Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)

breaking-the-vicious-cycleThis is the diet that I discovered on my own on the internet before I found my wonderful holistic doctor, who put me on the Anti-Fungal Diet. This diet reduced my symptoms dramatically from about 10 (bathroom ten times a day) to about 3 (bathroom three times a day), but I still had diarrhea and occasionally blood.

To anyone who does not have any ulcerative colitis experience, that still sounds bad, but to me that diet was a godsend. Instead of having to plan my day around having access to a toilet close to me (I had a few near misses), it is HUGE when you don’t have to worry about that anymore. You are getting your life back.

Yes, at the time diarrhea and occasionally blood was still cause of concern, but given where I was before I began that diet, this was a HUGE, and I mean a HUGE improvement.

According to my good doctor, and what I read on numerous ulcerative colitis internet boards, many heal their ulcerative colitis with either the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or the Anti-Fungal Diet. For me, in the final analysis, the Anti-Fungal diet worked best, but everyone is different.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) was created by Sidney V. Haas (1870–1964) and later popularized by Elaine Gottschall, the mother of one of Haas’s patients. Angels come in many forms and Elaine was certainly an Angel. She really popularized this diet and helped countless folks in getting their life back. She saved my life.

Elaine had to endure, as is so common with truth tellers, a lot of ridicule. “You are not a doctor,” “The fact that some people have results is not conclusive,” and so on. As if truth depends on an academic title. It is a common and cheap way to avoid having a discussion with ideas that people find threatening. You couldn’t possibly understand because “you are not a doctor,” “you are not a man,” “you are not a woman,” and so on. We all have brains. We all can think and reason. We all can be correct, and we all can be wrong. But whenever I question something, and the reply is “You couldn’t possibly understand because you are not…,” then I know that I am dealing with a dishonest and bad person and I am done with him. Life is too short to have bad people in my life.

Pick a person that you truly admire. For example, the Dalai Lama, a very famous Buddhist. I have not met him, but I saw him several times on TV, and I am convinced that if I approached him to said “Buddhism is wrong,” I am sure I would never hear from him “You couldn’t possible understand Buddhism because you didn’t spend years as a Monk.” He would probably ask “Why do you feel that way?” Now, that is different answer, isn’t it?

Why did Elaine become involved in spreading the word on how to heal ulcerative colitis?

Elaine was a housewife in the 1950s in New Jersey with two small daughters. One of her daughters, age 4 at the time, became suddenly ill and was diagnosed with a severe form of ulcerative colitis. No doctor seemed to be able to help. Another doctor wanted to remove the colon of her daughter and was attacking Elaine when she would not consent. I had a very similar experience with my doctors. But to her credit, she did not yield, and consulted other doctors until she came across a 92-year old Dr. Haas who was the first doctor that asked her, “What is your child been eating?”

Dr. Haas then recommended what became later the SCD diet to Elaine, and within 2 years, her daughter was symptom free.

If you read the reviews for Elain’s book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet” on Amazon, you can see that many other people healed their UC with the SCD diet as well.

Elaine was concerned that with the passing of Dr. Haas, this treatment would get lost if she did not get active, since the medical community showed no interest in a dietary approach to healing ulcerative colitis.

She was right. After many years, the medical community still shows no interest in the SCD diet, or only very limited interest. Here is Elaine’s website.

What Is The Theory Behind The SCD Diet (Specific Carbohydrate Diet)?

Our digestive track or colon contains trillions of bacteria and tiny organisms, called flora, who live there. I know, YIKES. But let’s continue.

There are 2 types of flora living in our colon:

  • Beneficial Flora (the good guys)
  • Opportunistic Flora (the bad guys)

The good guys help us digest food and keep our colon healthy. The bad guys always live in our colon, but with enough bad nutrition they can multiply and really cause damage in the colon. When we have too many of the bad guys (who love carbs and sugar) in our colon, their byproduct harms our colon. If you continuously hurt a body part, it will get inflamed and eventually start to bleed.

Imagine you keep hitting your left hand. Initially it would get inflamed, and eventually it would start to bleed. The colon is no different. The thought behind the diet is to limit food that feeds the bad guys, to reduce the number of bad guys. As that happens, the colon will stop getting hurt every day, and start to heal.
If you are interested in a more scientific explanation, you can find that here.

Get The Book

The book is available for around $20 on Amazon and explains the theory behind it in much more detail and has a detailed list what can and cannot be eaten. In a nutshell, the SCD diet significantly cuts out all sugar and all carbs to allow your body to heal. After your body is healed again, you can eat all foods again, but during the time of healing, you need to limit yourself to the allowed items on the SCD Diet. Read the reviews on Amazon and you will be amazed on how many folks healed their ulcerative colitis with this diet.

I love that book, read it cover to cover several times and discussed it with my doctor. You will get a detailed list of things that you can and cannot eat in Chapter 10. In Chapter 9 she talks about the best way to introduce her diet. My recommendation is that you read her book and discuss it with your doctor. Please see my link here on how to find a good doctor.

Here are 2 more recent videos where Elaine was interviewed and talks about the SCD diet.

Elaine Gottschall Part 1

Elaine Gottschall Part 2

Here are 3 older videos, but also very helpful.

Specific Carbohydrate Diet 1/3

Specific Carbohydrate Diet 2/3

Specific Carbohydrate Diet 3/3

I focused this chapter on what the SCD diet can do for ulcerative colitis, but I read here and there that it was also helpful for Crohn’s Disease, Diverticulitis, and even Autism. My experience is limited to ulcerative colitis though.

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