I frequently receive emails about the GAPS Supplements I used while on the GAPS Diet and what I take now. I thought others might have the same question. So, today I want to share what I used.
Update: With the amazing health benefits I have had and as an answer to many emails, I have written GAPS Diet: How to Start Ebook to help give you the confidence and timeline to get started on your journey to health.
Leaky Gut or Gut Dysbiosis
GAPS patients have gut dysbiosis which is also known as leaky gut. According to Wikipedia refers to:
…a microbial imbalance on or inside the body. Dysbiosis is most commonly reported as a condition in the digestive tract. It has been associated with illnesses, such as inflammatory bowel disease,chronic fatigue syndrome,obesity,cancer and colitis.
Microbial colonies found on or in the body are normally benign or beneficial. These beneficial and appropriately sized microbial colonies carry out a series of helpful and necessary functions, such as aiding in digestion. They also protect the body from the penetration of pathogenic microbes. These beneficial microbial colonies compete with each other for space and resources and outnumber human cells by a factor 10:1.
The goal of the GAPS diet is to starve the harmful bacteria in the gut while replacing it with the beneficial bacteria thus resolving the leaky gut.
My Approach to Medications When Starting the Diet
After reading the Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, I decided to follow her recommendations.
In fact, having been on steroids for my rheumatoid arthritis and medicine for osteoporosis, I decided to stop all medicines and supplements.
I wanted to know for sure that it was indeed the GAPS diet that was providing the relief.
Now, I am NOT recommending this approach for everyone, it was simply what I felt was right for me.
I am not giving medical advice here but I do want to share what has worked for me.
Problems Absorbing Nutrients and Supplements
With leaky gut, patients have problems absorbing vitamins and minerals because of the condition of the intestines.
So, not only is supplementation often a waste (since nutrients go unabsorbed), it may actually aggravate the already inflamed digestive tract.
The beauty of the GAPS diet is that anyone can do it – it just requires the will to stick to it and be patient during the healing process.
That being said, there are cases complicated by other factors, such as, adrenal fatigue.
In these cases, seeking the guidance of a certified GAPS provider can be helpful. GAPS providers are doctors and nurses who work with GAPS patients.
My daughter-in-law used Biodynamic Wellness in California via phone consultations. After filling out an extensive history and diet diary, she had scheduled phone consultations.
I’m in no way affiliated with them but recommend them because they did help Jessica tweak some aspects of the GAPS diet while also managing and treating adrenal fatigue.
I did not have an issue with adrenal fatigue so after reading the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book, I felt that I was ready to tackle it myself.
GAPS Supplements I Took on the Diet
Following Dr. Campbell-McBride’s advise about probiotics, I only supplemented with a therapeutic grade probiotic. This probiotic, unlike many on the market, actually survives the stomach acid and makes it into the intestines.
2. Stomach Acid – Betaine
People with leaky gut tend to have low stomach acid which is needed to properly break down and digest foods.
I was instructed by a local doctor to use Betaine, after meals, one less capsule than the number of capsules that gave a warm feeling in my stomach.
I began with 2 capsules after eating and added another until I felt the warm feeling in my stomach.
For me, it was 4 capsules. So, my dose was 3 capsules after each meal (1 less than the number that gave the warm feeling in my stomach).
As time progressed, the warm feeling would return and I would drop off another capsule.
You should not need Betaine or other supplements to encourage stomach acid production indefinitely.
The stomach acid is produced by acid pumps in your stomach that can be “turned off” by a diet high in sugar and processed foods. Through supplementation and healthy diet, they can turn back on.
So, you can successfully wean off this supplement.
A Betaine Alternative:
Before I found out how to take Betaine, I chose to drink sauerkraut juice or 1 Tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar diluted in water before meals to encourage stomach acid production.
Fast forward 1 1/2 years later…
GAPS Supplements I Take Now:
Part of our daily breakfast is a kefir smoothie!
I have sourdough starter on my counter (breakfast is now sourdough pancakes), continue to make my own bone broths and basically eat a healthy diet.
Living in west Texas, I have access to an integrative medal doctor and who is very familiar with the GAPS diet.
I love his motto, ” You MUST eat real food first and supplement second”. So, I am now taking the following products based on his recommendations:
5 drops in water daily or sublingual (under the tongue).
I began taking 2 drops in water daily and now am down to just 4 drops once a week. T
his should not be taken at the same time as a probiotic as it will kill the probiotic.
I know you are probably thinking that we used iodized salt so how can Americans be deficient? But, due to the low-salt diet fad, salt intake has decreased since the 1970’s.
Another mineral that many Americans are deficient in is magnesium. I take it in the form of powder that I mix with water in the evening before bed.
Magnesium helps your body deal with stress, helps calm and relax you, so taking it before bed has increased my restful sleep.
To take: Start with a small amount like 1/4 tsp mixed with a glass of water and slowly increase your dose.
Taking too much will cause diarrhea. So if you begin to experience diarrhea, cut back on your amount of magnesium.
Let me just say, I am not a doctor and do not claim to tell you what to supplement.
But, after having so many questions about what I actually take, I want to share with you what has and is working for me – I hope it helps!