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  1. #1
    CaveWeirdo's Avatar
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    GAPS diet for 2 years??

    Primal Fuel
    Background story: I'm 30, female, I'm obese but have lost weight doing Primal, and I'm in good health apart from food issues - I'm sensitive to gluten, sulphites and too much sugar generally. I've been Primal for 5 months, and after some nasty reactions to cheats I am now on the GAPS diet, have been very strict with it for 2 weeks so far.

    I'm happy to eat this way for life if I need to, as I enjoy real food and I feel great. However it is not always practical and it would be nice if after a period of healing I could occasionally have a little cheat like a few beers or a bit of cake at a party etc.

    I've seen 2 years quoted as the time it takes to heal fully. But people do this diet or put their children on it for various different health issues, so I'm sure there must be some variation in how long it takes. My symptoms have been GI discomfort/pain in reaction to gluten/excess sugar, and a hayfever-like reaction to sulphites. It is my understanding that the body's cells have a variety of different turnover rates, with the epithelial cells lining the GI and respiratory systems being a matter of weeks. The friendly bacteria also contribute to a healthy gut lining and can affect immune reaction to foods, and I would assume they have a fast turnover too.

    So, it seems to me like my particular symptoms, with a strict adherence to the diet, ought to heal fairly quickly? In a matter of months rather than years?

    Have you successfully healed your gut with the GAPS diet? How long was it before you were able to introduce more foods?
    Start weight: 238 lbs (March 2012)
    Current weight: 205 lbs (July 2012)
    Loss so far: 33 lbs!!!
    WOE: Primal + IF
    Movements: Hiking, sprinting.
    Goal: to see my abs some time in 2013!

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    Nady's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with the GAPS diet, but what do you mean by 'heal fully'? Because after 20 years, I still react to grains with an outbreak of eczema. If you're sensitive/intolerant, you may have to accept the fact that those trigger food are out of your WOE permanently if you want to continue symptom free.

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    CaveWeirdo's Avatar
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    I understand that some people might have a lifelong problem with this, however the GAPS diet has worked for many people so I'm interested to hear more details from them.

    It's not that I'm trying to get away with eating junk food, I just would like to know any possible scientific reasons why a food sensitivity would not heal to the point of being able to have a small cheat now and then, in a short time, for most people.

    I have seen some amazing healing and general improvement in my health in only 5 months, and I don't particularly miss bread/cakes/other gluten things, but it seems ridiculous that I can't even drink a few sugary lemonades or a bit of chocolate on a special occasion without getting diarrhea! It's nice to lose weight and feel better but it seems bizarre that I've given myself a sensitivity to gluten and carbs generally by switching to strict Primal, (never had a problem with it before) I think I will go crazy with regretting it if I have consigned myself to a lifetime of getting diarrhea every time I make a tiny mistake!
    Start weight: 238 lbs (March 2012)
    Current weight: 205 lbs (July 2012)
    Loss so far: 33 lbs!!!
    WOE: Primal + IF
    Movements: Hiking, sprinting.
    Goal: to see my abs some time in 2013!

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    I've had 6+ years of IBS-C with pain and bloating, plus an autoimmun disease that is theorized by some to be causes/triggered by a leaky gut. I looked seriously into GAPS, and while I think there is some merit to it, I don't think that it's necessary to follow it for years. In fact, I've almost completely healed my IBS using other methods. Some are consistent with GAPS, some aren't. What I've been doing is:

    1) Taking L-Glutamine supplement every day for 2 months (I ran out and forgot to re-order, so hopefully I'll continue)
    2) Eating low-fiber (especially low INsoluble fiber, which meant cutting out a lot of vegggies). Insoluble fiber is a digestive system irritant since it can't be 'digested' (we lack the enzyme, cellulase, that digests fiber), it must be 'fermented' in the gut.
    3) Taking good quality probiotics and eating homemade lactofermented foods.
    4) Eating enough good quality saturated fats and bone broth.

    Obviously, everyone is different, and some may need the rigid GAPS regimine to conquer specific issues, but I think that for most people it is unnecessarily limiting and being VLC for a prolonged period of time will likely cause other problems (such thyroid problems, since thyroid production lowers in response to low carb).

    I highly recommend these sites for more info on gut flora and low fiber:

    GUT FLORA

    Gut Sense: How to reverse and prevent constipation in children and adults

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    My understanding is that once you've been symptom-free on a GAPS protocol for 6 months, you can begin to reintroduce starchy foods slowly. As was said, everyone is different. Maybe you only need two months on the protocol to get the symtom-free and maybe you only need a coup.le more months after that to ensure you are well and good. But taking it slow to ensure proper gut health for the rest of your life is not a bad thing, however daunting 2 years may sound!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    1) Taking L-Glutamine supplement every day for 2 months (I ran out and forgot to re-order, so hopefully I'll continue)
    2) Eating low-fiber (especially low INsoluble fiber, which meant cutting out a lot of vegggies). Insoluble fiber is a digestive system irritant since it can't be 'digested' (we lack the enzyme, cellulase, that digests fiber), it must be 'fermented' in the gut.
    3) Taking good quality probiotics and eating homemade lactofermented foods.
    4) Eating enough good quality saturated fats and bone broth.

    I highly recommend these sites for more info on gut flora and low fiber:

    GUT FLORA

    Gut Sense: How to reverse and prevent constipation in children and adults
    I'm in the same boat here, battling the same type of IBS & currently taking L-Glut & a good priobiotic to rebuild the gut.. My experience is, 4 days with little to no veggie, no starch, & very little fruit (banana in the morning), I can have a cheat meal & actually digest it pretty well.. If I am not squeeky clean for the 4 days straight, that next infusion of starch or big veggie into my system will make me very bloated & gassy.. I do feel like the more stay disciplined to NO Starch, LITTLE Veggie, ONE piece of Fruit/day, & load up on good fatty meats, full-fat yogurt, lots of eggs & protein, I can get away with more gluten, fiber, etc.. I do see the trend of the longer I stay clean, the cheat meal can be more severe & I can handle it.. The key is conistency in the GAPS style diet.. Low Fiber, Low Sugar, just stay on it..

    No doubt though, my body is rejecting foods that I shouldn't be eating.. Eating bread, drinking that lemonade, eating ice cream simply isn't EVER going to assist in me being as healthy as I want to be.. So building a diet that allows me to "cheat" often makes me reassess what I really want out of this eating "thing".. I'm spending more time to trying to enjoy & become addicted to good, healthy, primal food.. I've found the more I stay disciplined to my primal foods, the less I actually want to cheat, which is nice.. The ice cream doesn't taste as good as it used to, & that lemonade actually makes me MORE thirsty..

    Fasting has also been great for my digestive system.. I fast @ least twice a week for 24 hours.. My skin, hair, nails all look great after the fast.. My breathing is smooth & calm, my body just seems to calm down coming off a fast.. Eating gluten-containg foods, sugary fruits or starches excites my body & will even turn me red & "hot" feeling.. The longer I stay away from those foods that create the trigger, the more I can handle it when I do cheat & consume them.. Just stay consistent, for me that goal is 1 week prior to cheat, but after 4 straight days, I feel pretty solid & equipped to battle 1 "cheat" round of sugar (or gluten, aka $1 TACO NIGHT! )
    Last edited by abc123; 07-26-2012 at 08:14 AM.

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    I would say that if you're following any kind of elimination or healing or 'protocol' eating plan to heal specific body issues ther should be zero deviation from the plan, and a scheduled, measured reintroduction of trigger foods. It's an individual journey.

    Intolerances may become 'tolerable' at some levels over time but allergies don't really go away. You may never be able to drink beer or eat cake without a reaction. You could mourn that fact, or you could accept it and look for alternatives.
    Sandra
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    There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

    DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra in BC View Post
    I would say that if you're following any kind of elimination or healing or 'protocol' eating plan to heal specific body issues ther should be zero deviation from the plan, and a scheduled, measured reintroduction of trigger foods. It's an individual journey.
    I usually agree with this, but while I think there is a lot of good advice in the GAPS diet, I personally think there are some glaringly bad calls.

    1) I don't think agree that it's necessary to be VLC to heal a leaky gut. Obviously each person will have different trigger foods, and for some that may involve starches (or maybe only specific foods within that category) but being VLC in the way Dr. McBride suggests has a very good possibility of creating other problems. She doesn't advocate any starches, while I've found that eating white rice and boiled, peeled white and sweet potatoes have been very good for my digestive system.

    2) She is also a big promoter of nuts and seeds on the GAPS diet, which are full of anti-nutrients and digestive-system irritants.

    3) She suggests eating raw veggies for the enzymes, but raw vegetables are one of the most difficult things to digest. In fact, we can't 'digest' plant cellulose, because we don't produce the enzyme, cellulase. Instead, we have to rely on our bacterial flora to ferment fiber and for someone who already has deficient gut flora and digestive inflammation, this suggestion is a recipe for disaster.



    ***That being said, I'm sure there are many people who have been helped by her protocol, but I'd be curious to know how many actually stuck to it rigidly, vs. how many deviated and still had good or even better results.
    Last edited by BestBetter; 07-26-2012 at 10:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    I usually agree with this, but while I think there is a lot of good advice in the GAPS diet, I personally think there are some glaringly bad calls.

    1) I don't think agree that it's necessary to be VLC to heal a leaky gut.
    The GAPS diet is not a "VLC" diet, nor is the SCD from which it descends. It is, as the name of the SCD implies, a specific carbohydrate diet.

    The GAPS/SCD allow fruit and honey. In fact, traditionally, they're big on the bananas. The diet was originally devised by Dr. Sidney V. Haas in the days when a very low carb diet was just about the only treatment for a number of GI complaints and was specifically and intentionally developed by him because he wanted to find carbohydrates that sufferers from these conditions could eat.

    I'm not saying that GAPS/SCD is either better or worse than a very low carb diet. I'm just saying it is what it is.

    You really should read the book before commenting. Otherwise, you're just misleading people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis View Post

    You really should read the book before commenting. Otherwise, you're just misleading people.
    Actually, I did read the book, minus the sections that were spefically discussing autism, since that doesn't apply to me, and I downloaded the 98 page FAQ and read the ENTIRE thing several times.

    The full GAPS diet does not allow ANY starches and the introduction part of the diet allows only bone broth, sauerkraut, yogurt, with some things like raw egg yolk, avocado, and cooked apple added slowly to see if there are any reactions with the assumption that most of these early foods should be fine for most people. This sound pretty low carb to me. Getting carbs SOLELY from fruit and veggies is something I did for about a year, and I averaged 100 grams/day (on the days where I ate a huge amount of fruit), with many days being significantly less.

    The problem is, of the foods she gives full permission - homemade yogurt, avocado, etc...I have significant digestive distress. Avocadoes are fiber bombs, and gave me terrible pain, and dairy no matter how good quality gives me cyctic acne.

    Like I said, she's got some good info, but in my opinion, her protocolhas some major problems.

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