How One Woman Healed Her Gut with the GAPS Diet

Carley Smith goes by “The Fairy Gutmother” moniker, but the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner isn’t just administering wisdom to make others’ (health) dreams a reality, the Grand Junction, CO woman used these methods herself to turn around her health. After Smith, 31, unknowingly contracted Lyme disease, it led to a series of challenges and misguided advice from doctors that harmed her physical and mental health and quality of life. It was only when she started researching Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet (GAPS) and went on the GAPS protocol that she was able to turn her health — and her life — around.
*This is a short clip from Smith’s full interview— click here to watch the whole thing.*
You can also listen to an audio version of this interview on The WellBe Podcast.
After Smith contracted Lyme, she (unusually) got her period for four months straight. Doctors put her on different birth control pills, but eventually they told her to just “go lay in bed with my feet up,” she told WellBe. The constant bleeding led to a bacterial infection in her uterus and she went on a heavy dose of antibiotics. That triggered a flu-like reaction and she started losing cognitive function. A friend suggested she get tested for Lyme, and it came back positive; she was put on antibiotics. Those antibiotics caused her to break out in tiny little bumps; she was put on more antibiotics. Her stomach became swollen; more antibiotics.
Carley recalls thinking, “‘I’m not even taking Lyme medications anymore. Now I’m just taking more medications for other things that the other medications [caused.] This is ridiculous!’” Smith recalled to WellBe.

The GAPS Diet to the Rescue

To get out of the spiral, she started researching and learned about gut health and the GAPS Diet protocol. The GAPS Diet is about eliminating foods that harm your body and incorporating nourishing foods to heal the gut and seal the gut lining (download our free guide to gut health here!). After a few weeks, Smith’s cognitive function returned and, over the two years she was on the GAPS protocol, her Lyme symptoms stopped. 
Smith went back to school to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Certified GAPS Practitioner and now works one-on-one with patients. With the GAPS Diet, clients start with an elimination diet, to first cut out, then gradually re-introduce foods into their diets to figure out what could be compromising their immune systems.
Bone broth is a major component of the GAPS Diet, and Smith says it helps heal and seal the gut lining. “If you have a permeable gut lining, toxins can leak into your [bloodstream] and cause autoimmune attacks and various other issues,” she said. Specifically, the collagen from bones, which gets extracted in the bone broth-making process, helps rebuild the gut lining, and vitamins and minerals support optimal gut health. Additionally, bone broth can help with digestion and hydration, she said. Smith also recommended fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, kombucha,  and cultured or homemade dairy products for their beneficial probiotics.
Watch the full WellBe interview with Smith for more from our conversation, including why she used milk intended for baby cows, known as Bovine Colostrom Therapy, to heal her gut and her Lyme disease (or listen to the full interview on The WellBe Podcast!).
The recovery story above is anecdotal and specific to this particular individual. Please note that this is not medical advice, and that not all treatments and approaches mentioned will work for everyone.
Carley Smith, also known as the Fairy Gutmother, is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) by the Nutritional Therapy Association, Certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Practitioner by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s GAPS Training Program, as well as a yoga instructor in Grand Junction, Colorado.You can find more information about Carley here.

Pacific Organic Bone Broth Sampler

How One Woman Healed Her Gut with the GAPS Diet

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How One Woman Healed Her Gut with the GAPS Diet

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How One Woman Healed Her Gut with the GAPS Diet
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  1. I am SLE patients, i am on steroids.i need complete cure from this disease.can u pleaSe help me .Complete cure is possible or not

    1. Hi Sibi, Thank you so much for writing. Rachel’s experience healing her SLE was by working with an ayurvedic doctor. Have you worked with a integrative or functional medicine doctor or ayurvedic doctor?

  2. Hi,

    Pleas help me,

    My mother is suffering with SLE from past more than 2 years. She is on steroids right now.

    She is really going through a tough time.

    As a son I can’t see her in tears. Request you to let us know what is the best treatment.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Shyam, Thank you so much for writing. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. Rachel’s experience healing her SLE was by working with an ayurvedic doctor. Have you worked with an integrative or functional medicine doctor or ayurvedic doctor?

  3. Hello, my partner’s ANA homogenous test came positive with 80 titre . Doctor is suspecting SLE. we don’t wish to proceed with steroids. Which Ayurvedic doctor shall we consult. We need help

    1. Hi Roshni – I’m so sorry to hear about your partner. Rachel saw an aryuvedic doctor named Dr. Shantala Priyadarshini and she’s based in Mysore (in the state of Karnataka) in India. I hope this helps!

  4. Hi, My mom has SLE and she is on steroids now. She has very low llatelates count around 22000. And she is getting fever since last 5 days around 102F. We did all the tests to check if that is is infection however doctors are not able to find any cause of the fever. Can you please let me know if there is any Ayurvedic medicine which you are aware of ? Is it normal to get fever in SLE? 

  5. hi, I have a 24yr old daughter that was diagnosed with lupus nephritis at 18. she is on steroids, plaquenil, cellcept as well as envarsis. see has recently developed skin lupus now. I am at a loss, is there anything that might or could be suggested?

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