GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome)

The term GAPS, abbreviated from Gut and Psychology Syndrome 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, such as autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ ADHD, schizophrenia, dyslexia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other neurological and psychiatric problems.

Coeliac Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Osteoarthritis, Diverticulitis, IBD

Since then the term GAPS has been extended to incorporate Gut and Physiology Syndrome because so much autoimmunity and inflammation has been shown to originate in the gut. If we stop to think about this statement, that autoimmunity & inflammation originate in the gut — it does make perfect sense.. The gastro-intestinal tract forms part of our innate immune system, or our first line of defense, and as such are laden with immune cells. A particular group of cells called antigen presenting cells, the most professional one being the dendric cell, are found beneath the mucous membranes in the Gl tract. Quite literally their job is to sample everything that travels through the gut (lumen) – bacteria, viruses and of course the food you consume. The dendric cells are like guards on a fortress, by this constant sampling process they provide the ability to either establish “tolerance” to commensal bacteria (termed “good bacteria), foods and self — ie not attacking our own cells AND to recruit the army, in the form of T and B cells from the adaptive part of the immune system in response to what it perceives to be foreign or a pathogen. Al this goes on in the gut and often what can cause these dendric cells to make bad or wrong decisions, such as recruiting the army to a self- cell or a food protein is dysbiosis(imbalanced gut flora) or a pro-inflammatory state caused by an infection or viral load or simply over exposure to known inflammatory foods such as gluten.

GAPS is best explained as a condition which establishes a connection between the functions of the digestive system, the brain and the immune system.

Due to the heavy demand for consultations, with long waiting lists for her clinic, Dr Cambell Mc Bride decided to train a number of medical professionals to act as GAPS practitioners around the world. Brianan Dolan was personally trained by Dr Campbell-McBride as a GAPS practitioner in March 2014.

The GAPS protocol is based on the principles that to heal the illness, the gut needs to be repaired and the gut flora rebalanced. It may be suitable for the following types of conditions:

  • Food, chemical or respiratory allergies I sensitivities
  • IBS, Constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, colitis, Crohns or other digestive disorders, including colic in babies
  • Asthma, eczema, thrush, bed wetting
  • ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, aspergers or other learning, social or behavioural issues
  • Depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Chronic fatigue, arthritis, ankylosing spondilitis, lupus or an autoimmune issue