GAPS gut health


What is “GAPS”?

Gut and Psychology Syndrome is a condition which recognises a link between the gut and the brain.  Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride MD MMedSci (neurology) MMedSci (human nutrition) established her dietary and detox treatment protocol by trial and error to help her son who was at that time on the autistic spectrum.

Gut and Psychology Syndrome book


It has been found to be helpful by many children and adults with conditions such as;

  • 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.

Many people with more ‘physical’ conditions also find a benefit, especially allergies, food intolerances gastrointestinal disorders and heart conditions.


Katharine focuses on children and adults with digestive disorders, autism and ADHD, and people interested in detoxing.  She offers a complimentary (no-fee) introductory consultation to those new to, or stuck on, GAPS by phone. To book a consultation, please contact us today.

GAPS is a nutritional protocol with several stages designed to enable the gut to heal.  It does this by removing for a period from the diet certain irritants to the gut (grains and the starchier vegetables) and replacing them with highly nutritious home-made soups and bone broths, which provide the nutrients needed for healing the intestinal wall and nourishing the body in general.

More foods are added as the digestion improves.  The diet emphasises probiotics and fermented foods and drinks, which slowly build and balance immune function.

Put yuour heart in your mouth book

In the experience of Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride over decades and of the growing body of practitioners she has trained in different parts of the world, healing the gut puts an end to the ‘river of toxicity’ which according to the GAPS method circulates in the bloodstream and is thought to be the root cause of many chronic conditions, physical and psychological/behavioural, affecting adults and children.

There are two diets: the stricter Introduction Diet and the Full GAPS Diet which allows a wider range of ‘GAPS-legal’ foods.

The Introduction Diet is recommended for anyone with diarrhoea of any origin, people with severe digestive problems, people with severe allergies and food intolerances, children on the autistic spectrum, children diagnosed with diabetes type one or celiac disease, children and adults with severe learning disabilities.

The Full GAPS Diet is recommended for anyone with a tendency to constipation, anyone who travels a lot or feels the Introduction Diet would be too restrictive within their lifestyle, for older children without severe digestive problems such as children with ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia, for people hesitant to change their diet.

Some people move from one diet to the other from time to time.


GAPS cooking and food preparation involves considerable effort at the beginning, though once the new methods become habitual they tend to find a place and become second nature.

Because of the health benefits people generally find, many choose to continue on the GAPS diet longterm. Others gradually return to a more mainstream diet, with the option of occasionally building in a period of GAPS eating if old symptoms return.

In addition to the dietary protocols Dr Campbell-McBride recommends certain supplements for specific groups of people.  Alongside the diet she strongly advises certain gentle but effective detoxification methods.

The GAPS website is extremely comprehensive with extensive frequently asked questions, recipes, resources etc.  GAPS can be undertaken with or without the guidance of a practitioner.

“I have suffered chronic gastritis for twenty years.  Strictly and diligently following GAPS Introduction Diet for the past two months has allowed me to live heartburn-free and to enjoy a better quality life day and night.  Thank you Katharine for your amazing support and guidance” DS, Knightsbridge


Some Evidence

GAPS features on the CAM ((Complementary and Alternative Medicine)) for doctors site – follow the link: CAM for Doctors and scroll down to Gut and Psychology – the Bacterial Link

Dr Mercola explores possible causes of autism and the role of GAPS here

The Scientific American journal explores how Gut Bacteria May Play a Role in Autism – click here

A literature review finds a new paradigm emerging: Autistic Spectrum Disorder as a Multisystem Disorder, including Metabolic Impairments – read the evidence here

Oxidative Stress in Autism:  How might the brain be affected by gut issues?  This and much more is discussed, including some of the supplements given children with a diagnosis of autism, in this paper

Study finds alterations in both blood-brain barrier and intestinal permeability in individuals with autism – found out more by clicking here