GAPS – Gut and Psychology Syndrome – written by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, has been life-changing for me. I am talking about dramatic changes in my physical health since beginning the GAPS Diet!
Update: With the amazing health benefits I have had and as an answer to many emails, please see my ebook: GAPS: How to Start
If you have not already, please take time to read the GAPS Diet which will explain a bit more about the link between poor digestion, health problems and the diet to target healing of the gut.
So that you might know me a little better and appreciate the changes, let me give you a brief medical history.
Growing up, it seemed that I always had stomach problems.
By problems, I mean pain, nausea, diarrhea, and/or constipation. By the sixth grade, my pain was so severe that an exploratory laparotomy was performed.
Unfortunately, only swollen glands were found. So, my pain and discomfort continued even into my teen and adult years.
At 17 years of age, I received a diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease.
With rheumatoid arthritis, the body overreacts to an irritant and begins an inflammatory process which normally attacks the joints but may also cause inflammation in the lungs and around the heart.
I was put on prescription medication which provided some relief but also exacerbated my stomach pain.
Once I began to have children, my options narrowed. Steroids are not recommended for pregnancy and the prescription medications adversely affected my nursing babies.
At age 19, I tested allergic to beef, fowl, and pork.
In addition to allergy shots, I became a vegetarian – eating only eggs, dairy and fish along with veggies and grains.
I would continue with arthritic flair-ups and periods of remission throughout my adult life. Extremely difficult periods occurred after childbirth (all 10 of them), when the baby was anywhere from 6 – 10 mths old. ‘
In 2011, however, after some female surgery, the arthritis pain was so severe that my husband had to cut my pancakes every morning! There seemed to be no relief in sight!
As if I did not have enough wrong: At age 47, I received a diagnosis of osteoporosis.
For an update on my osteoporosis see: Natural Treatment for Osteoporosis
I took prescription medication for my low bone density. Now, besides everything else, the medicine prescribed for my osteoporosis made me feel like I had the flu almost all the time. It felt as though I was falling apart!
My daughter-in-law, Jessica, introduced me to GAPS. She was able to attend a conference at which Dr. Campbell-McBride was a speaker.
After talking with Dr. Campbell-McBride personally about me and my history, she came home excited that I would have relief from my pain and once again eat meat.
Her enthusiasm was contagious and I began the GAPS Introduction Diet the week before Thanksgiving. The GAPS diet consists of an Introduction Diet and you move to the Full GAPS diet.
The Introduction Diet is the most restrictive part of GAPS by far. It consists of six stages and with each stage you add more foods. The foods are added in a particular order to allow for the healing of your gut. They are added according to the ease with which they are digested.
As of this writing, I have had complete relief from my arthritis symptoms!
I am eating meat again after 30+ years! This is really great since we raise and butcher our own cows! I have had other bone density tests with results showing that it is possible to re-mineralize your bones!
Yet another autoimmune disease hits – Eczema
After several years of being off the GAPS diet, I began having new issues. Eczema and mononucleosis, both of which deal with autoimmune problems hit me like a ton of bricks.
Like many autoimmune diseases, eczema is multifaceted. Some factors that contribute to the disease include diet, stress, sleep, and allergy to products used or foods.
I had been on several rounds of antibiotics to clear up what I thought was a recurring bladder infection. I later learned that the doctor never did a urine culture and I was not suffering from a bladder infection at all!
Antibiotics kill all the bacteria in your gut – the good and the bad. If steps are not taken to repopulate the good bacteria with probiotics you can suffer from an imbalance of the bacteria in your gut and this equals GAPS.
Along with multiple antibiotics, I was also burning the candle at both ends, so to speak. I was going on 4 – 5 hours of sleep each night and had begun a home business that added a lot of stress to my life.
My body finally rebelled and said, “ENOUGH!”.
For an update on my eczema, please see Get Rid of Eczema Naturally.
Next Up – Mononucleosis
I had never had skin problems before. I was surprised when I began having the terrible itching and scratching that eczema causes. In only a few months, I came down with mononucleosis. Again, I felt as thought I was falling apart!
After doing research and finding that eczema is indeed an autoimmune problem the light bulb went off – I needed to do the GAPS diet. So, I started on the Introduction Diet and worked through the six stages and moved on to the Full GAPS Diet which is where I am now.
Just like with my arthritis, the relief was very quick. Is my eczema completely gone? Not quite but almost! I can tell if I do not get enough sleep – at this point, that seems to be my trigger and I will begin to get some redness.
But, it is just a little and once I get more rest and sleep, the redness is gone.
For me, it is the combination of the GAPS diet, rest and decreased stress that makes the difference. Getting more rest and decreasing my stress did not stop my eczema but adding the GAPS diet did – addressing the gut dysbiosis did the trick.
Enthusiasm is Contagious
Hopefully, my enthusiasm over the wonderful changes that have occurred will be contagious also. As a result of my success with the diet and as an answer to emails, I have an ebook to help you get started: GAPS: How to Start
I would encourage any of you interested to purchase the GAPS book.
It is a detailed book with a lot of information that for some, like me, has been life-changing. You might also visit Dr. Campbell – McBride’s website Gut and Psychology Syndrome for more information.