The Specific Carbohydrate Diet - testimonials 
Re: How do I know the diet is working?
Thu, 5 Dec 1996 04:38:02
Moshe Genuth wrote:
> Hi, I just joined this mailing list. For 1.5 years I've suffered from UC w/no remission. I was on prednisone for 6 months and had very little improvement. I started strictly following the diet 6 months ago. (For the first two months I dreamed of bread and cakes every night.)
I need encouragement. I need to hear from the people w/good experience w/this diet. You must know how difficult it is. I'm sorry if this sounds whiny, but it's hard coping w/both UC and the diet. My UC is better but it doesn't seem to be continually improving. I feel like it hasn't changed over the last 3 months. I have gone from 30-40 times down to 5-10, but I constantly have tenesmus (the urge) and when I need to go I can't wait more than a minute or two. I've also been using a Pentasa enema. Please, if anybody out there has really had success, help me convince myself I'm on the right track--that something can really be done with UC. I have stamina. If it takes 2-3 years, whatever, I'm not going to stop this diet. But I'd like to hear that there really is a light at the end of this road.
30-40 times/day down to 5-10 times? That's MAJOR improvement! I'd say you're on the right track. Congratulations!
I heard the distress in your message. That's OK, you have every right to be anxious. However, don't let it swallow you up. Fill your mind with positive images. Our minds play a HUGE role in healing our bodies. I was diagnosed with UC in May 1996, and I started the diet in August, 1996. I haven't cheated yet.
At its worst, the UC produced severe ulcers throughout the colon. I stayed up most nights with pain and diarrhea. I needed to go about 20 times every 24 hours. It was a living hell.
I think the UC began during a stressful marriage about 3 years ago. At that time I experienced pain only in my lower abdomen and I thought it was just a part of nearing 30. The horrible symptoms began after I left my husband and moved back with my mom and dad. Soon afterwards, my father had a heart attack. Stress! Stress! Stress!
Anyway, I digress. At the time of my UC diagnosis in May I was given Asacol which was supposed to eliminate the diarrhea but only reduced the pain. In June the doctor prescribed prednisone for 40 days. It did wonders for my running but made no difference in the pain.
In August I started the SCD diet and by September I began to feel a difference. It was not a dramatic change but a gradual improvement. Everyone differs in his/her reaction to this diet. Since you asked how to tell if the diet is working for you, I caution you not to be discouraged if you don't improve immediately. Even though I didn't experience dramatic changes, I am getting better and my body is healing.
After four months on the diet, the pain has gone way down. Sometimes I go 4 days in a row with no pain before it creeps back for a day. But I don't haven the severe pain that I felt back in May.
As well as the diet I am using my own form of mental imagery. I pick times that I feel good to engage in serious daydreaming. I imagine the ulcers are surrounded by healthy tissue and slowly disappearing. I hope my experience with the diet has helped you. Perhaps an ND can help you figure out if this diet is working for you.
Nora (Texas) email@example.com
Thu, 9 Jan 1997 11:03:35 GMT
Hi! My name is Jim and I recently started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I am also taking medication. I believe the diet is helping me a great deal. I gain weight every day. However, my gastroenterologist doesn't believe in the diet, he believes in medication and surgery. My current doctor [Dr. Hoffman] wrote the forward to the Elaine Gottschall book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle." He said I was one of the top worst patients he saw in 1996.
During the six months before the diet I experienced a lot of stress and ate poorly. Since I started the diet (the day before Christmas Eve) I have gained one pound a day! I am 5'11 and weighed 158 pounds but after the flare up my weight dropped to 125. My doctor said he cannot believe how quickly I am recovering. I am also very surprised considering my health at the time.
He said he soon expects to see me drug free. He treats me holistically while my gastroenterologist just gives me medication. I can't wait to get off the medication, because I now believe you are what you eat. I am very grateful to Elaine and my doctor (Dr. Hoffman). They are heaven sent. So far 1997 is great!
Jim Prousalis firstname.lastname@example.org
Sat, 1 Feb 1997 13:38:40 GMT
>I don't mean to pry, but I'm curious as to how long you had colitis and how
>severe it was when you started the diet. How long have you been free of
Dear Steven, Pry away, Thanks to this great modern computer technology, I can just cut & paste my "story" & send. I'm more than happy to help. Passing on information about bowel disease is my way of "paying back" my incredible good fortune. I experienced several years of diarrhea before being diagnosed with UC. Eventually my bowel movements became more and more laced with blood until it seemed there was no stool, only mucus and blood (sorry for being so graphic). The worst part was having to go to the bathroom eight, ten, sometimes 20 times a day. A year before being diagnosed, I went to see a gastroenterologist who couldn't find anything wrong and said I should try to reduce the stress in my life. My diagnosis of UC happened in a roundabout way. I'd been studying martial arts for 13 years, and about 9 years ago, I broke my foot in 2 places. The healing became prolonged and difficult.
Finally, I went to see the orthopedist who gave me an anti-inflammatory. The medication was mild because I told him I had stomach problems. However, the next day my stool was black. I knew this indicated internal bleeding (high in the GI tract), so I immediately stopped taking the anti-inflammatory. When I went back to the doctor on the following month, my foot was a little better. When he asked if the meds helped, I told him what had happened. He said there was probably no reason for concern. However, just to be safe, he sent me to the emergency room for get a blood count. The blood count was below 7, the normal being over 12. From there, I was placed in the Intensive Care Unit. For ten days they conducted tests from every orifice to find out where all the blood was being lost. I didn't feel that sick but the doctors worried about my not making it through the night. Finally they diagnosed me with ulcerative colitis.
I was told that dietary changes would not help my condition and medication could assist only sporadically. The only cure was removal of the colon. They also told me that most people with this disease lose their colon to cancer within 7 years of being diagnosed. For the next five years, I suffered constant diarrhea sometimes mixed with blood.
About 2 years ago a patient where I work (I manage a dental office) told me about hearing Elaine explain her diet on a talk show. I listened politely but I KNEW that diets don't work for UC. However this patient kept bugging me every time she came in. She always wanted to know if I'd tried the diet yet. Finally I went out and bought the book, but after reading it I thought the diet would kill me. I hadn't attempted to digest fruits or vegetables for years and yet this diet included many of them.
My cousin called as I was finishing the book. I told her about it and she mentioned a friend of hers with Crohn's who had major success with what sounded like the same diet. I called this woman and was floored by both the extent of her illness and her success with the diet. After that conversation I decided to give the diet a shot. It has worked miracles for me. I have a yearly colonoscopy and last year my doctor couldn't believe my colon. He said it looked like that of a healthy 18 year old. (I turned 50 this month.) Of course you know about my test this week. So that's my story. Hope you have a happy & healthy New Year. If you have questions about the diet itself, please let me know. Lots of luck!!
Thu, 13 Feb 1997 18:11:41 GMT
I'm now 48. Last November I was diagnosed with CD. I consider myself lucky in that my symptoms were mild: six daily bm's, but no diarrhea. The inflammation was mostly inside my anus--I had mild inflammation and crusting in the perianal region for almost a year and a half before my diagnosis. Three doctors, including my colon and rectal doc, initially failed to correctly identify my illness as Crohn's disease.
Eventually I was diagnosed with CD and prescribed sulfasalazine. It stopped the bleeding and somewhat improved my worsening skin condition. However, it did nothing for the mucus or the gas .
Thanks to the internet, I found out about the specific carbohydrate diet. About three weeks ago I tried it and noticed a dramatic improvement in my skin condition by the following morning!
Since Elaine stresses the importance of not taking vitamins that contain starch fillers so I checked with the pharmacy and the drug manufacturer and found out that my sulfasalazine pills had starch. So I checked with my doctor (who had originally said that Crohn's was not related to diet) and he recommended that I keep taking the pills--there wouldn't be any dire consequences if I didn't.
Eight days later the doctor he said I was much improved inside and out. He agreed that the diet might have something to do with it. However, maybe to save face, he added that the improvement might also be due to the medicine that was still in my system. He admitted that if my condition continued to improve by the time I saw him the next month, then the diet and not the drug would get the credit. My appointment is coming up and I continue to improve.
Now I'm ahead in two ways: getting healed from the disease, and not having to contend with the frequent bouts of fatigue that were side effects of the drug. Like others who have posted here, I've exposed my doctor to valuable information he never learned in medical school.
tomr@.inow.com or email@example.com
Re: self induced flare
Tue, 11 Mar 1997 0:14:05 GMT
Roberta Gelatt wrote:
> Hi William,
> Since you have been on the diet for four years, could you please
> tell us whether you were symptom free after two years like Elaine suggests?
> If so, did you introduce foods off the diet after that time? How did it go?
> What do you mean by a self-induced flare?
> Thanks for any information.
Hello Roberta, and group: TO give you some idea what I meant by self-induced flare: While on the diet I lived symptom-free for over two years. I occasionally experienced slight pain in left side, but never D's or bleeding and always a good stool. In addition I maintained a good weight (5'11", 175 pounds) and slept reasonably well. My weight was real good 175lbs at 5'11".
Then I started eating starch again, with small amounts of refined sugars. Although I never ate as much starch as I did pre-diet, I did eat foods such as pancakes with butter, date squares with oatmeal, some cookies, and cream in coffee. In addition I ate "convenience" foods such as breaded chicken nuggets, onion rings dipped in flour. Dairy Queen ice cream cones, some candy, and rice. I did not eat any sandwiches or potatoes.
Over a 6 month period of breaking the diet I watched all the symptoms of UC slowly return. I also experienced a 3 month period of depression over the death of two very close friends. By the time I had a colonoscopy, a 12" section of my colon looked like raw hamburger: lots of bleeding and pain. much pain.
On the same day as the colonoscopy I started the diet over and doubled up on the yogurt while the bowel was still clean. For two weeks I took meds until the bleeding stopped. During the third week I stopped the meds and the stool was firmed up and looking much more normal. In addition, most of the pain was gone. I was able to lie on my side in bed again, so sleeping returned close to normal.
Two weeks from today will mark eight months with no signs of any symptoms, other than the odd pain if I pig out on something I should not have. Other than the occasional use of ASA for any discomfort in my left side, I use no Meds.
Sorry to be so long winded, I hope this explains what I meant by "self induced."
Good Health to All
Mon, 14 Apr 1997 13:22:45 GMT
As an update, my son is doing very well on the diet. He has been on it for nearly a year now and has experienced dramatic results. No more meds!!! However, for some unknown reason, the other day he had his first bloody D experience. We go to see his doctor today and I plan on requesting some blood work to see where he stands - they haven't done any blood work for over a year now.
Hope everyone else is doing well.
May 1: (SCD one year later)
Fri, 2 May 1997 18:18:06 GMT
May 1 is a milestone for me since it marks the date I began the SCD in 1996. I'm compelled to celebrate it by relating some of my experience. I hope that newcomers to the diet will find this encouraging.
Eight years ago I was diagnosed with CD the terminal ileum. A year ago I began the SCD because my new GI doc wanted to wean me from the prednisone that I had been taking for the previous 3-4 years (10 - 15mg/day). I was scared since I had never had relief from the CD symptoms and my condition was getting worse. In addition to the prednisone, I also took 4g pentasa/day, and immodium as needed. I heard about the diet on one of the internet IBD sources and figured that I had nothing to lose.
Now, a year later, I feel that I'm on the road to recovery or remission or normalcy (choose your description). I am SO THANKFUL to have found the diet. I'm not 100 percent yet but the quality of life is vastly improved. I am no longer taking ANY prescription meds and I can't recall the last time I took an immodium. I travel regularly for my job and I no longer need to plan my day or map my route according to the location of rest rooms. I'm sure that there are people in this group that understand what a relief that is.
I heartily eat salads, fresh fruits, and vegetables. I eat meat almost daily and make use of Gottschall's directions in preparation. I snack on monster cookies, cheese, and raw cashews with powdered salt. I've been experimenting with a SCD-friendly recipe for beef or venison jerky in preparation for a sea kayaking trip this summer. I do not suffer from a boring diet thanks to the recipes collected from this forum and a little creativity.
I view the SCD as an answer to prayer (I know that my family has prayed on my behalf for years). I have gently encouraged others to try the diet and will continue to do so.
In my experience, following the diet is hardest in the beginning but it soon becomes habit once one gets in the routine of buying the same groceries and doing the same preparation. To newcomers: don't underestimate the importance of the SCD yogurt. To all of you: thanks for the recipes, the encouragement, and the enthusiasm.
All the best Tim (looking forward to May 1 1998)
Thu, 3 Jul 1997 23:10:54 GMT
Hi! I am very happy that the SCD group is up and running. This group is the best thing going. I was in terrible shape 7 months ago. I can't believe how great I feel from this diet. I thank GOD everyday for Elaine and her book and Dr. Hoffman for introducing me to the book. I have NO pain in the gut and I no longer need to run to the bathroom 10 times a day. The bleeding stopped about 3 weeks into the diet. My breath doesn't stink anymore and I also gained back a lot of weight--34 pounds in total. Well it's time to go, I wish the best to all. Keep the faith.
One month and counting
Sat, 5 Jul 1997 23:35:14 GMT
After completing my first month on the SCD diet, I thought I'd send a note to say hello, but especially to thank all of you for your kindness in sharing info and experiences with the SCD diet. I am 28 years old, and live in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Even though it's been only one month, the diet has been a huge help to me.
I actually enjoy eating now. I have UC and was on prednisone for approx 5 years before being switched to Imuran back in Jan. (I also take Asacol, 12 tablets a day.) The good news is (under my doctor's supervision) I tapered off the Imuran last Tuesday and am feeling great. This is the first time I've successfully been off heavy meds in MANY years. The diet has a lot to do with my success.
Want to know a secret? You have to promise not to tell my in-laws yet. :)
My husband and I want to start a family! It is a very exciting time, but also scary, in relation to having UC. My GI doc wanted me to consider surgery first (j-pouch...removal of the entire colon), but after speaking with a GI surgeon and a high-risk pregnancy OB, they both felt, for my situation, I could try pregnancy first. I showed Elaine's book to all three docs. Two out of the three seemed optimistic in my trying it.
Has anyone out there had experience with being on the diet while pregnant? Do any of you have any thoughts or knowledge about whether the diet is healthy for a pregnant woman? (Also, I'd love to converse with anyone who has UC and who has gone through pregnancy.)
In closing, if you're in the Raleigh, NC. area, here's some locations of where I found items related to the SCD diet:
- farmer cheese - Hannaford Grocery store (on Capital blvd.), and also WellSpring Grocery store. (Make sure to ask for farmer's cheese. They had no idea what dry curd cottage cheese was.)
- Plain yogurt (with only the ingredients Elaine mentions) - WellSpring Grocery store
- Yogourmet starter (if you can tolerate this as some people on this list mentioned they can) - WellSpring Grocery store
- Multi-vitamin (with no additives) - WellSpring Grocery Store (brand name is Solgar)
Finally, I use a Salton yogurt maker which I ordered via the internet. It works great. I now eat homemade yogurt on a daily basis.
Wishing you all well!
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 1997 12:17:42 -0700
From: Rosset <plrosset@PACIFICRIM.NET>
Hello SCD group, I'm new here in the group and have really been enjoying reading all the entries.
I've been following the diet for 4 years now. I had been battling ulcerative colitis for over 15 years before I stumbled across the diet on a Canadian TV show. I was at that time planning on having my colon removed. I was steadily losing the little bit of bowel control I had up to that point. The way I best describe my experience with the diet is that having regained my health once again beats having won a 100 million dollar lottery. I feel just that lucky, or luckier!
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 09:00:42 -0500
From: Jim Prousalis <j-pro@MINDSPRING.COM>
Subject: My Thoughts On SCD
Hi. I am not here to badger anyone or make any rude remarks. I would like to give a brief history of myself. I was diagnosed with Crohn's 6 1/2 years ago :-(. I had my ups and downs with the Crohn's, from running to the bathroom 10 times a day to the arthritis and the rectal bleeding. I don't think there was a day in the past years with the Crohn's that I didn't feel pain in my gut. I also know that I was bleeding at least once a week. I weighed 192lbs before my battle with Crohn's and with the first sign of the Crohn's I went down to 145lbs in about a months time :-(. in September of 96' I had a terrible flare up, I was bleeding profusely and lost even more weight (went down to 125lbs).
Then I went to a new doctor on 12/24/96 and he gave me the SCD book, he also put me on some medication. He told me he can't believe that I can even stand due to my weight lose and how low my blood count was. I was getting out of breath just walking to the bathroom which is only ten steps from my bedroom. I started the diet faithfully full force. I noticed that my gut stopped hurting me within days of starting the diet. Then I noticed that the bleeding stopped and that also I started to gain weight, because I was going to the bathroom 1 to 2 times a day. My stool was also formed, something I haven't seen in over 6 years. I got off all medication within a period of 2 months (end of February 97').
I am to this date 162lbs and formed stools and no pain in my gut whatsoever. Hey, maybe the diet is not for everyone. All I know I would have tried anything at the time, I am not close minded at all. I had about 4 different doctors that told me that I would have to do surgery and that I would have to stay on medication for the rest of my life. Needless to say that I am very glad that I did not do any surgery or stick wit one doctor, because I would not have known about this diet that helped me. In the past I did try to eliminate some foods that I thought was bothering my gut, but then another food, then another food, and then another food up to the point that I was eating just white meat and rice. Would you believe that even the chicken and the rice was bothering my gut.
The point that I am trying to make is that I know the SCD diet will not work at least for me if I don't stick to it 110%. I later found out that the starch from the rice was not doing me any good. In the past I could not eat any fruit or cheese without running to the bathroom. Now I am eating all kinds of fruits and vegetables and I feel GREAT!! I personally think that if you eliminate some foods that you think are bothering you and don't eliminate the real foods that are bothering you then how would anyone expect to feel better? It's like putting crapy gas in your car and then you decide to put this high octane gas and think right away that you will feel better. How could that happen when it will actually take a few fill ups at the pump to get out all that bad gas. Hey, I don't know why there is badgering when we are all just trying to get our life under control without this miserable disease. I hope that there are more optimistic people out there with this disease that is willing to give the diet a try 110%. I can't see how the diet will hurt anyone due to the fact that we HURT now or we would not be on any group whatsoever. Well that is my story.
Fax to: Elaine Gottschall
From: Jim Prousalis
Thu, 31 Jul 1997 16:39:49 GMT
My name is Jim Prousalis and I am 30 years old. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I just visited my doctor and he is amazed on how well I am doing. His name is Dr. Ronald Hoffman, he wrote the forward to your book, he is a great doctor. I will give you a brief history of my battle with Crohn's. I was diagnosed about six years ago with this awful disease. I had stomach pains everyday no matter what type of medication that I was taking.
I was 192 pounds prior to the Crohn's disease. I lost around 45-50 pounds in about a months time L. All the doctors that I was seeing told me that I would have to be on medication for the rest of my life and down the line I will have to do surgery. I was bouncing from doctor to doctor and they all said basically the same thing. September of 1996 I took a turn for the worst, I lost even more weight (went down to 125 pounds) and I was bleeding profusely. I was so weak I couldn't even get up to go to the bathroom without getting out of breath. Then my wife was looking for a doctor on the Internet and she found Dr. Ronald Hoffman.
My first visit with Dr. Ronald Hoffman was on 12/24/96. He gave me your book on the first visit, I started the diet immediately. I noticed three days after starting the diet that the pain in my gut stopped. Then I noticed that I wasn't going to the bathroom 10 times a day. Then about two weeks later I noticed that my stools were starting to form. I now go to the bathroom maybe once a day and with formed stools J. I am to this day following the diet faithfully. I thank GOD for you Elaine Gottschall and also Dr. Ronald Hoffman for giving me my life back.
I just want you to know that I am 163 pounds as of yesterday. I am still gaining weight, I just hope I will stop before I go the other way (just kidding). I also have a friend who has Crohn's and he started the diet eight days ago, he told me that he doesn't feel any pain in his gut. He still has loose stools and goes to the bathroom four time a day. I told him that the first sign for me was the pain went away, so stick with it.
Thank you Elaine Gottschall.
PS I am going to be on television in August for one of Dr. Ronald Hoffman's miracle patients. I also said on the interview that I thank GOD for Elaine Gottschall and Dr. Ronald Hoffman. If you would like a copy or would like to know when it would be aired I would be more than happy to give you the information, it's the least I can do.
A personal account of the benefits of SCD in relation to celiac disease.
Wed, 6 Aug 1997 13:01:17 GMT
I have been a passive listener to the list for about a month now and
tried the diet for two weeks. I've finally managed to come up with a
question (I guess there will be more of them in the future), but, for
those of you who are interested, I thought I could tell you something
about myself and my disease. For those of you who aren't interested, the
question is at the end.
I'm 34 and was diagnosed with CD 13 years ago and been on prednisone
since that (I take other medications as well, but the long-term use of
prednisone is what bothers my doctor. She tries to convince me of the
benefits of surgery, but I can't say that I'm very interested). Whenever
I try to get below 10 mg, I get a relapse and must increase the dosage
again. For the last couple of years the increase has grown, so,
I have to take 50 mg to get it under control again.
What I've experienced during this second week on the diet sure as hell
beats a 50 mg increase of prednisone. I can't say that my stools are
quite normal yet, but not far from it (it's been over ten years since
that happened the last time). The only pain I have now is sometimes when
it's time to visit the bathroom, but it's FAR from the old chrons-pain,
so I guess It's because my stomach isn't used to this new sensation.
Even my friends tell me that I look much healthier now than I did two
Another funny thing is that I've been drinking a lot of Coca-cola (1.5
liters/day) and been a heavy candy consumer, and I DON'T MISS THAT AT
ALL! so I guess I won't have any problems sticking to the diet.
And here's my question: Do all unripe fruits contain starch, or is it
just the bananas? Elaine only mentions bananas in the book.
I'm asking this because I'm having some trouble determining if apples
ripe or not. They taste OK, but I sometimes find them a bit hard.
It doesn't seem to bother my stomach, but I'm a bit worried that it
slow down (or even stop) the progress I've seen so far.
Re: Ripe/unripe fruit?
Wed, 6 Aug 1997 16:01:28 GMT
> Bernt Johansson wrote...
> I'm 34 and was diagnosed with CD 13 years ago and been on prednisone
I am in the same situation as you with only five years of prednisone use
(never more than 80mg). You should get a bone density x-ray done now
to determine how much bone loss you have. I was told when I was 31 that
I now have the bones of an 80-year-old (no joke). So thanks to prednisone
and "medical doctors", I now have severe osteoporosis :(
> The only pain I have now is sometimes when it's time to visit the
> bathroom, but it's FAR from the old chrons-pain,
The most severe pain I had was in my second year of diagnosis, the kind
that doubles you over and feels like a knife twisting in your gut. I
had surgery in the third year because of an ulcer perforation. Since
then the only pain (if any) is due to bloating or going to the
bathroom in the morning while things are trying to pass by the
inflammation areas. Afterwards, it is a relief.
> Another funny thing is that I've been drinking a lot of Coca-cola (1.5
> liters/day) and been a heavy candy consumer, and I DON'T MISS THAT AT
> ALL! so I guess I won't have any problems sticking to the diet.
Well like most of us on this list (probably), there was some kind of
over-indulgence in some use of sugar. My downfall was growing up with
a jug of Kool-Aid each day (with 1 cup of sugar).
> And here's my question: Do all unripe fruits contain starch, or is it
> just the bananas? Elaine only mentions bananas in the book.
> I'm asking this because I'm having some trouble determining if apples
> are ripe or not. They taste OK, but I sometimes find them a bit hard.
It seems to me quite clear in the book that Elaine states *anyone*
just starting the diet should only eat COOKED/BAKED fruit. Only try
one fruit or veggy at a time for a few days and notice any reaction.
Same goes for eggs, cheese, nut flour, etc.
Hope my experiences help you, or anyone else on the list.
A year and a half later...
Wed, 6 Aug 1997 17:52:44 GMT
I have UC and have been faithful to the diet for a year and a half. I believe here and there I've inadvertently cheated (like drinking canned juice labeled as "100% juice" or using a restaurant's italian dressing, suspecting yet not confirming that corn starch probably was used, or re-interpreting the meaning of "extremely weak" coffee).
My symptoms are virtually gone, yet I'm taking asacol still. I wanted to know if there's anyone out there who went off the diet and to what extent, and what happened...
Elaine's book states that waiting two years is usually required for sufferers of UC. I suspect that this will differ for each individual, and just wanted some feedback from anyone who is reintroducing foods.
Matthew Cirillo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 97 20:05:04 PDT
From: "BILL" <email@example.com>
To: "SCD LIST" <SCDfirstname.lastname@example.org>
After 3 months I can say that I am back to normal. It took a while, but by
the third month on the diet, I was getting better each week. Now all the
symptoms have gone and I am living my life again. To anyone starting out
just stisk to it .
As far as what to swy to people, I'v found that just explaining that I am
following a diet for medical reasons to get rid of an illness. When asked
for more info, sometimes just saying I've got Colitis is enough. Sometimes
they are interested and I'll explain without getting into too much detail .
Isay that it is not a diet that restricts me to certain foods, but one
where I am just avoiding certain ones. I am always amazed that people are
so interested in hearing more, and the real shocker is finding out how many
people have this damned disease. Seems like everyone has a father, sister,
brother-in-law or whatever who has it. I've yet to meet anyone who is
affended or put out by my not eating some food or other. Ijust tell them
that after living a completely screwed up life, this diet is working and
I'm sticking to it.
I find now that if I eat something and it gives me gas , although it is
anoying and sometimes discomforting, I can't tell you how wonderful it is
to just pass wind and not to have to run to the can then change my pants!!!!
I have to say that the diet has worked for me very well with no real
proplems along the way. It did take a while , sure, but I just kept to it
and results followed. I will stay on it for a long time to come. I wouldn't
go back for the world! I think the important thing as many have said is to
just find out which foods seem to affect you negatively and be aware. There
are so many foods that are "allowed".
good luck to all, and I'm happy to be part of the list that has helped me
get my life back.
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 21:33:27 -0500
From: Rachel Turet <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: hooray
Reading your letter gave me the chills. How in the world, when you go
through life beleiving that no-one can possibly know how you've had to live
from bathroon to bathroom, from soiled underwear to soiled underwear, does
someone come along and describe everything exactly as you've lived it.
Thankfully, including how wonderful it is to alive and whole and living
every day to it's fullest. All this by simply avoiding certain foods. How
amazing is that?? Freinds who've known me for years and no that I don't
ever stick to a "diet" tell me constantly that predicted I'd be doing this
one, for maybe a week. How do I explain to them, that this isn't a diet,
its my life.
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 1997 00:03:33 -0600
From: "William Laing" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: healthy colon
(I have tried to keep this short.)
It is great to see as many postings that have been showing up on the SCD
list the last few months. While I have not been active in postings for
some time, certainly the subjects appearing on the list continue to hold
However I must plead guilty of receiving more benefits from this list than
having returned in the way of postings of encouragement to the new comers
who are desperately in need of help to expel their fears, as well to offer
assistance with this diet. If my memory serves me correctly there are
others like myself, after becoming stable on the SCD diet find all too
convenient to quietly slip away. So then for those on the list, who have
nothing but fears and questions, may I relate this success story for you of
how the SCD turned my life around and made live worthwhile again.
Fifteen years ago I found myself bleeding from the rectum, so severely I
was forced to empty the colon approx. every twenty minutes. I was of the
opinion I suffered from bleeding internal hemorrhoids in the lower colon.
Our family doctor advised me to make an appointment with a Doctor who
specialized in problems of the bowel. After the examination I was shocked
when the Doctor stated =93Good news - you do not have Cancer. But you do have
Ulcerative Colitis, and that may or may not contribute to cancer of the bowel.
Frightening words for a man who would all but faint when a nurse
drew blood from his arm.
How shall I cure this disease Doctor?
There is no known cure.
I will venture everyone on this list has a similar story.
After finding this list in its early days it was comforting to learn there
was a place where the problems of IBD could be discussed openly.
I started the diet in mar. 1993, failed it after three weeks, then tried
the second time. By the end of the same year the colon was well on its way
to full recovery. I was symptom free with no flares for well more than two
years. I used medications for only the first month during that period. I
made the yogurt, stuck to the book, although I never did do any baking, and
still dont. Chopped, fresh or frozen mixed veggies and fruit. I can eat
apples, oranges, bananas by the bushel. I started with small amounts of
fish, chicken, scrambled eggs, beef and very crisp bacon later on in the
diet I drank very weak coffee black. My colon appeared to have recovered
completely. I felt so improved, health wise after two and some half years
with no flares, that I decided I could now go back to eating some starch on
a limited basis. That was a serious mistake. Within six to eight months I
was bleeding from the colon, with severe pains in both sides, to the
extent I could not lie on either side in bed at night. I lost all the
weight I had gained in the previous two years.
In July of 1996 I was able to view my colon on closed circuit TV while
having a sigmoidoscopy.
The inflammation was limited to approx. half way around a cross section and
12 inches (30cm) long. This damage resulted in approx. 6 to eight months
from allowing limited starch in my diet. I went back on Medication for two
weeks until the bleeding stopped, also started back full time on the diet.
I had one small flare for just a few days, then progressed steadily. I had
a colonoscopy one year later (one month ago) the results showed no sign of
any bowel disease, healthy and wide open. I was advised to come back in two
or three years, unless I have a flare. (He wasn't the least interested in
my starch free diet.) The last few months I have gained my regular energy
back, and I don't know how or why. I can't think of any large changes I may
have made in my diet. I cut back or(I dont need) as much honey now as used
I will stay on the diet for the rest of my days. The diet is now my life
style. I wont return to the foods that make me ill. There is no secret to
this diet. It is after all nothing but simply healthy food.
So why in the world would I to leave it?
I hope this post will bring some encouragement to those who struggle to
free themselves from the ravages of bowel disease.
Good luck in your search for good health.
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 19:02:25 -0400
From: DeborahIdol <cat@LANLINE.COM>
Subject: Re: Foley Food Mill
> Thank you Deborah , for a very interesting response to my bean inquiry ;) .
> How long have you been on Elaine's diet? How is it working for you?
Thanks! I have been on the diet for about 3 years, although I have cheated a few times here and there, I must confess. Elaine Gottschall has saved my life! If I hadn't tuned the car radio to Dr. Ronald Hoffman's program one day when there wasn't any good music on, I'd be dead now, or better off dead! He had Elaine Gottschall on his program discussing her book, which I promptly bought. I had been in the hospital for 11 days, with my doctors stopping by every day for their usual visit, just to tell me that I had to face the fact that I was a *very* sick cookie, and would be *very* sick for the rest of my life. Of course they told me to eat starch and sugar, which would have kept me sick, and going to them for the rest of my life. I later heard my doctor was instrumental in banning any mention of the SCD and Elaine Gottschall from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.
> Unfortunately I don't think I have the time, or the patience, or the
> discipline to be on it, and I think the folks that do it are really brave.
> It is not an easy thing to give up all the breads, grains and starches. And
> then, to have to prepare everything from scratch before you can eat.
> Best wishes and Healing Hugs,
It really isn't as difficult s you think to stay on the diet, although of course you are right that it does take a certain amount of discipline. Sure, breads and other starches taste great, but after finding out what it feels like to be on the diet, one realizes that it just isn't *worth* it to eat that stuff. And you *can* go to restaurants and other people's homes for dinner (as long as they are not serving pasta for the main course!). There really is a wide variety of food to eat, all of it very good for you (although more expensive than starch). You can eat meat, fish, seafood, most cheeses, almost all vegetables and fruits, several nuts, peanut butter, coffee, tea.... And *wine* is allowed!
Yes, I'm sometimes a pill in a restaurant, quizzing poor waiters/waitresses about whether the fish has any starch coating (and having to send it back if they made it with flour in spite of instructions), or whether they use real butter (not a problem in better restaurants, of course)... But it really is worth it. And the only things you have to make from scratch are the breads, muffins and cakes, and yogurt and cheesecake. You really don't have to spend your life cooking. So I encourage you to give it a try; it really is worth it.
Hugs and best of luck,
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 09:12:13 -0600
From: "Jim Prousalis" <email@example.com>
Subject: One Year!
Today is one year to the day that I started the SCD Diet. Lets see I
weighed 125lb, my waist was -27, my blood count was 5, I couldn't stop
going to the bathroom (average 10 times a day), I had no appetite, my
fistula was inflamed and bleeding, and my stomach was killing me. I was on
medication; Prednisone, Ciprofloxacin, Previcid, Flagyl, and Asacol.
Today one year later! My weight today is 176lb, my waist is now 33+, my
blood count is 12, I am going to the bathroom once maybe twice a day, my
appetite I just can't stop eating, my fistula it's like as if it's not even
there, and my stomach NO PAIN! I am also not taking any medication only a
couple of vitamins.
This diet was one of the best things that happened to me. I have had
Crohns for 71/2 years and not one day went by that I didn't have pain in my
GOD BLESS EVERYONE! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a healthy
and happy New Year!
PS Thanks for each and everyone's support on this group and the previous 2
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 11:47:59 +0100
From: "ksjoevol" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: EXPERIENCES FROM ONE YEAR ON THE SCD DIET.
This is my story of 15 years with UC and with a particular focus on the
last 12 months on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
I ( 33 years, male) was diagnosed with UC when I was 18 years old. At that
time I was a high school student and the first sign of the disease was more
frequent bowel movements. The next sign was passage of stool mixed with
blood. My doctor made some examinations and test and then gave me the
I was then put on 4x500 mg Salazopyrin per day. In periods in remission I
have been down on 2 x 500 mg. For app. the last 5 years I have been on
Pentasa 2-3 x 50 mg a day.
During flare-ups I have been medicated with preds.
Compared to many other who suffers from IBD I guess I am a lucky person. My
UC (proctitis) is located to the rectum. I used to have regularly flare-ups
twice a year. During flare-ups I had 1-3 more bowel movements per day,
never diarrhea. Flare-ups starts with a period with gas, then passage of
stools mixed with mucus and finally passage of stools mixed with blood and
mucus. I have had some minor joint pains. All in all I have been able to
live a normal life. I have never been away from work because of my UC.
Still, the thought of having to eat medicine for 50 years did not attract
me to much.
My flare-ups have been harder to control for each year. The first years the
disease went in remission by itself. For the last years my doctor has
prescribed 15 - 30 mg prednisolon a day for periods of two weeks. My last
flare-up started in October 96 and ended in December. After two weeks on
the preds, my nose started bleeding. I guess for me the preds is the worst
aspect with the disease. During the last flare-up I also had some very
irritating itching which I never had before.
BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE
In October / November 96 I was searching the internet for more info about
UC and found a lot of interesting information. I also read about Elaine
Gottschall's book "Breaking the vicious cycle" and the Specific
Carbohydrate Diet. On a trip to the USA in December I found the book in a
bookstore. I decided to try the diet. Since I have had regularly flare-ups
2 times a year I decided to follow the diet for at least one year to see if
the diet had an effect and to be able to make a conclusion. It couldn't
hurt, the diet seemed nutritious.
I started the diet in January 97 and have followed it for 12 months. I have
not had any flare-ups since I started the diet. When I started the diet I
also decided to follow my medication (Pentasa) as normal. For some reason I
stopped eating drugs in April 97, so the last 9 months I have been without
drugs. (I do not recommend others to this without consulting a doctor)
SIGNS OF UC
As I said, no flare-ups the last year but 3 -4 times I have felt this
itching but not as irritating as during the last flare-up. If this is
connected to my UC I don't know. Three times I have noticed very small
amounts of blood in my stools. The next days there have been no visual
signs. No mucus and gas when during a "normal" flare-up.
LIVING ON A DIET
I am very fond of food. Before starting the diet I ate almost all kinds of
food, and I could hardly imagine my self on a strict diet. My motivation
was high and I have been able to follow the diet without cheating to much.
Even the diet is hard to follow it was easier than I thought.
I have not been on this diet without cheating. For those of you who know
- I have been drinking beer occasionally.
- 1-2 times a month I have been eating small amounts of potatoes or rice.
SEEING MY DOCTOR
Last time I had an appointment with my doctor was in September 96, two
weeks before my last flare-up. My next appointment was in September 97. I
did not look forward to telling him about the diet and particularly not to
tell him I had stopped taking my drugs. (He always tells me how important
it is to take them.) Totally unexpected he reacted positively to the diet.
I lend him my copy of the book and a printout of Wolfgang Lutz's book
(found on Mik's Web page). After a couple of weeks he send me a letter
where he agreed with many of the conclusions and that refined sugar is a
greater danger to peoples health than fat.
I have now been on the diet for 12 months. 9 months without drugs. No
Since all my previous flare-ups has been pretty regular ( twice a year) I
think there are reasons to believe that this diet has an effect on my
disease. Even though the diet is hard to follow I will continue the diet.
If I can manage to stay off drugs on this diet there is no doubt what I
want to do.
My next milestone will now be my next appointment with my doctor in April,
and I am looking forward to see him.
Finally I wish you all a healthy and a happy new year.
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 17:45:35 -0800
From: Dempsey <email@example.com>
Subject: SCD -- Is it enough?
I am one of the people who have had such success on the SCD that I am now so busy enjoying a regular life, I have wandered away from participating in the list as much as I used to. One of the pitfalls of getting healthier! I have been on the diet since March 97, going on eleven months now. I am someone whom the diet has helped very much. I know there has been a lot of discussion on the list about whether the diet is enough.
My opinion is that for those whom it works for, it works very well. If it doesn't, then it may not be worthwhile for you to be on the diet. Elaine recommends a month on the diet to see if it helps. If it doesn't perhaps you need something else, or a personal variation (which could no longer truly be called the SCD, by the way).
I myself had to eliminate many so-called "okay" foods for a long time. I even gave up honey, all dairy and all fruit except apples for several months. Now I can eat everything. I even had some "cheats" over the holidays, namely some chocolate and white sugar, and didn't have a single symptom from my transgressions, which is really amazing to me. I never dreamed I would have such good bowel health again in my life. By the way, my condition has been IBD.
I've been in remission since last August. I have gone through many many patterns of up and down during this past year, with relapses and bouts of flu-like symptoms. But from my experience, I want to encourage everyone to stay optomistic and keep trying. Don't give up and don't ever cheat until you have at least been symptom free for a long time (of course, Elaine recommends staying on the diet for a year after you last symptom) and know you could handle it emotionally if you backslide into a relapse..
Do what you need to do for yourself if you need to take supplements, vitamins or the drugs that help you, we are all highly individual. However, it is my belief that the SCD really does rehabillitate bowel health over the long term, even without additional measures. It may take a long time. But the basic premise is sound. I know this from having tried many angles of alternative health care and traditional western medicine over many years of debilitation. I think I will remain on an SCD pattern of eating for the rest of my life, because it actually is rather habit forming after being on it so long. And also because my Mom has had Crohns and I think my gut is my "weak link." I will undoubtedly always have to be careful. I can still tell how stress affects my gut, although I haven't had a relapse in many months.
I also think it is important to really read the book -- and to re-read the book at some point, because there are things you will understand after being on the diet for awhile that might have not made as much sense in the beginning. There is a lot of science to understand. I wish everybody a great deal of luck to top it all off!
Best wishes everybody,
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 08:36:26 -0500
From: Fiona Grapp <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: SCD -- Is it enough?
How long were you symptom free before you could start eating everything?
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 12:31:26 -0800
> How long were you symptom free before you could start eating >everything?
First let me be clear that what I mean by being able to "eat everything" is everything that is on the SCD diet. I have not experimented with grains at all, or anything else for that matter, short of the cheats I had over the holidays that did not affect me adversely. But to answer your question, four months. In August I was still not able to eat some things. I might also add that I took medicine to erradicate an amoeba at that time (in August) and that made a big difference for me, helped along the SCD for me in a big way. I think it just shows how unique all our situations are.
Best wishes, Denise
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 15:25:10 -0800
From: Prateeksha Bogardus <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: SCD -- Is it enough?
Thanks so much for your update on your health. I am so happy for you.
I also have good news. I have been on the SCD since June 15, 1997. I have experienced some improvement and a lot of flares, particularly diarrhea. In December, someone posted how they handle flares: back to the original diet and after things settle, adding only 1 new food at a time, allowing 2 days to see what that new food does to the guts. For about 6 weeks now, I have been just on the "starting" diet. At first, no difference; then, slowly, slowly I began to notice a change in my bowel movement from watery diarrhea to less of that and more of a formed stool. This past week, it has been only the latter.
I think I was eating things on the diet that I simply was not ready for, i.e. honey, (I still eat it in the cheesecake), fruit and yogurt! While I haven't cut out the yogurt, I have reduced intake considerably; only about 3 cups a week. No cheese, except the dry curd cottage cheese which I put in the cheesecake and mix into the yogurt when I eat yogurt. Rest of the time, I'm eating veggies (green beans, all squashes, occasionally-- cooked skinless tomatoes,carrots and zucchini) and chicken and fish and seafood. I try to alternate them, eating a particular veggie/other food every four days. That's it.
I literally can feel a shift happening in my guts. They feel "stronger"; like I haven't experienced in about 10 years! I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Ulceritive Colitis, depending upon which doctor you trust!
I plan to stay on this diet for at least another 6 weeks, total of 3 months and see what happens; if everything is okay, then slowly, slowly take on a few of the other foods on the diet, one at a time and continuing to follow the program above.
Hope this is helpful to someone on the list.
Good health to us all in 1998!
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 23:33:04 EST
I have some of the same questions that you do regarding the SCD diet. I came out of eight years of Crohn's remission in september and went on the SCD diet and Pentasa in october. My daily bouts of loose stools and D. stopped almost immediately. I am staying strictly on the diet, but am not limiting the quantities of any permitted foods, ie. as much fruit, honey, yoghurt, nuts, meat, vegetables etc. as I can eat. I seem to tolerate everything. The pains from inflammation have subsided substantially, but are still present occasionally. I was very anemic, but have been very aggressive with iron, b-12, folic acid, and a host of vitamins. My blood levels improved quite a bit in two months but still have a way to go. I have a stricture that is too small to allow a scope through and finally, may be developing my first fistula. I really hope that isn't the case.
My feelings on all this is that I will give nutrition (SCD) and modern medicine 100% each a chance to get me to the best overall health I can have. Stopping eight years of D. is surely an improvement and I contribute that exclusively to SCD. According to Elaine Gottschall that should also improve blood levels. I expect it is the Pentasa that has helped reduce the pain of inflammation this quickly. But it may not be enough. We'll see. I've always been a firm believer in modern medicine. But I chose to go on the SCD diet because it makes so much sense. We are all learning as we go. I think the restrictions of the diet is a small price to pay for the chance it may bring renewed health.
You can also have your testimonial placed here.