(Excerpt from Gut and Physiology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride)
All diseases begin in the gut! This is what Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, concluded more than two thousand years ago. Indeed, every chronic disease begins in the gut. GAPS, which stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Gut and Physiology Syndrome, establishes a connection between the state of a person’s digestive system and the health of the rest of the body.
Our digestive system holds the roots of our health; GAPS conditions stem from the unhealthy gut.
The list of GAPS conditions is long, divided into two groups:
Gut and Psychology Syndrome or GAPS includes learning disabilities and mental disorders, such as autism, ADHD/ADD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, addictions, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, epilepsy, eating disorders and many other conditions which affect the function of the brain. Many of these conditions have no established diagnostic labels and present themselves as a mixture of various symptoms: mood alterations, memory and cognitive problems, behavioral and social problems, panic attacks, anxiety, involuntary movements, various tics and fits, sensory problems, etc. When the brain is in trouble it can produce any mixture of symptoms. You may find it useful to read my first book, which covers Gut and Psychology Syndrome, even if your individual health problem is not listed on its cover.
Gut and Physiology Syndrome or GAPS includes various chronic physical conditions which stem from an unhealthy gut, such as all autoimmune conditions (celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type one diabetes, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, osteoarthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, autoimmune skin problems, etc.), asthma, eczema, various allergies, food allergy and intolerance, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis, multiple chemical sensitivity, arthritis, menstrual problems, endocrine disorders (thyroid, adrenal and other), neurological diseases and all chronic digestive disorders (such as irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, colitis, esophagitis, etc). Many conditions do not fit into any diagnostic box and can present as a mixture of symptoms: digestive problems, fatigue, muscular weakness, cramps and abnormal muscle tone, pains and aches in joints and muscles, skin problems, hormonal abnormalities, etc.
In every person the symptoms from both GAP Syndromes overlap: people with mental problems suffer physical symptoms (painful joints and muscles, fatigue, skin problems, allergies, asthma, hormonal problems, autoimmunity), while people with physical conditions have mental symptoms (such as depression, ‘brain fog’, inability to concentrate, mood swings, sleep abnormalities, memory problems, anxiety, panic attacks, tremors, tics, fits, etc.). When the digestive system is unwell, so instead of being a source of nourishment it becomes a major source of toxicity in the body, nothing in the body can function well. Any organ, any system, any cell can show symptoms of distress – usually many of them respond with some symptoms. As a result, GAPS patients are often the most difficult (if not impossible) for mainstream medicine to fathom and to help.
Indeed, you may have been told by your medical practitioner that your disease is ‘incurable’, and that all you can do for the rest of your life is ‘manage the symptoms’ with various medications, while your body progressively deteriorates. This is happening with an ever-increasing number of adults and children in our modern world. More than that: diseases are becoming ‘younger’ – disorders which used to be found largely in adults are now found in children, and children succumb to them at a younger and younger age.
Here is an approximate list of symptoms and conditions which may belong to the Gut and Physiology Syndrome.
Allergy, various forms
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
Arthritis, various forms
Back pain, chronic
Blood sugar instability
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Cyclical vomiting syndrome
Diabetes, type one and type two
Ear infections, chronic
Failure to thrive
Food allergy and food intolerance
FPIES (Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome) and its variations
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Glue ear (chronic otitis media with effusion)
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Immune system insufficiency
Malabsorption and malnourishment
ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)
Mold sensitivity / allergy
Multiple chemical sensitivity
Neuropathy, various forms
PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus)
PCOS (Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome)
PMS (Peri-Menstrual Syndrome)
Psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis
Restless Leg Syndrome
Vaginal thrush, other vaginal problems
This list is not complete; many other chronic health problems begin in the gut. No doctor can have an extensive clinical experience with all of these conditions. However, from the way these disorders develop and the way they respond to treatment, I have no doubt that, at their root, they are GAPS disorders. That is why I recommend implementing the GAPS Nutritional Protocol as baseline treatment for all of these conditions. This protocol has been designed to heal your gut, to make the very roots of your health robust and functioning as they should.
Every human being is unique and will have a unique response to the treatment. Some will recover fully just with the GAPS Nutritional Protocol. Some will require other health treatments added to the GAPS Program, such as homeopathy, acupuncture, medicinal herbs, removing toxic metals, psychotherapy, bioresonance, light, sound, massage, physiotherapy, spiritual treatment, natural spa treatment, hypobaric oxygenation, sauna, detox programs, etc. No matter what your individual situation is, GAPS Nutritional Protocol will lay a solid foundation for your full recovery; it will give the roots of your health the best chance to heal. Once you have built this solid foundation, you will find that all those other healing methods work much better for you, starting to make a real difference, because the root of the problem has been addressed. And the root of every chronic disease is to be found in the digestive system!
Campbell-McBride, Natasha. Gut and Physiology Syndrome (pp. x-xiii). Medinform Publishing.