This website has not been designed as a replacement for the GAPS book, but as a source of additional information. Please, read the GAPS book first to understand how and why this particular diet works, why other diets are inappropriate for the GAPS patients and how to implement the appropriate diet correctly.
The GAPS diet is based on the SCD (the Specific Carbohydrate Diet). SCD has been invented by a renowned American paediatrician Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas in the first half of the 20th century. Dr. Haas and his colleagues have spent many years researching the effects of diet on celiac disease and other digestive disorders. The results of this research were published in a comprehensive medical textbook “The Management of Celiac Disease”, written by Dr. Sidney V. Haas and Merrill P. Haas in 1951. The diet, described in the book, was accepted by the medical community all over the world as a cure for celiac disease and Dr. Sidney V. Haas was honoured for his pioneer work in the field of paediatrics. Unfortunately, when celiac disease was defined as a gluten intolerance or gluten enteropathy, the SCD got forgotten as outdated information. It was brought back to life by 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. But the most dramatic and fast recoveries she reported in young children, who apart from digestive problems had serious behavioural abnormalities, such as autism, hyperactivity and night terrors. She devoted years of research into biochemical and biological basis of the diet and published a book, called “Breaking the Vicious Cycle. Intestinal Health Trough Diet.”
I have been using SCD in my clinic for many years. Having accumulated valuable clinical experience I had to make several adjustments in the diet appropriate for my patients with the neurological and psychiatric conditions. Through the years my patients named their dietary regime – the GAPS diet.
***Here are the basics of the GAPS diet as found on Natasha Campbell-McBride MD’s website.
Specific Carbohydrate / GAPS Diet can help with the following
This treatment must begin early in life to have any profound effect on autism.
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
The sugars and starches in food. Sugars are called simple carbohydrates and found in such foods as fruit and table sugar. Complex carbohydrates are composed of large numbers of sugar molecules joined together, and are found in grains, legumes, and vegetables like potatoes, squash, and corn.
(Gluten sensitivity) A digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten. Common symptoms include diarrhea, increased appetite, bloating, weight loss, irritability and fatigue. Gluten is found in wheat (including spelt, triticale, and kamut), rye, barley and sometimes oats.
(Colitis ulcerosa): Ulceration of the colon and rectum, usually long-term and characterized by rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, frequent urgent diarrhea/bowel movements each day, abdominal pain.
Some people develop small pouches (diverticula) that bulge outward through weak spots in the colon. Diverticulosis is the condition of having these pouches; diverticulitis is an inflammation or infection in these pouches. The conditions diverticulosis and diverticulitis are both referred to as diverticular disease. Diverticulosis may not cause any symptoms but could include mild cramps, bloating and constipation - all of which are common to other conditions such as IBS or ulcers. The most common symptoms of diverticulitis are abdominal pain and tenderness around the left side of the lower abdomen. When infection is the cause, fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping and constipation may also occur.
Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.