The GAPS diet and Epilepsy – Should You Try It?

The Ketogenic diet is well-known for helping people lose weight and eliminating seizures. However, another great diet on the scene that was created by a neurologist, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, is helping people with epilepsy as well. It is the GAPS diet or the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet.

There are a few advantages to doing the GAPS diet for epilepsy over the ketogenic diet. There is a lot of overlap in the food recommendations between the GAPS diet and the ketogenic diet as well.

Let’s dive in to why you might want to consider the GAPS diet or a ketogenic version of the GAPS diet.

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Nutrient Density

The GAPS diet is very nutrient dense. It focuses intensely on healing and sealing the gut. In order to heal the gut, you need lots of nutrients.

Certain nutrients are vital to brain health. For example, B vitamins are essential for brain function. The brain can not function well without essential amino acids and vital nutrients.

Vitamin B12 helps with faster and better cognition. It assists with electrical signaling between neurons. Even a slight vitamin B12 deficiency, which often occurs in patients with epilepsy, will result in poorer quality of myelination. When this occurs, the electrical signaling is poor and could be the cause of seizures.

A vitamin B12 deficiency is known to cause fatigue, fogginess and depression. Chronic deficiency can result in permanent damage and dementia.

Vitamin A is another important vitamin for brain functioning. It is helpful in spatial memory. Although, researchers are still looking into the reasons behind this.

Magnesium is a mineral with an essential role in nerve transmission and neuromuscular conduction. Magnesium functions in a protective role against the excessive excitation that can result in seizures and neuronal cell death.

The Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet emphasizes eating foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals including organ meats, bone broths and cooked vegetables.

Eliminates Toxins

The toxins that are found in modern foods include artificial flavorings, artificial colors, pesticides, and preservatives. The ketogenic diet does not focus too intently on the quality of the foods. The GAPS diet is much more particular about which foods are safe to eat.

The GAPS diet requires you to eliminate processed foods and make all of your own foods from scratch. This is a huge undertaking, but if you focus on simple foods like eating a piece of meat, bone broth soups and simply cooked vegetables, it can be very manageable.

By eliminating the toxins and increasing the food quality, not only will you reduce the chances of seizures, but you may also heal from other disorders. The GAPS diet has helped heal many people with autoimmune conditions, ADHD, and autism.

Greater Variety of Foods

Many people mistakenly believe that it is ketosis that leads to seizure control. While ketosis provides the body with many health benefits, it is not the only element in the ketogenic diet that is supporting seizure control.

The Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet allows for more carbohydrates than the ketogenic diet. It allows for a limited amount of fresh fruit, which the ketogenic diet permits.

The GAPS diet is designed to be extremely restrictive in the early stages and lead you to healing the gut and allowing an assortment of foods. Many people only do the GAPS diet for two years and then incorporate a standard American diet.

When compared to the ketogenic diet, it is often prescribed for children and used for about 3 years to control seizures. Some patients may stay on it indefinitely.

Healing the Gut

The GAPS diet aims at healing the gut to eliminate the cause of seizures. If a leaky gut is the cause of your seizures, the GAPS diet will cure you of your seizures when done correctly.

Healing the gut will also improve digestion, increase nutrient absorption, eliminate allergies, and cure autoimmune conditions.


The GAPS diet is a great diet for people with epilepsy. I am doing a combination of GAPS diet and ketogenic diet now. In the past, I have done the GAPS diet, but just stuck with it long enough for my seizures to get under control. I got frustrated when I didn’t see new hair regrowth. (Alopecia is my main reason for trying any diet.)

So, if you have epilepsy, I highly recommend a ketogenic version of the GAPS diet. This will mean that you buy higher quality meats and skip the sugar free jello snacks, but it will give you a much better chance to heal all of your health conditions.

I recommend a ketogenic version of the GAPS diet. Check out the ketogenic cookbook for some recipe ideas today and make sure that you are using GAPS friendly ingredients!

4 thoughts on “The GAPS diet and Epilepsy – Should You Try It?”

  1. As with most illnesses, it makes a lot of sense to change your diet, as the way people eat determines their long term health. Unfortunately with the foods available today it is all too easy to fall into the trap of eating all the wrong stuff, hence the increase in disease worldwide.

    Your article states that the GAP diet lets one incorporate more carbohydrates into the diet than the Keto diet does. Would one still lose weight on the GAP diet, or is this diet solely for healing purposes?

    1. The GAPS diet does not focus on losing weight. Simply by eliminating a good portion of unhealthy carbohydrates and eating healthy ones I believe it would bring your weight to an ideal level. I know a lot of people on the GAPS diet who have lost weight. 

  2. Interesting. I didn’t know about the GAPS diet. I’m currently having trouble eliminating toxins in my body and suffer from something that doctors cannot determine. I have been to many doctors who say that I’m fine but I’ve got digestive issues & strange reactions such as high sensitivity to some smells in my environment. I’ve tried many things so far, and ended up restricting a lot of food by eliminating those who harmed me. So I’m gonna check the GAPS diet in more details. Thanks for your article, really!

  3. Thanks for this informative post, this is the first time I’m learning about gap diet and how effective it is, I’ve got an uncle diagnosed with epilepsy, I will be sharing this post with him and also recommend he works in hand with a professional who can assess him and make recommendations on supplements and guide you in administering the diet and lifestyle. I hope this helps.

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