Where do you start? GAPS Introduction Diet or GAPS Full Diet? There are no hard fast rules for where to start but in general those with more severe digestive or psychological conditions will do best to begin with the GAPS Introduction Diet. As Dr. Campbell-McBride states, the GAPS Introduction Diet allows the gut to heal and recover more quickly. This is a six stage progressive diet designed to use very easy-to-digest foods and add new foods gradually over a period of days to weeks to months, depending upon your body’s response.
One of the aspects we love about the GAPS Program is that it is a flexible program, taking into consideration the unique state of your digestive tract. Dr. Campbell-McBride intentionally designed the program to be easily adapted to each person’s needs. Your body will show you when it is ready to advance to the next stage of the GAPS Introduction Diet or if you need to begin with the GAPS Full Diet.
If you or your child is dealing with abdominal pain, bloating, colitis, Crohn’s, Celiac disease, chronic diarrhea (loose stools), autism, Down’s syndrome, seizures, tics, Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS), emotional instability, panic attacks or psychosis it is advisable to begin with the Introduction Diet. Those who are schizophrenic or very ill may find they heal best by staying on the second stage of the Introduction Diet indefinitely. Remember, the goal is healing and the process is going to vary from person to person.
Those who are plagued with constipation will find that they may do best starting with the GAPS Full Diet. At some point in their program they may do well by doing the Introduction Diet as a cleansing diet of sorts. Some people will be reluctant to start with the GAPS Introduction Diet due to travel schedules or needing more flexibility with older children (who are not suffering from severe digestive problems such as those with autism, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia or mental disturbances). The GAPS Full Diet is simpler to implement and will still encourage healing of the gut. It is strongly recommended that if you are going to start with the GAPS Full Diet, that you follow the Dairy Introduction Structure as laid out in Gut and Psychology Syndrome (2010 edition), pages 121-127.
Still not sure where to start? We are available for private consultations to assist you in determining the best approach for you and your family members. Often individualized plans and assessments are the key to success.