Tag Archive | GAPs diet

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)

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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 father of modern psychiatry French psychiatrist Phillipe Pinel (1745-1828), after working with mental patients for many years, concluded in 1807: “The primary seat of insanity generally is in the region of the stomach and intestines.”

-Natasha Campbell-McBride MC, MMedSci (neurology), MMedSci (nutrition) – GAPS Gut and Psychology Syndrome

the GAPs Diet – a short book review

gut_psychology

 

Finally a doctor who is saying all of the things I believed were right and true. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has put a lot of pieces of the puzzle together for me and it makes me happy. The connection between the Gut and Psychology gives me hope. I have had depression and digestion problems for years, and certain illnesses, such as ADHD and Autism have raised their ugly heads in my family. Dr. Campbell-McBride has found through her extensive research, personal experience, and her medical practice that these crazy auto-immune diseases and disorders like autism are all connected to problems in the gut. Once digestion issues surface and a yeast imbalance forms in the gut, a thing called Leaky Gut Syndrome can begin. Leaky Gut Syndrome occurs when yeast spores grow roots and poke holes into the lining of the gut. Through these holes in the intestinal wall, undigested food particles go directly into the blood stream. This causes food intolerances and auto-immune disease, as well as, other psychological problems. Our body is a system, when one thing goes wrong it causes other things to go awry and so on and so on.

What is her treatment for these problems? Bone broth. I have been happily validated in my belief that animal fats are good for you. The bone broth heals the gut of its leakiness. Once the gut is healed the body can start to repair itself of all kinds of problems. For various reasons, grains are the foods that cause the gut problems. They are very hard to break down, especially for those with damaged stomachs, and cause lots of digestion problems. Bone broth, on the other hand, is full of minerals which are 100% assimilable to our body. This completes the picture for me. I knew that grains were a problem for folks with yeast imbalances, but I didn’t know why. I also didn’t realize how nutritious bone broths are. I always knew that animal fats were not the cause of heart disease. It’s the ‘low fat’ products and hydrogenated oils we are eating that are damaging our artery walls. Cholesterol isn’t the bad guy. It simply sticks to the damage in the artery walls and this causes restrictions which make the blood pressure rise.

Other aha moments while reading this book:

  • Families with children with autism have histories of digestion issues and usually psychological problems as well. So if the mother has a yeast infection and maybe suffers from ADHD her child may be born with a yeast infection and compromised immune system. Then the little guys with low immune systems get their vaccinations and wham their body is overloaded. Signs of Autism start showing up.
  • A yeast infection can best be cured by healing the leaky gut rather than trying to starve out the yeast of sugar. Bone broth heals the gut, so that the digestion system can start to normalize itself.
  • High cholesterol being a factor in heart disease is a lie that has afforded all sorts of drugs to be sold and which have resulted in many people having side effects, namely memory loss, hence the increase in dementia in the elderly. Animal fats do not cause heart disease!! Eggs are not bad for you!! The whole farce of ‘low-fat’ is just that, a farce.
  • People who suffer psychological problems, such as depression, ADHD, Autism, Schizophrenia eczema, asthma, food allergies, invariably have digestion and gut problems. Once the good flora balance has been regained many other problems disappear as well.
  • Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride points out that because of the specializations in the medical profession the idea of treating a person as a whole is not done. This is true most especially in the area of psychiatry. Therefore, things are missed and connections are not made between the different parts of the body. This causes treatment to focus on the symptoms rather than the root problem.

I’m convinced that bone broth is very nutritious. It is full of minerals and healthy fats, which people with Psychology issues are often deficient in. The best thing is that these healing minerals are easily assimilable through the broth. It requires little digestion freeing up the body to carry out healing the yeast imbalance.

I highly recommend the GAPS book by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, MMedSci(neurology), MMedSci(nutrition)

 

For more information:

http://www.gaps.me/

The GAPs diet book on Amazon