Archives

Filling in the GAPS – The Gut-Brain Connection

One only sees what one looks for, one only looks for what one knows.

Goethe

Modern medicine has divided us, human beings, into different systems and areas: cardio-vascular system, digestive syste, nervous system, etc. According to this division different medical specialties have been created, each concentrating on a particular bit of the human body: cardiology, gastro-enterology, gynaecology, neurology, psychiatry etc., etc. There is a reason for that. Medical science over the years has accumulated an enormous amount of knowledge. No doctor in the world can possibly know it all in detail, so specializing allows doctors to concentrate on a particular area of knowledge, to learn it thoroughly and to become an expert in that area.

However, from the early years of this specialization many doctors have recognized a problem developing. A specialist in a particular area tends to pay attention to the organs which he or she knows best, ignoring the rest of the body. The fact that every organ in the body exists and works in contact with the rest gets forgotten. The body lives and functions as a whole, where every system, organ, tissue and even cell depend on each other, affect each other and communicate with each other. One should not look at, let alone treat, any organ without taking the rest of the body into account.

One area of medicine is particularly prone to look at its organ separately from the rest of the body. That area is psychiatry. Mental problems are examined from all sorts of angles: genetics, childhood experiences, and psychological influences. The last thing that would be considered is looking at the patient’s digestive system. Modern psychiatry just does not do that. And yet medical history has plenty of examples where severe psychiatric conditions were cured by simply “cleaning out” the patient’s gut.

The vast majority of psychiatric patients suffer from digestive problems, which are largely ignored by their doctors. The gut-brain connection is something which, for some reason, many modern doctors do not understand. As they give out millions of prescriptions for antidepressants, sleeping pills and other drugs, which the patients have to place into their digestive systems in order to affect their brains, they still fail to see the connection between the digestive system and the brain.

from GAPS Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, MMedSci (neurology), MMedSci (nutrition)

Filling in the GAPS – Opportunistic Flora

The usual broad spectrum antibiotics kill a lot of different microbes in the body – the bad and the good. But they have no effect on Candida. So, after every course of antibiotics Candida is left without anything to control it, so it grows and thrives. At the dawn of the antibiotic era the medical profession recognised this phenomenon, so it used to prescribe Nystatin (an anti-candida antibiotic) every time a broad-spectrum antibiotic was administered. However, for whatever reason, doctors stopped this practice decades ago, and now we are paying the price for it – candida infection has become extremely common. Apart from antibiotics, another factor in our modern world plays a major role in Candida overgroth – our diet. Candida flourishes on sugar and processed carbohydrates and these are the foods which nowadays dominate our Western eating habits.

Some opportunists, listed above, when out of control, get through the gut wall barrier into the lymph and bloodstream and cause problems in various organs in the body. Bur of course, the first place to suffer will be the digestive system.

Certain opportunists, when not controlled by good bacteria, get access to the gut wall and damage its integrity, making it “leaky”. For example, microbiologist have observed how common opportunistic gut bacteria from the families Spirochaetaceae and Spirillaceae have an ability, due to their spiral shape, to push apart intestinal cells, breaking down the integrity of the intestinal wall and allowing through substances which normally should not get through. Candida albicans has this ability as well. Its cells attach themselves to the gut lining, literally putting ‘roots’ through it and making it ‘leaky’. Partially digested foods get through this leaky gut wall into the blood stream, where the immune system recognises them as foreign and attacks them. This is how food allergies or intolerances develop.

GAPS – Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride  (p. 42, 43)

Filling in the GAPS – What Can Damage Gut Flora?

Things that destroy our good bacteria which live in our digestive tract include:

1. Antibiotics

2. Other drugs especially when prescribed for long periods of time, for example, pain killers or analgesics (aspirin, ibuprofen), contraceptive pills, sleeping pills, heartburn pills.

3. Diet, especially a diet high in sugars.

4. Disease, such as, infectious diseases (typhoid, cholera, dysentery, salmonella), diabetes, autoimmune disease, obesity, and neurological conditions.

5. Stress

6. Other factors include physical exertion, old age, alcoholism, pollution, exposure to toxic substances, seasonal factors, exposure to radiation.

Every one of us carries a unique mixture or microbes in the gut. Under the influence of drugs and other factors, listed above, this gut flora will be changed in a unique way in every one of us, predisposing us to different health problems. This damage gets passed along from generation to generation as a newborn child gets its gut flora from the mother. And as the damage is passed through generations, it gets deeper and deeper. For example, a grandmother has mild digestion problems as a result of low-key gut dysbiosis. She passes moderate abnormal gut flora to her daughter. On top of that she decides not to breastfeed, because it is not fashionable. As a result, her daughter suffers from allergies, migraines, PMS and digestive problems. Then she takes contraceptive pills from the age of 16, which deepens the damage to her gut flora, not to mention a few courses of antibiotics along the way for various infections and a diet of fast foods. After 10 years of being ‘on the pill’ she has children, to whom she passes her seriously abnormal gut flora. Her children develop digestive and immune problems, which then lead to eczema, asthma, autism and other learning problems.

From Natasha Campbell-McBride in the book GAPS Gut and Psychology Syndrome (Chapter 4, p. 33-39)

Filling in the GAPS

Gut flora is the housekeeper of the digestive system. The state of the house and its ability to fulfill its purposes directly depends on how good the housekeeper is. Anatomical integrity of our digestive tract, its functionality, ability to adapt and regenerate, ability to defend itself and many other functions are directly dependent on the state of its microscopic housekeepers – our gut flora. GAPS children and adults have a very abnormal gut flora, which result in digestive abnormalities.

p. 20, 21 – GAPS Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, MMedSci (neurology), MMedSci (nutrition)

Filling in the GAPS – the root of health

“As we know, the roots of a tree, invisible, hidden deep under the ground, play a crucial role in the well-being of every branch, every twig, every leaf of that tree, no matter how proudly high and far they may be from those roots. In the same way the diverse and multiple functions of gut flora reach in the body far beyond the gut itself.  One of the most important “branches” in the body being the immune system.

A well-functioning gut with healthy gut flora holds the roots of our health. And, just as a tree with sick roots is not going to thrive, the rest of the body cannot thrive without a well-functioning digestive system.”

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD – Gut and Psychology Syndrome p. 25

The Great Revival in Pyongyang 1907

Pyongyang Great Revival (1907-1910) – Korea

 

From 150 Years of Revival by Mathew Backholer
The first Protestant missionary to Korea was a Welshman, the Rev. Robert Jermain Thomas. He arrived in Korea in 1866 where he sold classical Chinese Bibles (which could be read by Koreans, Japanese and Chinese) and risked decapitation if caught. Korea, known as the Hermit Kingdom was still a closed land to foreigners…On the 2 September 1866, Rev. Robert Jermain Thomas was martyred on the river bank (alongside all the crew of the merchant-marine schooner that he was travelling on) outside of Pyongyang, (the present capital of North Korea) and the centre where the 1907 revival broke out.

…In 1886, the first Protestant Korean was baptised and by 1887 there was seven Korean converts. Korea saw its first revival in 1903 and it was known as the Wonsan Revival Movement and both the Presbyterians and Methodists reaped large harvests as they were united to exalt Jesus Christ. In 1904, there was 10,000 converts in Pyongyang and by the middle of 1906, after 30,000 new converts in that year alone, the revival had waned and died out.

Pyongyang, Korea, in 1907 was known as a city of wine, women and song. It was a dark city in the early twentieth century with sin abounding. It even had its own Gisaeng (Korean geisha) training school. It was in this city that Korea’s second revival began in January 1907 after months of persistent prayer, 50,000 people were converted in that one year and Korea was set ablaze – it was known as the Pyongyang Great Revival (1907-1910).

Missionary, John McCune in a letter wrote: ‘…The work of the Holy Spirit here at the Jangdaehyun Church where revival first broke out would far surpass what we have read about the great revival in Wales and India…’

…In September 1906, Dr. Howard Agnew Johnston, of New York, whilst in Seoul, informed a group of missionaries and Korean Christians about the Khasi Hills Revival, (1905-1906) in India. Jonathan Goforth, a missionary to China and Manchuria wrote that because of this more than twenty missionaries from Pyongyang Presbyterian and Methodist missions resolved to meet together to pray daily for ‘greater blessings.’ Over the Christmas period the Pyongyang Christians met each evening for prayer, instead of their usual festive celebrations. The evening prayer ceased at the start of the Pyongyang General Class but continued at noon for those who could attend.

A Bible colporteur from Kan Kai Church along the Yalu River, of 250 believers was also in Seoul. He heard Dr. Johnston and encouraged his church to meet for prayer at 5am through the autumn and winter of 1906-1907. For six months they prayed until the Holy Spirit came as a flood.

…Jonathan Goforth, missionary to China and Manchuria on his tour of the country in June 1907 said, “Those missionaries seemed to carry us right up to the throne of God. The Korean movement was of incalculable significance in my life, because it showed me at first hand the boundless possibilities of the revival method. Korea made me feel, as it did many others, that this was God’s plan for setting the world aflame.” Jonathan Goforth went on to have a powerful ministry and saw revival in China and Manchuria during 1907-1909 and again in 1915 in various cities.

…South of Pyongyang, Jonathan Goforth passed through Songdo, the ancient Korean capital. In 1907 the revival had added 500 to the Church, but during a month of special meetings in 1910, 2,500 were added to the Church because of the incredible fields which were white unto harvest (John 4:35).

Jonathan Goforth wrote: ‘When we visited Seoul in 1907, every church was crowded. A missionary said that on a six weeks tour he had baptised 500 and recorded 700 catechumens, and that his five out-stations, in one year, had increased to twenty-five. During 1910 there were 13,000 people in Seoul who signed cards saying they wanted to become Christians, and in September of that year the Methodist churches of the city received 3,000 by baptism.

‘Directly west of the capital, at the port of Chemulpo, the Methodist Mission, in 1907, had a church with 800 members. Opposite the harbour was an island with 17,000 inhabitants. The churches on the island had a baptised membership of 4,247, and more than half of them had been brought in that year. The Christians were praying that soon the whole island would become the Lord’s.’

…In 1910, the British and Foreign Bible Society through its Bible Colporteurs sold the immense total of 666,000 books to the people of Korea, most of them single gospels! A Church at Sang Sim Li, which had birthed sixteen other churches in the district, in connection with the ‘Million Movement’ (the aim of which was to win one million souls for the Lord) were believing for four hundred new converts; their share of the million, and so stepped out in faith and enlarged their church from 36ft. sq. to 225 ft. sq.!

…Paget Wilkes, founder of the Japanese Evangelistic Band visited Korea in March 1911. In his journal he wrote about the story of the Sensen Magistrate, a town in the north, where one in three of the population were Christian. When asked how things were going in his city he replied, “Go and ask the missionaries; they rule in Sensen.” Paget wrote: ‘He had but little to do. Quarrels and differences were settled before the Church, and not brought into the public courts – as St. Paul lays down in the Corinthians letters.’

Paget Wilkes wrote that on the 26 March 1911 he ‘spent a pleasant evening with Dr. Underwood, one of the oldest missionaries in Korea’ who said, “Twenty-four years ago I came to Korea and there was not one protestant Christian. Today there are 200,000, i.e. one to every fifty of the population…”

150 Years of Revival by Mathew Backholer