Tag Archives: learning disabilities

Gut and Psychology Syndrome

Intestines Sketch with Words

 “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

-Voltaire

The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself, given the right help.  The downside is nature is super slow.  Correcting nutritional deficits can take months if not years. Dr. Campbell-McBride has developed a nutritional treatment for psychological disorders based on the assumption that the association between physical and mental health, nutrient intake, and the condition of our digestive system is conclusive. This means that by fixing the child’s diet, hence the gut, cognitive and social impairments can be significantly improved.

WHAT IS GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME (GAPS)?

Antibiotic use has a serious damaging effect on the good bacteria in the gut.  This coupled with a diet filled with processed and fast foods give nourishment to pathogens or bad bacteria, which then grow into big colonies and take over areas of the digestive tract.  Yuck!

Gut flora is needed for appropriate digestion and absorption of food.  If the child’s gut flora is not balanced then the child will not digest or absorb foods appropriately, which will result in nutritional deficiencies.  Since gut flora is needed for a good immune system a cycle of infections and antibiotics follow resulting in further damage to the child’s digestive and immune systems. This results in allergies, asthma, and eczema. Additionally, without the good bacteria balancing out the bad bacteria the bad microbes begin to digest food in their own way making vast amounts of toxic substances, which are absorbed into the blood stream, carried across the blood-brain barrier, and into the brain.  Thus, the child’s digestive system becomes a source of toxicity.  This toxicity establishes a link between the gut and the brain forming the Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

HOW IS GAPS TREATED?

Dr. Campbell-McBride holds degrees in medicine and post-graduate degrees in both neurology and nutrition.  Dr. Campbell-McBride has a developed a diet to heal the digestive system.  She stresses eating foods in the form that nature made them.  No processed foods, please! Many of the chemicals in processed foods contribute to hyperactivity, learning disabilities, and psychological disorders.  The appropriate diet for GAP syndrome is one that avoids sugar, lactose, processed foods, grains and starchy vegetables.  In her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Campbell-McBride goes into great detail about diet and provides wonderful recipes. This book is a little technical, but a fantastic resource for parents.

Campbell-McBride, N. (2004). Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Natural Treatment for autism, ADHD/ADD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, and schizophrenia. York, Pennsylvania; Maple Press.

 

Yoga To Improve Memory, You Betcha!

Meditating teenager

Yoga typically involves physical postures, breath control, and meditation. However, meditation can be hard, especially when offered in the traditional manner, which consists of remaining still and seated for a long period of time. OMMMMMMMM.

There is good new for those of us who find the traditional practice of meditation difficult. Researchers discovered that moving meditations are just as beneficial. Subramanya and Telles (2009) conducted research on a yoga practice that involved cycles of yoga postures and supine rest (lying with face up), which is referred to as cyclic mediation. This was compared to a simple meditation in corpse pose or shavasana. The cyclic meditation or moving meditation subjects demonstrated improved memory scores following the yoga practice and a decrease in state anxiety.

Similarly, researchers examined the relationship between yoga, relative to aerobic exercise and found that performance after yoga boosted accuracy and reduced reaction times on inhibition and working memory tests more so than aerobic exercise (Gothe, Pontifex, Hillman, & McAuley, 2013). It is hypothesized that this increase in cognition is due to yoga’s practice of combining specific postures with regulated breathing and meditation. The combination of these techniques initiates active attention or mindfulness, which is linked to increased cognition.

This is big news for children with ADHD and learning disabilities who struggle with working memory. Before starting homework or taking a test hit the yoga mat and jumpstart the brain. Actually, a mat isn’t even needed. A child can do simple seated poses while staying at their desk. Voila! Your child is set for success.

References

Subramanya P, Telles S. (2009). A review of the scientific studies on cyclic meditation. Int J Yoga, 2, 46-8

Gothe, N., Pontifex, M., Hillman, C., & McAuley, E. (2013). Acute effects of yoga on executive function. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 10, 488-495