The GAPS™ story
GAPS™ stands for Gut and Psychology/Physiology Syndrome. GAPS is a condition which establishes a connection between functions of the brain, the digestive system and the immune system.
This term was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, MMedSci (neurology), MMedSci (human nutrition) in 2004 after working with hundreds of children and adults with neurological and psychiatric conditions.
The search for a cure was started by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride with a personal goal to help her child.
Russian doctor-neurologist – Natalia Nailevna Timerkhanova, married and moved to England. There, she was faced with a tragedy, which is usually a problem for parents all their life. Her three year old son was diagnosed with autism in the severe form.
Dr. Natasha will write later in her article, My son: “When it comes to your own child, you are just as prone to denial and blindness as any other parent. Apart from that, as all the parents of autistic children discover, doctors know very little about autism. They are taught how to diagnose it, but when it comes to treatment, official medicine has nothing to offer. On the contrary, it is hell bent on convincing you that there is nothing you can do and that any other opinion is quackery. So, being a doctor has given me no advantage at all”. (Read the whole article here).
The family tried to do everything possible to help their son. The first successes were thanks to the use of ABA therapy – Applied Behavior Analysis. At the same time, it became clear that there is link between psychological /immune problems and digestion.
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride began a detailed study of biochemistry, biology and nutrition for autism. She went back to university to get a master of sciences degree in human nutrition, and completed a second Postgraduate Degree in Human Nutrition at Sheffield University, UK. Later Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride opened a private clinic in Cambridge.
As it often happens, the best diet for a boy was in existence for more than 60 years, but was forgotten as out-dated information. It was Specific Carbohydrate Diet – SCD.
This diet was been invented by a renowned American paediatrician Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas in the first half of the 20th century, and brought back to life by Canadian biochemist Elaine Gottschall. Following the success of the SCD with her daughter, Elaine Gottschall over the years helped thousands of people, suffering from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, diverticulitis and various types of chronic diarrhoea. Elaine Gottschall published the book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” after many years of research into biochemical and biological basis of the diet.
To create a new version of the diet, Dr. Natasha has used her own experience as a mom who cured her child and as a practitioner, who help hundreds of patients. But most importantly, it has adopted modern scientific knowledge, to develop complete GAPS ™ Nutritional programme, which in addition to diet uses modern supplements, special detoxification techniques and changes in lifestyle.
Having worked with hundreds of people with autism and other mental disorders in 2004, Dr. Natasha wrote the book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Natural treatment for autism, ADHD/ADD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression and schizophrenia”.
This work has earned the attention and approval not only from many people that are using the GAPS ™ programme, but from recognized experts in the medical and nutrition field in Europe and the U.S:
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has done an excellent job of summarising the nutritional biochemical connections with psychiatric and neurological disorders and gastrointestinal function. She has done an admirable job in relating specific digestive disorders in conditions such as schizophrenia, autism, attention deficit disorder and other problems of child development. The book is full of valuable and interesting facts that can be used by people to optimise the health of themselves and their children.
Dr. William Shaw, Ph.D.
Great Plains Laboratories, Kansas, USA
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is to be congratulated on putting together such a well-researched and provocative book. From the over-use of antibiotics to the promotion of breast-feeding and healthier diets, Dr. Campbell-McBride writes with the authority of a practising doctor and with the warmth and feeling of a mother of a child with autism. Every parent with a child who has autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia or dyspraxia will find much to value in this book, which in turn delights and shocks the reader. I warmly recommend it.
Dr Basant K Puri, Professor of psychiatry, MA, PhD, MB, BChir, BSc MathSci, MRCPsych, DipStat, Mmath, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London
The book contains basic information for the beginner as well as in-depth information for those at an advance level. Thank you Dr. Campbell-McBride for writing this book.
Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D., Center for the Study of Autism, Salem, Oregon, USA
This book presents the case for investigating the nutritional aspects, how the gut works and how poor gut function seriously impacts not only physical health but also brain function, for all children with learning and behaviour difficulties.
Sally Bunday, Founder Director, The Hyperactive Children’s Support Group, UK
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has published another brilliant book – “Put You Heart In Your Mouth” in 2007. She explained her new work: “GAPS is my life’s work. However, GAPS diet includes plentiful supply of natural animal fats and cholesterol rich foods, such as eggs. We live in a world of fat phobia and cholesterol phobia. So, naturally many patients were asking me the same question: am I going to develop heart disease following GAPS nutritional protocol? In order to explain the concept fully to my patients, I decided to write a book on this subject.”
Right now she is working on the second GAPS book with a focus on Physiology symptoms, extending the use of GAPS™ Nutritional Programme on other physical conditions.
Due to her excessive work load and demand for consultations, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has developed training for selected practitioners to administer the GAPS protocol all over the world.
Dr Campbell-McBride is a Member of The Society of Authors. She has contributed to the book “Treating Autism” by Edelson SM and Rimland B, and is a health editor to a number of magazines and newsletters. She is also a keynote speaker at many professional conferences and seminars around the world. She frequently gives talks to health practitioners, patient groups and associations.