Saturday, November 26, 2011

CCFD conference-induced ramblings

DH and I went to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) annual "education" meeting a few weeks ago.  I asked the first speaker, a gastroenterologist MD who had given us an overview of what is known about these chronic inflammations of the digestive tract, his take on SCD/GAPS.  He had heard of the diet but said IBD varies too much from person to person to make one diet work for all.  Similarly, all the speakers said there is NO CURE for IBD and NO KNOWN CAUSE.

But the book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" does offer a very good theory of the cause, and a cure, even if the author calls it a "remission" and not a cure.  So apparently the word has not gone out enough; it has not reached these speakers. Mainstream medicine recognizes that there is a genetic factor and an environmental factor, but apparently food is not high on the list of environmental factors.  They mentioned stress, for example. 

One speaker, the nutritionist, did mention very rapidly that intestinal flora equilibrium is the latest direction some researchers are taking.  So there's a chance that SCD/GAPS will become mainstream in some not-too-distant future.

I came home comforted for another reason, too: because ALL the facts I heard at this conference fit in perfectly with the GAPS theory.  None of the facts contradicted it.  Discussing the session with DH on the way home, I realized just how important the GAPS theory really is. IMHO, it's like Darwin's Natural Selection, which made sense of the theory of evolution, made all the puzzle pieces fit.  Similarly, the GAPS theory makes all the pieces fit, the digestive symptoms, the mental symptoms, the vaccinations, the antibiotics, the breastfeeding, etc.    It really is an eye-opener and I had many epiphanies reading the book.

For those who don't have the GAPS book, and it is expensive, there's a lot of information on the website.  These articles:

are especially good at giving you the gist of the theory. 

Another clue that the GAPS nutrition protocol is right on target: many other researchers and clinicians have come to the same or almost the same conclusions about what to eat and not to eat.  There's the paleo/primal diet, the Weston A. Price "Nourishing Traditions" diet, the Atkins diet, and many more.  They get very close to the GAPS/SCD.  Several different pathways leading to the same conclusion.  Weston A. Price went all over the world looking at what people eat, and found the fermented foods crucial to human survival.  The paleo diet looks at what our ancestors could eat before agriculture introduced grains as the primary calorie source.  GAPS puts the best of all the diets together.