Did you know that 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is found in the bowels? The Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet (GAPS) helps to access neurotransmitters like this.
If you’ve ever “gone with your gut” to make a decision or felt “butterflies in your stomach” when nervous, you’re likely getting signals from an unexpected source: your gut, the second brain. Scientists call this little brain the enteric nervous system (ENS). It is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum.
Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system initiates signals to the brain that trigger mood changes such as depression and anxiety.
The enteric nervous system uses more than 30 neurotransmitters, just like the brain, and in fact 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is found in the bowels.
Truly, every class of neurotransmitter in your brain also resides in your gut. Your gut contains more neurotransmitters than your brain. Your gut wall also houses 70 percent of the cells that make up your immune system. You might not attribute digestive problems with allergies, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, mood disorders, autism, ADD, OCD, dementia or cancer. But, many diseases that are seemingly unrelated are actually caused by gut problems.
GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. The program is the invention of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. Modern world poses many dangers for the gut flora, and once it is damaged, the health of the whole body enters a downward slide towards disease.
The GAPS diet is a specific diet that is targeted at correcting the balance of the gut flora and healing the intestinal tract to support proper digestion, healthy immune system, improve brain function, and reduce inflammation.
Jennifer Whitney, CHC
Our resident expert, Jennifer Whitney is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Health Coach, and Certified Gaps Practitioner. She graduated from The Wellspring School For Healing Arts, and has been trained in Western and Eastern nutrition. As a nutritionist, she offers personalized step by step nutritional programs, food sensitivity testing, food desensitization and personalized weight loss coaching. She specializes in running the gaps program to heal leaky gut and many different types of digestive disorders.