How food has transformed my life.
Since 2004, I have been on a quest to manage and live with Crohn's Disease. I have tried many types of health care, many supplements, with varying temporary success. Three months ago my gastroenterologist suggested I might need surgery, and he put me on a steroid. I thought everything would go downhill from there.
My fortunes changed at the end of October, when a health consultant in Ames, Iowa (Su Walker www.suwalker.com) told me about a well-evaluated diet that reduced symptoms by 90% within only 3-4 weeks for every one of her inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients who strictly followed the diet.... so I tried it.
This Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) basically involves eliminating all lactose, starches and mucous-producing foods, and sweeteners (except pasteurized honey).
For the previous year or longer, my entire diet consisted of only 6-8 vegetables, 2 grains, and eggs…. Plus a lot of supplements. Within 3 days of starting the diet, intestinal symptoms significantly decreased. Within 10 days, I could barely locate a Crohn's produced mass in my lower right abdomen. I started introducing suggested “legal” new foods and found that I could actually tolerate them. After 3 weeks on the diet my symptoms were at least 90% gone! Under my doctor's care, I gradually reduced, and have now stopped the steroid, and have also significantly reduced two other medications, with no recurrence of symptoms.
I am now eating several cheeses, nuts, a special 24-hour yogurt (no bifidus & yoged for 24 hours to "digest" lactose), more vegetables, and some fruit, which I never thought possible. I feel great and just want people who have suffered with similar diseases to know about this wonderful diet.
As a former NASA engineer and medical librarian I greatly appreciate the value of evidence-based medicine. My request is that professionals review the literature on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet* and conduct a rigorous clinical evaluation of the effects of SCD on IBD and health. It is also said to improve autism, diverticulitis, and celiac disease. If many people can benefit from this diet, it will certainly eliminate a great deal of suffering and medical expenses.
Book: "Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health through Diet" by Elaine Gottschall, MSc.
In its 13th printing, translated into 7 languages, over 1 million copies sold.
Articles: Specific carbohydrate diet in treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
Nieves R, Jackson RT.
Tenn Med. 2004 Sep;97(9):407. No abstract available. PMID: 15497569 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The treatment of celiac disease with the specific carbohydrate diet; report on 191 additional cases.
HAAS SV, HAAS MP.
Am J Gastroenterol. 1955 Apr;23(4):344-60. No abstract available. PMID: 14361377 [PubMed - OLDMEDLINE
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