Gut and Psychology Syndrome Book Review

Gut and Psychology Syndrome Review

I’ve read the book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” by Dr. Campbell-McBride several times, but recently re-read it and wanted to offer an in depth review.

You might have seen blogs or articles mentioning the GAPS/SCD diet, especially in reference to Autism, Allergies, A.D.D, etc. I first read this book several years ago, and while we weren’t struggling with any of those issues, we did add in some of the aspects of her recommendations to our diets.

Fast forward a few years and one of our children had been born premature and spent some time in the NICU. He later developed a dairy intolerance/allergy, that we suspect was a result of the steroids and antibiotics that he was given in his first days. At this point, I re-read the book and started to implement the protocol with him in hopes of reversing his dairy allergy and possible gut struggles from antibiotic use.

What is GAPS?

The protocol in Gut and Psychology Syndrome is basically an intensive nutritional program to heal the gut lining. It focuses on soothing and healing the gut lining with foods like bone broth and beneficial fats while boosting beneficial gut bacteria with probiotics and fermented foods.

Depending on the severity of the patient, one either begins with or works up to the Introduction Diet, which is the strictest part of the protocol, focused on intensive healing. There are then stages as the person begins to introduce other foods. The most difficult factor of the GAPS diet is that in order to be effective, especially in the beginning, one must be 100% compliant. This means a lot of preparing foods at home, as practically any foods prepared by someone not familiar with the protocol will have things that can aggravate the gut.

The website,, outlines some of the protocol, but the book is a much more comprehensive source of information.

On the GAPS diet, use of high quality probiotics and fermented cod liver oil are also encouraged to boost gut bacteria and nutrient levels. For many people suffering from these symptoms, part of the issue is that they are malnourished since the problems in the gut can lead to poor digestion and absorption.

Our Experience

In my experience, there are aspects of the GAPS diet that can be beneficial for everyone. Adding nutrient rich (and inexpensive) foods like bone broths and fermented foods is a good step for anyone.

For kids, boosting gut bacteria and immunity can help boost the immune system and keep them from getting sick as much. Having a good balance of gut bacteria is especially important for pregnant women, as babies inherit gut bacteria from their mothers at birth. (Note: The Intro part of the diet is not suggested during pregnancy, but the full GAPS diet is very nutrient rich during pregnancy). This is often why more than one child in a family can suffer from some of these same issues, as an underlying gut problem can be passed on to each child and then express itself due to lifestyle or nutrition factors later on.

Adding probiotics and fermented cod liver oil can be beneficial even if one isn’t on the GAPS diet, as these boost nutrient levels and can improve digestion.

In our own family, our son developed a dairy intolerance/allergy shortly after weaning. This caused him digestive disturbances, irritation, and eczema on his face. He has also always been my pickiest eater, so the transition to GAPS was not fun, but he adjusted and within a few weeks his skin had started clearing up, his digestion was better, and most surprisingly, his speech (which had been somewhat delayed due to him being premature) took off.

Since we have all been doing it together, I’ve noticed that my digestion is very regular and that I have a lot more energy, even while pregnant. While it is time intensive, our grocery bill hasn’t gone up much on GAPS, as it seems like we are just filling in the gaps (no pun intended) with bone broth and fermented foods, which are both inexpensive to make at home.

Who Should Do Gaps?

It is explained in depth in the book, but the author specifically focuses on people struggling with gut/brain issues like Autism, A.D.D., A.D.H.D., Dyspraxia, Depression/anxiety, Schizophrenia, and even allergies.

I often suggest Gut and Psychology Syndrome to parents who have children struggling with any of these issues, or even to parents whose children just have skin/allergy issues, as they almost always benefit from the protocol as well.

If you or someone in your family struggles with any of those issues, I’d definitely suggest reading Gut and Psychology Syndrome and seeing if you think it would be a good fit for your family.

Have you ever heard of GAPS? Have you done the protocol? What were your results? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. do you feel considerably better doing GAPS, even though it seems that you already ate a pretty similar paleo-type diet before doing GAPS? were the main difference for you adding bone broth/fermented foods and removing some of the starches like sweet potato that GAPS/SCD doesn’t allow? i do a pretty strict paleo diet and mostly everything i eat is also on the autoimmune protocol (although i cheat w/ nightshades sometimes), but i’m thinking of doing the GAPS intro this winter. i’m hoping it won’t be tooooo hard since i’m pretty used to eating this way already, although the strictness of no eating out will probably be the most difficult thing for me!

    • I definitely do notice a difference with adding the broth/fermented foods, and I’ve been eating sweet potatoes and more fruit too since I am pregnant. If you have autoimmune issues you are working through or just want to boost gut health, the winter is a great time to go full GAPS since bone broth always seems more appealing when it is cooler (at least to me…)

      • thanks for your info on the book.. SO ? someone commented that sweet potatoes weren’t on the diet ?
        LOL.. I love them,, so will keep eating them either way .
        also,, is the regular cod liver oil you can purchase in any store the same as fermented ?
        many I know take it on a daily basis.
        I LOVE fermented foods , I mmo kraut everyyear , SO good. & SUPER easy .
        I also mmo yogurt.. yum
        pickles in vinegar are always good for you, also fairly easy to do.
        learning to can your own products is well worth the effert 🙂

        • Can you share how you make your fermented foods? I am struggling with this.

        • Fermented CLO is not the same as regular you get in the store. It’s way more potent and pure and has the natural form and ratio of fatty acids, A, and D. It’s great stuff. Check out Green Pastures. I think they have info on their website that details how their fermented product is different. I used to take the FCLO and then switched to the FCLO/butter oil blend and I noticed a difference in my energy. But every body is different so maybe that’s just me. I also find it easier to give to my kids

          • I am just curious if you have used the normal cold pressed CLO before and see a noticeable difference with the FCLO?

      • This is a breath of fresh air to read up on your site. (good fats, bone broth, fresh fruit etc)

        Re: Gut health: do not believe that cod liver oil and fermented foods help that area. It is the opposite, sorry to say. Cod liver oil/fish oil in general is a major PUFA (which I think you guys know about) very inflammatory to your system and fermented foods and probiotics just forms lactic acid instead. You may feel good for the initial start but will go downhill from there. Or maybe because of the other good stuff, it helps get you by. Thoughts?

        • I’m new here. Your post totally on fused Jenna could you explain more.

        • So probiotics and cod liver oil are not good for the gut?? Why is this and what are better alternatives? Where do you get your information? thanks

  2. We did the SCD a few years ago and I’m getting ready to return to it for my son’s sake. Do you know much about it and how do you feel it compares with GAPS?

    • From my understanding, GAPS is roughly based on SCD but with a little more of a focus on the healing/regenerating aspects and boosting the gut bacteria. She mentions SCD quite a bit, but it might be worth reading this book and seeing how they compare to see if it would be beneficial for you guys.

      • Thanks, I’ll look into reading this book soon…

  3. I would love some insight on incorporating fermented cod liver oil into the diet. I can get my three-year-old to sip bone broth without much difficulty, but cod liver oil? I think I’d be wearing a few doses before I got any in his mouth!
    Also, has anyone had experience with introducing fermented foods to younger, picky eaters?

    • The fermented cod liver oil I buy comes in a capsule. Not too hard to take.

      • Care to share what brand? I’ve never purchased it (and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to get my three-year-old to swallow a pill)

        • Green Pastures has the only Fermented Cod Liver Oil I’ve ever found in the US. You can look at their site to see the different options. My kids like the cinnamon and licorice gels.

    • Even my 15 month old loves homemade sauerkraut, so that hasn’t been too difficult, but if your kids struggle, just start slow and insist on one bite per meal until his taste adjusts (and it will). For the cod liver oil, I either mix with honey if it is liquid so that they don’t mind the taste, or get the emulsified cod liver oil gel and keep in the fridge. This makes it semi-solid so I can scoop out a little ball of it, dip in honey, and let them eat it that way, which makes it more bearable. It took a little adjusting for my older ones, but they really don’t seem to mind it now that taste buds have adjusted. Good luck!

    • I give the fermented oil and butter oil blend – it seems to be a bit
      softer on the pallet. I started giving it with a bit of honey, then
      weaned off the honey and my kids really like it. For fermented foods I
      started with homemade kefir – milk and water kefir.

    • I make my 2 1/2 year old a coconut milk smoothie every morning, and I add 1/2 tsp of cod liver oil to it. He never seems to notice, or if he does, he doesn’t mind the taste when mixed with everything else!

    • Use a medicine dropper and have juice ready to wash it down.

    • My 4 year old son loves kombucha! I have a very special glass for this (technically, it’s a red plastic shot glass!) and he only uses it to drink his kombucha. He only gets 2-3 ounces a day, but it makes it special.

  4. Great overview. This book has been on my list to read for a while and I just haven’t made it there yet. I’ve seen such an improvement in both my mental and physical health as I work toward repairing my good ol’ guts. 🙂

  5. I got the GAPS book a month ago and we’ve been kinda dabbling in it. We’re not diving in to the whole program, but I’ve amped up our bone broths and have been fermenting foods for the first time. I’m so glad to see your review, Katie! Also, your readers might be interested in knowing that my friend has two autistic stepsons, and the progress they’ve made since implementing the GAPS diet at their house a couple of months ago has been astounding.

  6. Is your son with the dairy intolerance the one who was born via C-section? I have to have c-sections with all my kids due to a physical deformity. I was wondering if you did anything to give your son the best gut flora possible despite not going through the vaginal canal? If not, would you do anything differently if you could have, or could you suggest anything to those who must give birth through c-sections, both for the baby and the mother (because the mother is given antibiotics during a surgical birth)? I know that probiotics are essential, but for how long and what dosage should you give the baby probiotics to give the baby his/her best start? Anything else? Both of my sons suffer from abnormal gut flora, and although all of us are doing the GAPS diet, I’m hoping to do things better next time. I’d be grateful for any advice you have.

    • He was the one born via c-section and our premmie who was given tons of steroids and antibiotics. I wish I knew then what I know now! I would have started the probiotics on Day 1 (snuck them in to NICU even) and put in his mouth before each time nursing. I wasn’t taking a lot back then, but if I could do it over, I would have been on Gaps before, during and after and taking major doses of probiotics to build him back up. I really wonder if this would have prevented the issues we are having now in the first place. You could also request no antibiotics, which you do have the right to refuse, though your doctor would likely not be happy! If you get to hold the babies right away, or if your husband does, he could make sure the baby gets probiotics in the mouth right away to simulate the birth canal, and you could put probiotics on your nipple before each nursing, especially at first…

      • Thanks for your ideas. I didn’t think about probiotics immediately after the birth. We just started GAPS in August, so I’ll probably have another baby sometime within the next two or two and a half years, during which I’ll still be doing GAPS, so it’ll be good timing.

      • Great idea!

      • In the months before I became pregnant, my Naturopath had me take bovine colostrum. Unfortunately I don’t remember the brand, –but it was in capsule form.
        She told me the cows were injected with various things that made them develop antibodies, and that those would pass to me. (At the time I was getting way to many colds and UTI’s). Long story short, our son was born and got his first (mild) cold at age 4, his first (mild) fever at age 5. The pediatrician would comment on how healthy he was–I was actually getting worried that he needed to test his immune system 🙂 ! Since then (he’s 9), he still rarely gets sick.

  7. thanks for the review! I read the book over the summer and have found it to be THE most comprehensive and clear outline of how the digestion works and gets damaged.

  8. Hi, I read the book few years ago and my husband went through the GAPS diet for a short period just to regulate his digestion. Although it was adding some extra work, I tried to make it fit in our family diet (WAPF) and if fitted naturally. The results were great and the recipes at the end of her book are easy and more than affordable. Dr Natasha Campbell often lectures at the WAPF conferences, she is a great speaker.

  9. Has anyone had success using GAPS to help with asthma?

    • As asthma is an immune issue along the lines of allergies, I’d assume it would have a positive effect!

  10. Has anyone tried this for ADHD? My daughter has AHDH and I’m thinking of trying this diet for her. I’m really nervous about going through the holiday season on this diet and I’ll have to make sure her teacher is on the same page with me so she doesn’t get candy or cupcakes from school.

  11. Hello, I hope this comment doesn’t come too late to get responses. I am looking for ideas and suggestions.

    I also have a preemie, who was in the NICU and on steroids and antibiotics. They also gave him perinatal nutrition through the IV, and I’m still not sure what exactly that was, besides most likely being synthetic. Since he started dabbling in eating, our son has had various issues with malnutrition, and I’m so excited to think that a gut problem that is healable is likely behind it. Yay. I started reading the GAPS book and also realized that his poop fits into the description, as his tends to be fairly acidic, which gives him frequent sore bottoms.

    I am wondering a couple of things: 1. I can’t imagine putting one of the six in my family on the intro diet alone, but I can’t imagine being able to convince the rest (kids and especially husband) that this diet is worthwhile and that we should all do it. 2. I am still nursing the preemie, who is a young two year old, about 2-5 times per day. How worried should I be about die-off in my breastmilk?

    Thank you in advance.

    • We had a preemie too with almost the exact same story, and it did wonders for him! It was definitely easier to have the whole family do it! I also did it while nursing, and just did the full GAPS instead of the intro to make sure there wouldn’t be too much die off and that my supply wouldn’t go down…

      • Did you do the full GAPS for you only or was the whole family on full GAPS? If all of them did the intro diet, how did you convince them to do it? Thanks again. I’ve found your site so wonderful and helpful.

        • Full for all of us and Intro for the little one on the specific diet…

          • You are right; our stories are very similar. My preemie was my fourth baby, and I too had placenta previa.

            I’ll have to decide whether I will be able to get him to eat a bit differently than the rest of us.

            Thanks again for your help, and thanks for this site!

  12. HI, I have a couple of questions about GAPs. I have read the book and am planning to implement it GAPS. I suffer from Hashimotos and many digestive problems. I have seen my kids show symptoms of digestive problems also. Is there any store bought yogurt that can be used or do you have to do homemade? If so what is the easiest strain of yogurt for a novice? I have gone gluten free and am feeling tons better but I know I need to heal my gut

  13. Hi there, I was wondering if you could update on how the GAPS diet is working for you? Curious to see how things are going with it now.

  14. My daughter was in Nicu for 3 weeks on massive amounts of antibiotics. Her immune system was wiped out due to the antibiotics and she constantly got sick and had bad allergies/asthma. Her speech was delayed at 18 months old. She went through 2 sets of tubes. In desperation, at age 4.5 I decided to switch out her diet to avoid getting tube set #3. I had no idea that Gluten, Milk & Sugar all create extra mucous production. I eliminated and reduced as much of these items as possible and she passed her hearing test with 100% accuracy. The ear specialist was amazed that we no longer need tubes or needed to be a patient. Since then, I have added a daily dose of fish oil, probiotics, and vitamin D3 to my daughter’s diet. Guess what? She now rarely gets sick and when she does it’s for a shorter amount of time and she rebounds faster. I put myself on this diet too and my non-stop sinus infections have cleared up as well. I’m now the “healthy one” at work. It’s amazing that we are products of what we put into our bodies.

    • At 6 mos my son had his first ear infection. It would not go away for months. At 10 months, he still had fluid. We went to the ENT who insisted on tubes. I refused and took my son to our chiropractor. He showed us ways to manipulate his ear to encourage drainage. Two weeks later we went to the pediatrician’s office and his ears were perfect. I manipulate his ears a few times a week and we have no trouble. When he had an ear infection, I rubbed basil essential oil on the outside of his ear to get rid of the infection. It worked without antibiotics. My point is that a chiropractor might have helped alot to avoid tubes for future reference or children.

      • I also had success with chiropractor for my sons ear infection.
        When my son was 18 months old, he began antibiotics for 6 months on and off for recurrent ear infections. Prior to this he had no infections. He was scheduled for adenoid and ear tube surgery when I finally thought to bring him to the chiropractor. After that one visit he has never again had an ear infection and we avoided surgery. He is now 19 years old. There was something out of alignment in his neck, very possibly due to a fall since he was a very active child. I think the key for him was that his first infection was at 18 months so definitely not a structural issue.

  15. Hi Katie,
    My son, now 2.3 years old has been born via C-section and also given antibiotics, then.. after 1 week of developing mastitis I had to be on 3 weeks antibiotics.. Eventually I had to stop breastfeeding – after 2 weeks o antibiotics, as I thought it was way to much drugs for my son… From there our problems started, he developed severe cows milk allergy, eczema and other food allergies: eggs, wheat, soy and all dairy. He is on very restricted diet, but still experiencing wind, bloating and persistent loose stools… I’m happy I have stumbled on your website and very keen to try GAPS diet, as nothing advised by multiple doctors has really worked… I have a question, for how long you need to keep to diet to see some benefits? is it a year or more?…thank you, Jana

    • You will do it based on his body. For us, it was a couple months on the intro stage and a couple years on the full stage but it made a night and day difference for our son.

      • A couple of months on the intro stage!!?? How did you get thru it? We are on day 5 and nearly dying!!! My 7 year old is grumpy all day and my 22 month old screams at the top of his lungs for hours on end!! They want something else besides broccoli, boiled meat and Brussels sprouts. Any suggestions??? Pls help!!!

        • The almond flour pancakes will replace the “feel” of food that they are missing. You can try dates too as you get farther into the intro diet. They will become your candy, as they are very sweet.

        • You can also make mashed potatoes from cauliflower.

          Stay with it! Before long you will wonder how you ever ate the way you used to.

  16. Hey Katie! I’ve been seeing so much on the GAPS diet that I want to try it. My daughter has asthma and bad allergies. She is 5. My son is 2 and he was born via c-section and he has tooth decay on his upper teeth.
    I actually just bought the ingredients for your tooth powder recipe and order bass toothbrushes! 🙂 we have them on cod liver oil. Anyways…

    You think the GAPS diet would work for these issues? I was told by a Chinese herbalist that upper tooth decay means stomach problems. Not sure how true that is but it makes sense to me. He craves sweets like no other so I KNOW this will be hard.
    But I’m determined! I just ordered bones, liver, and even hearts at my local coop! I pick up Tuesday! I also ordered water kefir grains 🙂 yay! Thanks for all your info! I’m a huge fan 🙂

    • The GAPS diet was wonderful for us, and combined with the protocol in “Cure Tooth Decay” was also great for reversing our cavities 🙂

    • The probiotics, in combination with the diet, are amazing at fixing mouth issues. Try taking a small amount of the kefir before bedtime (and after brushing teeth). Unsweetened would be best, but if there is too much resistance you can add some honey. Try it yourself too and you will notice a reduction in your morning breath.

  17. Dear Madam,
    I shall be grateful for your advice. My son is facing with severe allergy for the last three years especially on the forehead and cheeks and nearby areas. Flakes come out often. Please suggest some diet plan which can help wipe it out Thanks

  18. I saw a Naturopathic Doctor for help with prolonged, moderate to severe digestive issues and also anxiety and depression. I’m 23 now, have had all the above issues since around age 16. The ND wanted me on a diet immediately–she gave me the choice between SCD and GAPS–since I was a vegetarian at the time I chose SCD because it focused less on meat. I did have to eat some meat (begrudgingly) or I would starve.

    Admittedly, I only followed the SCD for 7 weeks before I stopped because I felt HORRIBLE. I developed terrible acne, my period got significantly heavier, my stomach felt WORSE– I just felt disgusting and wanted to die.

    Since that experience I’ve thought “there isn’t one diet that will solve the same issues for every person; everyone’s body is different” (and I had read “Eat Right 4 Your Type” by Peter D’Adamo, which reinforced that thought). I’ve also been kind of drawn to vegan diets, which often emphasize whole grains, which apparently are from the devil. However, I’m afraid I’m just nuts or screwing myself in the long-run by avoiding diets like SCD and GAPS. So I’ve just been eating french fries and cookies. 🙁

    Wellness Mama, can you offer any diet advice that would allow me to remain vegetarian? For me meat is completely filthy and disgusting and I can’t do it.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world.

    • Hi Maddie,
      I saw your comment and wanted to encourage you. I am a mother and have a 16 year old daughter who also struggles anxiety and depression (actually I am coming to realize that this runs in our family on both sides). Anyways, I just want you to know that the food you put (or don’t put) into your body really affects the way you feel. A diet of french fries and cookies is going to add to your anxious and depressed feelings (and probably your digestion issues, too).

      A book that might be helpful to you is The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution by Trudy Scott. It’s a short book (not as long at the GAPS book) which may make it an easier start for you. If you are still working with your ND perhaps this is a good place to begin so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

      My daughter also prefers to not eat meat, but unfortunately, for anxiety and depression animal protein seems to be important. But even on a vegetarian you need to get ample protein. Part of your desire to avoid meat may rest on having certain vitamin deficiencies like zinc and B6 or B12. Also if starting with fermented foods seems like too much right now then see if your health care provider can point you toward a really effective probiotic.

      Keep on seeking to care for yourself. Start with good food, real food. Good luck!

      • Hi Susan.

        Thanks. I was exaggerating with the french fries and cookies, lol. I will check out that book you mentioned.

        Best Wishes

        • @Maddie: I hope you are doing well – I just read your comment as I am interested in the principle of GAPS myself and being a vegetarian for years (I still eat eggs, butter and milk occasionally). GAPS is about healing the colon lining – and you might wish to check out 2 supplements recommended by N. Campbell-McBride which I found extremely helpful and they do not interfere with a meatless diet – Glutamine and DGL (Licorice). Just the Glutamine alone made a shift to health… How we feel is balance and diet has a major influence (I wish I would have understood this in your age). So yes, you would hurt yourself in the long run if you overlook this. However, a diet needs to make you strong and feel good and more energetic. I followed very happily Natalia Rose and Ann Wigmore (it brought me to a state where I still need healing but I can concentrate on life rather than battling fatigue…) suggestions and am now introducing the knowledge/supplements from GAPS to concentrate as much as possible on he gut healing. I think it is important to work with what works with your intuition and system – and food combining made a big difference in my life. So I am keeping the best from Wigmore/Rose/Norman Walker/Karyn Calabrese whilst adding the understanding from Campbell – her work is major! If you find the right approach for you – you might go through detox and healing crisis but like for me my weight is stable, my energy stable – no food cravings etc. etc. Women have to learn to nourish themselve again – healing knowledge belongs to women. Not to institutions… – medical doctors are good as a back up – but the primary health knowledge should be in the hands of women. Each human being should know how to keep themselves balanced and healthy – this cannot be outsourced…

    • You should look into the Gerson Therapy. It is completely vegetarian. It is difficult but it might just cure you for good.

  19. I’m just learning a little bit about the GAPS diet. I have the book on hold through the library and waiting to receive it. I’m wondering if it might help my youngest son. He is 17 months old and was born healthy via C-section.

    Over the course of 4 months at the time of his birthday, he was on 4 different antibiotics and was not given probiotics afterwards (I didn’t realize that he should have had them). Then he had eczema and bloody stools. A colonoscopy revealed that he has a type of rare allergic response called EoE. He’s allergic to dairy, eggs, chicken, beef, pork, and more. Is anyone familiar with EoE? Might this diet be beneficial to him? Thanks.

    • My son was just diagnosed with EoE as well. He’s 13 and hating the restrictive diet. My biggest problem is he splits his time between me and his dad. Would we see any benefit from a part-time diet?

    • These kids with EoE – sounds like they could try a somewhat new ‘procedure’ that many chiropractor’s perform. This procedure is supposed to clear the body of allergies – hay fever, food, own digestive juices, vitamins, etc. – without any drugs or shots. Our family has just started the program. I am personally tackling the things of which my body is allergic that have to do with digestion. Muscle testing is involved and a gentle chiropractic adjustment using a ‘clicker’ down the back. A parent can be a ‘proxy’ for the muscle testing of an infant. It is a little pricey but might be worth at least trying, especially if the restrictive diet is so difficult. It certainly can’t hurt. The only side affect is maybe a little tired the day of the procedure which just takes 30 minutes and the patient can not eat for 2 hours afterwards. Now, I am struggling getting my autistic son to sit still for the procedure, but one session that he tolerated specifically addressed his body apparently being allergic to his own saliva. A chronic rash he had around his mouth for months cleared up in just a couple of days.

  20. Hi. Loved reading your blog Wellness Mama. My son was born premmie too, given antibiotics twice as well as I had the steroid shots before he was born to help with his lungs. He was fine til weaning then I noticed constipation problems. My health clinic nurse said that was unusual but I listened to other mothers say, “oh, no, my xxx has had constipation, it’s normal”. I added stewed prune puree to his diet and if he went without it for two days constipation would hit, then at 18 months even with lots of drinking water and prune he started getting constipation. I took him to drs who put him on coloxyl and said if he still had constipation after a month then would have to do tests. He was constipated within four days so I took him to a local naturopath. She was amazing, Did zinc taste test and said he was deficient, did intolerance pin prick test and found lactose and wheat intolerance. Put him on supplements to help gut flora etc but he got worse. She said he needs extra help so I took him to an amazing Integrated GP. She did tests the drs won’t/cant do as Australian medicare won’t cover ($328 for a poo test!) and so far he has shown positive for Clostridium plus zinc deficiency and other deficiencies. He’s inherited some things from me, others from his entry into this world, but I’m starting him on the GAPS, all gradual and my test results are back and the dr needs to see me asap (darn it!!) so i’m really trying hard to prepare myself with my own total changes too. Sam is gluten, lactose, sugar-free so far but very fussy with food. I’m about to start doing the broth, have had to source grass-fed meat as very popular grain-fed locally. But I’ve loved reading your readers’ and your own comments. Wish me luck. Aussie Leanne

  21. Hello! I’m curious if the book mentions that the GAPS diet can help vertigo? I had a friend suggest that leaky gut/candida overgrowth could be the cause of my constant dizziness, for which the doctors can find no reason (other than an inner ear imbalance, but they don’t know why). Thank you!

    • I don’t recall if it did… But I don’t see why it would hurt to try the diet.

  22. Wellness mama, did the GAPS diet ever cure your son’s dairy intolerance/allergy, or does he still have that issue? What exactly were his symptoms when he was having a reaction? Why does GAPS take so long (years?) to work with an allergy/healing the gut? I haven’t read the book yet, but have been reading a lot about it online. Am not sure if we could afford to do it, or that my family would try it (esp if it is years long), but my 3 year old daughter has a dairy sensitivity, and she drinks goat’s milk/dairy currently.

    • We were able to fix it. He had digestive, behavior and skin symptoms. It took us about 18 months. I’ll try to write a post on it soon, but the reason it took so long is that you essentially have to repopulate the gut bacteria correctly.

  23. Hi Katie,
    I’m looking for some remedies for my husband. He’s been struggling with eczema his whole life and it hasn’t gotten any better. I read a lot about how GAPs has helped young children, but would it help an adult too? Thanks!

  24. Katie,
    Is it safe to do the GAPS diet while exclusively Breastfeeding my 9 mth old? I tested positive for Group B Strep and received antibiotics before birth, then another dose afterwards because I ran a fever during delivery. At 6 weeks I developed mastitis and received a third round (all while Breastfeeding and within the first 6 wks of his life). Then right after his 2 mth vaccine (at 8 wks), he developed bloody and loose stools. I was told he had a dairy allergy. I cut out all dairy and through my own research decided to cut out soy, then wheat, egg, corn, then eventually all the top allergens in an effort not to aggravate his gut further. He continues to have loose stools (but no longer bloody), he also scratches a lot with eczema. I have seen tremendous improvement with diet eliminations, and now I am starting to add things back in (fish and egg right now). He has tried a few first foods although he isn’t very interested in eating at this time. I am terrified of starting solids and causing his digestion issues to worsen. We have also stopped his vaccines. I have to make a decision on this soon. Have you heard of vaccines contributing to food intolerances/allergies? What are your thoughts for/against vaccines? How and when would you suggest to start first foods in addition to Breastfeeding with his condition?

    • I can’t give any specific medical advice. I have personally done GAPS while nursing and it seemed to help my little one. I didn’t do the intro, just the full GAPS (minus any foods she/I reacted to) and made sure to eat a lot each day so I was getting enough nutrients to keep up with nursing. We’ve always started with broth as a first fermented food and I’ve basically done GAPS (intro and moving into Full) as first foods with my last couple of children to help improve gut health.

  25. Thank you! I ordered the GAPS book and will start with the Full Diet now. I appreciate all you do!

  26. Hi Katie,

    Thank you for the book review, it was most helpful.

    I have multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) , reflux and digestive issues. I have just started seeing a naturopath and she has advised the GAPS diet to correct all my issues, she is Gaps certified so I trust her advice. I have had MCS for 14 years and with all my researching of ways to fix it I’ve found that it is not very easily fixed and only a small number of people do overcome it. Do you know of anyone who has used the GAPS method for MCS and been successful?
    I haven’t read the Gaps book yet as I am waiting for it to arrive so your review and the above comments I’ve read have been very helpful.

    Thanks again,

  27. my son was also born via C-section, but seemingly healthy 15 years ago. From age 6-12 he was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, OCD and Tourettes. For 7 years, we tried everything western medicine had to offer with minimal benefits and certainly no cures. We ended up with a naturopath who improved my sons condition tremendously with a gluten/dairy free diet and supplementation,but again no cure. 2 years ago we found the pfeiffer clinic in Illinios and finally a cure! Our doctor is awesome! She found that my son had 3 rare genetic condi-tions and even though they are not reversable, the problems they created are reversable by taking a certain amount of several vitamins. he no longer has ADHD, anxiety, OCD or Tourettes!! However, he does still have the two food allergies. We are all used to it, but it would be really nice for him to be able to eat normally. I know it is recommended to start the GAPS diet at a young age and my son just turned 16. What are the odds of completely eliminating a gluten and dairy allergy at this age using the GAPs diet? How long would it take?

    • Dear Erin, Still very good – I had allergies developing at 38 – severe and over night. And after starting the GAPS I finally have no extreme set-back (did candida cures and diets without sugar, gluten & dairy for 2 years which gave me finally energy back, no weight fluctuation, no food cravings – all that was great following Natalia Roses, Karyn Calabreses and Norman Walkers diet recommendation). Yet, as soon as I reintroduced any of the items especially sugar it came back – it was maddening as it I could not explain why anymore. Finally, I went to a TCM practicioner and she told me the mucous lining was totally destroyed. It dawned on my that I did not have only devloped candida but Leaky Gut! This was a break through. With adding L-Glutamine, Gelatin and broth and certain other recommended GAPS supplements I finally do not react on sugar (I still eat fairly small amounts but what a relief not to have to be afraid of eating small amounts of sugar or dairy and flaring up immediatly). I am still a novice in GAPS as I am not following all the recommendations but alone with integrating some of her recommendations and supplements I am totally happy and feel I might finally see the end of the road – as I said I am only trying small amounts of sugar, dairy seems to be no problem anymore (even though I opt for raw milk these days as well small amounts), gluten no problem – but here I am so used to eat without and feel so good with it that I only do it on social occasions – which is very freeing as I always had to have a special meal – and it got a bit extreme (even though I have very tolerant friends). I had not ADHD etc. Yet, it is amazing how a body can recoup as soon as we give him the right things to heal. Same with my mother at 80! Pretty impressive. Perhaps Wellness Mama can give you more insights to a closer case to your child. But I really think the odd are very high – especially if the mucous lining is compromised as it was in my case.
      Hope this helps & could you share the vitamins your son received to reverse the effects of his condition – I am sure a lot of us out here would find this useful.

    • Erin, can you share the name of the Doctor at the Pfeiffer Clinic in Illinois that helped with your son’s Tourettes? I have TS myself and suspect my 3 year old daughter may too. Perhaps you can share the supplement/vitamin regimen he was on? I’ve battled with TS my whole life and nothing has brought me relief. I’m used to living with it now, but if I can help my daughter, that would be everything! Thanks kindly in advance!

  28. Both my kids have ADD/ADHD and allergies. My son has asthma and eczema. Through research I’ve learned fish oil is good for ADD/ADHD. My son however has a fish allergy and cannot take fish or cod liver oil. Are there any other oils or such that may be used as a supplement? I have also read cows milk is not good for those with certain disabilities. I’m thinking about switching to rice milk. Any suggestions for oils?

    • I’ve heard that Flaxseed Oil is a good one for kids with ADHD. My son has it too, and I haven’t tried it with him yet, because he’s so picky with certain textures, and he knows when I’ve added something to what he eats/drinks. Best wishes for your family!

  29. Hi Katie–

    I had a question in regards to “who should do GAPS.” It seems that everyone would benefit from some form of gut healing, but is GAPS mainly reserved for those with the above issues? I am trying to research the best way to undergo intensive cleansing after years of eating processed foods, using antibacterial chemicals, etc.

    Thank you!

  30. We just started my 11 month old on the GAPS because she suffers constipation, eczema, rashes! I’m still breastfeeding her and am in the process of going full GAPS. I’ve noticed her face is getting bright red and splotchy after each broth, stewed meat and veggie feeding. Is this common? We have not even started introducing eggs yet because she is so sensitive to everything! It’s really overwhelming at first, any tips on managing the soup explosions at each meal?

  31. Erin,
    I have a 15mth old whose cheeks did the same thing after every nursing & every feeding. He has eczema as well. I know this is part of it. I would love to talk to you more about it (from one Mama to another)!

  32. I want to do the GAPS diet but I am going to be having mouth surgery in a month or so and will be on antibiotics. Do you think I should do the diet after I am finished the antibiotics or should I start now before the surgery?
    Thanks Denise xx

  33. I am writing in concern for my 9 month old grandson in the Dayton, Ohio area. His Dad is career Air Force so all his health care comes thru those channels. Do you have a resource list of GAPS certified doctors in Ohio?
    My grandson’s issues appear to be hyper-activity, not even being still to take a bottle. Now he’s having a rough time with teething and massive bowel blowouts which are further isolating my daughter’s social interactions outside the home.
    Baby didn’t nurse or feed well from birth as (they learned at age six weeks) that baby was both tongue tied AND lip tied. Daughter finally gave up breastfeeding after two bouts of mastitis which meant two more rounds of antibiotics for both her and our grandson.
    Baby was born full term but his labor had to be induced, and antibiotics were administered in my daughter’s IV during labor. My daughter has had chronic UTI as well as Lyme Disease and so her own history of antibiotic use is staggering. Since giving birth nine months ago, my daughter has nearly regained all her health and wellness through her adherence to Trim Healthy Mama, but she is interested in learning about GAPS. Please help!
    – Linda Kay

  34. Do you still recommend FCLO for this diet? Also, is there a post with an update on how this played out for your little guy and family?

    Thanks for this review. Wanting to look into it for our 10 month old, who was born healthy & full term at home, but had to spend time in NICU for failure to thrive. High temps meant automatic antibiotics, which was completely out of our hands. At 10 months, I’m now suspecting a dairy allergy. My husband is going to be excited to hear about this! Thanks again Katie.

  35. What is the difference between the fermented cod liver oil from Green Pastures and Barleans Organic Kids Omega Swirl with Cod liver oil? I’m totally new to all this!

  36. Hi Katie, did you do the gaps diet with the help of a doctor or just by reading and following what the book says? I read the book and I want to start it on my family as soon as possible since my daughter suffers from stomach bloating and also suffers from terrible allergies. Thank you Katty, God bless you and your family!

  37. Im looking into doing the GAPS diet for my daughter who has a milk allergy. My question is once you are able to resolve your issues do you come off the diet completely? Some of the comments here sound like its a lifelong diet?

    • It will depend on the individual. For some, it could be a life long change, but for others, a few months of being on the diet could make a huge difference. There’s no silver bullet for health, and what works for one person may not work the same for another…

  38. Hi my son is 7month old, he has really bad eczema all over his body and he has dairy allergy. Can I start gaps diet on him being so young? He doesn’t eat much, at 7 month old he only takes about 20-25 oz of breast milk and neocate and about 6oz of solid

    • I have heard of parents starting this young, but my son was a little older when we started.

  39. Hi,
    My daughter has eczema and she is 5 years old. She is itchy all over her body. Her skin flares up. She is allergic to peanuts, nuts, sesame and dust. Sometimes she is so itchy that she cant sleep through the night. We used to live in Philadelphia and last year we felt she was outgrowing her eczema but after we moved to South Jersey since a month, it has gotten worst. I cant even look at her skin sometimes. she itches so much….Could it be because of the carpet? Should we remove the carpet? Also now we have a backyard with lots of tress so that could be it too. We have tried all creams/body washes, etc.
    I was looking at the GAPS diet and will be challenging with a 5 year old and to add we are vegetarians so I cant do stage 1 of the diet. Do you have any other suggestions? Can I do some kind of liver flush for her?
    Please help as I would really appreciate it. I need to make her skin better and try that she is not so itchy all the time.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Without following GAPS completely in all it’s stages you won’t see the same benefits. When my son had serious eczema and food allergies, we went hardcore GAPS for over 6 months and it’s made a huge difference. He no longer has the allergies and his skin is completely cleared up. Give it a try!

  40. GAPS is miraculous. Our family of 5 did strict GAPS for 2 years to heal my 12 yr old ADHD/dysgraphia son with many food sensitivities. At Day 5, he came upstairs announcing, “I am happy.” From age 5-12, he wanted to kill himself, often. He was always the “bad” kid. His allergies disappeared. He is now a happy, healthy, kind 14 yr old, able to focus on schoolwork, turns in schoolwork on time and gets to his summer job early with no reminders, is motivated, has friends, can talk to people, and his mannerisms are “normal”. Miraculous. Our grocery bill nearly doubled. In hindsight, it was worth every single penny. MY SON IS HEALED FOR LIFE. We ate strict GAPS at home and cheated on occasion at holidays/parties/events. But a mere 2 years later, we can bake “real” chocolate chip cookies on occasion and my son can eat sugar/starch with zero ill-effects. Hire a GAPS practitioner for the first 3 mo if you can. Buy the GAPS book. Read it. (One daughter needed more starch, so she ate lentils, potatoes and oatmeal and regained energy.)