Understanding the Gut- Brain Connection and finding ways to help heal.

 When we first began to explore if there was a connection between the foods we were feeding our child, and his behaviour, we had no idea of how significant the connection would be.

Since birth he had screamed constantly day and night and after trying every colic therapy (store bought and natural remedies) we needed answers – for his own comfort and our sanity as a family.

Working with a Bio-medical GP we took him off dairy, and saw an improvement. Then it was gluten – another improvement. But he was still covered in rashes and his behavior was not age appropriate. We soon came to the conclusion that even organic vegetables and fruit could be an inflammation trigger to a weakened gut. We learnt about salicylates, amines, glutamates and phenols and were blown away and overwhelmed with how to battle this as they were in all fruit, vegetables, meat and grains.

A link to understanding food intolerances:

http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/amines

And then we began to research like crazy and discovered the ‘Gut-Brain’ connection’ through the Mindd foundation. Then we discovered GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet developed by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride.

Essentially, doctors who have researched the ‘gut/brain connection’ have shown that there is a connection between the digestive function and the brain, which is adversely affected by an imbalance of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

The bacterial imbalance causes toxicity and other conditions including:

  • Improperly digested foods and nutrient absorption. This leads to nutritional deficiencies and can impair brain and immune system function.
  • A lack of essential nutrients, amino-acids and proteins that are the byproduct of normal digestion. Causing malnutrition.
  • Anemia due to malabsorption of nutrients and the body’s impaired ability to produce naturally occurring nutrients, as well as an abundance of unhealthy iron-eating bacteria in the gut.
  • An overreaction of the immune system that releases antibodies that can attack a person’s brain and immune system. Auto-immune conditions.
  • Weight gain or loss, cravings, mood swings anxiety and depression.

Probably most significantly, is an imbalance between harmful and beneficial gut flora can result in a compromised digestive tract causing an abundance of yeast microbes in the gut that digest food and produce a range of dangerous toxins that are released in the bloodstream and damage the brain and immune system.

It is these toxins, caused by a gut imbalance and further exacerbated by a diet and poor lifestyle choices, that can cause children and adults to have symptoms of autism, ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, mood disorders, allergies, asthma, eczema, depression, anxiety and a host of other problems.

the Gaps diet works on removing all inflammational foods like sugar, grains, soy, and dairy and replacing them with healing food that seal the leaky gut lining and help the body to repair it self, like bone broth, good fats, slow cooked meats and vegetables and fermented foods. These foods are easy to digest and stop flare ups of symptoms. Some foods detox and rid the body of bad bacteria and others build the body up again.

I encourage anyone with a child on the autism spectrum or parents who suffer from depression to explore the GAPS theory or protocols like it. Here are some useful resources to get you started:

Gut and Psychology Syndrome Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride

http://www.gaps.me/?page_id=20

Beyond Paleo: Heal Your Gut by Dr Chris Kresser

http://chriskresser.com/beyond-paleo-6

Body Ecology Diet: Healing Autism by Donna Gates

http://bodyecology.com/autism.php

The Mindd foundation: Integrative Healthcare

http://mindd.org/s/archives.php/42-Our-Philosophy.html

For our family, the difference this knowledge, and our subsequent adoption of the GAPS Diet, had made has been enormous.

We also used at different intervals, homeopathy, supplements and digestive enzymes, probiotic’s and probiotic rich foods to accompany our healthy diet.

At two years old our son was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism and two years later our second son was diagnosed with a Global Development Delay, and so our lives revolved around managing extreme behaviours and ensuring our boys received the early intervention therapies needed to maximise their potential. Also, after living through years of stress and numbing my pain through a poor diet, I fell to chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

But after reducing toxicity within our bodies by following the GAPS Diet, we have seen a significant improvement in our eldest son’s behavior and the gains both of our boys have made via early intervention have far exceeded the expectations of health professionals.

I too have become well and gained the strength I need to nurture my family, and ensure that we stay on path of good nutrition and health. Our journey is not over and we still have hills to climb but we are moving forward. But a clean diet and a earthy lifestyle is the key.

I hope you find your path and move forward too x x

Please contact me for a free consultation on how I can help you on your pathway to health.

Hannah@nourishtohealth.com.au

0414967763

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One thought on “Understanding the Gut- Brain Connection and finding ways to help heal.

  1. Pingback: Are Probiotic drinks and Fermented foods right for you right now? | Nourish To Health

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