What is Autism?

Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.
1 in 250 children are diagnosed with Autism; Ten years ago, it was 1 in 10,000.
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride believes that this rise has nothing to do with improvements in the diagnosis.

What is the Correlation Between the Diet and Autism?

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride believes that an abundance of harmful bacteria in the gut is a leading cause of Autism. These harmful bacteria are produced by certain foods. This build up of bacteria forms a microbial mass in the digestive tract of the child which creates toxins. These toxins are harmful to the gut AND the brain (hence the name Gut and Psychology Syndrome). She thinks there is a direct correlation between a child's gut and their cognitive development and well being.

The GAPS diet calls for an elimination of the foods that will result in these harmful bacteria's and promotes the consumption of foods that will result in healthy bacteria; Thus restoring the balance of bacteria in your gut. This balance of bacteria will result in more "typical" cognitive functioning.

The Story of Cara and Hannah


We found an example of this theory through an interview with Cara Faus who has a daughter, Hannah, that is on the autism spectrum. The interview was conducted by AnnMarie Michaels. You can listen to the podcast here: http://www.cheeseslave.com/2010/08/24/healing-autism-with-the-gaps-diet-new-podcast/

The interview took us through the journey of Cara and Hannah's time on the GAPS Diet. Cara had noticed that Hannah was missing developmental milestones when she stopped breastfeeding and began to feed her starchy foods. Starchy foods and grains are some of the things that toddlers have a hard time digesting properly. After being diagnosed with a developmental delay, Cara decided to put Hannah on the Gluten-free, Casein-free diet. She was hesitant with starting the GAPS diet (it seemed too limited and overwhelming). While on the GFCF diet, Cara saw results within 48 hours. Hannah began to make eye contact, interacted socially, and improved balance.

After a week or so, Hannah began to regress and Cara decided to try the GAPS diet. On the GAPS diet, Hannah stopped regressing within a few days. Since then, Hannah has been steadily improving. Cara will often restart the intro diet and see even more developmental advances with Hannah. Cara has also seen improvement in her own health such as sinus infections as she goes through the diet with Hannah. The intro diet allows you to re-introduce foods into your body to target what kinds of foods are causing negative symptoms or reactions or in Hannah’s case, night terrors. As you go through this process, your gut flora is able to heal and be rejuvenated (as you add pro-biotics and supplements that help good bacteria flourish) and eventually you can begin eating non-GAPS foods. By healing your gut, you are able to heal your brain and sustain your well-being.

Information on this page was gathered from Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (Excerpt: Part 1) and information and image from: http://www.cheeseslave.com/2010/08/24/healing-autism-with-the-gaps-diet-new-podcast/