Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Book Summary: Gut And Psychology Syndrome, Chapters 1-10

I have written a summary of the first ten chapters in the GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) book.  I am hoping you will find it useful for sharing with others when you have difficulty explaining what this diet is about.  Enjoy!

Autism, ADD, ADHD, allergies, asthma, eczema, dyspraxia, dyslexia, depression, schizophrenia, and various other psychological problems are inter-related and overlap in occurrence.  Patients with these symptoms all have one thing in common:  poor digestion/malabsorption.   French psychiatrist Phillipe Pinell concluded, “The primary seat of insanity generally is in the region of the stomach and intestines.”

CHAPTER ONE:  What is going on?
Autistic children suffer from a variety of digestive symptoms.  The lymph nodes in the ileal area (small intestine) are inflamed & enlarged, revealing a fight with infection in the gut.  The children also have non-specific colitis, or inflammation of the colon, which is in various stages of abscesses, pus, ulcers & erosions of the membranes, and fecal compaction.
Research also links schizophrenic patients with Celiac’s disease (intolerance to gluten).

CHAPTER TWO: The roots of a tree
The roots of a tree are the source of all health in a tree.  The gut is the source of health in humans.
The gut has 3 types of flora:  essential (beneficial), opportunistic, and transitional (temporary, taken in by diet).  The essential bacteria neutralize toxic substances, inactivates histamines (allergic reactions), controls the opportunistic bacteria, absorbs carcinogens, and chelates heavy metals.   Normal gut flora also protects the gut wall and provides the nourishment for the cells there.  Without the healthy flora, the gut wall degenerates.  Food is no longer digested and absorbed properly, causing “malabsorption, nutritional deficiencies, and food intolerances.”  Without the proper digestive enzymes, the proteins from milk and wheat enter the blood stream unchanged instead of being broken down, and they interfere “with brain function and immune system function.”  Fiber and milk sugar (lactose) cannot be broken down in the body without digestive enzymes either.
Healthy gut flora also ensures proper absorption of vitamins and nutrients.  Patients with unhealthy guts tend to be anemic.  They are not absorbing nutrients properly, and the opportunistic bacteria feed off the available iron, creating further deficiency.

CHAPTER THREE:  Immune system
GAP people have a compromised immune system.  “Deficiencies in various immunoglobulins are found” in GAP patients.  Their immune system starts to produce antibodies which attack their own tissues, “including the brain and the rest of the nervous system.”  Their gut wall “has poor ability to defend itself from fungi, viruses from vaccinations or the environment, bacteria and parasites.”  It is estimated that “80-85% of our immunity is located in the gut wall.”

CHAPTER FOUR:  What can damage gut flora?
Antibiotics  -- from food and from prescriptions.  Antibiotics kill of beneficial bacteria.  Antibiotics alter bacteria from benign to pathogenic.  Antibiotics cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria, creating a need for more powerful antibiotics.
Other drugs – long-term analgesics, steroids, contraceptives, sleeping pills, heartburn meds, and others
Diet –processed food, sugary foods, high grain intake, baby formula, fasting, overeating.
Other factors – disease, stress, surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiotherapy, alcoholism, extreme climates.

CHAPTER FIVE:  The opportunistic flora
Opportunistic flora are a “large group of various microbes” which grow out of control in the state of diminished beneficial flora.   Bacteroids, Peptococci, Staphylococci, Streptococci, Bacilli, Clostridia, Yeasts, Enterobacteira, various viruses, and many other microbes are examples of opportunistic flora.  Some of these damage the gut wall, making it “leaky”, then they leak out the gut wall and into the blood stream.   Partially digested foods also get out of the gut wall into the blood stream, “where the immune system recognizes them as foreign and attacks them.”   Some of these microbes produce toxic substances or beneficial substances in toxic quantities, like excess histamines which produce, allergies, constantly low blood pressure, hormonal changes, emotional instability, sleep disturbances, addictions, etc.   This abundance of histamines is often seen  in patients with depression, autism, schizophrenia, and addictions.
Bacteroids are most routinely found in GAPS stools samples – bacteroids like to eat sugar, starch, and lactose, which is the standard Western diet.  These bacteria are almost always found in infected tissues “of the digestive tract, abcesses, ulcers, urinary tract infections, lung infections, peritonitis, infected heart valves, blood infections, mouth infections, teeth and gum disease, gangrene, and post-operative infections.”
The Clostridia family members are also almost always found in the stools of autistic children. One member is the Clostridium tetani,  which is normally in the gut but controlled.  When out of control, it’s toxins invade the body and are neurotoxic, causing photosensitivity and difficulty with muscle tone.  Broad spectrum antibiotics do not kill off clostridia, but in killing off the beneficial bacteria of the gut, colostridia is allowed to grow unchecked.

CHAPTER SIX: The gut-brain connection
Specialization in medicine has resulted in thinking of the body as separate systems (cardiovascular, neurological, etc.), but the body is one entire unit, with each system inter-related and inter-dependent on the others.  The neurological/psychiatric component of our bodies relies on the gut.

There are more toxins at work in the GAP syndrome.  ETHANOL AND ACETALDEHYDE --  yeast overgrowth causes glucose to be converted into alcohol and acetaldehyde.   This is also passed to infants by the parents before birth and by breast milk afterward.  This causes: decreased stomach acid, pancreas degeneration, gut lining damage, malabsorption, immune system compromise, poor detoxification, poor detox of old neurotransmitters & hormones, brain damage, peripheral nerve damage, muscle weakness, and destruction of myelin which can result in MS.  Alcohol and acetaldehyde also cause functional deficiencies – inability of the body to utilize substances that it has in proper quantities, such as thyroid hormones, vitamin B6, etc.

GLUTEN AND CASEIN --  GAPS people lack the ability to digest gluten (from grains) and casein (from milk).  These improperly digested proteins turn into chemicals similar to opiates like morphine and heroin.  They block some areas of the brain just like morphine and heroin do.   Unbroken-down proteins also inhibit neurotransmitters and hormone function.
DELTORPHIN AND DERMORPHIN – neuro-paralyzers found in autistic children.  Deltorphin  and dermorphin are from a fungus which has been used in S. America to make poison darts.  Quite possibly this is a fungus growing in the gut of GAPS people.

CHAPTER SEVEN:  The families
Unborn babies have no bacteria, viruses, or fungi living in them.  As they pass through the birth canal, they pick up whatever’s living in the mother’s vagina.  The flora of the vagina is influenced by what’s in the mother’s gut and what’s in the father’s gut (via sexual intercourse with the mother).  The mother’s vaginal flora & gut are influenced by antibiotics, antibacterials, the contraceptive pill, poor diet, infections, personal care products, and stress. 
GAPS children’s parents usually suffer from digestive disorders, asthma, allergies, PMS, migraines, arthritis, or cystitis, etc.
Nursing the baby also transfers poor gut health & toxins, but the antibodies which are present in the milk, protect the baby until nursing ends and solid foods begin. At that time, there is an “explosion” of abnormal microbial growth.   However, nursing is a much better alternative than bottle-feeding.
Parental toxic load directly influences the toxic load of the babies.  A baby with a high toxic load creates a vulnerability to environmental toxins, including vaccines.
Siblings of GAPS children also display a variety of symptoms of compromised immune & digestive systems.

CHAPTER EIGHT:  Does MMR cause autism?
There is a preservative in many vaccines called Thimerosal, which is a Mercury compound.  Some countries have banned its use.
Vaccines are produced for children with normal immune function.  GAPS children do not have a normal immune system.  While MMR may not cause autism spectrum disorders, it may be the trigger which starts it. 
Vaccines should be withheld until the infant is proven clear of a compromised immunity, and then vaccines should be given individually, not in clusters.

CHAPTER NINE:  Schizophrenia
Modern psychiatric treatment controls symptoms, not causes.  No cure is available.  Psychiatrists of the past have known that schizophrenics are poorly nourished.  Areas such as Ireland and the South Pacific did not see schizophrenia in their citizens until heavy grain diets were instituted.  A large percentage of schizophrenics were bottle fed, compromising their digestive flora.
Schizophrenic symptoms usually appear at puberty. The hormonal changes may interact with the toxins present.
Psychotic patients on medication may undergo significant brain changes.  The medication should be taken until nutritional detoxification is completed, and then the anti-psychotic drug removed slowly and carefully.
Some "schizophrenics" may not be schizophrenic but have pellagra, a vitamin B3 deficiency which causes hallucinations, confusion, headaches, anxiety, depression, and a host of physical symptoms.  It used to be attributed to poorer people on corn-based diet.  In addition to nutritional detoxing, these patients may need additional B vitamin supplementation.
Thousands of patients around the world are successfully cured of psychiatric disorders through nutrition.

CHAPTER TEN:  Epilepsy
The more severe the autism, the greater the incidence of epilepsy.  Anti-seizure medication has many side effects, including depleting the body of folic acid.  Long ago, doctors treated epilepsy with a fast and then a low carbohydrate diet.  In the 1920s, the Mayo Clinic developed a “ketogenic” diet which severely restricted carbs.  Later, though, when anti-convulsants were discovered, the diet was dropped.  Other diets which seem successful in treating seizures are the Atkins diet and the Low Glycemic Index diet.
The author’s experience in her clinic is that when patients start the GAPS protocol diet, most find a cessation of seizures, tics, spasms, and involuntary movements.  She believes that seizures are the result of a combination of damaged gut wall and nutritional deficiencies.

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