All Diseases Begin in the Gut.
You might be familiar with that quote. It’s from Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, who lived 400 hundred years before Christ. That’s a long time ago, and nevertheless, the guy was right.
This is a truth that makes plain sense; it’s right under our nose. Is it so close that we can’t get it? What that statement means is that if you are sick — no matter the nature of your illness — you will find the cause right in your gut.
But, by the same token, you can find the solution right in the same place: your gut.
I know you can understand that, if your illness is obviously digestive — say IBS, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, Celiac — then it probably has something to do with your gut. But modern medicine doesn’t consider that, if you suffer from heart disease, then you really are sick in the gut. What about arthritis? Or asthma? Or cancer? Now, what about depression? Or ADHD?
Am I saying that not only physical diseases, but also mental ones, start in the gut? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
The desperate doctor who got disappointed on medicine.
Once upon a time, there was a smart Russian doctor who was going her merry way, living her life, being a doctor.
And then she became a mother.
At the beginning everything seemed fine with her son. But as the months went by, she started noticing things weren’t quite normal. At the age of 3, the boy was diagnosed with autism.
The doctor was confident that she could find what she needed to help her child within the realms of her profession (and you probably would think the same, if you were a practicing neurologist and your child were suffering from something that’s considered a learning disability).
So she searched and searched, but found nothing. Medicine, the way this doctor had learned it, had nothing meaningful to offer to an autistic child.
Luckily for us, this woman ain’t no quitter. She wouldn’t settle until she found legitimate help. Hippocrates’ wisdom dawned on her; was it possible that this disease too, began in the gut?
She went back to school and got yet another masters degree — this time in human nutrition, and took up as her duty to learn everything there was to learn about nutrition for autistic children.
With much patience, love, experimentation, and the help of a few experts, the boy started making progress; the dramatic changes came about from changing his diet. Nowadays, this boy is almost an adult and if you hadn’t heard this story, you would never know he was sick once.
The name of this doctor is Natasha Campbell-McBride. Her experience with her son became the seed that would sprout into what I believe is the most powerful digestion healing — and hence body healing — protocol there is.
What a tree wants, what a tree needs…
“A human body is like a planet inhabited by huge numbers of various micro-creatures. The diversity and richness of this life on every one of us is probably as amazing as the life on Earth itself! Our digestive system, skin, eyes respiratory and excretory organs are happily co-existing with *trillions* of invisible lodgers, making one ecosystem of macro- and micro-life, living together in harmony. It is a symbiotic relationship, where *neither* party can live without the other. Let me repeat this: we, humans, cannot live without these tiny micro-organisms, which we carry on and in our bodies everywhere.”
Excerpt from Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride
Let’s say you have a tree. What’s the most important thing the tree needs to grow? You could say water, or you could say sun. But what if the tree had plenty of sun and water, but didn’t have a place to root? It could not grow because trees intake nutrients by soaking them up through the soil using their roots.
We also have soil; only we can’t see it because it’s inside of us. There are layers of micro-organisms covering organs and tissues everywhere in the body, but especially along the digestive track. These *trillions* of tiny, microscopic inhabitants make up the soil of our body.
Just like the soil supports the tree, our internal flora supports our tissues and organs. And just like the nutrients get filtered and modified through the soil so the tree can utilize them, so do the nutrients in our body get filtered and modified through our internal flora, and in this way, we can utilize them.
The good guys and the bad guys
There are opposite forces, forever attempting to balance each other, everywhere in nature; our bodies are no exception.
Not all the micro-organisms that live inside of us are beneficial. Some of them are… shall we say lazy? And then there are others that are just plain detrimental; they cause a lot of harm.
But we need them all, including the bad ones. The immune system is constantly gathering data from whatever bad guys (AKA pathogens) are hanging out in the body at any given time. This data is what tells the immune system how to kick off the defenses when the body is under attack. Without detrimental micro-organisms in the body, our immune system wouldn’t know what to do.
In a healthy body, the good guys keep the lazy and the bad ones under control, but in an unhealthy body, the bad ones have the power.
The good guys thrive on healthy food that they transform into nutrients for us. In doing so, they make us healthier as they grow in strength and numbers.
The bad guys on the other hand, prefer the unhealthy foods that they transform into all sorts of toxic stuff. Many of these toxins are addictive to us — this is one definite reason why we crave foods we *intellectually* know don’t do us good. In this way, slowly but surely, the bad guys reproduce, conquer the good guys over and damage the body they inhabit.
There’s another piece to this puzzle. As we said earlier, layers of bacteria protect the organs and tissues, and filter nutrients. Well, this is a critical function at the point were food actually becomes nutrients and is absorbed into the blood stream, which is in the small intestine.
But if the layer of healthy bacteria is debilitated then it works like eroded soil. Food matter doesn’t get broken down as it should and it passes through the digestive wall into the blood stream *undigested* and adding toxicity to the body. Did you ever heard the term Leaky Gut? Well, this is it.
It’s a total vicious cycle: the more pathogens, the more toxicity, the more addiction, the more we feed the pathogens and the stronger they get, the weaker the good bacteria, the weaker the intestinal wall, the more pathogens, etc.
When the maid can’t clean up!
We are design to cope with a certain level of toxicity in the body. This is actually the most important role of the liver — to help transform toxins into stuff that can be eliminated out the body through the bowels, the bladder or the skin. But as the good micro-organisms lose battles against the bad ones, the level of toxicity increases. Add the full-on chemical and environmental toxins that enter the body non-stop, everyday to the mix and the result is a clogged elimination system.
Now you got toxins in the blood stream, traveling freely all over the body. The immune system is trying to do its job, but there are so many different pathogens and toxins all over the place that it gets confused and overwhelmed; it becomes overreactive and starts fighting everything back, including the body’s own cells, tissues and organs. This is what’s known as Autoimmunity.
What Dr. Campbell-Mc Bride brilliantly came to understand is that, in her son’s case, the toxic and pathogenic buildup had gotten concentrated in the brain, but the same principle applies to any illness. The place in the body and the form this buildup takes depends on many factors, including the health history, genetic makeup, diet, lifestyle, age, and emotional health of the person. It could be the lungs, the skin or the brain. It could be arthritis, diabetes or depression. Doesn’t matter. They all began in the gut.
She called this GAPS, which stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome — if the issue manifests predominantly in the brain, or Gut and Physiology Syndrome — if the issue manifests predominantly somewhere else in the body. I say predominantly, because it’s never just one OR the other, you know? Usually there is a puzzling mixture of symptoms, sprinkled all through the body with a few — or a lot of — mental symptoms added to mix.
GAPS is a condition that establishes a connection between the functions of the digestive system and the rest of the body, including the brain.
How does this affect YOU?
If I’ve done a good job explaining this so far, then you already know. However, let me be more specific:
ANY kind of chronic digestive malfunction, is a GAPS condition.
ANY kind of autoimmune issue, is a GAPS condition.
Chronic infections of ANY kind are GAPS conditions.
Allergies of any kind are GAPS conditions.
Skin conditions including acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and more, are GAPS conditions.
Hormonal conditions, including chronic fatigue, PMS, hypothyroidism and more are GAPS conditions.
Issues of the circulatory system including atherosclerosis, heart disease, high and low blood pressure, are GAPS conditions.
Mental conditions including autism, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, eating disorders and more, are actually GAPS conditions.
And if you are one of those people who is not healthy, in spite of the fact that no doctor can ever give you a conclusive diagnosis, who has forever suffered from apparently unrelated, random, puzzling symptoms, then I can almost bet that what you have is GAPS.
So what now?
Understand that if you have GAPS, that is not going anywhere. Unless you address the root of the issue and heal your gut, you will always struggle with your health. You might have suffered from the same set of problems for many, many years and are on medication for life. Or you might have had different issues at different times in your life, but you know you aren’t healthy. Either way, the problem is the same.
And so is the solution: you need to heal your gut.
I’m not going to lie to you. The GAPS healing protocol requires a level of commitment that usually only those who are desperate are motivated enough to bring forth.
Healing the gut takes time and attention, but it’s no doubt the best thing you will ever do for your and your family’s health. This stuff is profound!
It’s not like Dr. Natasha is a crazy loner making stuff up out of thin air, you know? She’s had a clinic since 1998 and has treated thousands of patients. And there are many other doctors and even more alternative practitioners who are using the protocol, or a modified version of it, with great results. Not isolated great results, but systematic great results.
The principles of GAPS are sound and stand on the shoulders of good science. But what I love most is the simplicity of the theory. Once you understand GAPS in the context of your own health, things just make sense. I’ve had a few clients get really emotional and cry when I explain this to them. After years and years of never-ending doctor visits, tests, meds and treatments, they finally get it. What an awakening!
What I think you should do…
You might still be confused, but if these 2000 words have resonated with you in the slightest, I encourage you to get Dr. Natasha’s book. She’s a way better teacher than I am.
Continue your search! Don’t settle for mediocre health. The body has an immense capacity to heal. Commit to getting healthy and the right resources will appear in your life.
And if you already know that this is a path you want to walk, or if you want to understand GAPS in the context of your own health, like… now, then contact me! I am honored to be one of only very few certified GAPS practitioners and I might be able to help you.
I feel very blessed to have come across these teachings in this lifetime. I am grateful to Dr. Natasha and all of the doctors and healers whose insight of human health and of nature has helped shape these principles. I am committed to deepening and spreading this knowledge. This is my mission.
(For you P. I love you.)