The GAPS Diet


Gut and psychology, or gut and physiology, GAPS for short, is the term coined by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to describe the connection between functions of the digestive system and the brain and body. In short, if your digestive system isn’t functioning properly, the rest of your body can’t function properly. The GAPS diet provides the framework to heal the digestive system so every part of your body can work the way it is meant to.

What is the GAPS diet?

The Gaps diet is a whole food diet that incorporates dietary changes with supplementation. The diet part of the program limits the type of carbohydrates that can be consumed and encourages foods that are healing to the digestive system. Those who have digestive disorders do not adequately digest carbohydrates and the undigested food becomes fuel for the bad intestinal microbes. The GAPS diet takes away the food source for the bad microbes, thus killing them off. Supplementation is also used to provide additional support for the body during this process and promotes overall healing.

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Disorders treated with gaps protocol

Learning disabilities and mental disorders
  • autism
  • sensory problems
  • stimming
  • food intolerances
  • adhd/add
  • dyslexia
  • dyspraxia
  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • bipolar disorder
  • schizophrenia
  • epilepsy
  • brain fog
  • panic attacks
  • anxiety
  • memory and cognitive problems
  • mood alterations
  • various tics and other behavioral issues

All diseases begin in the gut

Hippocrates, 460-370BC
Chronic physical conditions
  • autoimmune disorders
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • multiple sclerosis
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • systemic lupus
  • fatigue
  • muscular weakness
  • abnormal muscle tone
  • joint pain
  • autoimmnue skin problems
  • eczema
  • asthma
  • fibromyalgia
  • multiple chemical sensitivity
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • pms and other menstrual problems
  • Digestive disorders:
    • celiac disease
    • crohns disease
    • ulcerative collitus
    • irritable bowel syndrome
    • gastritis
  • Endocrine disorders:
    • diabetes
    • andrenal disorders
    • thyroid disorders

More information about the GAPS diet

The GAPS diet is based on the SCD (the Specific Carbohydrate Diet). SCD was invented by a renowned American pediatrician Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas in the first half of the 20th century. Dr. Haas and his colleagues have spent many years researching the effects of diet on celiac disease and other digestive disorders. The results of this research were published in a comprehensive medical textbook “The Management of Celiac Disease”, written by Dr. Sidney V. Haas and Merrill P. Haas in 1951. The diet, described in the book, was accepted by the medical community all over the world as a cure for celiac disease and Dr. Sidney V. Haas was honored for his pioneer work in the field of pediatrics. Elaine Gottschall, a biochemist and biological nutritionist continued researching the benefits of the SCD diet and over the years helped thousands of people, suffering from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, diverticulitis and various types of chronic diarrhea. The most dramatic and fast recoveries she reported were in young children, who apart from digestive problems had serious behavioral abnormalities, such as autism, hyperactivity and night terrors. She devoted years of research into the biochemical and biological basis of the diet and published a book, called “Breaking the Vicious Cycle. Intestinal Health ThroughDiet.” Natasha Campbell McBride MD with advanced degrees in both neuroscience and nutrition set up the Cambridge Nutrition Clinic in England in 1998. She has had great success in treating thousands of people with digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases and severe behavioral disorders including schizophrenia and autism. She utilizes concepts from the SCD diet, along with nutritional supplementation and detoxification protocols which are now referred to as the GAPS diet.

© Anam Cara Holistic Health 2013