“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” – Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride
In 2015 I went to see a Health Practitioner who was experienced and trained in Leaky Gut Syndrome and Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) protocol. She confirmed I had the condition and believed I had been born with it, because I had symptoms in my childhood. She advised me to read the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride. I did this and learned all I could. I then started on the Introduction diet outlined in the book. For more information see http://gaps.me and http://gapsdiet.com
The Introduction diet is very restrictive and very difficult to do – it’s not for the fainthearted! I did my best to follow it, but found it very hard because my physical and mental health problems made it difficult for me to concentrate and make sense of a lot of information. Added to that was the process of actually learning to make stock and fermented foods, which was something I had never done before. All this whilst having to cope with my limited energy!
I started to have much more energy and my immune system began to get stronger. My digestion improved and I lost the bloating!
All of these factors made it a huge challenge and, yes I got some things completely wrong, made mistakes and had some failures and setbacks. I can honestly say that at times I wondered if it was all worth the effort and wanted to give up! However, I persevered, and with the support of both my husband and practitioner, I slowly made progress.
I spent about three months on the Introduction diet and then went onto the full GAPS diet. The detoxification process was particularly difficult for me, both mentally and physically, but after about 3-4 months I started to really feel the benefits. I started to have much more energy and my immune system began to get stronger. My digestion improved and I lost the bloating! People told me how good I was looking – even my eyes looked brighter! It was truly the best I had felt since I was in my twenties!
I have tried to keep some aspects of the diet going as best I can – regularly making stocks and fermented foods – but have not been able to keep to the strict GAPS diet
I kept to the diet for about a year, until life threw me another curve ball and my family was suddenly hit by a major incident. Sadly, my diet went out of the window! After getting through that and two stressful house moves, I have tried to keep some aspects of the diet going as best I can – regularly making stocks and fermented foods – but have not been able to keep to the strict GAPS diet.
Whilst I am still a lot stronger for keeping those parts of the diet going, I am now experiencing digestive problems and some bloating again (although not as bad as I was experiencing when I first started the diet in 2015). Therefore, I have decided to get back on the GAPS Introduction diet as soon as I possibly can.