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What is the GAPS Diet and is it right for you or your child? You’ve come to the right place for answers to these questions!
GAPS stands for both Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Gut and Physiology Syndrome as coined by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride in her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome. GAPS establishes the seemingly obvious, but often overlooked, connection between the function of your digestive system and the health of your brain and the rest of your body.
The GAPS Diet might be right for you and your family if you’re experiencing any of the following:
- Digestive Disorders like IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, Chron’s Disease, Chronic Constipation, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or SIBO
- Learning or Social Problems
- Chronic Fatigue
- Depression or anxiety
- Food Allergies, including Gluten-Sensitivity
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Hormone Imbalances
- Eczema or Acne
- Neurological Issues
The GAPS Diet has helped thousands of people overcome these conditions and more. Most people begin the GAPS Diet when mainstream medicine hasn’t been able to figure out why they’re ill or is only offering symptom management, rather than true healing.
If you believe that you or your children deserve to return to health, and you’re willing to change your eating and lifestyle to make it happen, you’re a candidate for the GAPS Diet.
How the GAPS Diet helps:
- Heals and seals the gut lining in order to restore optimal gut function
- Normalizes gut flora including bacteria, yeasts, and parasites
- Corrects nutritional deficiencies
- Restores your immune system
- Gently helps your body remove toxins
What is the GAPS Diet?
The GAPS Diet is a therapeutic healing diet and lifestyle that includes:
- The 6-stage GAPS Intro Diet – An elimination diet that begins with easy to digest homemade soups, cooked vegetables, and fermented foods. As you graduate to each new stage new foods and cooking methods are added in. See the details of each Intro Stage here.
- Full GAPS Diet – A delicious whole foods, grain-free dietary plan that’s based on the foods that are most nourishing and healthy for the digestive system and beyond. It’s free of processed sugars, all artificial ingredients, and is mostly home-cooked. Find the Full GAPS Diet food list and sample menus here.
- Supplements – Limited supplements that support digestive healing and provide commonly missing nutrients that are crucial to re-booting your immune system. These include probiotics, cod liver oil, EFA’s, and iodine paint. Optional digestive support supplements are used if indicated, including stomach acid and fat digestion support.
- Detoxification – Including clearing your home of toxic cleaning and body care products, taking baths with detoxifying bath additives, and fresh pressed juices.
Whether it’s best for you to begin with the GAPS Intro or Full Diet depends on your health concerns, digestive function, and lifestyle.
You’re healing a lifetime of sub-optimal nutrition and chemical exposures and your body has to build a lot of new cells and process out of a lot of stored toxins to make that happen. GAPS is most often followed for 18 months to 2 years. It takes time, but it’s an investment in your future health that pays off in so much more freedom.
If you think the GAPS Diet might be for you, explore the blog here for FAQ’s on how to get started and consider scheduling a one-on-one consultation for more step-by-step guidance and support.
I was on Gaps and I have pretty much slide off except to eliminate wheat, grains, suger, but not 100 % either. It reallly helped me, but am having difficulty getting back on, since my husband eats completely different. Is there an simplier way to eat better. I am interested in your oils for digestion that were listed but they don’t seem to be on the starter kit.
Hi Deborah, The simplest way to eat better is whatever way you can maintain consistently. 🙂 The GAPS Diet is therapeutic, so if you don’t need that level of healing, it’s not a needed diet. If you do need GAPS-level healing, I suggest connecting with others who are supportive of your goals. That’s something I like a lot about the GAPS Class that I teach, because people from all over the place encourage each other on FB and we don’t all feel so weird and isolated. The oils for digestion are actually part of the Starter Kit. If you purchase the kit I’ll be notified and I’ll set up a call to review it with you so you know exactly what everything is used for. Best wishes!
Do you have gaps retreat in Hawaii. I thought I saw this advertised at one time.
I did have one a few years ago, but I don’t have plans for another.
I am a 66 yr. old female & I suffered with Chronic Idiopathic Hives for 19 years (pretty much 24/7/365 from mild to excruciating, needing steroid intervention to stop cycle). Then when I lost my husband 5.5 yrs ago the hives stopped as suddenly & unexplained as they had started. I had the worse case ever for the 3-4 months just before his death. I was pretty much none functional for that whole period of time. I had lost about 40 lbs. that year, I believe it was due to untreated Diabetes Type II (just before my husband’s death). I had very few hives in this 5 yr. period. Then about 6 months ago I had a small isolated spell. 2 months ago they returned with a vengeance. It was every bit as bad as the outbreak I had just before his death. Last week I finally convinced my doctor to give me Prednisone to give me a much needed break. I was able to keep my blood sugar within reasonable control. As soon as I got through the 5 days of steroids I am breaking out again. I believe I have a leaky gut & thyroid issues (which no one has been able to confirm as yet, but I have had all the symptoms for most of my adult life. I cannot live like this. I’m done. Something has to get these hives under control once & for all. I am unable to have a life with them. I believe healing my gut is my only hope. The more I study diets for all my main issues, the more conflicts I seem to find. If I treat my Diabetes Type II then it conflicts with foods that cause/escalate histamine production & I also have a fatty liver that needs addressing as well as high cholesterol & triglycerides. Do you think I would be a good candidate for the GAPS diet?
My guess is that what underlies this is a chronic toxic state, since that is something that ties all these issues together. Healing the gut is the real root to ending histamine issues. GAPS is certainly the diet that addresses these things, but you’ll need to listen to your body to go at the correct pace. Freshly made meat stock (keeps the histamine low), as little or as much as you tolerate, can be the place to start.
I am now accepting new clients again, if you’d like to schedule a consultation. I’m in the process of updating my website with the info, but you can email me directly for an appointment if you don’t want to wait: email@example.com
When can almond milk be added in to the GAPS diet. I can’t find any information on it aside from the recipe.
That’s a great question! I generally have people include in on Full GAPS, but if they are dairy intolerant, I could make the case for including it in Stage 4 as a GAPS milkshake.
Can the GAP diet help heal the thyroid?
Yes, and Dr. Campbell-McBride talks about this on page 66 of the Gut & Physiology Syndrome book. Toxicity, halogens specifically, fill the thyroid hormone binding sites, which is a big problem. The nutrients and the detox that they allow, will help on GAPS.
Is GAPS diet good to treat hydrogen sulphide SIBO? I saw in GAPS diet there are many sulphur rich foods.
I actually find the No-Plant version of GAPS to be the quickest way to balance small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Along with resetting the parasympathetic nervous system. Even on other forms of GAPS there’s no requirement to eat high-sulfur veggies until you’re ready. When you heal the gut lining, restore proper flora, and correct the motility issue you will tolerate a wide variety of food again. Best wishes!
I’m currently on day 6 of the GAPS introduction diet (stage 2 right now); doing my best to follow Dr. Campbell-McBride’s GAPS book as closely as possible. Since day 4 my gums have been pretty inflamed. Bleeding easily when brushing, even softly. The inflammation goes down a little bit after I gargle saltwater, but it still feels concerning. Any thoughts on what could be causing this? No history of gingivitis or other gum/dental issues previously.
My best guess is that one of the two following is happening. 1) constantly sipping meat/fish stock has turned my mouth into an ideal breading ground for bacteria that are infecting my gums; or 2) part of my body’s healing/detox process is triggering an immune reaction in the gums… I’m not a medical professional so I could be way off, but have other GAPS followers experienced this?
Things like this have happened to others. Without being a client and knowing the full details I can’t say for certain, but my guess is that it’s option 2. Oil pulling, food form Vitamin C, and swishing with kefir (if tolerated) are my go-to’s.