Natasha Campbell-McBride MD: Gut and Psychology Syndrome (Lecture 11/12/10, Friday 10-5)
FROM THE QUESTION AND ANSWER PERIOD
IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN LYME AND AUTISM?
A few years ago, lots of people were talking about mercury, and how mercury was a probable cause of autism. Medicine goes through fashions, and now we're on to LYME. There are a lot of bugs, like LYME, that might not harm a healthy individual. But when you're unhealthy, a lot of things will get you down. When your immune system is weak (and remember, immunity begins in the gut), then a lot of things become larger issues. There will be new things in five years that will be the newer fad, and people will theorize that _these_ are causing the autism epidemic.
In the case of LYME, many courses of antibiotics are generally given, which cause more and more damage to the gut flora. Unfortunately, the LYME bacteria is very difficult to eradicate, and meanwhile the antibiotics are damaging the gut flora directly. I would put my cards on our own immune system: build up the gut, and it will protect you from LYME as well as hundreds of other parasites that we haven't studied as much but can cause at least as much damage.
What do you think about antibiotics for LYME. I would be very, very careful about starting antibiotics for anything, even for LYME. It's very important to address gut issues.
Back when mercury was the fad, so many children came to my clinic after having regressed due to chelation treatments. Chelation involves toxic substances that chelate not only heavy metals, but also lots of beneficial nutrients, so huge amounts of supplements have to be given. The chelating agents deliver toxins directly to the wall of the bowel, and the digestive problems these kids were getting were horrendous.
I say that, before doing chelation, or other treatments, Sort out the Digestive System! It's very hard to do this. Natural chelation: freshly presed vegetable juices, probiotics, fermented foods, seaweed, humic acids (fulvic acid, Humet, etc. from terf/soil), Spirulina and algae, parsley and cilantro juice. Something called NDF costs 200 pounds per bottle: it is probiotic bacteria that is (?) developed in a lab to have a larger surface area to bond to to heavy metals (?). It causes horrendous detox reactions, and I don't recommend it, but it is an example of how potent probiotics can be.
ANOTHER TOPIC RELATING TO DETOXIFICATION
Constipation is worse than diarrhea, because toxins are sitting in the bowl for a long time. It should be dealt with immediately. Replace high-protein dairy (yogurt and kefir) with high-fat dairy (sour cream). Bowel movements should happen every day. Enemas can be very important at the beginning, when there can be impacted stool in the bowel. This can reduce the toxic load very quickly. Baking soda and sea salt (½ tsp. of each) can be used to bring down the population of Candida, which is a huge player in the development of constipation. Candida hates alkaline. Castor oil is not recommended unless you can't do an enema, but it can be used. But also, you can apply it to the stomach, rubbed in clockwise, put a warm wet towel, and let the child go to sleep with this covered by a hot water bottle. Magnesium oxide is not ideal, and can cause a major cleansing, but can be used if there hasn't been a bowel movement in a long time. Beetroot can be consumed in the diet and in enemas. More animal fat in the diet!! If you are constipated, you are not having enough fat in your diet.
CAN GAPS HELP HORMONAL ISSUES?
Any low carb diet can help with hormonal issues, because it is carbohydrates that drive the hormonal function.
CAN GAPS HELP WITH KIDNEY STONES?
A lot of people are deficient in vitamin K, in part because it's produced by gut flora. Vitamin K makes sure that calcium goes where it's supposed to go. When we're deficient, it settles in the soft tissue, in the arteries, in the brain, and it helps form stones.
WEIGHT GAIN/LOSS ON GAPS
In the first two or three weeks, most people lose weight (as on any low-carb diet) – this is water weight. Then you get to your real (current) lean body mass, and your body begins to regulate itself more properly. Incidentally, anorexics fed high carbohydrates diet do not gain “real” weight--it's a lot of fluff. When you lose this, you can start regaining real body mass.
HOW LONG DO YOU NEED TO TAKE A PROBIOTIC PILL?
You don't have to be on a commercial probiotic for life, even though companies who make them will tell you otherwise. You can maintain your gut flora by eating probiotic foods. I recommend the pills initially to give a good solid infusion of probiotics.
CAN YOU OVERDOSE ON FERMENTED VEGGIES?
Can you have too much sauerkraut? Yes, if you have too much too soon, or if it hasn't been fermented long enough.
ARE THERE OTHER GAPS PRACTITIONERS?
A few, and I'm also planning to do GAPS training courses for practitioners. I'm working on the materials, and will start in the next year.
ISN'T EPILEPSY GENETIC?
There is very little solid science about epilepsy. Science still hasn't proven that it's genetic “If we don't know what's causing something, it must be genetic,” is often what researchers will conclude. Until we know, I wouldn't say that. I believe mother nature designed our bodies NOT to be riddled with faults. They have every ability to heal themselves and restore themselves.
WHAT ABOUT ACID AND ALKALINE FOODS, AND FOOD COMBINING, ESPECIALLY CONCERNING OSTEOPOROSIS?
I wouldn't pay any attention to this at all. In order to build bone, you need protein, and the factors that will allow the nutrients to settle. You need lots of good quality animal fats and meats. Don't worry about mineral metabolism, which is very complex. It isn't a simple matter of In and Out. We get HUGE amounts of minerals, in every mouthful of whole foods that we eat. Meats, fish, beetroots, cabbage...these all have vast amounts of nutrients. But in order to absorb these minerals, you need good gut flora. You need fat soluble vitamins...otherwise they'll get eliminated. Don't worry about acid/alkaline, and blood type... The body will sort itself it out. If you're too alkaline, your body will wake up and get a virus...but you don't need to know this in order to focus on healing.
TOOLS FOR HEALING
How to cut through the log jam of information that we receive every day, concerning nutrition and health? Science has been put on a pedestal, and it's like, God has spoken. But the not-so-secret is that Scientist have mortgages, and families to feed, and they need income. A large percentage of funding is provided by food companies. Those who pay the piper, require the tune, no matter who is doing the funding. There are many ways of designing a study to require certain outcomes. And even apart from the studies improperly designed, or studying the wrong things (studying animal models of cholesterol using chemically oxidized cholesterol substances), they can also be analyzed incorrectly.
Science is only one of our tools. There is our intuition, and our wisdom, and it's dangerous to put one of our tools on a pedestal that's higher than the others.
MY FATHER IS ON STATIN DRUGS, BUT WE WANT TO START GAPS TO HELP HIS HEART. DOES HE NEED TO WEAN OFF HIS STATINS?
Statin drugs can be stopped immediately. And let the patients have eggs and bacon for breakfast!
WHAT ADDITIONAL MEASURES CAN I TAKE FOR FREQUENT BLADDER INFECTIONS?
Avoid spinach, chard, and oxalate rich greens and foods for a while.
WHY IS THERE MORE AUTISM IN BOYS THAN GIRLS?
Maybe it has something with hormonal susceptibility. But we really don't know yet.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXERCISE?
Exercise is a nice thing to do, but it's not essential. In this country, I know people like to exercise a lot. In Britain, people aren't like this at all! Diet is the most important. Walk in pleasant, natural environments, when you feel like it.
WHAT IS A HEALING REACTION?
As the body is healing, it often initiates a reaction that is difficult to distinguish from allergy. Die off occurs when the pathogenic flora is dying and are producing toxins--you can feel worse initially. Particularly when they're raw, healing foods will cause eczema or other detoxification symptoms at the beginning.
CAN YOU SPEAK TO ANOREXIC SYMPTOMS (extreme picky eating, self-starvation, and even lesser symptoms of moderately picky eating) IN YOUNG CHILDREN?
Don't worry about fasting. Don't worry about your child starving after ten days of not eating. Fasting is a way of cleansing. In GAPS patients, generally from a really early age (as soon as solids were introduced or even earlier), food indicates pain and unpleasantness. It may take some time to reset this, although it usually happens more quickly. Remember also that the carbohydrates in these kids' diets were providing opiates and stimulating the “pleasure centers” in their brains, and now their absence is creating withdrawal in kids...
(A father came up to me after I asked this question. He was a big man, and it took me a minute to see that his jaw was quivering while he was talking. He said they'd done GAPS with their son for years before seeing results. His son was tremendously picky. Finally, when his son was about seven, the boy went for 6 days without eating at all. On the sixth day, he ended his fast...and spoke words for the first time. Continuing on GAPS...at the age of about 14, the dad had a 15-day fast with his son. At the end of this fast, he lost his autism diagnosis.)
WHAT IS THE PROGNOSIS FOR THESE GAPS KIDS, ONCE THEY'RE “HEALED,” AS ADULTS?
They will be bright and smart and strapping people! They may even be able to eat lots of different foods again. They might be more sensitive to certain foods than other people, but might not.
Celiac is a misnomer. Since that little study came out in the 70s or so, when they discovered “gluten,” everyone blames this single protein. But it is a GAPS condition, often exacerbated by multiple toxins. It is possible that in celiac children, the blood-brain barrier is not damaged terribly, and they may not be hyperactive or autistic, but milder symptoms are often present. These children need to heal and seal their guts so that the “celiac” and other symptoms will cease.
The vast majority of parasites, fungi, and protozoa are beneficial. If your body's detoxification pathways are clogged, that's when they will cause problems. Once the body is healed again, the parasites will return to balance.
So, about those small hairs in the bronchial passages. Can they be repaired if there's lots of damage? “There is no irreversible damage in the body.” The body can heal just about anything. It takes 25 minutes for the brochii to remove a patch of dead cells and push the new baby ones through. Underneath these cells, there are layers and layers and layers of others, and every layer is a bit less mature than those on top.
TOXINS IN BREASTMILK
Everything that floats in mom's blood will float in mom's milk. Breastmilk is essentially white blood. That is why it is so important to look after our breastfeeding women.
DO C-SECTIONS LEAD TO DAMAGED GUT FLORA IN EVERY CASE?
We are not all healthy, strong, powerful farm girls of yore, who could chop wood and give birth and then go back to chopping wood. We are relative weaklings! Childbirth used to be the biggest killer of young women. It is still one of the most dangerous things a woman can do. But C-section itself is not going to cause huge problems if we introduce probiotics to our babies, and breastfeed them, and understand that what is in your blood is in your milk.
WHAT ABOUT THYROID CONDITIONS? CAN THESE BE HELPED BY GAPS?
GAPS is a long-term healing protocol for thyroid. In these cases, the body can still produce the thyroid hormone, but the sites of the working cells are occupied by toxins. There are ways to improve the functioning. The medication is not a life sentence.
IS THERE A CONNECTION WITH GAPS AND PTSD?
PTSD from war is not just trauma. These soldiers generally receive lots of vaccinations and drugs, and are exposed to radiation and many toxic substances. It isn't just psychological trauma. Undoubtedly the gut has had to struggle with all of the toxins coming in. GAPS is a basis for treatment, to start cleaning up the body so the trauma can heal.
HOW TO DEAL WITH BED-WETTING?
At the beginning of GAPS there may be more bed-wetting, but after gradual introductions of good foods, then probiotics, this will gradually wear off. Apply homemade kefir to the groin area after every shower.
Pregnancy is a state of natural immune suppression. It's even more important for good gut flora, to support the body through this time.
HORMONES AND GAPS
For teenage girls on GAPS, one of the first symptoms to be relieved is PMS. This makes sense, because all the hormones in the body work as a team. Our circadian rhythms, estrogen levels--all these are in a very delicate balance. At puberty, we begin producing sex hormones (and in quantities) that we never produced before. Everything gets restructured. If there's interference, then there can be all kinds of effects, including “Pre Menstrual Syndrome.”
GASTROENTEROLOGISTS – WHY DON'T THEY ADVOCATE GAPS?
I don't understand why gastroenterologists don't widely understand how important diet is to gut health.