Over the years I have noticed a significant trend in the health of my clients. No matter what the other physical symptoms presenting - there seems to be a significant digestive/intestinal system imbalance. Often there is congestion in the liver and some of the major elimination pathways including the bowels, urinary, respiratory, and skin systems. In my extensive research in trying to deal with these underlying issues I came across the Gut & Psychology/Physiology Syndrome (GAPS). This is the connection between how our physical and mental health is dependent on the health of our digestive tract and the micro-organisms contained within it. I would say that over 90% of my clients are GAPS clients. These are the people that fall into the gap of modern medical knowledge and have limited success with nearly every standard treatment out there.
I recently spent some time at a training seminar in Chicago to become a Certified GAPS Practitioner. This training has helped me to understand the wide variety of conditions that stem from gut dysbiosis (gut bacteria out of balance). It has also helped me to put together a plan for helping my clients heal themselves based on the clinical practice of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride who works with thousands of GAPS patients around the globe. Overwhelmed with the demand for her expertise, Dr. Campbell-McBride has certified a handful of practitioners like me throughout the US to help her respond to the growing number of people dealing with this condition.
The GAPS program has three main components; the GAPS nutritional plan, specific supplementation, and ways to detoxify the body. Most important is the GAPS Nutritional Plan, which provides large amounts of nourishing substances to heal the gut lining while eliminating those foods that are difficult to digest as well as those that feed pathogenic microbes.
So how do you know whether or not you have GAPS?
- You have severe digestive symptoms such as: diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, irritable bowel, celiac, gluten-sensitivity, constipation, hemorrhoids, colitis, acid reflux, etc.
- You have learning or mental difficulties including: ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression, poor mental clarity, addictions, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, epilepsy, etc.
- You have an autoimmune disorder such as: Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, arthritis, lupus, allergies, etc.
- You have a skin condition including: eczema, psoriasis, rashes, and other skin allergies.
- You have other chronic conditions such as: Diabetes Type 1&2, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, PMS, menstrual problems, endocrine disorders (thyroid, adrenal, etc.).
- You have generalized symptoms that do not fit into a diagnostic box such as: digestive problems, fatigue, muscular weakness, cramps, pain and ache in joints and muscles, skin problems, hormonal abnormalities, etc.
As you can see this includes a wide majority of the population!
I have spoken to many of you about gut dysbiosis already and have introduced quite a few to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The GAPS diet is based off of the SCD diet with a few significant changes as well as providing a comprehensive plan of action based on the individual’s needs.
I will be conducting a seminar soon to help educate my clients about what is GAPS and how they can begin to recover from it. I hope for this to evolve into a regular support group including food demonstrations and more. I would like this to be an affordable way for many of you to make the lifestyle changes necessary to promote significant results in your health.
More information about the GAPS Seminar will be coming soon. We also plan to record this seminar for posting on our website and to make available for purchase.
To Your Health!
Dr. Kathryn Doran-Fisher, ND