Tag Archive | Gut and Psychology Syndrome

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 – 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 – 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

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