GAPS and IBS
The GAPS diet was derived from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) to naturally treat chronic inflammatory conditions in the digestive tract as a result of a damaged gut lining (or ‘leaky gut’). Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride adapted SCD to found GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) to fit the needs of her patients suffering from a range of intestinal and neurological conditions believed to be as a result of an imbalanced gut microbiome. While GAPS is not typically used for IBS, it can be extremely effective if the cause of IBS is dysbiosis coupled with an underlying inflammatory response.
Is the GAPS Diet for you?
The info below is just a tiny peak into the GAPS Diet. If you are thinking about GAPS, it is essential to do your homework and, if necessary, work with a qualified health professional.
The GAPS Protocol is broken into three parts specifically designed to heal the gut lining, rebalance the immune system, and restore the optimal microbial balance within the gastrointestinal tract. The nutritional protocol restricts all grains, commercial dairy, starchy vegetables and all processed/refined carbohydrates while focusing on easily digestible and nutrient dense foods. The supplementation protocol and detoxification protocol, which can be used alongside the nutritional protocol, have been purposefully excluded from this blog.
The GAPS diet (nutritional protocol) is divided into two parts: the Introduction Diet and the Full GAPS Diet.
The Introduction Diet
The Introduction Diet is divided into six stages. It generally takes three to six weeks to complete all the stages. However, this is very individual and in many cases may take longer. Initially, it is common to experience an increase in symptoms and many feel unwell in the initial stages of this diet.
Homemade bone broths (which can include certain well-cooked vegetables) and probiotic foods are the mainstays of the introduction diet. Boiled meats can be added to the broth as well as a few teaspoons of the liquid from fermented vegetables or fermented dairy products. As one progresses through the six stages, eggs yolks, different meats, kefir, avocado, fats like ghee, fresh juices, fermented vegetables and nut flours are added.
Full GAPS Diet
Once the first six stages of the Introduction Diet have been completed successfully, one can move onto the Full GAPS Diet. It is recommended to stay on this for 18 to 24 months. The majority of the diet should consist of fresh meats (hormone free and grass fed if possible), animal fats, fish, shellfish, organic farm-fresh eggs, fermented foods, and vegetables. While nut flours can be used for baking, over indulging in baked good can be detrimental to the healing process so these types of foods should only be eaten in moderation.