What is Gut and Psychology Syndrome?
Gut and Psychology Syndrome, also referred to as the GAPS protocol is a dietary system designed to promote gut health in a bid to resolve major psychological and physiological conditions. The protocol often describes the process as "healing and sealing the gut". The gut and the brain are connected via a nerve called the Vagus nerve, which allows direct communication between the two. This is affected dramatically by the presence of pathogenic bacteria or "dysbiosis", leading to many psychological and physiological problems. By repairing damage within the gastrointestinal tract and promoting the growth and maintenance of a healthy microbiome many conditions such as autism, mental health issues like depression and many autoimmune issues as well as gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome have shown improvement when GAPS has been employed. Here, the founder of GAPS, Dr Natasha Campbell McBride explains how gut health has profound effects not only on the mental state, but also the physical state of the body.
The Protocol itself is divided into three stages, Intro GAPS, Full GAPS and Reintroduction Phase. Where you are in your health journey will determine which stage your GAPS protocol will begin. It is common to have to revert back stages when the body is dealing with a lot of toxicity.
The introduction diet, (or Intro as it's referred to), is the most challenging in that it tends to eliminate
more foods and then allows slow reintroduction back over 6 stages. Nourishing foods such as meat stock, homemade fermented dairy, meats, fats and well cooked vegetables are the mainstay for this stage, promoting maximum healing over about 3 to 6 weeks, although in those that are particularly compromised this can take longer.
Full GAPS allows a vast array of foods. However from day one of GAPS, all grains, commercial dairy, processed foods and added sugars are forbidden. Meats, fish, fermented dairy, eggs, meat stocks and fermented and fresh vegetables fruits and nuts* are all vital to the success of GAPS. Full GAPS resembles paleo but with the added benefit of fermented dairy. All stages require the consumption of healthy fats, particularly of animal origin in order for healing to take place. In fact GAPS can be designed to be ketogenic depending on the clients needs, but it can't be effectively changed to a vegan diet. Vegetarians can do well on GAPS providing they consume eggs, butter and ghee, all very important components of the GAPS protocol.
After a duration of gut healing, some of those forbidden foods can be slowly reintroduced without reaction. Time wise, this 'reintroduction period' is estimated to occur around two years after starting full GAPS. However, in those that have extreme conditions such as autism, it is best that some foods are not reintroduced at all. Whilst this seems harsh, it is important to focus on health and the vast list of foods that can be consumed rather than few that cannot. A full list of these foods are provided in consult with a complete protocol.
I currently take clients through the GAPS protocol via Zoom or face to face in store. For further information, contact me (see details below), or call Go Vita in Mackay City Heart ((07) 4957 5800) for an in-store consult.
A 15 minute discovery session is available free of charge to floor any questions you may have.
I look forward to working with you.
Much love x
*(inclusion will depend on carbohydrate content, high levels of sugar feed pathogenic bacteria)