THE GAPS DIET

Natural Digestive Healing

Simplified GAPS Outline
Here is a simplified outline of the GAPS Nutritional Program.  Please refer to Gut and Psychology Syndrome for more detailed information.

THE NUTRITIONAL PROGRAM

1.    Diet
2.    Supplementation
3.    Detoxification and Life-style Changes

1. 
Diet

The GAPS Diet is made out of three stages:

1. GAPS Introduction Diet
2. The Full GAPS Diet
3. Coming off the GAPS Diet.

Please, read in detail about these stages in the GAPS book.



2. Supplementation

The essential supplements for GAPS patients:

A.    An effective therapeutic strength probiotic
B.    Essential Fatty Acids
C.    Vitamin A
D.    Digestive enzymes
E.    Vitamin and mineral supplements.


        A. 
An effective therapeutic strength 
           probiotic

            Probiotics are most commonly used in the
            treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders:

      • viral infections of the digestive tract
      • necrotising enterocolitis in infants
      • intractable pediatric diarrhea
      • pseudomembranous colitis
      • traveler's diarrhea
      • Clostridium Difficile enterocolitis
      • enterocolitis
      • Helicobacter infection
      • enteropathogenic E. coli infection
      • inflammatory bowel disorders: Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and chronic pouchitis
      • irritable bowel syndrome
      • lactose intolerance
      • prevention of colonic cancer in laboratory studied

                
                In addition to digestive issues many other
                health problems have been shown to
                respond to treatment with probiotics:

      • allergies including food allergy
      • autism
      • chronic viral infections
      • urogenital infections
      • hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and biliary disease
      • tuberculosis
      • meningitis
      • malignancy
      • arthritis
      • diabetes
      • burns of various degree
      • perioperative care and intensive care in surgical patients and patients with massive blood loss
      • clinical infections
      • autoimmune disorders

                While many conditions may benefit from 
                the use of probiotics, the above list has
                had scientific papers published on the
                benefit of probiotics with the specific
                condition.


                General Guidelines for choosing a good 
                probiotic:


                    a.    A good probiotic should have as 
                          many different species of beneficial
                          bacteria as possible.

                    b.    A mixture of strains from different 
                          groups of probiotic bacteria is more
                          beneficial than just one group.

                    c.    A good probiotic should have a
                          concentrated amount of bacteria: at
                          least 8 billion of bacterial cells per  
                          gram.  

                    d.    The manufacturer of the probiotic
                           should test every batch for strength
                           and bacterial composition and
                           should be prepared to publish
                           the results.
        
        (Bio-kult is the recommended probiotic and 
         Dr. Campbell-McBride is one of the
         inventors)    


        B. 
Essential Fatty Acids

            GAPS children and adults should have a
            group of essential oils supplemented:

                a.    A good seed/nut oil blend in the ratio 
                      of 2:1 of omega-3:omega-6 fatty acids.

                b.    Cod liver oil to supply EPA, DHA, 
                       vitamin A and vitamin D.

                c.    Fish oil with higher ratio of EPA to
                       DHA, as more EPA seems to be
                       beneficial for GAPS patients.  There
                       are no toxic levels for these oils.

        C.  Vitamin A

            As listed previously, vitamin A is
            recommended in the form of Cod Liver Oil
            (CLO).  Vitamin A deficiency can
            cause digestive problems.

            Leaky gut and malabsorption are the typical
            results of vitamin A deficiency. 
            Unfortunately, due to digestive problems,
            GAPS children and adults usually cannot
            absorb or use many forms of vitamin A,
            commonly found in supplements.

            A natural form of vitamin A found in CLO
            appears to be the best form for these patients.

             
        D. 
Digestive Enzymes  

            People with abnormal gut flora almost
            without exception have low stomach acid
            production.  Toxins produced from bacteria
            such as Candida and Clostridia have a
            strong ability to reduce secretion of stomach
            acid.

            Stomach acid is the first barrier for huge
            numbers of microbes arriving with every
            bite of food or drink we consume.  If
            the stomach is not acid enough, these bad
            microbes may have a chance of colonizing in
            the stomach itself.

            Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends that
            GAPS patients supplement with stomach
            acid.  The most physiological preparation   
            available is Betaine HCl with Pepsin.


                
Pancreatic Enzymes

                These are the enzymes people generally
                think of when hearing the
                words "digestive enzymes".   These 
                enzymes are usually combinations of
                proteases, peptidases, lipases, amylase,
                lactase and cellulase.

                In a healthy digestive tract, these enzymes
                are naturally produced by the pancreas.  If
                normal stomach acidity can be returned,
                these enzymes should work efficiently.

                Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends
                supplementation with stomach acid.  If
                you feel benefit from the use of these 
                supplements, make sure they do not
                contain fillers or binders which may
                interfere with the healing process in the 
                gut.

        E.  Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

            Dr. Campbell-McBride does not generally
            recommend any vitamin or mineral
            supplementation at the beginning of the
            program.

            Some patients may require targeted
            supplementation but this is a matter for a
            qualified practitioner to decide.


            If you are going to use supplements:

                a.    Choose supplements without any
                       ingredients which may aggravate the 
                       gut condition. 
 
                b.    Choose supplements with a high 
                       absorption rate. 

                c.    Keep supplements to an absolute 
                       minimum.


3.  DETOXIFICATION AND LIFE-STYLE CHANGES

The first and most important thing is to remove the main source of toxicity, which means cleaning up and healing the gut.  

Since this alone will not rid the body of years worth of toxic build up in the system, juicing is recommended.  Juicing provides very concentrated fruit and vegetable nutrients to the body in an easily absorbed form.  

Black Elderberry is also beneficial and has strong immune-stimulating properties and it is one of the most powerful anti-viral remedies known to man. 

        The General Toxic Load

        An important part of the treatment is reduction
       of the general toxic load.  Keep your house
       chemical free and avoid bringing anything into
       the home which will let off chemicals such
       as new carpet, furniture, and paints.  Also 
       remember that your skin absorbs just about
       everything it comes in contact with so be
       very cautious with the products you put on
       your skin.  

       Household plants are great at reducing the
       toxic air in our houses.  They consume the
       toxic gases and replace them with oxygen and
       other beneficial substances. 
 

This is a brief summary of important points addressed in Gut and Psychology Syndrome.  It is very important to read the sections devoted to these areas in the book for a clear understanding of each.  Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride also provides additional information on her website www.gaps.me. 
 

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