In this article on how to gaps diet, you will read about how to natural cure autoimmune disease, what the disease is and what foods to avoid and which foods to eat.
GAPS Diet is based on the 100-year-old scientifically supported diet, named SCD.
It was developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD based on her clinical experience with hundreds of patients. (GAPS).
The GAPS book is an eye-opening that reads about how the microbial environment in the gut can affect a person’s neurology and physiology.
This post discusses how to use GAPS diet to reverse conditions that are autoimmune in nature.
Examples of GAPS conditions include cancer, allergy, eczema, psoriasis, diabetes, ADD / ADHD, autism, asthma, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, IBS, celiac disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and the list goes on.
These conditions can all be traced to adverse conditions in the intestine that cause undigested pieces of food as well as toxins and pathogens to be spilled into the blood, causing an unpredictable mixture of autoimmune symptoms in the body.
That’s right – everything autoimmune disease is rooted in the gut!
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD GAPS diet recommendations restrict food intake to the items that can be digested even within a compromised intestinal environment, thereby healing the guts abdominal wall. When the gut wall is finally allowed to heal by removing foods that cannot be completely digested, the gaps in the gut wall and the toxins that cause autoimmune symptoms, re-occlude in the blood and cause chaos in the body.
Which foods should people on GAPS diet avoid
By first reading, the GAPS diet may seem quite complicated. In fact, it’s surprisingly simple.
There are two types of food molecules that people in the process of healing their bowel need to avoid:
Starch (+ resistant starch)
Disaccharides or double sugars are present in many carbohydrates, including ALL grains. The compromised intestine is unable to digest double sugar molecules because of the lack of beneficial intestinal flora compromises the function of the enterocytes.
Enterocytes are the cells that reside on villi in the intestinal wall and produce the enzyme disaccharidase that degrades the disaccharide molecule into readily absorbed monosaccharide molecules. When the enterocytes are not nourished and properly strengthened by sufficient beneficial flora, they become weak and ill and may even be carcinogenic. They do not perform their tasks of digesting and absorbing food properly.
The Importance Of Enterocytes To Our Health.
Weak and diseased enterocytes also have problems digesting starch molecules that are very large with hundreds of mono sugars linked in long stretches. People with poor digestion due to an imbalance in intestinal flora and ruptured enterocytes have a terrible time digesting these complex molecules that leave large amounts of the undigested – the perfect food for the pathogenic yeast, bacteria, fungi and other pathogens to thrive.
Even the starch that manages to digest results in maltose molecules, which is – you guessed it – a disaccharide! This maltose also goes undigested due to the lack of enzyme disaccharidase and becomes additional food for intestinal pathogens.
The Bottom Line GAPS Diet
All foods containing disaccharide and starch molecules must be removed from the diet of a GAPS child or adult to allow the enterocytes to strengthen and cure the wall of the gut.
Dr. Campbell-McBride MD writes that clinical practice has shown that, given enough time, the intestine will normally be able to digest these foods without adverse effects
(aka, autoimmune diseases) in the person using them.
The GAPS diet is not an eternal thing. It is a temporary measure to cure the intestinal wall and limit the enterocytes so normal life can be recovered without the burden of autoimmune disease. These GAPS recipes can make the implementation of the protocol much easier.
Food To Eliminate
The GAPS child or adult should avoid any grain and food containing them.
This includes wheat, oak, rye, rice, corn, oats, amaranth, kamut, spelled, triticale, barley, buckwheat, millet, teff, bulgur wheat, quinoa.
Additionally, starchy vegetables such as white and sweet potatoes, tapioca, cassava, pastin, arrowroot, and taro must be removed from the diet for some time.
Starchy beans and peas are also to be avoided, which include virtually all with the exception of green peas and marine beans.
All sugars, including lactose in cream and milk, must be avoided. Raw honey, date syrup and sugar, and very ripe fruit would be the only sweets allowed. Fermented dairy such as kefir and yogurt as well as ghee and butter are permitted unless there is a severe GAPS condition.
How Long to Heal on GAPS?
Dr. Campbell-McBride says that on average, a child aged 6-18 months on the GAPS diet for intestinal healing. For an adult, it may take longer.
Note that it will not necessarily take so long for symptoms to decrease, however. It is possible for symptoms to be significantly removed within a few weeks of removing these foods from the diet. Subsidy of symptoms does not mean that the person is ready to consume cereals and starches again, though.
Each individual and the severity of her or his imbalance will determine how long it takes for the enterocytes to recover, the intestinal wall to heal and seal, and the ability to digest disaccharide and starch molecules.
Probiotics Alone Will Not Cure Your Bowel
I have made people tell me that they do not need to go on the GAPS diet as they daily take a probiotic and eat probiotic rich, whole foods.
Be aware that switching to even a completely unprocessed, full diet and taking a daily probiotic will not necessarily cure your intestine!
This approach alone will not cure your enterocytes and cure / seal the intestinal wall from many years of misuse of antibiotics, birth control pills, other drugs, and processed foods.
The reason is that the enterocytes are on the gut wall, and the flora’s balance on the gut wall cannot be changed. A probiotic supplement is unable to colonize this area of the gut again!
Dr. Campbell-McBride MD writes that it is probably the only time in our lives that we can populate the intestinal wall with beneficial bacteria at birth.
Therefore, the only way to cure the enterocytes and intestinal wall is to remove the growth of pathogens (disaccharides and starches) so that they are weakened and the beneficial flora consumed by a probiotic can recover and restore dominance in the rest of the gut.
So, when these foods are reintroduced later, the enterocytes will be strong and able to digest and handle them properly. This will simply never happen unless a time to cure these important small cells occurs.
Also note that even after healing, the boy requires a constant infusion of probiotics daily. You can either supplement your diet with probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, homemade sauerkraut, kombucha, and others, or you can continue to take a therapeutic strength probiotic as Bio-cult recommended by Dr. Campbell-McBride.
An autoimmune disease commits another, so if you or someone you love has allergies or another mild form of autoimmune disease, more severe autoimmune disease is likely to address the future, unless the root problem (imbalance) is addressed.
Autoimmune disease never gets better – it only gets worse over time.
Of course, the severe autoimmune disease requires the GAPS diet as perhaps the only viable option for reversal and healing.
For this reason, it may be worthwhile considering GAPS diet as a means of correcting intestinal dysbiosis in your life.