it turns out, can be done about a digestive system damaged, for example, by the repeated use of antibiotics. One such thing, and so far the most beneficial things I found, is the GAPS diet because the whole idea behind GAPS is to heal the digestive system or gut.
GAPS healing doesn’t come with toxic prescription drugs, but from a specialized diet which helps restore beneficial bacteria in the gut while starving off the bad. And after months and months of antibiotic drugs, I certainly had a lot of gut healing to do. More on that later..
The Basics of the GAPS Diet
Some of my fermented vegetables The GAPS Diet was created by Dr Natasha Campbell McBride, a doctor of neurology and nutrition. Dr. Mcbride has a son who developed autism and he fully recovered under the GAPS Diet protocol.
The GAPS Diet is rooted in healing the gut ,and the gut is where most of our neurotransmitters are made. The brain and gut are very closely interconnected. Abnormal gut bacteria, yeasts and damaged, inflamed guts, can occur for a variety of reasons like antibiotics, birth control pills, vaccines, poor diet, are the root causes of many diseases and disorders of both the brain and body.
Once the gut begins to heal many positive transformations begin to happen including normalized production of neurotransmitters, reduction in allergies, absorption of key minerals and nutrients like iron. All these positive transformations in the gut go on to help heal so called brain disorders like schizophrenia, autism and other learning disabilities, from minor to most profound.
Other benefits and resolutions seen through the GAPS Diet are the alleviation of digestive distresses such as constipation and or diarrhea. GAPS has also been shown to treat Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, allergies, IBS and crohn’s disease. So much of our begins in the gut!
So, the GAPS diet is primarily focused on diet and is comprised of nutritious foods that help heal the gut and replenish it with beneficial bacteria while starving out the bad ones. The diet itself consists of healing bone broth soups, roasted meats, fermented dairy products like homemade yogurt and sour cream and fermented vegetables all of which help heal damaged guts and replenish beneficial bacteria.
The GAPS diet is done in stages with and introductory phase, slow introduction of new foods and finally a full GAPS diet. Each stage is moved through according to tolerance levels and how soon healing begin to take place. Since everyone is different, addressing different health situations, everyone will move through the diet at a different pace.
In addition to fermented foods and healing broth soups, central to the plan is the total elimination of all starches, including ALL grains, even the “gluten free” grains like oatmeal or millet, quinoa etc. Also, no starches means no potatoes, yams, or beans. And absolutely no sugars or processed foods.
The GAPS Diet must be adhered to for a minimum of 2 years after symptoms have resolved. This is to ensure full gut healing and the starvation of negative bacteria, yeasts etc in the gut. Some people choose to stick with the GAPS way of eating long after the 2 year mark too, just because it is a great way to nourish yourself, stay healthy, and of course, the food tastes great.
The Ease of GAPS
The GAPS diet is often a huge departure from the way people have eaten their whole lives. But once you get the basics down, making the broth soups, your own yogurts and sour creams and fermented vegetables, it requires very little effort and is very enjoyable.
Keep in mind, I say this as someone who had to learn GAPS while suffering with brain damage and other serious health obstacles brought on by prescription antibiotic toxicity. If I was able to do it, you definitely can too!
You can implement GAPS for yourself or someone you are responsible for caring for by following the easy to follow recommendations and directions in Dr. Natasha McBride’s book, “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” which I have a link to below.
This book is an absolute necessity if you are planning on trying GAPS for yourself or someone else.
I learned so much from this book; it includes full, step by step instructions on how to do the diet, what foods to eat and not to eat and a wealth of recipes including all the basic ones I mentioned like the foundational broth soups, fermented vegetables and yogurt and sour cream.
The book also contains all the scientific basis and explanation of the diet, how the various bacteria function in the gut and how healing the gut heals the mind and body both.
How GAPS Helped Me
My specific problem was a severe disruption of my gut health from the overuse of antibiotics. I suffered with diarrhea, burning rectal pain, fatty stools, anemia, b 12 deficiency, copper and manganese depletion, undigested food in bowel movements and an diagnosed over growth of negative yeasts. All of this is no surprise given how long I was prescribed those toxic antibiotics!
After a few months on GAPS, those problems began going away, and after a year they went away completely. All I did was the GAPS diet, no b12 or iron supplementation, nothing like that. Just diet. It worked, and I am still on the GAPS Diet today in 2019.
I tell everyone I can think of about this diet because I experienced the transformation myself. My fiancé actually began doing the diet with me a few months ago, as a “normal” person and he has experienced improvements in his health, increased stamina and a lot less tiredness and clearer thinking. It’s been amazing.
A Note on Piima Yogurt & Sour Cream
Pima Yogurt Culture Starter Kit As is part of the GAPS Diet I now make all my own yogurt and sourcream. The book recommeded a specific types of yogurt to make called “Piima”. Piima is an extremely easy type of yogurt to make because it requires no heat and no yogurt maker. It cultures right on your counter top with cold whole milk right out of the fridge. Piima can also be used to make thick greek like yogurt and sourcream.
This yogurt is one of my favorite parts. I eat it joyfully several times a day and am amazed at how easy it is to make.
I enjoy Piima and believe in its health benefits so much that I actually began selling cultures in my local community this past year, and to other people around the country. Piima is a great healthful addition to anyone’s diet, regardless of whether or not they are doing what I am doing. If you are interested in buying Piima, you can purchase a starter culture and directions here:
The Book You Need to Begin GAPS Diet
Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia
The “how to” for GAPS written by the creator of the GAPS, Diet Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. This book introduces the science behind the diet, how to implement it step by step and all sorts of recipes, including the foundational recipes for the diet, and a lot more information and resources. A must have if you’re thinking about doing the GAPS Diet, it has all the information you will need. I really learned a lot from this book.
Resources and More Information on GAPS
This website is the one I have found to be the most helpful in answering my questions about GAPS. Not only did I learn about other people’s experiences on the GAPS Diet, and more GAPS friendly recipes, but it also happens to be Dr McBride’s official GAPS website. Under the FAQs section, you will find a wealth of questions individuals have asked Dr McBride over the years about the GAPS Diet, questions on food choices, medications, and the various conditions GAPS will treat, and there are so many! I’ve spent a good deal of time taking in the valuable information found on this site.
The Official GAPS Diet Website
This is the official GAPS Diet site. You will find answers to so many patient questions here answered by Dr. McBride herself as well as recipes, news and many other valuable resources