Tag Archives: health

Helped more by Diet than Drugs? Hope for Kids with ADHD

I don’t know about you but every time I see a kid fidgeting, not paying attention, or being overactive I immediately think ADHD. Now I believe that ADHD is over diagnosed so I realize that thought is more of a product of hearing about it in the news than anything else. But new research has come out that can help kids ADHD.

Little girl eating watermelon

According to the article on NPR.org:

“64 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD are actually experiencing a hypersensitivity to food.”

If you’ve read Gut and Psychology Syndromeâ„¢ by Dr. Campbell-McBride or seen it’s cover you would have noticed AHDH. In fact she covers it and how eating a GAPSâ„¢ diet can help people with ADHD. So it’s nice to see more research back it up.

 

What was really interesting was that teachers watched the children for a difference in behavior. Since they’re usually the ones that have to deal with difficult child behavior all day I was curious to hear what they would have to say. But even they were shocked by the difference.

Going so far to say: “After the diet, they were just normal children with normal behavior.”

So for all you Moms helping your kids with AHDH keep on. I’m rooting for you, and believe that the GAPS diet can make a huge difference in your child’s life.

If any of you have a story of helping your child heal from ADHD please share it in the comments. I would love to hear it!

GAPS part 3: What in the World Can I Eat?

In the previous two articles we have learned about what GAPSâ„¢ is and how gut health plays into our health problems. At this point you may be willing to admit, or even agree, that all of this makes sense and is correct. But this is the article where the rubber hits the road.

Because, simply put, food is our sacred cow.

Potato Chips

Please don’t touch my food.

I don’t know about you, but from my experience Americans don’t let others touch a couple of things their guns, their rights, or their food. Personally I remember hating the first Doctor that suggested I take dairy out of my diet.

How I made my Mother miserable moping about the house! All I could focus on was that my precious food was taken away.

Because of that I feel that I can safely tackle telling you what the general guidelines are for GAPS foods. (This is by no means a full list. For that read Gut and Psychology Syndromeâ„¢ by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.)

  • No Grains (Rice, Wheat, Spelt, Corn, etc.)
  • No Starches (Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Gums, Corn Starch, Arrowroot, Carob, and Cocoa)
  • No Sugar – except Honey and Dried or Fresh fruits
  • No Dairy – until you get to it on your dairy introduction
  • No Processed Foods, Junk Foods, Candy, Boxed Goods, or anything that can last forever on a shelf.

But what’s left!
Now you may be freaking out after I said all of the no’s there.

“But I can’t survive without bread!”

“Not eat chocolate? Sorry I’m out.”

“I can’t have dairy? Until I what?”

“I can’t make it without my potato chips!”

I’m going to be hard for a minute here, because I’ve said all those things and more myself. What tends to keep us from doing this diet is one simple thing – laziness.

I’m not a lazy person.

When it comes down to it the top 3 reasons people don’t start this diet or stay with it is because they don’t want to:

  • Take the time
  • Do the work
  • Or give up favorite food(s)

I know it sounds hard to leave all those foods behind. Not to mention a lot of work to come up with things you can eat, but the truth is it’s not only possible to survive and thrive off of all those foods — it’s delicious too!

And at the risk of sounding mean the #1 reason you should decide to do this diet is because your health or the health of a loved one is important.

I already think their/my health is important.

If you’ve already taken the time to read these articles that is probably true. But the reason I mention that our health needs to be important is because we suffer from chronic problem give-me-a-pill-itis.

People seem to think that healing ourselves should be as simple as popping a pill. I’m sorry but it doesn’t work that way. Healing yourself is hard work, and sometimes it means denying yourself something. But I promise you it pays off.

Now. If I haven’t completely chased you away lets look at the wonderful foods you CAN have on GAPS.

Delicious foods you CAN eat.

Allowed foods on the GAPS diet are (mainly) easily digestible foods which is handy for people who have bad gut health. Basically by keeping foods that are hard to digest or are bad for you out of the diet healing your gut is just a matter of time.

  • Meats – all the grass-fed meats that you want. The more fat the better.
  • Fat – Animal fats, butter, olive oil, and coconut oil
  • Veggies – you can eat most of them (look at the allowed foods list in the book for a complete listing)
  • Fruits – you can eat most of them (look at the allowed foods list in the book for a complete listing)
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Dairy – when appropriate in your dairy introduction
  • Eggs
  • Beans and Pulses – only certain ones to avoid starches

All that is available to you on the GAPS diet!

Food wonderful food.

Chicken Dinner

I love food. It’s never been any surprise to my family that my day revolved around what was for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! I’ve been off of one food, two foods, Gluten free, or Gluten and Casein Free. And now I’m on GAPS.

Until GAPS I felt deprived, but now I get to eat food that I love all the time! The best part is after I eat I feel good. No gas, bloating, or discomfort. The same can be true for you.

So don’t fear going on the GAPS diet, yes you’ll probably give up several things you like, but in the long run you’ll feel like royalty. So eat wonderful food, and respect your gut!

If you have any questions or want to comment please drop me a line I’d love to hear from you!

GAPS part 2: Gut Health

It all begins in the gut.

You may have heard that before or maybe it’s a new idea to you. Whatever the case may be it’s the most important idea for you to understand. It will revolutionize your way of viewing health and most importantly how to stay healthy.
Tree in Sunset
What is a happy digestive system anyway?

A happy digestive system starts with one thing – balanced gut bacteria.

Trillions of types of macro and micro-life (bacteria or flora) exist all around us, but the ones we have to worry about the most are the ones in our digestive and respiratory systems, skin, eyes, and excretory organs. We can’t live without this bacteria!

Now I’m sure you’re wondering what bacteria I’m talking about – after all aren’t we warned all the time about the dangers of bacteria?

“Good” and “Bad” Bacteria

It’s true we have good and bad bacteria that exists on us and within us. But don’t let that freak you out because you don’t have to worry about having bad bacteria on, or in, you. All we have to worry about is the balance of bacteria.

There are three basic types of bacteria:

  1. Beneficial:
    Beneficial or essential bacteria is often referred to as our friendly bacteria (good). It is also the one that needs to be the most numerous in our bodies.
  2. Opportunistic:
    Around 500 different species of opportunistic flora can be found in the gut! The number and combinations of these species are individual.In healthy people they are limited in number and controlled by the beneficial flora (each of these microbes are capable of causing various health problems when out of control/balance. The most commonly known opportunistic specie is Candida Albicans.
  3. Transitional:
    These microbes are the ones we daily swallow in food or drink, and they’re the ones that come from our environment. Usually these pass safely through the digestive system, but when our beneficial bacteria is damaged or not functioning well transitional bacteria can cause disease.

Balance of gut bacteria is more important than the fact we have good and bad bacteria because the design is so when our flora is balanced the beneficial bacteria rein in the opportunistic and transitional bacteria making it work together in a safe and healthy way.

A Thick Layer of Bacteria

In our gut, specifically on our gut wall, there is a thick coating of bacteria that protects the gut from damage and invaders. When we have this thick layer in our digestive tract undigested food, toxins, and parasites can pass through our gut and be safely eliminated. As these toxic substances, including ones that are pathogenic, pass through our gut the healthy flora neutralize them which protects us from harm.

But when our beneficial bacteria are weak or not working correctly the whole system changes because without protection the gut wall is open to invasion by anything.

Invasion!

The more weak our beneficial bacteria is the more open we are to invasion by toxins and pathogenic organisms. As the layer of bacteria in our gut gets more and more damaged the gut wall begins to suffer.

Our gut wall is what keeps all the invaders out of our bloodstream, but as it suffers it gradually gets small holes that lets toxic substances through a little at a time. This is what Doctors call leaky gut.

Leaky gut is dangerous. After all toxins are seeping through our natural defenses and once in the bloodstream can affect anywhere in our body!

But how will it affect me?

Having toxins slow seep from our gut effects people in different ways.

“…it appears that it is the character of our individual opportunistic flora that may determine what diseases we succumb to. Yes, we carry most of our future health problems in our own gut pretty much from birth.” ~Gut and Psychology Syndromeâ„¢ Dr. Campbell-McBride

Yes this means that while I might be struggling with Autism and learning disabilities while you’re struggling with anxiety and constipation we are suffering from the same root of disease. It just depends on our flora and how long we’ve been toxic.

But there is one thing that affects everyone of us – malnutrition.

I don’t look malnourished.

Healthy gut flora takes an active part in the processes of digestion and absorption. In fact it is probably impossible to digest and absorb nutrients without it. But how can that be? Well by products of bacterial activity in the gut transport minerals, vitamins, water, gases, and many other nutrients through the gut wall into our bloodstream so they can be put to proper use.

When we have unhealthy gut flora this becomes impaired. So you don’t have to look malnourished to be malnourished, if you have unbalanced gut flora you’re malnourished.

So how do I heal myself?

We will be discussing the treatment suggested in GAPSâ„¢ in part 4 of this series, but simply put healing your gut and restoring beneficial bacteria is the way back to health.

We will close this article with a quote from Dr. McBride who says it best:

“A well functioning gut with healthy gut flora holds the roots of our health. And, just as a tree with sick roots is not going to thrive, the rest of the body cannot thrive without a well-functioning digestive system.” ~Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Campbell-McBride

All this information and more can be found in Dr. Campbell-McBride’s book which I hope this information gets you interested in reading it.

Part 3.

Next week we will be looking at the the Basic GAPS food Guidelines so stay tuned!

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback please leave a comment below. Thank you.

10 things you need to know before you start GAPS

When most people start the GAPSâ„¢ diet they run themselves ragged trying to prepare with all sorts of gadgets and foods. In reality starting the GAPS diet is pretty simple though it does take sometime to set up so you don’t get overwhelmed.

To get you started on the path I’ll be trying to write once a week an article that covers a part of what you need to know, buy, and make before you start the diet. I hope you find this helpful, and if you have any questions leave a comment or contact me.

To start us off this weeks article will be on the things you need to know. When you have these 10 thoughts in place, and understand them, it makes the GAPS diet much easier to start and stay with.

 

1.) Read Gut and Psychology Syndromeâ„¢ by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

The one thing I can’t recommend highly enough is that you read Dr. Natasha’s book for yourself. Reading her knowledge on your own will empower you to stick to this diet like nothing else. This site is intended to help you with GAPS, but to do that you must first have the knowledge yourself.

If you can only buy one thing right now in my opinion this would be it. It is essential!

2.) It takes time.

I do not say this to frighten you, but the diet takes time. It’s a new way of eating and a new lifestyle. Getting used to that will take a period of adjustment. So go easy on yourself; know that you’ll mess up in the beginning (we all do) and that’s okay.

Once you get it under your belt GAPS will be easy and won’t take a second thought, but if you don’t take the time to do it well in the beginning you’ll most likely quit.

3.) Die-off

When you start to add in your probiotic you will experience die-off. This means you won’t feel well for a little while, but don’t worry it usually passes quickly.

If you or your child feel really bad during the die-off reduce the probiotic, and remember it will pass. In fact plan for the die-off. The first week or two of the diet reduce your social schedule and plan to do fun, quiet things. Like watching old movies, going to the park, or extra sleep.

4.) Foods Allowed.

It is vital that you know the type of foods you can eat. I find it helpful to carry the list with me, and we have it posted on our fridge. You need to see the Allowed Foods list often so eventually you’ll know it no matter where you are.

5.) Foods not Allowed.

Knowing this list can be a little painful after all most of our current favorite foods can probably be found on it. It is still important to get familiar with what foods you can’t eat because you will any time you cheat you’re going to feel it. Trust me.

6.) Eating with friends and family.

Eating away from home is a challenge on GAPS. At restaurants it really isn’t possible and at friends or relatives (who aren’t on the diet) dodging all the not allowed foods becomes an art.

The safest way to eat with others is to always bring your own food. Now I realize that’s not always fun, but when you explain to your host that you have to eat a certain way they are usually happy to have you bring your own food. That way they don’t have to try and weed out everything you can’t eat, and you don’t have to worry about what’s in your food.

But if you can’t bring your own food or the host wants to try making a meal for you tell them something simple you can eat like hamburgers and a salad, or roast chicken and green beans. Cooking this way isn’t really hard and it gives some people a real joy to cook for others with health issues.

7.) Always bring a snack.

orange
Whether your out shopping, going to a friends house, or just out for the day carry a small snack with you. It can be a small handful of crispy nuts, muffin, or piece of fruit (in a small cooler) but carrying something to eat with you is easier than shopping for something to eat. It also means you don’t have an excuse to cheat on the diet. It’s also helpful to have a snack in the car in case your friend has nothing you can eat.

8.) Fast food is OUT of the question.

Fast food places are an absolute no-no for someone on GAPS. Trust me there is nothing you can eat there! If you’re stuck somewhere without food and you’re hungry go to the store not a fast food place.

9.) Be Patient with Yourself.

When you start on the diet understand that you’re going to make mistakes. Plain and simple. Don’t purposely make mistakes, but when they occur give yourself some grace. It’s not the end of the world.

Simply pick yourself up and begin again.

10.) GAPS is a lifestyle.

The sooner you understand that GAPS is a lifestyle and is your choice of lifestyle the easier staying on it will be. You have to decide it’s worth it or nothing I say or you do will keep you on it.

This is probably the hardest thing you need to know about the GAPS lifestyle: you need to make it your own or you’ll probably fail.

stethoscope

GAPS Part 1: What in the World is it?

In honor of opening this new website I wanted to write a general understanding of GAPS â„¢ article. Writing that article turned out to be such a difficult process because of the overwhelming amount of information on the subject. As a result I am breaking it down into smaller articles that cover general information about GAPS; like what it is, gut health, and treatment.

I want to go on record and say that this is by no means an exhaustive set of articles on the subject. If you want more go here and buy Dr. Campbell-McBride’s book Gut and Psychology Syndromeâ„¢.

But since this will take several articles you might want to bookmark this link so you can come back and check for the rest of the series.

Part 1: What in the World is GAPS?

So the first question in your mind is probably “what is GAPS?”, after all it isn’t a term you’ve heard from your doctor or on TV lately, but it’s probably how you’ve felt from time to time. Simply put we have an epidemic of sick people today. By that I mean people, with severe to mild problems, that doctors (all kinds) and nutritionist aren’t able to pin down.

Since the medical professionals can’t figure out what’s wrong they give us:

  • a pill that might help, but tends to have a list of side effects as long as your arm
  • to another doctor who just as baffled or puts us on another pill
  • surgery
  • all sorts of things to do or remove from our diet/lifestyle that doesn’t help
  • the runaround

Or the Doctors finally admit they don’t have any idea how to help.

These people have something truly wrong with them, but 9 times out of 10 all that happens is they fall into the gap. The gap of current medical understanding.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD

At this gap stands a woman who has put the majority of her life looking into, and discovering what the gap is, and how to get people out of it.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride went on her own journey to heal her son of autism, and during that she found the deep divide in which many people, like you and me, fell. But she didn’t stop there Dr. Natasha searched until she found the way out of the gap; the small road hugging the side of the crevice that was the only way people could be healed.

Now that she has brought her son out of the gap she has spent time helping countless others scale the difficult climb to health with her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome. In this book she gives the simplest explanation of GAPS and what it is.

“Here I propose a name, Gut and Psychology Syndrome or GAP Syndrome. Children (and adults) with GAP Syndrome often fall into the gap – the gap in our medical knowledge. As a result they do not receive appropriate treatment.” (emphasis mine)

Okay these people are in the GAP, but what do they have?

Oh boy. This is a big question because the more we look the more we find everything seems to have the same source – an imbalance in the gut.

Simply put in her book Dr. Natasha focused on the psychology aspect of GAPS, but it could just as easily be physical problems.

Some of the problems listed in her book (and the list isn’t exhaustive) are:

  • Autism
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyslexia
  • A.D.D.
  • A.D.H.D
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating and Flatulence
  • Colic as infant
  • Tummy aches and nausea

Most of these things begin in childhood, but you can certainly have them show up in adulthood. Maybe you just suffer from IBS and you’re wondering if that is included, and the answer is yes! That’s why this article is just a broad stroke of a brush.

How can so many things come under the diagnosis GAPS?

Simply put every problem listed, and in my opinion all chronic health problems, start in the same area.

Our digestive system.

Hippocrates said it best: “All diseases begin in the gut.” Now I’m sure you’re blown away by that statement. After all you’ve probably been told that health goes as you age, people get sick and that’s life, or that the only thing you can do with chronic health problems is play Russian roulette with pills in hopes you can find some concoction that gives you a small amount of relief with out too many side affects. And here I am blowing that away with one idea “it’s in your gut” .

Yes it’s that simple: Heal your gut to heal yourself.

The next part of this series will deal with Gut Health, what it is and how it affects our health. Check back for it soon.

If you have any questions that aren’t answered in this article, or a question about a specific health problem leave me a comment and I’ll answer it as best I can. Who knows it may become an article!