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Gut Health


Gut And Psychology Syndrome 

(GAPS)

&

Gut And Physiology Syndrome 

(GAPS)

The term GAPS is an abbreviation of Gut And Psychology/Physiology Syndrome. The GAPS Nutritional Protocol is a form of treatment, used in a similar way for both pyhsiological and psychological health issues.

The concept of GAPS is roughly 15-20 years old, during which time, it's creator went through a steep learning curve, culminating in the  publication of her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome in 2004. Doctor Natasha Campbell-McBride is a Medical Doctor who specialises in Neurology and more recently she specialises in Nutrition, both to a 'Masters' level in the area of Medical Science. Her studies extended back to the time of the ancient Greek Physician Hippocrates, who understood then, that all disease is rooted in the intestinal health of the individual. During her studies, the concept of GAPS was created, it's creator: Doctor Campbell-McBride.

Doctor Campbell-McBride has a son who developed a number of symptoms of autism, at a young age. When faced with the following mantra: "you just have to deal with it", Dr Campbell-McBride concluded that this simply wasn't good enough. The 'attitude' she was confronted with provided no acceptable explanation for the condition, particularly for someone of her experience. She has gone to great lengths to provide us all with a plausible explanation for how the conditions on the autism spectrum can occur and how to remedy the situation. In the meantime, as luck would have it, the GAPS Nutritional Protocol has helped many people across a broad range of health issues.

"The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition" Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

The trouble with 'diagnostic boxes'

Today, there are many different 'diagnostic boxes' for many different sets of symptoms and behaviours. The autistic spectrum of disorders (ASD) is a perfect example of this, with more than ten apparently separate conditions falling under the ASD group. However, more and more 'different' conditions are now being accepted under the umbrella of ASD. Recently added to the ASD list is a group of conditions known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs) including conditions such as Asperger's Syndrome, Rett's Syndrome and Childhood Degenerative Disorder (aka Childhood Disintegrative Psychosis). To summarise, the GAPS view considers all of these conditions to be the outward 'symptoms' of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, GAPS Syndrome for short.

My GAPS Journey

I am very grateful to Dr Natasha for her integrity. She explains her discovery in the correct way and resists the temptation to use sensational, dramatic language. I have thanked her face-to-face for delivering the GAPS protocol to me. I discovered GAPS at a time in my life when I was looking for some direction. The GAPS protocol has helped me to help my family overcome certain health issues. Also, my one year old boy has developed a fairly robust immunity which allows him to play outside in the puddles, mud and stones with very few runny noses and no chesty coughs. I have my fingers crossed for the future!

If you would like to read more about GAPS and Dr Campbell-McBride, please visit the following websites:

www.gaps.me

www.doctor-natasha.com

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Gut Health... Continued

Hippocrates said:

"All diseases begin in the gut"

Suppose for a moment that the above statement is true. Surely addressing the health of the digestive system itself is the first step towards dealing with health issues. The 'gut lining' has a number of fundamental roles to play in human physiology. One of those roles is to absorb digested food into the blood stream. Another role is to digest food, together with the other organs.

'Leaky gut' is a phenomenon associated with partially digested food getting through the gut wall and into the blood. This can result from many unsuitable substances entering the digestive system over a long period - in other words, poor diet damages the gut. But what is poor diet? What should we avoid?

The obvious answer is to avoid processed foods. However, if we eat only natural/organic nutrient dense foods, our health problems can often persist. All natural foods have their place in our diet but we have to get things in the right order and we also have to learn to prepare our food correctly.

Gut Ignorance

There are many treatments for many health problems which do not address the health of the gut. If we consider gut health to be fundamental, then gut healing must preceed any other form of treatment. Otherwise the gut may not properly absorb the foods/supplements/medications we choose to treat our particular health problem.

You, or someone you know, may have a skin problem or a joint problem or a lung illness. They may even have something more serious such as insulin resistance, heart problems or mental illness. We cannot ignore the role of gut health in all of these conditions. The gut is a very busy part of the body and interacts with all of the other functions of the body. It is considered the second brain and performs many times more physiological functions than the brain itself. So why do we ignore such a fundamental organ? Well, for the longest time we have been ignorant of it's many roles.

Detoxification

Many health professionals now advise people to go on a restrictive detox program without considering the state of the gut. We need a fully functioning gut so that these detox techniques can be effective. Also, there are a number of different detoxification techniques, none of which we can properly evaluate when the gut itself is damaged.

We should avoid putting non-food items into our body. Processed foods often contain ingredients that are non-food items. Every time we put something 'foreign' into our body, our gut has to try to get rid of it and try to prevent it from causing harm along the way. Achieving this goal is quite difficult because these non-food items can damage the gut lining and it's defences. Furthermore, if the gut is porous and leaky, the non-food items can get into the blood freely. Who knows where they will find a home for themselves? 

The list of environmental toxins we are exposed to nowadays is incredible. One sneaky environmental toxin is paint fumes, sometimes taking months to finish out-gassing. Similarly, new carpet and furniture often have an extensive out-gassing period, emitting flame retardants and other gases for years after installation. Soaps, make-up and other so-called personal care products are packed with man-made chemicals. In short, if you wouldn't put it in your mouth, then it does not belong on your skin. Fortunately there are many inexpensive natural care products available to everyone. We just need to get our heads out of the sand and start using them.

If you take a moment to sit down with a pen and paper and do a brainstorm on "the toxins in my life", you will then understand how we are all 'toxic' to one degree or another. Detoxification is not just something for ex-smokers and men who worked in the coal mines, we are living in an ever-increasing sea of toxins and we volunteer our bodies for the toxic experiment without really thinking about the risks!

Immunity

What has our gut got to do with our immune system? The first line of defense for our body is the gut lining itself. In a healthy individual, the lining has built-in protection. First, it has a mucous membrane which can trap undesirables and remove them from the body.  Second, within the thick band of mucous, there are many different species of beneficial bacteria which perform many important roles including the breaking down of certain foods and the destruction of harmful micro-organisms.

We provide educational material for all our clients, specific to their individual needs. Without doubt, immunity is something that everybody needs to know about and something many people know nothing about.

Ducky

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     Testimonial

Maurice (age 56):
"My energy was very low for 3 years. I work as a carpenter and I had to battle against myself all day to get my work done. Since I changed the foods I'm eating I can work all day and late in the evenings with no problems. I am sleeping better too."

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