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Are you ready for the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Introduction Diet?

If you’ve heard of Gut and Psychology Syndrome (Gaps), then you’ve probably heard about the Introduction Diet. Despite what the name suggests the Introduction Diet is not always the right place to start when beginning Gaps. The Introduction Diet or Gaps Intro is an intensive stage of the Gaps protocol and is used to accelerate gut healing.

Who should do Gaps Intro?

People with ..

  • Severe digestive problems (especially if they cannot tolerate salads or fibrous veg) – diarrhoea, painful bloating, etc.
  • Autism
  • Anyone with chronic diarrhoea
  • Anyone with an auto immune condition

Are you ready? There are a few things you need to have in place before you attempt the Gaps intro diet.

  • Resolve constipation: Don’t attempt the Gaps intro diet if you suffer with chronic constipation. 

The bowel is a route out for toxins and chronic constipation can lead to auto-intoxication as it’s possible the toxins will re-circulate and end up causing discomfort and re-embedding in tissues. 

The lower amount of fibre on the gaps intro diet alongside the increase in detox activity can cause constipation to worsen.

See a practitioner to help identify the cause of your constipation if you find it is not improving on the Full Gaps Diet.

  • Have you reduced the amount of sugar in your diet and removed gluten? Do this before starting the Introduction Diet to avoid severe blood sugar issues and withdrawal problems in the first days of Gaps intro.


  • Do you have plenty of time to rest? If you have a full on schedule then this isn’t the right time for you to do Gaps intro. You need to be able to rest when you need to and to be able to focus on food preparation to avoid infringements on the diet.


  • Have you found a good source of grass fed meat, fats and free-range eggs? We know that the nutritional properties of animals reared in this way are better than intensively reared animals. You will also be avoiding high levels of xenobiotics found in lesser quality meats. On Gaps intro you will be eating large amounts of these foods so it’s important to make sure that you have identified good sources of these foods.


  • Will your child drink stock? The Introduction Diet requires drinking plenty of stock – at least three cups a day – more if possible. If you have a child that is not keen on drinking stock, it might be something you want to work on before trying the introduction diet. Children with sensory issues or autism may benefit from seeing a practitioner to find ways to increase their stock intake or you could try using strategies like those employed in Sunrise programmes. If all else fails supplementation can be used as an alternative under the guidance of a practitioner.


  • Can you tolerate probiotics? It helps if you are able to tolerate a good level of probiotics before starting Intro because one of the ways you will make progress through the stages is by continuing to increase probiotic doses. If you are particularly sensitive to probiotics then try a different brand or begin on a single strain product to see if that helps. If you are unsure you can ask us for advice on which probiotic to use. You can still attempt the Intro diet to see whether your sensitivity passes but if you struggle to increase the dose you might  want to investigate why that might be.
  • Do you have detox support in place? Make sure you have enough Epsom salts for plenty of detox baths and also avoid exposure to chemicals through household cleaning products, personal care products and swimming in chlorinated water. Make sure your water is filtered too. You don’t want to add extra burden to your body whilst it is detoxing.

Get in touch.

If you would like to book a tele-health consultation or have questions about whether we can help you - fill in this form and we'll get back to you soon.

Author: Sarah Hanratty

Sarah is a specialist practitioner at the Brain Food Clinic. She has a degree in Nutritional Medicine and is a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome Practitioner. Sarah helps people to overcome physical and mental health issues using bespoke nutritional protocols.

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