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Is there an alternative method to the GAPS diet?

Recently I interviewed a wonderful GAPS diet practitioner for my podcast, Salubrious Skin with Dr Irene (episode will be uploaded next week).

It was an interesting chat about the importance of gut health for all aspects of our health.

This got me thinking and as a result spiked so many conversations in my clinic.

It seems we are well aware of the importance of gut health, but the message is usually linked to a new product which can make it very confusing.

The reason is because only half the message is being shared and intricate details that lead to a healthy gut are left out. This leads to confusion especially when someone is utilising a product to get the desired end result but may not feel as good as they thought they would.

In general, eating clean, taking prebiotics and probiotics is right on, but there are many circumstances this is not enough or perhaps a undesired effect occurs which makes the person return back to their previous habits that may not be favourable either.

The other piece of feedback I had from my patients was that ‘the GAPS diet is too strict and I don’t think me and my family could handle it’. Before you throw in the towel I think it is important to understand a few things about gut health and options you have to repair it.

  1. Definitely some foods need to be omitted, especially the inflammatory foods. These include sugar, dairy, gluten, alcohol, stimulants (coffee), anything you have a personal allergy or intolerance too, refined carbohydrates and greasy/fatty animal fats.
  2. You need to be hydrated. Drinking 2-3 litres per day will keep your cells hydrated and help your body heal. A dehydrated body only exacerbates illness.
  3. Leaky gut can be rectified with Chinese medicinal herbs. There is a formula I commonly prescribed called Shen Ling Bai Zhu San that works well. However, I should mention this is something that is individually prescribed based on the presenting signs and symptoms a person has.
  4. In the presence of inflammation, omitting inflammatory food is not enough to help reduce inflammation. It is essential to be prescribed herbs that cool the body and eliminate inflammation so to allow the gut to heal as well as the rest of the body.
  5. Finally, this brings us to probiotics. This is more complicated than simply taking Inner Health Plus or Yakult. The gut has billions of different strains and different medical conditions have been research to respond best to a particular strain or strains. This is why a health care practitioner will be able to help you if this is something you need. Be sure to catch an upcoming episode on Salubrious Skin with Dr Irene on Probiotics.

So there you have it; disease is not necessarily as easy as 1…2…3 but it doesn’t need to be a burden either.

In order to obtain optimal health, I always recommend people take it in small steps so that you keep moving in a forward direction.

Often if we throw ourselves into anything hugely different to what we are used to our body will freak out and want to retreat to what it is comfortable with.

So be kind to yourself. I would recommend making these changes under the care of a health practitioner so that the right guidance is provided and the steps under taken are the ones your body needs at the exact time.

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I would love to hear about your experience with leaky gut, poor health, GAPS diet or anything else related to this article. I believe when we share our experiences we can learn from others and take essential information from each person’s experience to help us on our path to better health.

Also please share this article with anyone you think may find it beneficial as a problem shared is a problem halved.  

Yours in Great Health,