WOW. This book is outstanding. Others have reviewed the book's content, and they do it far better than I could. So, instead, I'll attest to the healing power of this diet.
Over a year and a half ago, I became sick. Super sick. So sick I was unable to get out of bed. I eventually realized my adrenal glands were shot. So I quit my job and school and took time off, expecting to recuperate within a few months. Ha.
I researched and researched, pouring over everything I could read online. I had a Candida infection (resulting from allopathic drugs) that never went away. I'd literally feel poisoned, especially after eating. My immune system was a mess. I had zero energy. I suffered severe chemical and mold sensitivities and began to develop hives. I started developing arthritis in my knees and fingers. Some days it was so bad it prevented me from knitting/crocheting, two of my favorite pasttimes. I experienced constant congestion and back-to-back sinus infections. My body was in terrible shape. I'm not a dramatic person by nature, but I assure you, some days I wasn't sure how much sicker one could get before the body just gave up altogether. I kept getting weaker and more exhausted by the day. For months, I didn't leave the house. For the record, I'm 32 years old. (Mind-blowing, isn't it?) After several months of research and trial and error, I discovered the adrenal issues were a symptom of a much larger problem - severe leaky gut and gut dysbiosis.
If the preceding paragraph sounds like hyperbole to you, I can't say I blame you. Before my experience, I'd have been skeptical too. I had been preparing to study biochemistry in grad school. Before I became ill, I thought chronic illnesses and autoimmune diseases could merely be 'managed.Read more ›
When I first saw this book, I had no interest in reading it. After all, I wasn't dealing with any of the conditions listed in the subtitle and neither was anyone in my immediate family. However, I briefly heard Dr. Campbell-McBride speak at a Weston Price Conference and realized that it might be more applicable (and interesting) than I thought. I'm so glad I ordered it. This has to be one of the best books I've read on health and nutrition.
I think the author has done a disservice in choosing the subtitle as she did. The reality is if you are concerned about your health and how to stay healthy, this book is relevant. And for those that eat a western diet and are exposed to environment toxins, this book may very well be an answer to prayer.
She does an incredible job explaining how the digestive system works and how it can become damaged by the foods we eat and the environment we are exposed to (and it's passed on to future generations). She also explains how different illnesses and conditions occur and why, as well as what can be done to help repair the digestive system and improve overall health.
This is a must read book for ANYONE concerned with their health and how to stay healthy. It's also an important book for all parents, regardless of the health of their children, especially given the diet that is acceptable in today's world.
My husband on his own discovered a lot of these same principles and healed himself a few years ago. When we heard about this, we were surprised with how much the GAPS diet had in common with what he was doing.
Now, I've ordered the book and I've read a lot of it and it really makes sense. I am planning to start the diet and see if it can help me in a variety of ways.
The book contains a lot of research and good information, and it seems very credible. The information is presented in a way that makes sense to non-scientists.
If you're new to this, there is a series of YouTube videos with the author, and that is worth watching. (There are also many before & after videos of people who have done this program.) There is also a really interesting set of videos and an interview on the CHEESESLAVE blog; you can Google that.
I had waited to buy the book, because it is fairly expensive, but I am really glad that I bought it. After I started actually reading the book, I ordered a second copy to give to a friend of mine who has an Autistic child. I hope she will read it.
This book doesn't suggest anything magical; it does take time and work to prepare food that is good for us, BUT I think these principles are correct, and I think this will be worthwhile.
EDIT 7/31/11: Also, I noticed Amazon lists this book as out of print, but it is not. You order it through the author's website, and it cost me $35 including shipping (in the US).
EDIT 1/18/12: I realized I never updated my review to let people know whether I have seen any benefit from the GAPS diet. I have! I did the diet last summer and fall, primarily to hopefully help with my ADHD.Read more ›
I followed this diet for over two years and initially saw great improvements in my digestion and overall health, but like some of the other reviewers, the diet also caused me to develop some health problems. After about 6 months on the diet I reached my peak I felt great, had lots of energy, and was having normal bowel movements after years of diarrhea, but I started going down hill from there, having constipation, low energy, and severe mood swings. Instead of listening to my body screaming at me that this diet was no longer working, I blindly refused to let go of the idea that this was the "perfect" diet, and assumed that I was doing something wrong and just needed to do the diet more intensely, I tried going back through the intro, doing more broth, more fat, more pro-biotic foods, but just continued to get worse. I finally reached a state of anorexia, not because I was deliberately trying not to eat, but because all food was completely unappealing to me. It was around this time that I heard an interview with Matt Stone of 180 degree health, and decided to give his recommendations for increasing metabolic rate a try. I'm glad to say I'm doing significantly better now, I have a good appetite, a lot more energy, better digestion, and more stable moods. Looking back on GAPS I can't say the diet is completely worthless for everyone, it certainly has the ability to make some powerful changes to the human body, but I do believe that most people could probably achieve the health results they are looking to get from GAPS through other less difficult and less risky means, and that GAPS should really be used as a very last resort. And if anyone reading this does decide to try GAPS, I strongly recommend adding starches back into your diet as soon as you start having normal stools and not waiting 6 months or longer like Dr. Natasha recommends, I think I might have been alright if I had stopped sooner.