Sunday, May 5, 2013

Was the GAPS Diet Worth It?

(I've moved! You can see this article on my new website here!)

If we were to do it all over again, would we still do the GAPS Diet? The answer may surprise you.

What is the GAPS Diet?

The GAPS Diet is recommended for curing all sorts of auto-immune problems, and in our family we wanted to cure problems such as eczema, allergies, joint pain, and poor immune system. The GAPS Diet is supposed to cure these conditions by healing the gut through a nourishing diet based on healthy fats (such as butter and coconut oil), meats, fruits, veggies, broth, and fermented foods. The GAPS Diet does not allow any grains or starches, and allows no sweeteners except honey.

My family started the GAPS Diet back in the late summer of 2010. We followed the GAPS Diet very strictly for over 16 months, and completed two rounds of the Intro Diet. Initially, we had amazing results, but over time on the diet some of our problems came back, and new problems developed. I posted some unexpected GAPS results here. A rundown on the positive results and set-backs for each of us is as follows:

Why Did We Have Such Mixed Results?

Through many hours of research, I learned that others had similar problems on the GAPS Diet (as well as other grain-free diets such as Paleo and Primal). The lack of carbs on our GAPS diet was the likely cause of the adrenal problems that developed.  Even knowing that and trying to increase my carb intake while on GAPS, I was not able to start recovering from these adrenal problems until I was willing to leap off the GAPS Diet and start restoring my metabolism. I detailed my leap off the GAPS Diet here and here, and wrote an article about avoiding adrenal problems on GAPS here.

Knowing This, Would We Still Do GAPS?

If we could do it all over again, we would not start with the GAPS Diet.  That diet is a LOT of work, as almost everything we consumed had to be homemade.  To go through so much and then find out that GAPS was actually making us develop new problems was frustrating and disheartening.

Where Would We Start?

While I know that the GAPS Diet works well for some people, I have mixed feelings about it for my family. If I could go back in time a few years, I would try the following steps to recover our health:
  1. Start with Matt Stone's program for restoring metabolism.  Unlike GAPS, following this program is actually a joy, and will change the way you look at food, exercise, and stress. A healthy metabolism is key to being healthy, and has the potential to solve all of the autoimmune problems we were facing (joint pain, eczema, immune problems).  To learn much more, read Diet Recovery 2.  Through this program, I was able to jump-start my path back to adrenal health.
  2. If that doesn't work, try classical homeopathy. Through our experiences, I have become convinced that diet and stress reduction are not enough for us to fully regain health.  Using homeopathy in conjunction with our diets/stress reduction has brought us closer to full health than any dietary/lifestyle changes alone. Homeopathy works differently than conventional medicine, because it actually triggers the body to heal itself and the underlying causes of disease. This leads to lasting health, rather than temporary improvements. Homeopathy is giving us huge improvements in areas that were unchanged by diet (such as our sleep problems, my son's eczema, and my irritability). And we are seeing improvements in all aspects of our health, including our immune systems, weight gain (for my daughter), behavior issues in both kids, and even my menstrual cycle. 

Have you had any negative results from the GAPS Diet, or similar diets such as Primal or Paleo? Or have these diets worked well for you?  I am particularly interested to hear your long-term results (more than a year or two), rather than short term results (less than a year).

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Sarah said...

I started on GAPS a year and a half ago, and for the first month it was great. Before GAPS, my food allergies were getting worse and worse, and there wasn't much I could eat without stomach heaviness, rashes and itchiness. So, I hoped GAPS would be better and help me heal. Once I started the diet, however, I have not been able to get past the 1st stage (ie: my food allergies have gotten even worse), so I am working with a doctor knowledgable with this diet and Weston Price in general to hopefully get past this. A year and a half later, I still eat mostly meat, broth, sauerkraut and vegetables, and just had a bout of gastroenteritis. The doctor contends that I have a lot of toxins to get rid of, and that my liver/gall bladder aren't working well to get rid of them, so I am taking supplements to help with this. At the moment I am stable, but still can't handle fruit or much fat, and I haven't even tried carbs. I am going to get my adrenals tested soon.

Several of the stressors for me while on GAPS included my Dad dying and having two silver fillings taking out badly. I'm sure these contributed to my lack of success.
I am not sure where I would have ended up not on GAPS, but somehow didn't expect for things to get so much worse. At the moment, I am pretty stable, but I sure would like to eat what the rest of my family eats at least (both my kids have food allergies, so no gluten, corn or artificial food for them). I have been very much appreciating your recipes!

Anonymous said...

So glad you shared your experience with GAPS. I did GAPS for about 2 years for gyno issues and IBS. After doing GAPS for about a year, my fibroids grew 3 times in size and I had an ovarian cyst and endometriosis and severe IBS. I actually had to have a hysterectomy. I still did GAPS for 1 1/2 years after that because I was told it would help me heal.

I think the problem with GAPS was that was creating more irritation and inflammation in my body from eating foods i was probably intolerant of, like dairy. Also all the daily cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts lowered my thyroid functioning. I also learned that i can not eat fermented foods or such a huge amount of fats. They create more gas, bloating and intestinal irritation for me. I was always hungry and my adrenal situation never improved.

I'd like to see if a classical homeopath could help. Do you have a resource or recommendations? I wanted to work with Joette Calabrese but she's almost $600 an hour ~ that's crazy high. Thanks for all your help!

Rebecca said...

I was on GAPS for about 2 months. I was already skinny and it just got worse as well as having no energy. I am trying to heal my metabolism now per Diet Recovery, but am having trouble digesting food. I think that I need to focus on healing my digestion with beet juice and hydrochloric acid (see Kick Menstrual Cramps in the Nuts by T.C. Hale).He goes into much more than Menstrual Cramps issues in his e-book.

Nothing to see here said...

We started GAPS in 2009. Only 1 in our family of 6 had really good results. She was very dyslexic and could not read or write at all at the age 14, despite a LOT of therapy and work. This changed. She can now read and write, not very well yet, but there is clear progress, though slow. The rest of us have not found any lasting benefits.
I am reading Matt Stone and Cate Shanahan now, to learn more. As I would really like to see lasting benefits on my health. Especially Matt Stone makes a very very compelling case.
Diana - a fellow chapter leader :-)

Unknown said...

I would also love resources for getting started with homeopathy.... GAPS was a minimal success for us, it did not help my son's eczema, which was the primary reason for doing it. Being gluten free and WAPF has had a more positive impact on his skin than GAPS did.

Anonymous said...

I have used the gaps diet with my daughter who was 17 and having dibilitating stomach pains. It was immediately successful . We never followed it for very long. I have sinus and weight issues. I have been following a paleo type diet myself limiting or excluded dairy, grains, most carbs and fast food for a very long time from my diet and am now experiencing lowered energy. I wanted to thank you for this article. I am going to read the 180 degree Health by Matt Stone. I am really interested in learning more.

Dan and Emily said...

We have experienced simular things so one day we eat like gaps one day vegan one day paleo...all in a week and rotaing foods instead of the same foods over and over has made a huge difference for us!!!! We just rotate weneat some grains but not for evert meal like the sad diet

Rochelle L. E. said...

We have been on GAPS for a year, mainly for our 11 year old. She had severe digestive issues (chronic diarrhea for over a year was one of them) and wasn't growing much. Within 3 days of starting the GAPS intro, she was a happy bubbly child that I haven't seen since she was 2. She feels much better, can focus in school better, and has been growing a lot. When we've added in gluten free grains, she has a meltdown so we're keeping her on GAPS for now. My other 2 children and I don't have severe issues, but have seen dark circles under the eyes (allergies) and sugar cravings disappear. We also had significant healing from injuries from a prior car accident that had happened 6 months previous to starting the diet. All of us had reduced inflammation and started to heal as soon as we started the diet. One of my kids is off of it now and the other one develops a rash if she has any gluten so is still transitioning slowly off of it. I feel tired on GAPS, but I did before as I have a genetic disorder that makes it difficult to get enough vitamin B. It is possible to increase carbs on GAPS and I can tell when I'm running low as I start to crave nuts. It is expensive (even compared to a real food diet) and time consuming but I would do it all over again for my daughter.

sarah in the woods said...

I was on GAPS for a year. Previously, I had been lactose intolerant, then gluten intolerant, then began developing symptoms of IBS or Crohn's, was very fatigued, constantly hungry even after a big meal, cried a lot. The doctor I had at the time didn't have a clue what to do after running some tests and sent me to a gastroenterologist, who did absolutely nothing for me, no tests or advice or anything. So I started GAPS with the intention of doing at least 2 years. The intro was very hard as it made me pretty sick. In order to be able to take care of my family, I moved through to full GAPS after a few weeks on intro. The changes in my health were amazing. My stomach cramps, diarrhea, etc went away, I felt strong, had plenty of energy, enough so that my hubby and I decided to have another baby. When I got pregnant, I quit GAPS after a month or two, because GAPS is just really hard in all the food prep and having to eat only what you make. I just couldn't do it while pregnant, but I had a very good pregnancy and now have a healthy baby. I am so glad I did GAPS. I think I would have had a very difficult pregnancy otherwise. My baby is a year old now. I have not been on GAPS for over a year and a half and still fell good, no stomach problems or hunger problems. Only normal tiredness from taking care of 5 kids. I do eat differently than I used to, more whole foods, no sugar, very little grains (always gluten free). The only thing about GAPS I didn't understand was that it made my periods worse. I never had problems with my period prior to GAPS and don't really have any now, but on GAPS I had a lot more cramping. Because of the huge changes GAPS made for me, I believe it is a good thing and thank God for healing my body through it.

Anonymous said...

GAPS has been amazing for my family. We were on full GAPS for 20 months and did the intro diet twice in that time. I'd like to go back to intro every year, but with a new baby now, and other life stressors, I don't have the time it takes any more. Except for the time we were detoxing on Intro, we were COMPLETELY health for those 20 months. No colds or flues! My son's asthma completely disappeared. Energy was regained. We are back on grains -- minimally -- for financial reasons, but I soak them first. Proper preparation seems to be very important, both for intestinal health and digestibility as well as for dental health. I would definitely do it again and am so grateful that I had that period in my life when we could.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah, I am curious about your experience when you started your 6-month-old on GAPS and what you think now, in hindsight. My 11-month-old is breastfed and also eats meat and egg yolks and chicken broth; veggies don't get digested at all, but I think that's okay at this age since babies apparently lack the enzymes to break veggies down (according to the new Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care). And he loves avocado. I'm essentially on GAPS, though I'm terrible about getting broth or fermented foods (though I really like my kefir!) I'm one of *those* GAPS people who is omitting two of the primary components yet says I'm on GAPS! I am trying to keep my baby on a GAPS-style diet, meaning no grains or sugar and a real-food diet. But I'm always perplexed about what foods to introduce to him. He has a rash on his upper legs and I'm wondering if it's from food. I introduced banana to him at one point but then cut it back out because I thought it might be too much sugar. I just don't feel confident moving forward, regarding which foods to introduce and make a regular part of his diet. But I also don't think it's good for him to be eating the same things every single day. So I'm wondering now that you look back on your little one's introduction to foods, can you offer any guidance about how you would proceed in feeding a baby with possible/probably gut flora imbalances? I did see your post about feeding an infant grain-free foods, but am wondering what you might say now in hindsight. He also takes a probiotic and some homeopathic remedies intended to address gut issues, but I would say it's a type of homeopathy different from constitutional homeopathy. I will look into the metabolism-healing approach you mentioned if I can find the time, but would like to focus on my baby first, since every single day I feel concerned about feeding him the same things but not sure what else to do. I'm thinking goat milk kefir might be safe, but just don't feel certain.

Victoria Snelling said...

I think your report underscores the importance of working with a certified GAPS practitioner while following Dr. Campbell-McBride's protocol. Adrenal strain or adrenal exhaustion doesn't have to happen on GAPS. Unless someone is only seeking to temporarily soothe gut issues, I would urge them to find a GAPS practitioner at The GAPS protocol is a blessing, and there's no need to experience anything but improvement while following this protocol.

PS- As a classically-trained homeopathic physician, I very much agree with the recommendations to add classical homeopathic care while on GAPS!

Dr. Victoria Snelling

E said...

I have never done GAPS, but have tinkered with Paleo and other low carb diets. I recently read Matt Stone's work and have been following that for about a month now.

After my baby about 3 years ago I had 80 lbs to use. During my pregnancy my thyroid medicine had been doubled and I had a big baby over 10 lbs. I switched to armour thyroid post partum after the weight was coming off very slowly and had better results with weight loss while followuing paleo as well. Paleo was too hard to maintain and I worried about stressing out my organs on so much animal protein. So I started tinkering with NT but now think that Matt Stone's work seems good long term.

Also, I get an inflamed tougue when consuming any preservatives and artificial colors. That seems better now on Diet Recovery. However, my adrenals seem to be very sensitive on this diet. So, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

I am writing this as a woman who used GAPS for herself, husband and two grown children. I am also writing as long time professional homeopath and a long time professional practitioner of the GAPS diet. From a personal/family perspective GAPS did wonderful things for my family. Each of us was on some form of the diet for over two years. I cured from issues that decades of good homeopathy, appropriate diet for me, etc never touched. I also ran into some adrenal & thyroid issues but do not fault GAPS for causing them, in my case I credit GAPS for exposing them so that I could apply homeopathy and cure them. As GAPS did also for my husband and one of my children. For the other child GAPS unmasked an underlying issue that we were thus able to address, then she did not need GAPS. A common mistake I hear people making is that if it is on the GAPS ok list then they should be eating it. In my family of 4 GAPS looked like 4 different diets as we individualized it to what each of us needed: My GAPS looked like a lot of meat, broths & veggies. I simply never have & still do not do well with dairy in any form, grains, beans, or any fermented foods other than kombucha. I feel like I am inherently the person that the popular Primal diets were made for. Do I consider this a problem? No, it's what I am and I accept it. I am cured and I know it from the depths of my being!! My husband's GAPS diet looked like a whole lot of lentils, dairy, chicken broth, eggs and veggies. And so on - in other words we INDIVIDUALIZED the diet to who we were and that is how and why it worked. Was it worth all that cooking to finally achieve the health we have now? Absolutely. We also went to eat out 2-3 times a week and remained fully GAPS compliant.

As a busy professional who works with a wide variety of people & who has studied personally with the GAPS founder I know that there is a lot that is not in the book. Natasha has done her best to make it available to do-it-yourselfers, as with all such attempts it works great for some, somewhat for others, not at all for some. Here are some of the points that I consider essential that are not emphasized in the book:

* You must be working with a homeopath while you are doing the GAPS program. Natasha says this many times a day in her professional trainings, you must refer your patient to a homeopath or it is not GAPS. There is a process of unmasking, symptoms will come forward such as adrenal issues, etc. They need to be addressed, not masked again.

*GAPS is going to look different for everyone. You must find what works for you and use that. There is such a wide variety of foods available not because everyone is supposed to eat all of them but because it gives us the ability to INDIVIDUALIZE and find what works for us.

*What is written in the book is a guideline. It may have nothing to do with you. Some of my patients with severe autism, etc can take literally years to even be able to eat more than broths and a few carefully prepared foods. Yet, they thrive like never before, for the first time some nourishment is getting through. Some of my patients do very well short term on GAPS and then we begin to need to add grains or other foods in relatively quickly. It looks sort of like GAPS with a few carefully placed grains. In other words, we have INDIVIDUALIZED what is essentially a set of guidelines to the person attempting to follow them.

To summarize, with GAPS I achieved results in myself, my family, and my patients that I have not seen in my several decades of work as a healer. It delivers to most people most of the time & I am truly grateful for the suffering it is capable of relieving.

Kelly_Phillipson said...

Me too - I would love how you went about finding a homeopathic practitioner or if you're doing it yourself (I just ordered the household kit for the minor stuff, but I think we will all need some constitutional work). I realized after 10 mo's in on GAPS that it wasn't going to be our only mode of healing when I found out that we have heavy metal poisoning. So I'm not sure if we can do Stone's plan or not, I haven't read it yet, but the heavy metals inhibit carb metabolism. My adrenals did come back with GAPS, but I had to stop vigorous exercising (lack of carbs or metals or both??). I gained 30lbs on GAPS, only needed to gain about 10. I realize for us it's mainly the metal issue, which we are now addressing through chelation. BUT I also wanted to say that just within the past few days I realized that my son is sensitive to histamines - the load with the fermented foods was just too much for his little system, but we could never pin it down to that until recently because histamines also come from other allergens in addition to foods. Maybe working with a GAPS practitioner would have helped uncover this issue, but I'm thinking probably not because histamines were only given a few sentences in the GAPS book. We still follow GAPS (1.5yrs now), but the instant I cut kraut and kefir 3 days ago(yogurt is OK) my son's compulsions STOPPED and the change in him is dramatic. He has terribly high arsenic levels, so he might not be a typical GAPS' kid in that maybe the arsenic leads to more allergen/chemical sensitivity than most typical GAPS people. Oh, another thing - we do supplement with adrenal cortex extract as part of our chelation protocol. Helps tons!

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for this input, Victoria. We were definitely a do-it-yourself GAPS family, and I'm sure our results could have been different with a practitioner (even though I studied the book and online help pages for many hours to make sure we were doing the best we could).

Sarah Smith said...

I really like the following list of foods for baby (from this site: I used these guidelines for both of my kids, although only GAPS-legal ones for my second child since we were on GAPS when he started eating solids. He did not like vegetables (with the exception of fermented pickles) for a good long while, and he hated anything remotely starchy (even coconut flour muffins). He is definitely a carnivore by nature, preferring to mostly eat meat, kombucha, pickles, and dairy, even now. He does also like fruit now (he is three now), but as an infant mostly just ate eggs, pre-chewed meat, pickles, and lots of milk kefir. I always made sure to offer him whatever we were eating, and let his tastes guide him. Even now he doesn't much like to eat cookies, muffins, beans, or cake, and he is just starting to like toast and potatoes. I think his body very clearly tells him what it needs, and I'm glad he is in touch with that.

Anyhow, here is the list of ideas:
Foods By Age
4-6 Months

Minimal solid foods as tolerated by baby

Egg yolk--if tolerated, preferably from pastured chickens, lightly boiled and salted

Banana--mashed, for babies who are very mature and seem hungry

Cod liver oil-- 1/4 teaspoon high vitamin or 1/2 teaspoon regular, given with an eye dropper
6-8 months

Organic liver--grated frozen and added to egg yolk

Pureed meats--lamb, turkey, beef, chicken, liver and fish

Soup broth--(chicken, beef, lamb, fish) added to pureed meats and vegetables, or offered as a drink

Fermented foods--small amounts of yoghurt, kefir, sweet potato, taro, if desired

Raw mashed fruits--banana, melon, mangoes, papaya, avocado

Cooked, pureed fruits--organic apricot, peaches, pears, apples, cherries, berries

Cooked vegetables--zucchini, squash, sweet potato, carrots, beets, with butter or coconut oil
8-12 months

Continue to add variety and increase thickness and lumpiness of the foods already given from 4-8 months

Creamed vegetable soups

Homemade stews--all ingredinets cut small or mashed

Dairy--cottage cheese, mild harder raw cheese, cream, custards

Finger foods--when baby can grab and adequately chew, such as lightly steamed veggie sticks, mild cheese, avocado chunks, pieces of banana

Cod liver oil--increase to 1/2 teaspoon high vitamin or 1 teaspooon regular dose
Over 1 Year

Grains and legumes--properly soaked and cooked

Crispy nut butters--see recipes in Nourishing Traditions

Leafy green vegetables--cooked, with butter

Raw salad vegetables--cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.

Citrus fruit--fresh, organic

Whole egg--cooked

Foods to avoid

Up to 6 months: Certain foods, such as spinach, celery, lettuce, radishes, beets, turnips and collard greens, may contain excessive nitrate, which can be converted into nitrite (an undesirable substance) in the stomach. Leafy green vegetables are best avoided until 1 year. When cooking vegetables that may contain these substances, do not use the water they were cooked in to purée.

Up to 9 months: Citrus and tomato, which are common allergens.

Up to 1 year: Because infants do not produce strong enough stomach acid to deactivate potential spores, infants should refrain from eating honey. Use blackstrap molasses, which is high in iron and calcium. Egg whites should also be avoided up to one year due to their high allergenic potential.

ALWAYS: Commercial dairy products (especially ultra-pasteurized), modern soy foods, margarines and shortening, fruit juices, reduced-fat or low-fat foods, extruded grains and all processed foods.

Sarah Smith said...

Like you, we also individualized the diet to each of us, but still had issues in the long term.

I'm thinking that when we started GAPS (3 years ago), there wasn't such an emphasis on working with a homeopath in conjunction with the diet. Or at least, I certainly never saw that anywhere. I bet it would make a world of difference!

Jennifer at Purposeful Nutrition said...

Since my 15 year old is on GAPS for 1 month now I am finding your posts really helpful. It really is challenging to navigate through all of this without a good doctor but almost harder to find someone to work with on the GAPS diet who can and will really help figure it all out.
Thanks. I will continue to follow you.

Phoenix Helix said...

I agree with the others that more of us should seek professional help before criticizing any program - GAPS or otherwise. However, I agree with you that GAPS isn't for everyone, and the program also contains a lot of foods that people with autoimmune disease in particular react to. For many (myself included) doing the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol isolated the specific food intolerances I needed to avoid to remove my symptoms(no nightshades at all and limited nuts/seeds). I know Matt Stone gets a lot of love, but "RRARF" doesn't work for me, because when I just eat whatever I want, I feel like a 90 year-old overnight. The pain is not worth it to me. I have rheumatoid arthritis and I'm pretty much pain-free on my personalized GAPS/Paleo AI protocol. I eat plenty of carbs and calories though; that was always easy for me to do for some reason, while I realize for many, this is a challenge. Anyway, I'm rambling. I appreciate your honesty. I'm glad GAPS is out there for me and the RRARF is out there for those who need it as well.

Anonymous said...

A good way to find a homeopath who can work skillfully with the GAPS process also would be to look at the list of GAPS practitioners on their website and to chose one who is also a homeopath. Most can work at a distance.

Sarah said...

I have worked with a homeopath, and I like her very much, but she also became very expensive. She has helped me, but not enough to get me past my allergies to this point. thanks for your recommendations!

I also had wondered about the GAPS diet creating more issues, perhaps as part of the healing process. I didn't really have diarrhea much before GAPS, but that, rather than rashes, has been my main response to foods I'm not ready for now, another reason I haven't progressed. My stomach "feels" better eating just meat and vegetables as does my mind, but I am now on collodial silver for the inflammation until my liver begins to detox better. I'm not sure why I developed inflammation on what is supposed to be a low inflammation diet.

Anonymous said...

We have a 7-year-old son with autism. We did the gaps diet for about 7 months and he really improved, but the stress of the diet (and probably lack of carbs) was more than I could take, and now my health is very poor. I recently learned I have a boat load of food allergies (wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, chicken, honey, many legumes). I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm too fatigued to cook a different meal tailored to each family member's health problems.

Anonymous said...

My daughter and I did GAPS for almost 2 years. Actually, except the intro for about 2 months, my daughter has only been on partial GAPS. Although I was feeding her a lot of soups made with broth & lots of organic veggies, some yogurt/kefir, lots of sour cream, many eggs (4-6 yolks a day- she was 2 years of age), cheese she lost a lot of weight, and she really wanted carbs. She was not interested in coconut flour muffins much and we ended up with allowing her to eat bread (white bread, organic and very good). She has soup twice a day (a creamed veggie soup made with beef or chicken home-made broth), biokult probiotics, kombucha, fermented cod liver oil, eggs yolks...but she also eats bread, tortilla chips and occasional chocolate chip cookies made with regular wheat flour & sugar (but organic & with no preservatives). She has been on this diet (I call it "the soup diet" as this is the basis of her food) since she was 2 yrs. and she will turn 4 yrs in less than 1 month. I definitely saw huge improvements with her. I started GAPS with her because she was exploding in horrible hives every time she got a cold/flu- most likely an autoimmune condition caused by vaccines (don't want to get into details but I have a lot of evidence of this). She is generally not allergic to any foods, but when she was getting a cold she became temporarily allergic to almost any food, except spring water. In the past year she only had hives once, and very mild only for a couple of hours. Compared to how she used to be (covered in hives and incredibly swollen-eyes, ears & limbs), her reaction is almost zero now...I actually thought she completely outgrew her condition, but unfortunately she got a few hives last time she got a cold (after subsequent several colds with no hives at all). The conclusion with her is that GAPS had saved her. I am noticing a ceiling in terms of healing now, but where she is now is a much better livable place than before (although not completely healed).
I have been on a much stricter GAPS diet (with occasional cheating mostly with bread/ carbs) and cannot say for sure whether I have seen any healing.
When I was 8 months pregnant with her I developed a kind of IBS type inflamation. While strictly on GAPS (broths, veggies, meat, sauerkraut, little dairy) I feel normal (no IBS symptoms). As soon as I start introducing anything else, especially bread, my symptoms come back with vengeance. My problem is that I do not have time to cook as much as I need, and I often find myself in the situation to choose between a sandwich or starving. I have been feeling very hungry and exhausted recently, so I started to eat more non-GAPS carbs out of convenience. Unfortunately, as soon as I eat a sandwich my IBS symptoms return. I feel worse than before starting GAPS, because before I could eat a wide variety of foods, but now I am stuck with GAPS only foods and cannot introduce anything else. I need to take digestive enzymes to eat anything non-GAPS and not experience symptoms.
My mother has tried GAPS for a bit, and she said she felt better than she had ever felt. However, she started to have some kidneys problems and she was told to stop eating so much animal proteins & fats. Once she stopped eating the high fat/meat broths, her kidneys went back to normal.
I feels I definitely developed (or uncovered) new problems while on GAPS such as adrenal exhaustion, very short menstrual cycles, insomnia and I definitely need to stop GAPS. My problem is that I cannot introduce new foods because the IBS symptoms reappear. I am stuck and don't know what to do...Thanks for sharing your experience.

Amanda said...

I just really appreciate that you shared your perspective and were honest with everyone about your experience. While I do think the GAPS diet can have tremendous healing effects for most people, I am hard pressed to believe that any one diet is the right solution for every person and their health issues. I feel like in this community everyone is so quick to jump on the leaky gut bandwagon OR say you're not trying hard enough to stick to the diet. You obviously stuck to it and still didn't see the results. I sincerely hope you are able to find other solutions to the problems you and your family still face. Thanks again for speaking up!

Sarah Smith said...

If you haven't read it already, this article about restoring adrenals while on GAPS may help:

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks Amanda. I agree that so many in this community seem to think there are solutions that work for everyone, but that just isn't true. Everyone has to find their own path to health, and be willing to listen to their bodies when things aren't working, no matter if they are trying something that seems to work for lots of other people.

Sarah Smith said...

Ifelt just the same as you, trapped on GAPS because my old symptoms would come back if I strayed, but I felt so awful on GAPS too. Following a version of Matt Stone's Diet Recovery program, but just doing it with GAPS-only foods really helped me.

Jenny said...

this is precisely what I am doing at the moment (Matt Stone's Diet Recovery with GAPS foods only). It has helped unbelievably. (I would provide more details about my situation but I just wrote three paragraphs' worth of comment and the internet ate it up when I pressed publish)

Phoenix Helix said...

I'm confused. It was my impression that the foundation of Matt Stone's Diet Recovery was no restriction at all (meaning no lists of good or bad foods). And since GAPS doesn't limit carbs or calories, how is a Matt version of GAPS different from Full GAPS? Is it just that some people unconsciously limit themselves, and Matt breaks through that tendency? If so, that would make an excellent article, on how to bridge the best of both programs, should you care to write it. I realize you may want to stop writing about GAPS altogether, if you don't feel it helped your family.

Sarah Smith said...

The difference is that in Matt's program, you try very hard to make sure you are eating plenty, and even overeating for a short time. You also, during that time, make sure to get LOTS of sleep, NO exercise, and lots of relaxation. This gives the body a chance to rest and heal itself with everything it needs, rather than being in a state of stress. One other thing is that I had to make sure I was eating WAY more GAPS-legal carbs, including desserts like ice cream, to really get my adrenals started on the path to recovery.

Sister D said...

My 23 yr old daughter has been on the GAPS diet for 1 1/2 years. She has Celiac disease but was suffering with constant stomach pains (even after going gluten free) joint pain, brain fog, ocular migraines and a list of other problems. While amazing at first (6 months of feeling like "normal person" )she slowly begin to feel all those symptoms return. We put her back on the introductory diet and she'd do better but had absolutely no energy. She is SO tired all the time. We just talked this weekend about transitioning off this diet but arent sure where to start. Thank you for being so honest about your experience. We will look into Matt's book

Kelly_Phillipson said...

Thank you so much Sarah!!!!

Anonymous said...

I had been starting GAPS and then soon after, my health tanked. I began consulting with an Aperture Prescribing homeopath. The classical form may work with a relatively healthy person, but we are all so toxic now that I believe a Cease or Homotoxicology form would work better for all of us. THEN use classical.

Kirstin said...

THANK YOU for sharing - in researching the GAPS diet, I kept thinking - is this the only way? I have since found Matt Stone's research and have started following it slowly. Along with incorporating cultured and fermented foods, I pray to have full adrenal healing soon!!

Hazel Brown said...

My BF had some stomach discomfort, a lot of gas and bloating, some heartburn, and burping when he ate. We've been off and on full GAPS, and it always helped, so we decided to start the intro. He felt a little better on the Intro, but a day or two in we could barely stand another bowl of soup. We added eggs and almond flour baked goods and he felt even better, and after about a week I said "I think you need some rice!" So he had a bowl of white rice and felt amazing! I think he needed some starches/carbs. Right now we're loosely following Paul Jaminet's "Perfect Health Diet." It's a lot like GAPS, but rice and potatoes (sweet/regular) are allowed. There is no intro period. Sugars, baked goods, and sweets in general are discouraged, but allowed occasionally. Lots of butter/coconut oil is encouraged. It's easier to stick with this diet and we both feel great! It hasn't helped my joints too much yet,but our digestion is much improved. I'm glad I did GAPS, or I never would have thought about changing my diet, and stumbled upon Perfect Health. Jaminet is also a fan of bone broth, so in many ways his diet is a lot like GAPS.

Hazel Brown said...

Could you have a bowl of rice instead of a sandwich? Could your issue just be gluten, and not all grains? I know lots of people who have developed gluten intolerance as adults. You could try either plain rice, or GF bread for sandwiches, for a week or two and see how you feel! Good luck!

KerryAnn @ said...

I believe the problem on GAPS is long-term calorie restriction, not the diet per se. You can wreck your adrenals and have other problems even eating a high carb diet. Add lack of sleep or disturbed sleep (like having a baby in the house) to that equation and you're going to get sick. The solution is to eat more calories and get more rest. I believe many people are blaming the GAPS diet when it's really long-term lack of calories causing the issues, and that can happen on any diet. It happened to me when my kids were small, and I wasn't on GAPS or any other special diet at the time- I was often skipping meals and I was strung out with an infant and a toddler to care for.

Sarah Smith said...

Hi KerryAnn,
For me, I was not trying to restrict calories at all on GAPS. I ate whenever I was hungry. But, after reading Matt Stone's work, I came to realize that any restriction (calories, fat, carbs, or protein) can wreck the adrenals. So for me, the problem wasn't calorie restriction; rather it was the lack of carbs on GAPS. (GAPS isn't necessarily low-carb, as lentils and white beans are allowed. But I tended to avoid thosee foods as they caused dietary distress and constipation. So the version of GAPS I naturally followed was very low-carb.)

And yes, for me, lack of sleep was part of the problem too. I started feeling better when I started eating lots more GAPS-legal carbs, but still stumbled until I stopped eating GAPS and let myself have lots of potatoes and rice. If you are interested, I wrote more about why carb restriction is so bad for the body here:

NoniGirl said...

I worked with Joette Calabrese on and off for years and how she has helped me is pretty remarkable. What interested me in her in the 1st place is that she not only suffered from food and chemical allergies herself, (so she gets it first hand), but it seems that WAPF and Sally Fallon feel pretty strongly about her. It’s hard enough to find an experienced homeopath who understands those principles, but if you can find one who can nip allergies in the bud once and for all, its worth every cent! Then there’s no need to be diet restricted at all! For me, even though I had food intolerances for years, it only took an occasional appointment with Joette. I think it turned out to be about 3 times the 1st year, and now I only need an occasional tune-up. No allergies this spring either! I’d take homeopathy any day, over having to undergo more of the GAPS diet, and personally I wouldn’t choose any other homeopath no matter how cheap they are. How can you put a dollar value on something like this? You get what you pay for.

NoniGirl said...

I worked with Joette Calabrese on and off for years and how she has helped me is pretty remarkable. What interested me in her in the 1st place is that she not only suffered from food and chemical allergies herself, (so she gets it first hand), but it seems that WAPF and Sally Fallon feel pretty strongly about her. It’s hard enough to find an experienced homeopath who understands those principles, but if you can find one who can nip allergies in the bud once and for all, its worth every cent! Then there’s no need to be diet restricted at all! For me, even though I had food intolerances for years, it only took an occasional appointment with Joette. I think it turned out to be about 3 times the 1st year, and now I only need an occasional tune-up. No allergies this spring either! I’d take homeopathy any day, over having to undergo more of the GAPS diet, and personally I wouldn’t choose any other homeopath no matter how cheap they are. How can you put a dollar value on something like this? You get what you pay for.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. In my experience with Alan Saxon, I have had the same type of results you mentioned: lessening of food intolerances, plus improvement in lots of other areas such as sleep, moods, joint pain, etc. in my opinion, he greatly underprices himself. While not familiar with the GAPS diet per se, he is a nutritionist as well as a homeopath, and his suggestions regarding diet have been very good, even from a WAPF perspective.

MtnBoy said...

Great and timely post! I found last December and transitioned from GAPS to RRARF in January. I have a family history of thyroid problems and the GAPS diet tanked my already low thyroid. I wasn't aware I had thyroid problems before, so the GAPS diet brought that to light, so I guess it's good I did it. Have you seen Matt's latest post on thyroid? He has an excellent interview with Ray Peat (one of the greats in metabolic research) He talks about many things that lower thyroid, many of which are on the GAPS diet. It's an audio recording, but one of the commenters transcribed it. It's a great read.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, I read this a week ago. We went straight back on to rice and potatoes. I've been reading a few of Matt Stone's blogs on his fb page. Would love to know what you're doing - are you allowing your kids to eat store bought ice cream, cake with refined sugar, oils and flour, coke, creals from a box etc?? I'm totally open to what he has to say but a little cautious. Can you please update us how you are doing with the RRAARFing. I've got a problem with eating sugar (sucanat) my legs ache after eating it. (Just tried a couple of days ago drinking water kefir. Also, lots of fruit makes my legs ache and I have quite dry skin on my feet. My face is starting to get small pimples since eating rice again.... Need much more feedback from you in your blogs since you have direct contact with Matt Stone.

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Jacqui,
I'm not actually in contact with Matt Stone. I did query him a few times last year when I was RRARFing, and he was very helpful. But I do read his blog and somewhat keep up with his work.

Matt's work has inspired me to stop being quite so controlling of our diets, and to focus much more on overall stress reduction (making sure we are eating enough, not exercising too much, and getting plenty of sleep). Diet-wise, we are still eating predominantly nutrient-dense foods. But we do still sometimes eat storebought ice cream (Haagen Daz), chips, and snack foods such as rice crackers and organic somewhat-healthy cookies. We still avoid gluten for the most part, because my daughter reacts very poorly to it. We also have to watch how much rice and corn she consumes; she can tolerate a small amount but if she starts eating them too frequently then there are behavior issues. We do eat lots of potatoes (mmm).

At this point, the main focus in our healing is homeopathy. We are all having some amazing results with it. Just recently, my son, who has had sleep problems since he was born, has made amazing leaps and bounds in his sleep. At his worst, he was waking every hour all night long. For the last 2 weeks, he has slept 8-9 hours straight every night. This is a huge improvement, and is solely due to homeopathy.

Anonymous said...

Keep blogging your journey. I'm very interested. I'm increasing our starchy carbs each day and I let my 2 sons eat Haagen Daz yesterday. We live in India and they were completely thrilled to be experiencing that. I wouldn't touch it but I think I might just indulge soon because it's been 6 years since I've had any refined sugar :) So thankful for people like you who blog!!!! Been reading lots of Matt Stones blogs too... Up way to late at night

Anonymous said...

I've been on GAPS for just about 2 years, recently moving off of it for a couple of months. I'm actually going to re-do intro in a week or so, then do full GAPS for 6 months. I'm hoping then to transition off GAPS by the book and then go back to grains/starches and hopefully gluten (just for sourdough, I'm thinking). I've had several symptoms go away while on GAPS and overall I felt great. When I went off (bits of grains, potatoes, rice, some sugar) I noticed weight creeping back on, especially in my midsection and some symptoms return. I hope by doing GAPS intro again and being really vigilant, then transitioning off properly I can say goodbye to those symptoms once and for all. For me, GAPS was worth it.

lauren said...

Holy comment thread, Batman! Just encountered this and thought of you:

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks Lauren! Interesting reading for sure!

Anonymous said...

Sarah, can you give us an update on how your RRAARFing is going?

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Jacqui,
I'm not RRARFing anymore. I did for a few months at the beginning of 2012, and that was enough to get my basal body temperatures into the normal-ish range. Then I started undergoing constitutional homeopathic treatment (by phone) last July, and have had such great results that I am sticking with that. I'm seeing improvement in my menstrual cycles (now 26-28 days, whereas they were previously 20-23 days, and I am finally having flow again after years of having nothing but spotting), my joint pain is totally gone, and I am now seeing improvements in my mood and sleep problems.

Anonymous said...

Great post Sarah. I have linked this on my post on coming off the GAPS Diet. It didn't fix us up as I'd hoped, but I learned plenty about how my body reacts to different foods that I continue to find invaluable. - Victoria

Megan said...

Hi Sarah! I've really appreciated this post lately and have reviewed it several times - thank you for all the work you put into it! I have a question for you regarding GAPS. We are a GAPS family - my son (12 mo.) has a confirmed dairy allergy. It manifests through eczema and more screaming when he gets milk, even through breastmilk. I've been on Full GAPS since he was 4 months and we just recently started the Introducing Your Baby to Solids Protocol in the GAPS book with him. We've definitely seen healing in his eczema but I've started to look into other methods of treatment besides diet, as I believe I'm going into ketosis with restricting both milk and grains (trying to get as many carbs into me as I can!). I recently cheated with some cream and oatmeal and he hasn't has as strong of a reaction, but still has been more "scream" the past few days. I'm considering adding some gluten-free grains and possibly milk, too, into my diet and his, too, as he's struggled with weight gain. Any thoughts? Thank you!

Megan said...

I forgot to add - have you read or had experience with constitutional homeopathy healing a dairy/casein allergy? We've already tried CranioBiotic Therapy treatment (kind of like NAET) for his dairy allergy and are hopeful to see results!

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Megan,
My son's eczema (which was not improved by GAPS) has been healed through constitutional homeopathy. Homeopathy looks at things a bit differently; rather than looking at specific symptoms in isolation, the whole of a person is taken into account when selecting a remedy. This also means that the remedy can help with much more than just one symptom. For my son, along with healing his eczema, the homeopathic treatment has also cured his sleep problems (he used to wake up every hour during the night, but now sleeps from around 9:30pm-4 or 5am without waking up at all. His homeopathic remedy has also helped with his behavior: he is much more affectionate (previously he did not want anyone to give him affection except for me, but now he actually likes giving hugs to people and will let them hug him as well), he does not have such frequent temper tantrums or meltdowns (previously he would have them at least once or twice a day, now they are more like once a week), and he is much more cooperative/less stubborn. It is really amazing what homeopathy can do. His treatment is still ongoing, but we are at the point where he is tapering off the remedy and there isn't really anything left to fix. That is amazing! (If we stop the remedy altogether now, he starts melting down more frequently again, so he is not quite ready to stop it yet.)

As for food allergies, I can't say that homeopathy has completely "cured" ours yet, but we our treatments are still ongoing. I can say for sure that, before we started the treatment, I could not eat any gluten without getting a headache and restless legs. Now I can eat true sourdough wheat bread with no issues (but I still can't quite handle the sprouted whole grain breads yet, as they give me digestive issues). My daughter still has issues with grains and gluten, but they have lessened some over the time of her treatment. Her issues with grains manifest as behavior problems, and her behavior problems are much better with homeopathic treatment. I can always tell when it is getting time for her to have her remedy again because she starts going back to those same issues (being extremely emotional, arguing over everything, crying at the drop of a hat, and becoming more clumsy to where she seems to get hurt several times a day). We still have a ways to go, but it is wonderful to be seeing progress. Homeopathic treatment definitely isn't a quick-fix solution, but it seems to work at such a fundamental level in improving all aspects of health. Oh, and all of our immune systems are hugely better since starting homeopathic treatment.

Oh, and I just read your comment about poor weight gain: my daughter's weight gain has improved dramatically since starting her homeopathic treatment. She actually lost weight the last few months on GAPS (and was very small to begin with), but she has now gained over 5 pounds since starting her treatment. (That is a huge deal for her, as she is still rather small at 33 pounds and 6 years old.)

Megan said...

Hi Sarah,

I had one more quick question for you - are you guys following more of a gluten-free diet at this point, or grain-free, as you're coming off GAPS and starting to dig more into homeopathy? Thank you! :)

Sarah Smith said...

It is a bit different for each of us.

My son can eat anything he wants with no issues (and he is very near the end of his homeopathic treatment, so all of the original symptoms he had are now gone).

My daughter still needs to avoid gluten and also has to make sure not to eat too much rice/corn.

I can very well tolerate a true sourdough wheat bread (with white flour, not whole grain, as that causes me strong digestive issues), but I also have to moderate the amount of rice/corn I eat.

My husband still does best avoiding all grains (although he can eat a little millet or quinoa with no issues).

One thing that works really well for all of us is potatoes!

Anonymous said...

I seriously do not think the GAPS diet is being followed properly. Since including healthy fats into my diet, ghee, coconut butter and animal fats and eating lots and lots of veg (I have cut out lactose, fructose and gluten so absolutely no grains) I not only feel tons better, but have more energy and never snack anymore. I have no sugar cravings - sugar is the evil here - and this is for life, I do not want to go back to pain or mood swings or anything that I was experiencing when consuming large amounts of fruit, sugar and gluten. I know GAPS doesn't cancel fruit out but since taking it out of my diet completely I just feel glowing. Sorry to hear all of you have had a bad experience, that's a real shame and I do feel sad about that because Gaps changed my life.... and I tell everyone about it! I think the biggest thing is that people cut out grains or gluten and then substitute for a lot of sugar in the form of potatoes and fruit. A good documentary to watch on youtube is "The man who made us fat" that might wake everyone up to how to eat better for life.

Sarah Smith said...

I'm glad it has worked for you. Most people on GAPS seem to feel wonderful the first 6-12 months (we all did too); it is after that the problems start to develop. From what I can tell in my research, it seems that in the long-term (more than a year), low-carb/GAPS works best for either men or women who are past childbearing age.

Out of curiosity, how long have you been on GAPS?

Michael Roll said...

I gained 65 pounds on Mat Stones revolutionary diet. I had a candida out break. If you want to get fat, Matt's diet will do just that

kimmyk said...

wow, I just got the GAPS book and was stressed enough about getting my 9 year old son with autism to change his eating habits. After reading all of these comments, I really am apprehensive and thinking maybe I should just keep him gluten, dairy and egg free and try to get him of corn as well. Thanks for everyone's honesty.

la mejor dieta said...

Wow! I like this post, thanks!

Nancy said...

I don't know if you have looked at the more recent version of the GAPS FAQ where Dr. N answers questions on a regular basis. There is a ton of information there that wasn't available back when we started GAPS 15 months ago. For many issues, she suggests going back and re-doing Intro diet and staying in Stage 2 for months on end. For one set of issues, she recommends 6 to 8 months at minimum, and another place says 6+ months, and in numerous other places in the document, she says "several months" in Stage 2. Well, I personally was in Stage2 of the diet and not even tolerating the cooked vegetables for 6 months and getting sicker and sicker and looking like a skeleton. I finally wound up going on the colitis medication and started to feel better and able to tolerate more foods. Due to yeast, we still aren't eating much fruit or honey. My daughter, who is 8 years old is still having major behavior issues. I can not imagine her being on Intro 2 for 8 or more months. At some point, that just becomes ridiculous. We have noticed a huge change, for the better, with her health. She had rashy private parts all the time. Took her to several doctors, had the area tested, etc and kept getting told "oh, girls just get that". Well, within the first couple of weeks on full GAPS, she started going days without a rash, and then weeks without it. We started Intro and then went 3 whole months without the rash, then it came back for a few days, and it's been 9 months since we've seen it. She used to be sick all the time. Doctors wanted to remove her tonsils and adenoids. All the sinus and throat (strep constantly) cleared up. She was even directly exposed to strep throat over the summer through some kids that she was sitting with on the day camp bus and she did not contract strep! So while the diet has been beneficial for overall health, in terms of autism behavior and symptoms, we have seen no improvement. For myself, I initially lost a little bit of weight and was very happy with my appearance, then I became a skeleton. When I started being able to tolerate more foods, I started packing on the pounds. I had started GAPS at a point where I looked ok, but through exercise had been trying to lose 5 pounds. Well, I know weigh over and above what I weighed before starting GAPS and actually am limiting food and portions, yet feel hungry all the time. I am at a point where I could stand to lose 10 pounds, rather than just the 5 pounds that I could have stood to lose pre-GAPS. We also have been working with a certified GAPS nurse practitioner and have also been doing lots of supplements and other things based on medical testing. A lot of times I think maybe we are ready to move on. I know we are still fighting yeast, but no, I'm not willing to go back to Stage 2 for months on end. I think my daughter would REALLY flip out over that as well. So not sure what we are going to do in terms of moving on at some point. My extreme PMS (actually get burning stomach and vomiting for hours on end for several days in the 2nd half of my cycle) initially got better, but then has gotten worse and worse each month for the past 9 months. If gut is healing, why has that gotten so much worse! Seeing another natural practicing nurse for the adult (PMS) issue. As the GAPS certified nurse is technically a pediatric nurse and wasn't able to offer much in the way of support for the PMS issue. Both nurses work in the same practice though and are somewhat coordinated. I wouldn't say GAPS has been a waste of time by any means (still keeping on with it and seeing it through for at least 2 years more than likely), but would have liked to have seen the yeast issues be gone, my weight be where it should be, improvement with the PMS, and my daughter's behavioral issues improved (started doing intensive behavior therapy -ABA- about 3 months ago, so working at it from that angle as well).

Unknown said...

Interesting read. Glad I stumbled upon your blog actually...

I'm a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and have been following a variety of Paleo/Gaps-type diets on & off for years now...always trying to see 'which one is the best'. Which one I should recommend...

The conclusion I've come to is this: our body needs a variety of minerals & vitamins. Our bodies have been designed to 'tell us' what we need in a variety of signals (pregnancy cravings, I believe, are an extreme example of this). If we don't eat enough of one group of foods we are at a risk of a deficiency of some sort...We have got to stop telling our bodies we 'can't' have this or that, but listen to the signals!

If our diets are based on whole foods (ie. nuts, seeds, meats, legumes, fruits, veggies, natural fats, whole grains unprocessed in moderation) then we should be okay. I do suggest supplements when things get out of whack, and whole food multivitamins for those looking for that extra 'insurance'. Other ones I suggest for seasons and for particular situations (i.e. in my region in Canada we are not outside at all for Vitamin D levels are particularly low).

Now back to the Paleo/Gaps type diets: I found that when I was eating Paleo my weight was the lowest and in general I felt very well. But there were downsides: obviously strict food restrictions, feeling 'obsessed' with what to put in my mouth, constantly having to drink a lot to process protein & having to bring food with me when I ate with other people. This can be a good short-term healing diet...but hard to maintain over a long period of time. And the cost as well does not lend itself well to sustaining itself for a long period!!

One suggestion I have always found helpful for myself is LOADS & loads of veggies! I do eat protein & fat as well...but loads of salads, greens, soups, stews, some in smoothies as well. Has helped my skin, digestion, etc.

Thanks for sharing: if anyone wants to connect further I do share health recipes/tips on my newer Pinterest Board:

Thanks again for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

To find a qualified homeopath, you can look into the professional associations like:
NASH North American Society of Homeopaths
CCH The Council of Homeooathic Certification
Vithoulkas international Academy of Classical Homeopathy

The best homeopath in my opinion is the one that is a Medical Doctor and knowdgeable in nutrition too.

Nature Families said...

Seriously, who needs to charge $600 per hour to help people in so much need?? That in itself lessens my opinion of her.

Three Aunties said...

You might want to start an iodine supplement. Paint some iodine tincture on your arm, and if the orange color goes away before 24 hrs (no soap, no chlorine) then you probably need it. Use Iodoral or Lugol's and Standard Process has one that is very low-dose if you want to start on that.

Unknown said...

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Lorian said...

$600 an hour is outrageous and people with health problems are often
suffering financially as well.

Mrs.Momof6 said...

Could be a magnesium deficiency. You could try a spray on mag oil, during your cycle

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Quianna said...

Hi Sarah,

My son has been on the GAPS intro diet for exactly one month today. We started him on it for eczema and digestion issues caused by leaky gut confirmed through IgG testing and stool analysis. This has been one miserable experience. His eczema has been worse (more itchy, spreading and more inflamed). His digestion is no better and his sleep and mood are worse. Our GAPS practitioner thought it was healing but that just seemed ridiculous to me. About 20 days in he started getting hives and by the night time he was covered head to toe. This persisted for three days even with benedryl twice a day. Oddly enough his eczema looked pretty good once his hives went away but then just a day later it was way worse and it has been ever since. Talking with people on the Facebook gaps page many people thought it could be histamine related. I've made all possible changes to make it as low histamine as possible but there still have been no improvements. We are basically at stage three right now without dairy (except ghee) and nuts. I'm at a loss right now for what I should do. We are transitioning to full gaps now because things just aren't working and the intro is just too restrictive and difficult. Do you have any suggestions for me on what I should do next? I think some testing needs to be done but I'm not sure what type of doctor I should see. I feel like this diet caused more problems than anything and I don't know how to recover from this now. Any opinions or insight you might have would more than appreciated. Thank you!

Sarah Smith said...

Hello Quianna,
What worked better for us than GAPS in the long run is constitutional homeopathic treatment. With this type of treatment, a person's whole mental/emotional/physical symptom picture is looked at and a remedy is found that helps all of these areas. It has proved to be much better at healing our chronic issues than diet. For instance, GAPS did nothing to help my son's chronic eczema, sleeping problems, or mood issues. Homeopathy has addressed all of these. In fact, homeopathy has worked so well for all of us that I decided to become a homeopath myself.

Finding a good homeopath can be difficult, as there are many pseudo-homeopaths who use homeopathic remedies in a more casual fashion that is not likely to lead to long-term improvements. At a minimum, a good homeopath usually is someone that uses homeopathy as their primary healing modality (rather than, for instance, a chiropractor who also happens to use homeopathic remedies), someone who charges a constitutional rate rather than charging for every appointment, and someone that uses LM potencies as well as C potencies (many homeopaths use only C potencies, but LM potencies have much more adaptability, especially for people who are hypersensitive; I have found that the majority of my patients who have already tried GAPS or restrictive diets are hypersensitive, so this is especially important). Please let me know if you need any more information.

Quianna said...

Thanks Sarah for your quick reply. I actually contacted alan saxon to talk with him which I will be tomorrow. Im still unsure of what to do now. My sons skin is literally the worst it has ever been. Hes so itchy and doesnt sleep very well at all. I really feel like this diet ruined him and I dont know how to correct it. I dont know how to start introducing new foods because he seems to react to everything. Im so frustrated and sad and I dont know where to go from here. If you have any other words of encouragement or advice I would really be grateful.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous ^ There is a massive difference between working for free and charging $600 dollars a session. That was an incredibly ignorant statement.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

your article actually provides very rare information and it took me months to understand what was happening to me on the GAPS protocol before I found your web page.

I was following the GAPS diet for 8 full months. I had been high carb low fat gluten and dairy free three years before that in order to address my eczema and candida overgrowth issues. While eczema had improved dramatically, my candida overgrowth got much worse over time. I also have a son who has many food intolerancies, eczema and hyperactive syndrome. My son had many food restrictions already and very very high carb and very reluctant to any changes so I decided to try GAPS myself together with my younger daughter who was only 7 months then and it was pretty easy for me to start with restricted menu since she was still breastfeed and ate mostly cooked vegetables and fruits in addition. GAPS did actually make a huge change with me - it drastically improved my mood probably thanks to increasing the amount of vitamin B in my diet. Otherwise, my eczema returned to become a nightmare and I learned to be histamine intolerant. I let my son checked and yep, he is histamine intolerant too. Good information to start. I reduced amount of histamin in his diet without going on the GAPS protocol and his eczema improved a lot. Then I added very small amount of goat milk kefir into my diet. After three months, I developed acne, dandruff, chronic headache and severe joint pain. I realised that my dairy intolerance is ever worse than I ever thought and had to avoid all dairy completeley again. After going dairy free, my acne and headache dissapeared, but my joint pain became chronic, my legs started to swell in the evening, and I couldn't sleep at night. I learnt that I probably cannot stand so much animal protein and my kidneys are suffering. Then I started to gain weight and couldn't just stop it. Make the story short - I am now almost a year past my GAPS diet trial and stil have terrible candida overwgrowth, couldn't get rid of a single kilogram of weight I gained over my normal size (it's only 6 kilograms but I don't like it), still suffer from histamine intolerance and unfortunatelly, haven't healed my gut at all. I believe, that I developed a hypothyroidism on the way.

I think I lost a lot of time and it was a hard way to learn certain things. However, I am thankful for that experience. I also have learnt a lot through the 'program', such as tha low carb is not natural and would probably hurt my son more than help and am glad that I have avoided trying the GAPS protocol with him. I have also learnt that children can actually be predominantly carnivore because I fed my daughter in a completely different way than my son, including bone broths, saturated fats, lots of egg yolks, liver and so on and there is a dramatic difference in my kids' growth, health and mood. My daughter is rarely ill, she is always happy and cooperative, and she is much stronger and taller than my son at her age.

In the end, I would like to say that adding regular bone broth to my son's diet had actually helped him a lot probably by providing gelatin and thus reducing inflammation. Since he is histamine intolerant, I cannot let him drink bone broth every day, but I found out I could supplement him with pure gelatin and his health improved a lot. I am very grateful for that. I have also learnt that adding egg yolk to his meals on a regular basis (almost every day) makes his mood swings much better and he can stay focused. I am open to try anything new but I think people should more openly discuss the negative effect of low carb diets on metabolism and thyroid health because it seems that this is a no no topic for many paleo, primal and other low carb followers, including GAPS dieters.

sandra said...

My name is Adams from Australia , am here to share a very important testimony to you all on how Priest Onome of help me to make my wife get pregnant, we have been trying to get our own baby for the past 7yrs but no positive solution until i get priest onome email address from the internet on how a lady from USA was testifying about his good work he did for her , then i discuss it with my wife if we are going to give a try and we did , at first i was thinking it was a scam when he ask us to send him money to buy the things that his going to used to cast a spell for me,behold after 2 weeks my wife went for checkup and the doctor confirm her a week pregnant after obeying and following priest onome instructions . I want to continue Thanking priest onome for his good help he did for me and my family, to contact this great man , you can email him via :

Anonymous said...

I didnt read all the posts, and have not read the book. That being said, my family is generally healthy. We consume LOTS of healthy organic whole grains, beans, legumes etc. Already have home made soup a couple times per week, but we were using bullion cubes for broth and finding the natural broth way is just Very very exciting for me. I have some arthritis and a broth with natural collegen seems to be exactly what we need. Not jumping in with both feet for now. Love scratch cooking anyway. So a modified version is what we will begin with.
Also. Has anyone thought I'd how many people died while on the original no-carb diets from kidney failure in 1979, or there about? I don't intend to give up rice or barley any time son. Just use natural broths.

Anonymous said...

All thanks to Dr Ohehe for curing my HIV positive to Negative, i do not have much to say but with all my life i will for ever be grateful to him and God Almighty for using Dr Ohehe to reach me when i thought it is all over, today am happy with my two kids and my husband after the medical doctor have confirmed my HIV status Negative,i have never in my life believed that HIV could be cure by any herbal medicine. so i want to use this means to reach other persons who have this disease by testifying the wonderful herbs and power of Dr Ohehe that all is not lost yet, try and contact him by any means with his email:

Anonymous said...

I Never believed i was ever going to be HIV Negative again,Dr Ohehe has given me reasons to be happy, i was HIV positive for 2years and all the means i tried for treatment was not helpful to me, but when i came on the Internet i saw great testimony about Dr on how he was able to cure someone from HIV, this person said great things about this man, and advice we contact him for any Disease problem that Dr Ohehe can be of help, well i decided to give him a try, he requested for my information which i sent to him, and he told me he was going to prepare for me a healing portion, which he wanted me to take for days, and after which i should go back to the hospital for check up, well after taking all the treatment sent to me by Dr Ohehe, i went back to the Hospital for check up, and now i have been confirmed HIV Negative, friends you can reach Dr Ohehe on any treatment for any Disease he is the one only i can show you all up to, reach him on ( or call him on +2347031362391 ..

Anonymous said...

My mouth is short of words, i am so so happy because Dr.ohehe
has healed me from HIV ailment which i have been suffering from the past 5years now, i have spend alot when getting drugs from the hospital to keep me healthy, i have tried all means in life to always i can become Hiv negative one day, but there was no answer until i found from Dr.ohehe the paris of african who provide me some healing spell that he uses to help me, now i am glad telling everyone that i am now HIV Negative, i am very very happy, thank you Dr.ohehe for helping my life comes back newly without anyform of crisis, may the good lord that i serve blessed you Dr.ohehe and equip you to the higher grade for healing my life. i am so amazed. so i will announced to everyone in this whole world that is HIV positive to please follow my advice and get healed on time, because we all knows that HIV disease is a deadly type,contact Dr.ohehe for your Hiv healing spell today at: He will be always happy to assist you online and ensure you get healed on time, contact Dr.ohehe today for your healing spell immediately, thank you sir:

Anonymous said...

My name is Sheila Garcia I was diagnosed of this HIV deadly disease a friend of mine introduce Dr ohehe to me and I actually did contact him after he has prepare what he said he will do and he sent it to me and I used it according to his prescription after one week I went to the hospital to check my status again because I was feeling differently from the way I used when I was tested POSITIVE to my greatest surprise the status was NEGATIVE the medical doctors there was surprise and I have to tell the whole world about this if you are still having this similar problem I recommend you to Dr ohehe for you here is his email

Anonymous said...

I Never believed i was ever going to be HIV Negative again,Dr Sunnice has given me reasons to be happy, i was HIV positive for 2years and all the means i tried for treatment was not helpful to me, but when i came on the Internet i saw great testimony about Dr on how he was able to cure someone from HIV, this person said great things about this man, and advice we contact him for any Disease problem that Dr Sunnice can be of help, well i decided to give him a try, he requested for my information which i sent to him, and he told me he was going to prepare for me a healing portion, which he wanted me to take for days, and after which i should go back to the hospital for check up, well after taking all the treatment sent to me by Dr Sunnice, i went back to the Hospital for check up, and now i have been confirmed HIV Negative, friends you can reach Dr Sunnice on any treatment for any Disease he is the one only i can show you all up to, reach him on ( or call him on +2347031362391 , his wedsite

Anonymous said...

[b]DR Sunnice is the only Dr who could ever get my HIV-AIDS cured with his healing spell, i have tried almost everything but i could’nt find any solution on my disease, despite all these happening to me, i always spend alot to buy a HIV drugs from hospital and taking some several medications but no relieve, until one day i was just browsing on the internet when i come accross a great post of !Michelle! who truly said that she was been diagnose with HIV and was healed that very week through the help of these great powerful healing spell doctor, sometime i really wonder why people called him Papa sunnice, i never knew it was alll because of the great and perfect work that he has been doing that is causing all this. so i quickly contacted him, and he ask me some few questions and he said a thing i will never forget that anyone who contacted him is ! always getting his or her healing in just 6 hours after doing all he ask you, so i was amazed all the time i heard that from him, so i did all things only to see that at the very day which he said i will be healed, all the strenght that has left me before rush back and i becomes very strong and healthy, this disease almost kills my life all because of me, so i will to hospital to give the final test to the disease and the doctor said i am HIV negative, i am very amazed and happy about the healing Dr Sunnice gave to me from the ancient part of africa, you can email him now for your own healing too thank you sir for healing me from HIV, i am Doris Carter. or call him now on +2347031362391

Unknown said...

hello everyone, i am here to share my testimony on how i conceived my baby. i have been married to my husband for 18years without no issue. my husband has been tested OK, i too have been tested. but no issue. i had problems with my in-laws even my husband started to have new affairs aside your marriage. it was a very terrible thing to bear. i became a laughing stock among my pear, i prayed and fasted and nothing happened. i was now seen as always unhappy. after many medical treatment and there is no way. i took it as i was born barren and i accepted every challenge that comes my way. i was even ready to pack out of my marital home and stay on my own because my husband was not given me any attention that i needed from him. i decided to focus on my job and try to live happy on my own.
on this faithful day, i decided to check the net for updates on healthy living and i came across a story of a man who Dr EDIONWE helped his wife to conceive a baby. i decided to put a try because this has been my greatest problem in life. today i am a proud mom. words will not be enough to explained what this man did for me. he casted a pregnancy spell on me and i noticed i was pregnant on the 7th day after the spell. i am a happy mother, the pride of my family, a miracle in my town. i know there is someone in same condition and you feel there is no way. i urge you to contact him via email This is the solution to every single mother around the globe. distance is not a barrier, he will surely make your dreams come trough. contact him today via email: you want your lover back or any other miracle in your life, contact him today so the world can be a better place to live. bye!!!

Unknown said...

Hello everybody i am so happy to share this testimony on how Dr Molemen was able to heal me from HIV Disease, well i was detected positive on 23th may 2013, and ever since i have been looking for a way to treat and cure this disease from me, but all ways i try there was no solution, few weeks ago i saw a testimony of some people on how Dr Molemen was able to cure them from HIV disease, still on i heard about it on media when a young lady also gave her testimony about this same Dr, well left with no hope i message Dr Molemen telling him all my problem, he told me what we where going to do, that he was going to send me a portion which i am going to take, and after which i took this herb portion he sent to me, he told me to go back to the hospital for check up and after i have done that i should come and tell him the good news result, at first when i saw the message i was so shock and still did not believed i will be cured, well friend to make my story short i am HIV negative now after many time of sorrow, i am Negative, and my sickness are gone, i thank God for leading me to this man....
you can email him on ( or call him on +2347036013351, he can be of help to you on any problem..
Sir may God Bless You.

Alicia Dragic, RN, CGP said...

I think the trouble that often comes up on GAPS is that many people try to make it very low-carb, which long-term causes a lot of problems in itself. I think that once we found more balance (which I've discovered after almost two years now on GAPS) we have started to really benefit from it. I feel like when we're involved in GAPS groups, etc. that the emphasis is no orange veggies, no starchy veggies, no fruit, no honey or you can't heal, and that's not what GAPS is about. Once the body starts to heal itself (and I feel homeopathy plays a big role in this, as does Dr. NCM) then yeast and other issues will resolve and there will be no overgrowth because heavy metals and other toxins will be taken care of. The body begins to handle its own problems again.

By the way, I love your blog and it's one that I recommend to my GAPS patients when they're looking for recipes in the beginning of their healing journey. Thank you so much for all you do! (I also enjoy your homeschooling articles, as we also homeschool our two boys).

Alicia Dragic, RN, CGP

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Alicia,
Thanks for your comment. I agree that many of the problems we had on GAPS were related to eating too few carbs. But the part that really makes me think twice about recommending GAPS is the fact that our issues were not actually cured through GAPS anyway. For instance, my joint pain was not felt while following GAPS strictly, but as soon as I started eating grains/starches again it came back. Now through constitutional homeopathy, I have been pain-free in my joints for 2 years, no matter what I eat.

As I have learned more and practiced homeopathy more, I am wondering if the benefits that are touted as being from GAPS are actually just coming from the use of homeopathic treatment at the same time. My family is seeing so many more long-lasting improvements on chronic issues with homeopathy that we did not experience with GAPS. Quite a few of my patients have already tried GAPS without much success but with homeopathy they are seeing much bigger changes.

Anyhow, thanks for stopping by and I'm glad my blog is a good resource!

Anonymous said...

My family had a lot of food intolerances and sensitivities... most of us (6 to 8 weeks) improved our tolerance of food in general but each have had to take our own journey... every introduction was careful and any signs of change noted. My youngest daughter ended up being diagnosed with Candida, which the GAP's was actually making worse. She is on her own diet. Each of us has a "new" tailor made diet which is a combination of Gaps, Nourishing Traditions, paleo. We eat whole foods, carefully prepared grains (limited to one serve per day), lots of meat, eggs, cultured dairy, fresh fruits and salad vegetables, good fats with each meal (avo, olive, butter, sour cream, yogurt etc.). EVERYTHING is hand/home made except for some Rye Cruskits that we have once a week and some sourdough wraps I get from the health shop about once or twice a month. Sugar and hi GI sweeteners and fake sweeteners are not even in the house. Our gaps journey started and evolved within a two month period. Perhaps once you have done the basic intro.... just move on as we have. Most of my family have doubled the foods (whole not processed) available to them.... all thanks to the gaps rebooting their immune response too food!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good protein or meal replacement powder to help gain weight. Just started GAPS and prior to was using a meal replacement powder to maintain weight. I am already thin and afraid i will lose more weight on GAPS. thank-you

Anonymous said...

I am currently researching to see how to go about starting GAPS Intro and if I will need stay on it for a length of time. I have asked personal friends of their experience (which was VERY Positive, eczema, allergies, calmness, anxiety issues solved) and she mentioned something that I do not see here. Some of us have Oxalate toxicity and some of us produce Oxalate acid in our bodies. This can cause a very uncomfortable GAPS experience. There are even websites and yahoo groups devoted to doing GAPS & a low Oxalate diet together.

Just to experiment before I start GAPS (because I know I'm one of those Oxalate toxic peeps) I started taking a calcium supplement with every meal. Calcium but especially Calcium citrate bids to Oxalate and allows your body to release and excrete it from your systems. If you have a lot, the body will do what many call "dumping". And if you eat high Oxalate foods on GAPS I have been told it's miserable.

Anonymous said...

Is that $600 per hour spent with the patient? Or $600 per hour devoted to the patient's case? You should be aware that there is a lot of home study involved in a homeopathic prescription.

The 3 Week Diet Review said...

I really liked your blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on...

Debbie said...

I recommend adding a powdered gelatin (like Great Lakes bovine gelatin) and/or collagen hydrolysate (the soluble form of gelatin) to your diet as additional protein sources. Even if you're drinking broth, they're a good addition, and the amino acid, glycine, balances out the methionine that is found in high amounts in muscle meat. I add gelatin to the custard cakes I make based on Sarah's recipes to give them a little more protein and make them easily cut-able into pie-like slices. The water-soluble collagen hydrolysate can be added to tea, juice, or any drink or food that contains liquid to boost the protein content.

Debbie said...

Hi Sarah, I agree that GAPS didn't really cure a lot of my family's issues (mine were energy, irritability, and joint pain, and my son's were behavioral and food sensitivities) and caused a lot of additional issues due to the low-carb mistake. We were on a strict GAPS diet for 2.5 years and very slowly came off GAPS over the next two years (after being told by a doctor who prescribes GAPS that maybe my son, who wasn't growing, needed to eat some grains). It was really hard to reintroduce foods because we reacted to them, and I still keep our diet free of disaccharides and most dairy. I'm still reactive to sugars and too many grains. My boys don't want to admit that they're also reactive to wheat, sugar, and dairy, but they are. Do you have posts with more detail about how the constitutional homeopathy helped your family?

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Debbie,
Here is a recent post that talks about what we have experienced with homeopathy versus diet.

Unknown said...

Ive started this diet today weighing in at 11/5 so far so good!! I am so determined to stick to it.
Goodluck to everyone doing it too.
Diets & Weight Loss

Anonymous said...


I have just now found your blog and I am already so glad I did! I hope to be able to spend more time looking at your past posts to learn more in general, as well as using homeopathy for healing. I came here searching for information about the GAPS diet, but have decided from other sources, as well as here, not to try it.

I realize you are a super busy person!! But if you happen to have a minute, I would be very grateful if you might could give some tips about re-introducing foods back into my diet, or if you know of a link to somewhere you think might have valid suggestions for the best approach.

I have been gluten and dairy free for a year now. This was an attempt to heal a non-digestive issue, but it has had no effect. I have not yet attempted to bring gluten back, but dairy causes very bad cystic acne now (whereas before, I had low level cystic acne on my neck - now it is abundant on my face and lasts for weeks!). I did lose too much weight without the grains, and think I actually became catabolic. I have upped my intake of potatoes to gain some weight.

The thing is that now I am not sure how best to be able to start eating dairy and wheat again without causing issues. The only thing I can think to try is to start with tiny amounts and very slowly work up, taking a long time to do so. If you have any thoughts on this, that would be great! If not, I still appreciate the information I have read so far on your site.

Oh, and you mentioned in a post on this page that you have clients - does this mean that you have trained in homeopathy and help people with this method of healing?

Thank you!


Sarah Smith said...

Hello Lynne,
I'm glad you are finding my blog to be helpful! I think your plan to start by introducing only tiny amounts, and then slowly increasing over time, is a good one. For us, starting with refined wheat flour (as in white flour) seemed to be the best plan (whereas whole grains would cause digestive issues and flareups in my joint pain). You may also want to look into trying Einkorn flour: it is a type of wheat that is naturally higher in protein and lower in gluten, so it is better tolerated by some people. I use Einkorn flour regularly in baking. This is the type I use:

As for dairy, a good way to start (and the way that we used when re-introducing dairy on GAPS) is to start with fermented dairy (such as yogurt and kefir), then cheese and butter, then raw cream, and finally raw milk.

I hope this helps! And, yes, I am a homeopath now. About half of my patients live far from here, so we consult by phone and that works just fine. If you want more information about that, please email me at nourishedandnurtured[at]gmail[dot]com. Just as a heads-up, my schedule for new chronic-care patients is currently full until early November.

Anonymous said...

Sarah - You say you did GAPS wrong (for ex. low carb mistake, not working with a practitioner), yet go on saying that it didn't work for you. And your comparison of Matt Stone to GAPS (eating plenty, get LOTS of sleep, NO exercise, lots of relaxation, eating plenty of GAPS-legal carbs).. this is exactly what GAPS says to do.

What's the deal?

I do really appreciate the homeopathy info though. Because of GAPS, I am now currently seeking a professional and stumbled upon your blog. I found some good info.

Sarah Smith said...

I do not think I did GAPS "wrong". The version of the GAPS book I had did not make it sound like it was necessary to work with a practitioner, and never said anything about needing to eat more carbs specifically. I do think that, if I could have fine-tuned things on GAPS, my adrenal crash would not have been so bad, but yet, there would have been no way for me to know about needing more carbs until after I had already experienced it. And then, once I did know about the carb issue, I still was not able to find long-term healing with GAPS (nor with Matt Stone's program either). For me (and the rest of my family), homeopathy has just worked much better for producing long-term results.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to share my experience with GAPS diet. The reason we started the diet because my 7 year old son had severe asthma and sensory/vestibular disorder ( he spins for as long as I let him and never gets dizzy). He also had problems paying attention and was irritable. All 4 of us follow the diet for 14 months. I discovered that any kind of dairy made him very emotional. My daughter 6 years old, was constipated after eating dairy. Through this time my son's asthma was gone ( he stop taking his meds and inhaler), his attention improved a little bit. He became less irritable (without dairy). His asthma never comes back unless he eats un organic gluten containing foods.My husband's allergies were gone. My adult acne have not improved. When we reintroduced gluten for the first month it made us extremely tired, because it takes a lot of energy to digest it. But one the most disappointing event occured with my daughter. She became a struggling reader and especially speller. Before the diet she was better speller and above her age reader. Now she struggles a lot. I was not able to figure it out. So I guess it works for some but not for all. If I could do it all over again I would not put my daughter on the diet since she had no problems. I was under impression it couldn't hurt. Apparently it changed her gut bacteria.

Kara said...

I think it's extrememly important to take into consideration whether or not a child continues to be vaccinated while on the GAPS diet. Unless I know this I can't take the results of the original poster into consideration when determining whether or not I will put my child on the GAPS diet, who no longer recieves vaccinations due to the toxic ingredients in them and the adverse effects they were having on him. I'm attempting to heal his gut because of the damage done to it from vaccines. If kids are still getting vaccinated while on the GAPS diet and the allergies and physical ailments are not going away, or get worse or if new ailments develop, I would not blame the GAPS diet. I would blame the ingredients in vaccines and the fact that so many are administered to children today at one time and this wrecks havoc on thier developing systems. If I missed something mentioned about vaccines, I apologize.

Sarah Smith said...

Hello Kara,
My kids have never received any vaccinations at all, so vaccinations could not have had any negative impact on our GAPS results. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Unknown said...

For those people who are celiac disease sufferer and maybe reading this, I find it hard that people are still ignorant when it comes to celiac disease.
My journey and diagnosis with celiac disease began with headaches, I gained over 50 pounds after my diagnosis. my symptoms included stomach pain, constipation, and generally feeling uncomfortable, muscle pain, bouts of fatigue and depression, stomach aches, nausea, and frequent trips to the bathroom. I endured several misdiagnoses and treatment regimens, Migraines started at age seven, I can recall suffering as a child, I grew up thinking it was normal to have daily stomach pain, headaches, though stomach problems ran in my family, but no one felt as miserable as I did on a daily basis. I fell asleep in my clothes without eating dinner not knowing how my body would react, I had become afraid of food.
I felt a moment of relief hoping that, I am free from this ailment, and I remind myself how lucky to come across Lance Justin's herbal medicine which is able to control my disease. I promised myself that I would stay strong and not sneak food that would cause me any harm again. The only thing I wanted was to feel better. I’m proud to say I am celiac disease free. You can also contact him through (

Lisa said...

Our family strictly followed the GAPS protocol for 1 year. We had been eating WAPF for years already, this seemed like the right thing to do. My husband had a history of autoimmune disease and pollen allergies. One of my children has autism and anxiety. The rest of us had no issues. No one had digestive problems.

The first 6 weeks were wonderful. Well, they were hard for me, the cook, but everyone felt good and those that had issues saw improvement.

Then everything went downhill. I started gaining weight. Not much, but that wasn't fun. I started feeling really, really tired. Was it from staying up until midnight chopping veggies to ferment and trying to make GAPS legal treats so that my kids wouldn't feel left out at social events? Maybe. But then my memory starting going, in a big way. I had serious cognition problems.

My son with autism actually started getting worse. I was told to cut back on fruit, so I did. Then remove all fruit. He was so miserable on the diet. It's now 6 years later and he still gets angry when he thinks about it.

Worst of all, my son never, ever wet the bed prior to GAPS. One day 2 he wet the bed 3 times. I was told he was detoxing. It continued for months. Nobody detoxes that long. He is STILL wetting the bed even though we've been off GAPS for years. So, whatever it was that GAPS triggered, we haven't figured out how to untrigger it.

Would I do it again? No, no way.

Whole foods, healthy foods, yes. But no more miracle diets. My autistic son had never been a picky eater prior to GAPS. But he is now. I wish I could go back and undo it.

Sarah Smith said...

Lisa, thanks for sharing your experiences with the GAPS Diet. It is so important for people to be able to see that it has the potential for having negative effects.