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Natural Awakenings Tucson

GAPS and the Gut: Mutual Friends

Many people suffer from the gastrointestinal issues or other physical or mental issues that stem from digestion problems in the gut. GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome and is a book, diet and program written and designed by neurologist and nutritionist Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D. of Cambridge UK. It is a timely program to counteract the damage done by the current global epidemics of diabetes and obesity.

Gas, bloat, brain fog, abdominal fat, excess weight and insomnia are symptoms that many people complain about. Some have more progressed conditions like autism spectrum disorder, depression and metabolic syndrome. GAPS addresses these symptoms and conditions and gets to the core of the issue, reseeding the good flora and healing the gut walls. 

The GAPS program clarifies the causes and provides a healing program for many conditions. Diarrhea can stop very quickly. Abdominal pain and skin rashes diminish and migraines are less frequent. People can experience immediate results but they may need to add probiotics or fermented foods to reduce the symptoms of toxic die-off.

GAPS establishes that there is a connection between the state of the gut and the health of the rest of the body. The protocol concentrates on seven goals and includes diet, supplementation and detoxification.

1. Normalize gut flora

2. Heal/seal gut lining

3. Restore gut functions

4. Remove nutritional deficiencies

5. Restore immunity

6. Remove toxicity from the body

7. Restore the body’s detoxification system

The diet includes broths, stocks, meat, fowl, fish, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, fermented vegetables and dairy, raw honey, fruit, nuts and seeds. It focuses on the quality and quantity of specific fats and fermented foods and avoids grains, beans, starchy roots, lactose, added sugars, processed foods and food additives.

GAPS is a powerful healing diet benefiting adults and children. Although healing can take up to two years, people notice a reduction in abdominal gas and bloating within weeks. However, success requires patience and perseverance. Certified GAPS practitioners can guide clients through the program.

Sheila Shea, MA is the director of the Intestinal Health Institute, and a certified GAPS practitioner. The Intestinal Health Institute is a local business promoting full spectrum gastrointestinal health, located at 4427 E. 5 St. Call 520-325-9686, email [email protected] or visit See ad page 16.