DIGESTIVE HEALTH CLINIC
The gut is a key gateway to maintaining a healthy body and mind. An unhealthy gut can trigger inflammation and much more than just bloating and ‘brain fog'. This is because more than 80% of the immune system is located in the gut and more than 90% of brain chemicals crucial for mood regulation are formed by beneficial gut bacteria.
Poor gut health has been linked to both physical and mental health problems. Physical problems include Autoimmune Conditions, Hormone Imbalance, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and skin problems such as Eczema and Rosacea. Likewise, many mental health problems are well addressed with a combination of psychological therapy and improved digestive health. Conditions that have been successfully treated with a digestive healing programme such as the GAPS programme include ADD/ADHD, Anxiety & Panic, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, IBS, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Phobias.
Fortunately there are clinically proven tried and tested methods to repair the gut, repopulate it with beneficial flora and restore balance.
DIGESTIVE HEALING PROGRAMME
As part of Elanora Heights Medical Practice, the Digestive Health Clinic offers a range of health services including a full health assessment; clinical testing; and a nutrition plan designed as a ‘digestive reset’ to reduce inflammation, heal and seal the gut and improve the composition of gut flora that lives within the walls of the gut. Laura works with her clients to investigate their current health status and develop ways to bolster digestive health through a tailored plan.
As a GAPS practitioner, Laura is trained to identify clients who present with GAPS symptoms and develop strategies to improve their overall health.
DIGESTIVE HEALTH FAQ
What is GAPS?
GAPS refers to Gut and Psychology Syndrome nutritional protocol. It was developed by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride to improve gut heath, mental health and immunity.
A GAPS digestive healing programme systematically removes foods which disrupt the digestive system and damage good gut flora. This allows the gut to properly heal and seal. Your gut lining and the flora that live within the gut wall are referred to as your microbiome. 'Good' and 'bad' bacteria need to be in balance for good immunity, digestive health and mental health. Simply put, a microbiome that is out of balance means one where the 'bad' bacteria outnumber the 'good' bacteria. This state is referred to as dybiosis. Dysbiosis can lead to inflammatory conditions such as Autoimmune Disease, Hormone Imbalance, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety and Depression.
On a GAPS digestive healing programme, as the gut lining heals and seals and more and more 'good' flora begin to flourish, more and more nutrient dense foods and meals are introduced. From here, nutritional status improves as the assimilation of nutrients improves. After all, it's not what you eat, it's what you absorb that counts.
GAPS is commonly used in the treatment of Leaky Gut, IBS, Autism, ADHD, OCD, Anxiety, Depression, autoimmune conditions and skin problems such as Acne, Eczema and Psoriasis.
Will I need to stay on the GAPS diet forever?
The GAPS diet is a treatment not a forever diet. The GAPS Protocol is made up 3 main stages: (1) The GAPS introduction digestive reset diet and gentle detox, (2) the full GAPS therapeutic diet which helps you heal and seal the gut lining and repopulate it with essential beneficial bacteria, and (3) the re-introduction phase for coming off the programme and transitioning to a healthy wholefoods diet.
The intention is to build your immunity and resistance up to such a level that you can be exposed to common allergens, toxins and inflammatory substances without disrupting your overall health and wellbeing.
What does my first GAPS consultation involve?
Your first consultation will involve establishing a clear picture of your health by assessing your physical health with both physical examination and questions, gathering information about your health history including family, and understanding of your current health.
The aim is to plan for success rather than hoping for the best and in order to do so, tailor specific stages to your symptoms and current health concerns, history, diet, schedule, personality and habits will form the basis of your treatment plan. Your digestive reset plan is individualised and considers your personality and a unique physical constitution by drawing on Ayurvedic medicine.
Laura provides plenty of psychological strategies and other techniques to help make the digestive healing a breeze. After all, knowing what to eat and which changes to make is only part of the process. Planning for success, addressing any secondary gains from no change at all, accepting what needs to be given up in order to make space for new change, support to dissolve unhelpful habits and stick to new ones are all factors that are valuable to take into account.
Discussion of various tests that can be performed to assist overall assessment of your health will be explained and discussed. These may include Food Intolerance Testing or a Complete Digestive Stool Test analysis to better understand the extent to which you digest fats, proteins and starches and metabolise important nutrients. It will also test the composition of bacteria in your gut, including the detection of harmful parasites and indicate which beneficial flora may be lacking or thriving. Hair Mineral Analysis evaluates nutritional and toxic elements as a reflection of the bodies' mineral stores and levels.
At the end of your first consultation, Laura will discuss her recommendation of which treatment plan to follow for several weeks including how to prepare and when to begin.
What do follow-up GAPS consultations involve?
A follow-up consultation provides the opportunity to address symptoms which arise as gut-flora is rapidly remodelling and pathogenic flora become ‘crowded out’, while beneficial flora reproduce and thrive. Methods of regulating the natural and healthy process of detoxification are refined to keep you safe.
The aim is to address the inevitable hiccups that may arise during your plan, answer all of your questions, and help you to continue to plan for success. The psychological factors relevant to health are also reviewed, such as cultivating enjoyment, belonging, stress management, and strategic planning. If you have opted for lab testing, your results will be discussed during your follow-up.
You will receive a refined blueprint for your gut health plan which you can return to as needed on an annual basis or when you feel you need a ‘digestive reset’.