GAPS™ is an acronym for Gut and Psychology / Physiology Syndrome. Described in detail by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride in her book by the same name which discusses the connection between the health of the gut and 'dis-ease' in the body, encompassing both neurological as well as physiological conditions including inflammatory bowel conditions, autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety and autoimmune disease to name just a few.
Hippocrates - All disease begins in the gut
The 'father of medicine' may have made this statement more than 2000 years ago, but finally modern science is proving him right, and we are learning more about the gut and it's significance to our health everyday.
Of particular significance is the research establishing that our digestive system and in fact our entire body is populated by trillions of microscopic inhabitants, with new species being identified all the time, each with a specialised role to play in a highly organised microbial world or 'microbiome'. You can think of your body's microbiome much like a rainforest ecosystem which is not only unique to the part of the world that it is found, as your microbiome is unique to you, but we also know that the higher the diversity of organisms in a rainforest, or microbes that you carry, the healthier it is or YOU are!
The problem is, there are many factors in our modern lifestyle which are good at wiping out many species of our beneficial gut microbes, much like how humans tend to wipe out animals and plant species if we continue with the analogy! Back to our microbes . . . when the harmful ones begin to predominate, this leads to an imbalance or dysbiosis which directly influences both the physical integrity and the functionality of the digestive system. In this situation the gut wall becomes 'leaky' allowing toxic substances produced by harmful microbes as well as partially digested food molecules which wouldn't normally be absorbed across the wall of a healthy gut, to pass through the 'gates' and with help from our bloodstream, be distributed around the body. If you are thinking that this doesn't sound healthy for the body, well you are right! Unfortunately, these substances have an impact on not just your digestive system, but also tissues and organs far away from the gut.
As the immune system attempts to destroy these 'foreign bodies' , it launches inflammation, with your body being caught in the cross-fire, leading to food allergies and intolerances, pain and soreness, skin problems, inflamed tissues and organs and eventually chronic disease away from the gut. When the toxicity steming from the gut crosses the blood-brain barrier, or damages the nervous system, this is when neurological symptoms occur. When joints are effected or specific organs such as the pancreas and thyroid are involved, physiological symptoms occur. This is one mechanism for how autoimmunity is born in the gut.
In summary, if you have 'dis-ease' in your body, it may be a result of a compromised gut wall. . . and thankfully there is help available. The GAPS diet is an extremely successful nutritional protocol for healing and sealing the gut wall. If you are interested in establishing if poor gut health is the root cause of your symptoms or condition and would like to find out more about the GAPS diet protocol, as a Certified GAPS Practitioner trained by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, I am here to listen and guide you step-by-step through the details of the GAPS protocol.
Interested in a GAPS Consultation? Details here.
GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988