GAPS Seminar


The GAPS Seminar will be Saturday, December 3, 2011 from 9am - 5pm with a one-hour lunch on your own. If you are already on the GAPS diet you may bring a sack lunch or we can direct you to some local restaurant options. The seminar will be held at the Kent District Library - East Grand Rapids Branch 746 Lakeside Dr. SE in Room 102. This will kick off our GAPS support group where we will be able to hold potlucks, exchange recipes, and share our questions and concerns. Many of you have already expressed how much better you are feeling on the diet and I am excited to see this progress continue! If you register for the seminar before November 18th you will receive $10 off! Click here for a registration form. Also, we will be ordering the book directly from the publisher in England so if you would like to purchase a book please indicate so on the registration form and it will be available to you at the seminar. Please feel free to share this information with anyone you know that would benefit. The GAPS diet is truly amazing in its ability to heal and seal the digestive tract and get rid of longstanding physical and mental symptoms. My hope is that each of you can restore your gut health and return to enjoying your lives symptom free. Here's to your health!

Dr. Kathryn
I have spent a considerable amount of time researching over the past few months on probiotics. Probiotics are supplements that contain the types of bacteria normally found in a healthy digestive tract. These bacterial strains such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are found everywhere in our environment and help to keep our digestive tracts healthy. They help us to digest our food, create important vitamins such as the B-vitamins and Vitamin K, and make many minerals more bio-available such as iron and calcium. They also help our bodies to detoxify and eliminate toxic metals such as mercury, aluminum and lead. From the moment we are born these billions of bacterium establish themselves in our gut and work together with our body in a mutually beneficial way. In fact, over 90% of the genetic material found in the human body comes from these microorganisms!

Unfortunately, over the past century or so we have drastically changed our relationship with these microbes. Instead of beneficial bacteria many of us have opportunistic and pathogenic microbes in our gut such as Clostridia, Candida, Staphylococci, and more. Instead of beneficial vitamins and nutrients these pathogens create harmful chemicals and toxins that clog up our body and overload our detoxification systems.

In order to restore the balance of microbiota in the intestinal system it can be helpful to use a therapeutic grade of probiotic as a supplement. There are many probiotic products out there on the market and a good many of them are an unfortunate waste of money. Here are some of the most important features I look for in a good quality product.
  • At least 1 billion bacteria per gram. If it doesn't say how many bacteria - don't bother.
  • Contains no FOS, Inulin, or other sugar - This is a hotly debated point as most probiotics on the market use these polysaccharides in the belief that it is beneficial. The problem is these sugars can feed bad bacteria as well as it can good bacteria. I'd rather go without to be safe.
  • Contain only one form of beneficial bacteria - Bacteria are competitive so unless they have found a way to keep them separated, they will compete and kill each other off and you may not be getting as much live bacteria as you thought.
  • In a powdered form - Although capsules are more convenient for many I like to have the powder because there are less fillers and other potential ingredients that can feed pathogenic bacteria. Powder is also better for using with small children, for topical application, and for use in an enema kit. If the culture is strong enough you don't need to worry about having enteric coating to survive the stomach acid.
  • Not dairy-free - when bacteria are cultured outside the human body the choice of growth medium is important. Certain strains produce their beneficial byproducts only when cultured in milk. For those that are lactose intolerant, the amounts should be small enough and converted quickly enough by the bacteria into lactic acid that it will not cause problems. If it does - you may want to first try using fermented foods in your diet such as homemade sauerkraut.
  • It is a normal inhabitant of the intestinal tract - While some companies seem to prefer spore-form soil bacteria there are other researchers that feel these forms can be harmful. I prefer to stick to the most obvious and proven beneficial forms.
  • Other good qualities: Freeze-dried to preserve viability, not centrifuged or ultrafiltered, and is kept refrigerated at all times.
Below are the products I recommend most at Elder & Sage and how they can be used:

Superdophilus Dairy Powder from Natren - Lactobacillus Acidophilus is the primary bacteria found in the small intestines. This is a super strain that adheres well to the gut wall. This is what you want to supplement with if you have nutrient absorption problems, anemia, food sensitivities, auto-immune diseases, allergies, indigestion, heartburn, gas and bloating, and other digestive complaints. Start with 1 billion bacterium per day and gradually increase to a therapeutic dose of 15-20 billion. A maintenance dose is typically half of the therapeutic dose although it may vary per individual. Children ages 4-10 should receive no more than 12 billion per day.

Bifidonate Dairy Powder from Natren - Bifidobacteria Bifidophilus is the primary bacteria found in the large intestines, urinary tract and genital area. Supplement with this if you have colitis, Irritable Bowel, Diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, Constipation, Diarrhea, cramping pains in the abdomen, yeast infections, jock itch, prostatitis, frequent urinary tract infections, vaginitis and other reproductive disorders. Start with 1 billion bacterium per day and gradually increase to a therapeutic dose of 15-20 billion per day. A maintenance dose is typically half of the therapeutic dose although it may vary per individual. Children ages 4-10 should receive no more than 12 billion per day.

Life Start Dairy Powder from Natren - Bifidobacteria Infantis is the primary strain found in a healthy infant's digestive tract. This should be used for children up to the age of four years that were born by caesarean, not breastfed, received antibiotics either during birth or afterwards, have frequent ear infections and illnesses, have eczema, allergies, acid reflux, colic, food sensitivities, autism, ADD, ADHD, and more. For an infant up to 1 year of age begin with a small amount and increase to no more than 1-2 billion bacterium per day. Ages 1-2 should use no more than 4 billion per day and 2-4 years should have no more than 8 billion bacterium per day as a therapeutic dose. A maintenance dose is typically half the therapeutic dose.

Trenev Trio Capsules from Natren - This product contains three super strains of bacteria in one product. The bacterium are kept separate by using an oil-matrix that carries them past the stomach acidity and releases them in the small intestine as the oil is emulsified  by bile. This product contains a high amount of bacterium and so should be used with caution if you have chronic digestive issues. Use one capsule daily if you are currently on antibiotics or have recently been on them; have been under extreme stress; have experienced a "tummy-bug" or recent food poisoning; or would like to boost your immune system to fight off illness.

As you supplement with probiotics it is not unusual to have a "die-off" reaction as the chemical byproducts of the beneficial bacteria kill off the pathogens in your gut. This can cause fatigue, aching, an off-color feeling, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other digestive discomforts. This reaction typically lasts no more than a few days to one week. Hold at your previous level of probiotic until the symptoms subside.

To Your Health!
Dr. Kathryn

Making Meat Stock


I'm firmly convinced that part of the reason our society has so many health problems is because we have forgotten how to cook at home.

Stock used to be a family staple that added flavor and nutrition to soups, sauces, gravies and other dishes. In most gourmet restaurants the stock is still the foundation of the kitchen.

Particularly important for the GAPS diet both in the Introductory phase and the Full GAPS Diet, meat stock aids digestion and has been known for centuries as a healing folk remedy for the digestive tract. It is full of minerals, vitamins, amino-acids and various other nutrients in a very bio-available form. This is what seals and heals up the holes in the digestive lining that contributes to food allergies and other sensitivities.

Following is a general formula for a simple stock made from a miscellaneous collection of bones and meat scraps. The stock can be made from bones alone, but it will taste and smell more appetizing if some meat is included. A 50% ratio of meat to bones is good.

Simple Meat Stock

3 quarts of meat and bones chopped into 2- to 3-inch pieces (raw or cooked veal or beef bones and meat, and/or poultry carcasses, scraps, and giblets)
An 8- to 10-quart pot
Cold filtered water
2 tsp Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
2 medium-sized carrots
2 medium-sized peeled onions
2 medium-sized celery stalks
The following tied in washed cheesecloth or a coffee filter:
1/4 t. thyme
1 bay leaf
6 parsley sprigs
2 unpeeled garlic cloves
5 whole peppercorns

Place the meat and bones in the pot and add cold filtered water to cover them by 2 inches. Set over medium heat. As the liquid comes slowly to simmer, a grayish colored scum will rise to the top. Remove it with a spoon or ladle.

Add all the other ingredients and more water if needed. Partially cover the pot leaving a 1 inch space for steam to escape. Maintain liquid at a very quiet simmer for 4 to 5 hours or more. Boiling water should be added if the liquid evaporates below the level of ingredients. Strain the stock. Set the stock in the refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and hardens so it can be skimmed off. This fat should not be tossed out but rather added back to soups or used for cooking instead of vegetable oils. The stock can be frozen or remain covered in the refrigerator. It will need to be brought  to a boil every 3 or 4 days to keep it from spoiling.

* Cooking can be stopped at any time and continued later.
* Don't cover the pot completely until the contents have cooked or it may sour.
* If the flavor is weak the stock can be boiled down some to concentrate its flavors.

A cup of this warmed meat stock can be drunk with meals to improve digestion. Use as a base for vegetable soups and stews. Fermented liquids or foods can be added to the stock just before serving.

This stock is an essential part of the GAPS diet... if you are not making the stock you are not healing your gut!

Hello, this is Dr. Kathryn from Elder & Sage!

Over the years I have noticed a significant trend in the health of my clients. No matter what the other physical symptoms presenting - there seems to be a significant digestive/intestinal system imbalance. Often there is congestion in the liver and some of the major elimination pathways including the bowels, urinary, respiratory, and skin systems. In my extensive research in trying to deal with these underlying issues I came across the Gut & Psychology/Physiology Syndrome (GAPS). This is the connection between how our physical and mental health is dependent on the health of our digestive tract and the micro-organisms contained within it. I would say that over 90% of my clients are GAPS clients. These are the people that fall into the gap of modern medical knowledge and have limited success with nearly every standard treatment out there.

I recently spent some time at a training seminar in Chicago to become a Certified GAPS Practitioner. This training has helped me to understand the wide variety of conditions that stem from gut dysbiosis (gut bacteria out of balance). It has also helped me to put together a plan for helping my clients heal themselves based on the clinical practice of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride who works with thousands of GAPS patients around the globe. Overwhelmed with the demand for her expertise, Dr. Campbell-McBride has certified a handful of practitioners like me throughout the US to help her respond to the growing number of people dealing with this condition.

The GAPS program has three main components; the GAPS nutritional plan, specific supplementation, and ways to detoxify the body. Most important is the GAPS Nutritional Plan, which provides large amounts of nourishing substances to heal the gut lining while eliminating those foods that are difficult to digest as well as those that feed pathogenic microbes.

So how do you know whether or not you have GAPS?

  1. You have severe digestive symptoms such as: diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, irritable bowel, celiac, gluten-sensitivity, constipation, hemorrhoids, colitis, acid reflux, etc.
  2. You have learning or mental difficulties including: ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression, poor mental clarity, addictions, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, epilepsy, etc.
  3. You have an autoimmune disorder such as: Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, arthritis, lupus, allergies, etc.
  4. You have a skin condition including: eczema, psoriasis, rashes, and other skin allergies.
  5. You have other chronic conditions such as: Diabetes Type 1&2, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, PMS, menstrual problems, endocrine disorders (thyroid, adrenal, etc.).
  6. You have generalized symptoms that do not fit into a diagnostic box such as: digestive problems, fatigue, muscular weakness, cramps, pain and ache in joints and muscles, skin problems, hormonal abnormalities, etc.
As you can see this includes a wide majority of the population!

I have spoken to many of you about gut dysbiosis already and have introduced quite a few to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The GAPS diet is based off of the SCD diet with a few significant changes as well as providing a comprehensive plan of action based on the individual’s needs.

I will be conducting a seminar soon to help educate my clients about what is GAPS and how they can begin to recover from it. I hope for this to evolve into a regular support group including food demonstrations and more. I would like this to be an affordable way for many of you to make the lifestyle changes necessary to promote significant results in your health.

More information about the GAPS Seminar will be coming soon. We also plan to record this seminar for posting on our website and to make available for purchase.

To Your Health!
Dr. Kathryn Doran-Fisher, ND


What is GAPS?


This is an article written by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of Gut & Psychology Sydrome. I'm reposting it here to help you understand what GAPS is and why it is so beneficial for so many of my clients. You can find out more by visiting Dr. Campbell-McBride's website.

Gut & Psychology (GAP Syndrome or GAPS)
by Dr. N. Campbell-McBride

We live in the world of unfolding epidemics. Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD), schizophrenia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, obsessive –compulsive disorder, bi-polar disorder and other neuro-psychological and psychiatric problems in children and young adults are becoming more and more common.

In clinical practice these conditions more often than not overlap with each other. A child with autism often is hyperactive and dyspraxic. There is about 50% overlap between dyslexia and dyspraxia and 25-50% overlap between hyperactivity and dyslexia and dyspraxia. Children with these conditions are often diagnosed as being depressed and as they grow up they are more prone to substance abuse or alcoholism than their typically developing peers. A young adult diagnosed with schizophrenia would often suffer from dyslexia, dyspraxia or/and ADHD/ADD in childhood. Schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder are often described as two sides of one coin. We have created different diagnostic boxes to fit our patients in. But a modern patient does not fit into any one of them neatly. The modern patient in most cases fits into a rather lumpy picture of overlapping neurological and psychiatric conditions.

When we examine these patients in a clinical setting, we find that apart from so-called mental problems, they are also physically very ill. Digestive disorders, malnourishment, allergies, asthma, eczema, chronic cystitis, thrush and fussy eating habits are a consistent part of the picture.

What is a typical scenario we see in clinical practice?

Before examining the patient it is very important to look at the health history of the parents. Whenever the parents are mentioned people immediately think about genetics. However, apart of genetics there is something very important the parents, mother in particular, pass to their child: their unique gut micro-flora. Not many people know that an adult on average carries 2 kg of bacteria in the gut. There are more cells in that microbial mass than there are cells in an entire human body. It is a highly organised micro-world, where certain species of bacteria have to predominate to keep us healthy physically and mentally. Their role in our health is so monumental, that we simply cannot afford to ignore them. We will talk in detail about the child’s gut flora later. Now let us come back to the source of the child’s gut flora – the parents.

After studying hundreds of cases or neurological and psychiatric conditions in children, a typical health picture of these children’s mums has emerged.
A typical modern mother was probably not breast fed when she was a baby, because she was born in 60s or 70s when breast-feeding went out of fashion. Why is it important? Because it is well known that bottle fed babies develop completely different gut flora to the breast fed babies. This compromised gut flora in a bottle fed baby later on predisposes her to many health problems. Having acquired compromised gut flora from the start, a typical modern mum had quite a few courses of antibiotics in her childhood and youth for various infections. It is a well known fact that antibiotics have a serious damaging effect on the gut flora, because they wipe out the beneficial strains of bacteria in the gut. At the age of 16 and sometimes even earlier the modern mum was put on a contraceptive pill, which she took for quite a few years before starting a family. Contraceptive pills have a devastating effect on the beneficial (good) bacteria in the gut. One of the major functions of the good bacteria in the gut flora is controlling about 500 different known to science species of pathogenic (bad) and opportunistic microbes. When the beneficial bacteria get destroyed the opportunists get a special opportunity to grow into large colonies and occupy large areas of the digestive tract. A modern diet of processed and fast foods provides perfect nourishment for these pathogens and that is a typical diet a modern mum had as a child and a young adult. As a result of all these factors a modern mum has seriously compromised gut flora by the time she is ready to have children. And indeed clinical signs of gut dysbiosis (abnormal gut flora) are present in almost 100% of mothers of children with neurological and psychiatric conditions. The most common health problems in mothers are digestive abnormalities, allergies, auto-immunity, PMS, chronic fatigue, headaches and skin problems.

A baby is born with a sterile gut. In the first 20 or so days of life the baby’s virgin gut surface gets populated by a mixture of microbes. This is the child’s gut flora, which will have a tremendous effect on this child’s health for the rest of his/her life. Where does this gut flora come from? Mainly from the mother.
So, whatever microbial flora the mother has she would pass to her new-born child.

Gut flora is something we do not think much about. And yet the number of functions the gut flora fulfills is so vital for us that if some day our digestive tract got sterilised we probably would not survive.

The first and very important function is appropriate digestion and absorption of food. If a child does not acquire normal balanced gut flora, then the child will not digest and absorb foods properly, developing multiple nutritional deficiencies. And that is what we commonly see in children and adults with learning disabilities, psychiatric problems and allergies. Many of these patients are malnourished. Even in the cases where the child may grow well, testing reveals some typical nutritional deficiencies in many important minerals, vitamins, essential fats, many amino-acids and other nutrients. The most common deficiencies, recorded in these patients, are in magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, calcium, manganese, sulphur, phosphorus, iron, potassium, vanadium, boron, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, A, D, folic acid, pantothenic acid, omega-3, 6, 9 fatty acids, taurine, alpha-ketoglutaric acid, glutathione and many other amino-acids. This usual list of nutritional deficiencies includes some most important nutrients for normal development and function of the child’s brain, immune system and the rest of the body.

Apart of normal digestion and absorption of food healthy gut flora actively synthesises various nutrients: vitamin K, pantothenic acid, folic acid, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), ciancobalamine (vitamin B12), various amino-acids and proteins. Indeed, when tested people with gut dysbiosis always present with deficiencies of these nutrients. Clinical experience shows that restoring the beneficial bacteria in their gut is the best way to deal with these deficiencies.

The majority of children and adults with neurological and psychiatric conditions look pale and pasty. When tested they show various stages of anaemia, which is not surprising. To have a healthy blood we require many different nutrients: vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, K, A, D, etc), minerals (Fe, Ca, Mg, Zn, Co, Se, boron, etc.), essential amino-acids and fats. These patients not only cannot absorb these nutrients from food, but their own production of many of them in the body is damaged. On top of that people with damaged gut flora often have particular groups of pathogenic bacteria growing in their gut, which are iron-loving bacteria (Actinomyces spp., Mycobacterium spp., pathogenic strains of E.Coli, Corynebacterium spp. and many others). They consume whatever iron the person gets from the diet, leaving that person deficient in iron. Unfortunately, supplementing iron only makes these bacteria grow stronger and does not remedy anaemia. To treat anaemia the person requires all the nutrients we have mentioned, many of which healthy gut flora supplies.

Apart from taking a direct part in nourishing the body, beneficial bacteria in the gut act as the housekeepers for the digestive tract. They coat the entire surface of the gut protecting it from invaders and toxins by providing a natural barrier and producing a lot of anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal substances. At the same time they provide the gut lining with nourishment. It is estimated that 60 – 70% of energy, the gut lining derives, is from the activity of bacteria, which live on it. So, it is no surprise that when the gut flora is abnormal the digestive tract itself cannot be healthy. Indeed most children and adults with learning disabilities, psychiatric disorders and allergies present with digestive problems. In many cases these problems are so severe, that the patients (or their parents) talk about them first. In some cases they may not be very severe, but when asked direct questions the parents describe that their child never had normal stool, that their child suffered from colic as a baby and that tummy pains, bloating and flatulence are a common part of the picture. Adult sufferers describe the same kind of symptoms. In those cases where these children and adults have been examined by gastro-enterologists inflammatory process in the gut was found along with faecal compaction and an over-spill syndrome. Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his team at the Royal Free Hospital in London in the late 90s found an inflammatory condition in the bowel of autistic children, which they have named Autistic Enterocolitis. Schizophrenic patients were always known to have serious digestive problems. Dr. Curtis Dohan, MD has devoted many years to researching digestive abnormalities in schizophrenia. He found a lot of similarities between coeliac disease and the state of the digestive tract in schizophrenics. Indeed, in my clinical practice long before these patients develop psychotic symptoms they suffer from digestive problems and all other typical symptoms of gut dysbiosis pretty much from the start of their lives. Children and young adults with ADHD/ADD, OCD, depression and other neuro-psychological problems are very often reported to suffer from digestive abnormalities.

What other symptoms of gut dysbiosis do we know?

Well-functioning gut flora is the right hand of our immune system. The beneficial bacteria in the gut ensure appropriate production of different immune cells, immunoglobulins and other parts of the immunity. But most importantly they keep the immune system in the right balance. What typically happens in a person with gut dysbiosis is that two major arms of their immune system Th1 and Th2 get out of balance with underactive Th1 and overactive Th2. As a result the immune system starts reacting to most environmental stimuli in an allergic or atopic kind of way.
A baby is born with an immature immune system. Establishment of healthy balanced gut flora in the first few days of life plays a crucial role in appropriate maturation of the immune system. If the baby does not acquire appropriate gut flora then the baby is left immune compromised. The result is lots of infections followed by lots of courses of antibiotics, which damage the child’s gut flora and immune system even further. The most common infections in the first two years of life in the children with neurological, psychological and atopic disorders are ear infections, chest infections, sore throats and impetigo. At the same time in the first two years of life the child receives a lot of vaccinations. A child with compromised immune system does not react to vaccinations in a predicted way. In most cases vaccines deepen the damage to the immune system and provide a source of chronic persistent viral infections and autoimmune problems in these children. There has been a considerable amount of research published into the state of the immune system in children and adults with learning disabilities and psychiatric problems. The research shows deep abnormalities in all major cell groups and immunoglobulins in these patients. The most common autoantibodies found are to myelin basic protein (MBP) and neuron-axon filament protein (NSFP). These antibodies attack the person’s brain and the rest of the nervous system.

So, the modern patient (child or adult), who we are talking about, did not get normal gut flora from the start and then got it damaged even further by repeated courses of antibiotics and vaccinations. As a result these children and adults commonly suffer from digestive problems, allergies, asthma and eczema. But apart from that in people who then go on to develop neurological and psychiatric problems something even more terrible happens. Without control of the beneficial bacteria different opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi have a good chance to occupy large territories in the digestive tract of the patient and grow large colonies. Two particular groups which are most commonly found on testing are yeasts (including Candida species) and Clostridia family. These pathogenic microbes start digesting food in their own way producing large amounts of various toxic substances, which get absorbed into the blood stream, carried to the brain and cross the blood – brain barrier. The number and mixture of toxins can be very individual, causing different neurological and psychiatric symptoms. Due to the absence or greatly reduced numbers of beneficial bacteria in the gut flora, the person’s digestive system instead of being a source of nourishment becomes a major source of toxicity in the body.

So, what kind of toxins are we talking about? 

There are many toxins, which we have not studied very well yet. But some toxins have received a considerable amount of research. Let us have a look at them.

Acetaldehyde & Alcohol
The most common pathogenic microbes shown to overgrow in the digestive systems of children and adults with neuro-psychiatric conditions are yeasts, particularly Candida species. Yeasts ferment dietary carbohydrates with production of alcohol and its by-product acetaldehyde. Let us see what does a constant exposure to alcohol and acetaldehyde do to the body.

Liver damage with reduced ability to detoxify drugs, pollutants and other toxins.

Pancreas degeneration with reduced ability to produce pancreatic enzymes, which would impair digestion.

Reduced ability of the stomach wall to produce stomach acid.

Damage to immune system.

Brain damage with lack of self-control, impaired co-ordination, impaired speech development, aggression, mental retardation, loss of memory and stupor.

Peripheral nerve damage with altered senses and muscle weakness.

Direct muscle tissue damage with altered ability to contract and relax and muscle weakness.

Nutritional deficiencies from damaging effect on digestion and absorption of most vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Deficiencies in B and A vitamins are particularly common.

Alcohol has an ability to enhance toxicity of most common drugs, pollutants and other toxins.

Alteration of metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids in the body.

Inability of the liver to dispose of old neurotransmitters, hormones and other by-products of normal metabolism. As a result these substances accumulate in the body, causing behavioural abnormalities and many other problems.

Acetaldehyde is considered to be the most toxic of alcohol by-products. It is the chemical, which gives us the feeling of hangover. Anybody who experienced a hangover would tell you how dreadful he or she felt. Children, who acquire abnormal gut flora with a lot of yeast from the start, may never know any other feeling. Acetaldehyde has a large variety of toxic influences on the body. One of the most devastating influences of this chemical is its ability to alter the structure of proteins. Acetaldehyde – altered proteins are thought to be responsible for many autoimmune reactions. Children and adults with neuro-psychiatric problems are commonly found to have antibodies against their own tissues.

Clostridia Neurotoxins
There are about 100 different Clostridia species known so far. They are present in the stools of people with autism, schizophrenia, psychosis, severe depression, muscle paralysis and muscle tonus abnormalities and some other neurological and psychiatric conditions. Many Clostridia species are normal inhabitants of a human gut. For example Clostridium tetani is routinely found in the gut of healthy humans and animals. Everybody knows that tetanus is a deadly disease, due to an extremely powerful neurotoxin Clostridium tetani produces. Clostridium tetani, which lives in the gut, is normally controlled by the beneficial bacteria and does us no harm, because its toxin cannot get through the healthy gut wall. Unfortunately, patients, which we are talking about, do not have a healthy gut wall. In gut dysbiosis this powerful neurotoxin can get through the damaged gut lining and then cross the blood-brain barrier affecting the person’s mental development. Many other species of Clostridia (perfringens, novyi, septicum, histolyticum, sordelli, aerofoetidum, tertium, sporogenes, etc) produce toxins similar to tetanus toxin as well as many other toxins. Dr. William Shaw at Great Plains Laboratories describes in detail number of autistic children, who showed serious improvements in their development and biochemical tests while on anti-Clostridia medication. Unfortunately, as soon as the medication was stopped the children slipped back into autism, because these children do not have healthy gut flora to control Clostridia and not to allow their toxins through the gut lining into the bloodstream. In many cases Clostridia were not identified in the stools of these children, because Clostridia are strict anaerobes and are very difficult to study. We need to come up with some better ways of testing for these potent pathogens.

Yeasts and Clostridia have been given a special opportunity by the era of antibiotics. Broad-spectrum antibiotics do not touch them while killing the beneficial bacteria in the gut, which are supposed to control the yeasts and Clostridia. So, after every course of antibiotics these two pathogenic groups get out of control and overgrow. The patients that we are talking about usually are exposed to numerous courses of antibiotics pretty much from the beginning of their lives.

Gluteomorphins & Casomorphins or opiates from gluten and casein.
Gluten is a protein present in grains, mainly wheat, rye, oats, barley. Casein is a milk protein, present in cow, goat, sheep, human and all other milk and milk products. In the bodies of children and adults with autism and schizophrenia these proteins do not get digested properly due to the fact that their digestive systems are full of abnormal microbial flora and hence unhealthy. As a result of misdigestion gluten and casein turn into substances with similar chemical structure of opiates, like morphine and heroin. There has been quite a substantial amount of research done in this area by Dohan, Reichelt, Shattock, Cade and others, where gluten and casein peptides, called gluteomorphins and casomorphins, were detected in the urine of schizophrenic patients and autistic children. Incidentally, these substances were also found in patients with depression and rheumatoid arthritis. These opiates from wheat and milk get through the blood-brain barrier and block certain areas of the brain, just like morphine or heroin would do, causing various neurological and psychiatric symptoms. Based on this research the gluten and casein free diet (GFCF diet) has been developed.

Dermorphin & Deltorphin
These are two frightening toxic substances with opiate structure, which have been found in autistic children by a biochemist Alan Friedman, PhD. Dermorphin and deltorphin were first identified on the skin of a poison dart frog in South America. Native people used to dip their darts into the mucous on these frogs in order to paralyse their enemy, because deltorphin and dermorphin are extremely potent neurotoxins. Dr Friedman believes that it is not the frog that produces these neurotoxins, but a fungus, which grows on the skin of this frog. It is possible that this fungus grows in the gut of autistic children, supplying their bodies with dermorphin and deltorphin.

Organic Acid Testing available now in many laboratories around the world identify various metabolites of microbial activity in the gut, which get absorbed and finish up in the patient’s urine. Many of these metabolites are highly poisonous substances.

Low Serum Sulphate is a common picture in these patients, which is an indirect indication of toxicity in the body, because sulphates are essential for many detoxification processes and normal metabolism of brain neurotransmitters. In many cases the person may be getting plenty of sulphates through the diet, but they all get consumed by the detox pathways struggling with the river of toxicity, which is constantly coming from the person’s gut. At the same time another large group of bacteria, which commonly overgrow in the gut dysbiosis situation are sulphate-reducing bacteria, which make sulphur unavailable for the body to use. These bacteria metabolise sulphate coming from food into sulphites, many of which are toxic like hydrogen sulphide for example, which is the gas with rotten egg smell. Some parents of autistic, hyperactive and other children tell me that their child’s stool has this characteristic smell.

The mixture of toxicity in each child or adult can be quite individual and different. But what they all have in common is gut dysbiosis. The toxicity, which is produced by the abnormal microbial mass in these people, establishes a link between the gut and the brain. That is why I have grouped these disorders together and gave them a name: the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAP Syndrome). The GAPS children and adults can present with symptoms of autism, ADHD, ADD, OCD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, schizophrenia, depression, sleep disorders, allergies, asthma and eczema in any possible combination. These are the patients who fall in the gap in our medical knowledge. Any child or adult with a learning disability, neurological or psychiatric problems should be thoroughly examined for gut dysbiosis. Re-establishing normal gut flora and treating the digestive system of the patient has to be the number one treatment for these disorders, before considering any other treatments with drugs or otherwise.

Gut And Psychology Syndrome (GAP Syndrome or GAPS) establishes the connection between the state of the patient’s gut and the functioning of the brain. This connection has been known by medics for a very long time. The father of modern psychiatry French psychiatrist Phillipe Pinel (1745–1828), after working with mental patients for many years, concluded in 1807: “The primary seat of insanity generally is in the region of the stomach and intestines.” Long before him Hippocrates (460-370 BC), the father of modern medicine has said: “All diseases begin in the gut!” The more we learn with our modern scientific tools, the more we realise just how right they were!


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