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Our Healing Your Gut series continues, take a look at past posts here.
Gut Healing Series: Learn How GAPS Can Heal the Whole Family! Not Just Eczema.
By Sally Gray ND (Bio below)
The GAPS Protocol – A Profoundly Nutrient Dense & Healing Protocol to Remedy Common Chronic Health Issues
The GAPS (Gut & Psychology Syndrome) Protocol is the healing regime presented by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, a widely recognized and respected Neurosurgeon and Medical Nutrition Specialist, who cured her own son of autism. This Protocol is gaining wide acceptance as a legitimate treatment for neurological and behavioral disorders such as those on the autistic spectrum, ADD/ADHD, OCD, Pandas, epilepsy, perceptual issues, bipolar, depression and more.
The reality is though that the GAPS healing approach may have much broader application for a significantly wider audience and this is what I am seeing in my clinic. The kinds of cases I am referring to are the everyday so called “normal” situations rather than the marginal above mentioned conditions, although these are very much on the increase. These include asthma, eczema, chronic upper respiratory tract infections, digestive and bowel issues, auto-immune diseases, blood sugar problems, food intolerances, sleep issues, bed wetting and much more.
These conditions encompass a huge percentage of our community and in particular children, most of us even have immediate family members who suffer from one or more of these health issues on an ongoing basis. I have been using this protocol to treat these conditions for over 3 years now with an exceptional success rate for the families brave enough to embark on a vision for health.
So what is GAPS all about? GAPS is a nutrition and lifestyle approach that recognizes the profound capacity of the body to heal itself under the right circumstances. Those conditions are one of limited exposure to toxins, pollutants and irritants including foods and also those in our immediate environment. GAPS is very much based on restoring fundamental healing nutrition in the absence of these toxins to create improved cellular performance.
This healing nutrition focuses on cellular requirements that are non-negotiable including foods rich in quality fats, amino acids, minerals, enzymes, vitamins and probiotics. The wholefoods that contain these are bone broths, gelatinous meats, fermented vegetables, dairy, meats and fruits, cooked and fresh vegetables, properly prepared nuts, eggs, seeds and legumes and the all important fats by way of oils and animal derived fats. This is certainly different from a mainstream approach to food (although this is misinformed and will change over time) but one that can be made very satisfying and delicious.
The key physiological principle addressed by GAPS is based on the scientifically recognized understanding that gut health is central to human health and aims to restore optimal gut function and microbial balance. The gut is home to trillions of bacteria and houses the vast percentage of our immune system. When this primary environment is out of balance, meaning there is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria and the immune system is compromised and rendered dysfunctional, just about any health issue can be created and perpetuated if this environment is not fixed. This leads to immediate and significant long-term health issues.
GAPS offers an approach that goes beyond simply managing these “everyday” conditions but to heal them once and for all and the initial discomfort families feel in making changes is quickly over shadowed by the swift improvements seen. In fact I am now seeing families who have transitioned from GAPS back into normal life and choose to continue following many of the principles because of how good everyone feels. It is often the case that an entire family will embark on the GAPS journey to support just one member but all will find issues resolved.
Did you know the #GAPS diet can be for the whole family! Learn more here #healtogether @eczemacompany @realhealthykids
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Health issues are not a random act and most often have a strong family connection so even if you have a child with severe atopic issues and everyone else is seemingly fine, I often see that the chronic nature surrounding the health issue has overshadowed other issues that become more obvious in time. For example, I often see siblings with sleep issues that resolve due to food and environmental changes or mums with PMS resolved thanks to the removal of dietary triggers.
In fact it makes sense from a preventative medicine perspective that we can all clean-up our gut to ensure a long and healthy life. I recommend all infants are started on a GAPS like approach to support optimal growth and development due to the extremely nutrient dense focus of eating GAPS food. GAPS is a valid healing protocol and for many a lifestyle approach with the objective of lasting optimal health in mind. From my clinical perspective, the GAPS nutrition staples are inclusions we all could embrace with this in mind.
Bio: Sally specializes in child and infant (0-12) health, preconception and pregnancy care and women’s health and uses the skills gained in 18 years experience and through her GAPS practitioner training to restore health. Nutrition is the foundation of lasting health and the work done by Real Healthy Kids aims to restore health through appropriate nutrition to optimize healing and health. You can learn more about Sally on her website Real Healthy Kids, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube.