I am a Certified GAPS Practitioner, trained by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride in September 2017. The GAPS acronym stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Gut and Physiology Syndrome. That's me on the right with Dr Natasha.
As a Nutritional Therapist I do not "treat" any condition. I assess your individual requirements using a whole-person approach. Then I put together a personalised management plan to support your health goals. GAPS is not part of my accredited CPD. If you are keen to use the GAPS diet, it can be tailored to your needs together with other appropriate options.
What follows here is a basic outline of what type of conditions GAPS has been found to help with and the two versions used.
Gut and Psychology Syndrome
The conditions which might respond well to the Gut and Psychology Syndrome dietary approach include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, anxiety, addictions, and epilepsy.
Gut and Physiology Syndrome
The conditions which might respond well to the Gut and Physiology Syndrome dietary approach are allergies, asthma, eczema, food sensitivities, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities, pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), autoimmune disorders e.g. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus), multiple sclerosis (MS), motor neurone disease, rheumatoid arthritis, coeliac disease, psoriasis, and vitiligo.
The GAPS Diet
The GAPS Diet has two main parts to it, the Intro Diet and the Full GAPS diet. Some people need to start on the more restrictive Intro Diet, whereas other people can go ahead on the Full GAPS diet. Either way, the diet is tailored to your specific needs, taking allergies and lifestyle into account, using nutritional supplements as appropriate and moving through the stages when you are ready and able.
The GAPS Intro Diet
The GAPS Intro Diet is designed to heal and seal the gut lining. It is a type of elimination diet and has 6 stages, which take you through a careful introduction of new foods and cooking methods as you progress. Each stage can be progressed at your own pace.
The GAPS Intro Diet is suggested as the one to start with if a person has severe digestive symptoms, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhoea, severe food allergies and intolerances, coeliac disease or type 1 diabetes, in cases of Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy or severe autism, or if a child has stubborn constipation.
The Full GAPS Diet
The Full GAPS Diet allows you to eat a wider variety of foods than the Intro Diet and will typically be a follow-on. However, the Full GAPS is considered appropriate to start straight away if a person has no severe digestive symptoms, is constipated, is a busy adult, or is hesitant to change their diet. The Full GAPS needs to be followed for about two years, though some cases may be able to introduce non-allowed foods after a year. Depending on the severity of the condition, some people can then transition off the GAPS diet, but others may have to stay on it long-term to keep their condition in remission.
Lifestyle Factors to Support the GAPS Diet
Lifestyle factors that can optimise a person’s healing potential include walking in nature, getting safe sun exposure, and reducing exposure to environmental toxins.