Gut and Psychology Syndrome represents an examination of the relationship between what we eat, our gut flora and fauna and our mental state, with particular emphasis on how the first two can lead to learning problems ranging from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to autism and even schizophrenia. Written by a medical doctor with an autistic child, the book maps out clearly how modern food production practices, medicines and lifestyles have left many children and adults with a potentially devastating imbalance between the intestinal microbes that promote good health and those know to cause illness. The book is written for parents/ carers and sufferers of learning disorders, depression and schizophrenia, which makes it very accessible to the lay reader.
Those involved in infant and child massage will find it useful in two ways. Firstly, from a professional standpoint, it will help teachers understand some of the mechanisms that underpin these disorders and opens up a rich vein of potential research into how massage may enhance results - after all, we know that massage can aid in the digestive process. Secondly, being written by a doctor, it is a useful resource to suggest to parents who find themselves tackling these problems, especially where they are resisting the introduction of drugs to 'modify' their child/children's behaviour.
As I turned the pages, I kept having those 'well, I never' moments. Campbell-McBride links anaemia to poor gut flora and fauna and explains why genetics is not a rational explanation for the explosion of cases of learning disorders currently being seen. She clarifies why wheat and dairy can cause digestive/mental problems BUT also why their removal from the diet is often not sufficient to remedy the situation. In addition, she tackles the fraught issue of the MMR/autism link in a thoroughly professional and scientific way. I could go on and on.....
The above by itself would have made a good read but it does not stop there. Campbell-McBride goes on to elucidate what dietary changes are needed, including a comprehensive good and bad foods list, and gives recipes to help get one started. She also tells us how to select good probiotics and gives appropriate dosages based on age, as well as fronting up to the issue of supplementation generally. The section on good versus bad fats is one of the best expositions of this topic that I have read in a long time, based on research rather than faddy diets.
If I have one criticism of this book, it is that there is no list of suppliers at the end. However, that is also refreshing, as one is left with the feeling that there is no 'hidden agenda' in terms of the probiotics, essential fatty acids etc.
All in all, a riveting read for anyone interested in working with children experiencing learning disorders and an invaluable tool to the parents/carers of those children.