Letters from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet support
Fri, 6 Dec 1996 08:38:33
Thanks to everybody who took the time to respond to my question. I was
hoping to be swamped by "hey, after two years on the diet I'm a free
man/woman..." but that didn't happen.
However, there is something that bothers me about Elaine's description
of how long it takes the diet to work. I guess I would like this question
faxed to her if possible.
In her prescription for how long to keep the diet she notes: UC and Chron's
seem to take 2 years to clear up. (at which time the diet should be kept
for another year after all symptoms have disappeared)
However, in her description of how to decide if the diet is right for
a given individual she says that if there is no real change after a month
(she notes the log and rating system on the fridge covering bloating, gas,
bm, etc.) the "diet probably won't work for you..." At which point
deciding on continuing anyway is up to the individual.
Now if it takes 2 years for UC to clear up completely, how much can be
realistically expected to happen w/in 1 month that such a time period could
be used to judge the efficacy of the diet???
Also, if some people do not improve from the diet, does that mean that
we are facing more than just 1 kind of UC and Crohns? Many kinds?
I have a friend who has Crohns. He has been, thank God, in remission
for the past 3 years, w/only occassional bloating or diarreah. He told me
that following his last hospital visit 3 years ago he gained his weight
back by pigging out on Israeli white bread (which according to an expert
naturopath friend of mine is treated by about 50 types of antibiotics and
other medicines) w/Cottage Cheese. He said he would eat about a loaf and
a half a day. Yet, his Crohns has hardly bothered him since then.
This does not sit very well with Elaine's theory. Should I treat his
case as a miracle from God, who hasn't read Elaine's book, or is there some
other explanation for it that I'm missing?
I'd very much like to understand these two points in greater detail.
Good health to everybody,
Fri, 6 Dec 1996 14:31:48
As a follow-up, I can say that I saw an improvement in my UC symptoms
on just the SECOND day of being on the diet. This was in the area of bloating,
tenderness and gas. Now after four months, the gas and bloating is gone,
and the tenderness is about gone. Before the diet, I could not stand with
my arms crossed in front of me. I could not sit and read with a hardback
book resting in my lap. I could not lie in bed on my back with my arms crossed
over my abdomen. I could not lie in bed on my side with the top arm lying
forward over my rib cage(I had to drape the top arm down along my hip).
These latter tenderness improvements have taken many weeks to go away, but
as I say, on the second day of the diet, I lost most of the bloated and
gassy symptoms. This is probably what Elaine means by saying one month should
be enough to tell whether the diet will work.
I suspect that you will now get several messages telling you that yes,
IBD affects different people differently, which explains why your friend
can load up on white bread.
Re: Question about Elaine's Book
>Now if it takes 2 years for UC to clear up completely, how much can
be >realistically expected to happen w/in 1 month that such a time period
>could be used to judge the efficacy of the diet???
I think this could be up for interpratation. My own experience was, some
relief immediatley, and continued prgress to my current excellent health.
I think that what Elaine is saying is more along the lines of, give the
diet a trial of 100% effort for at least a month before even considering
dropping it. Obviously, someone who sees value in the diet (even mild improvement)
after a month is going to continue it. Again Moshe, I think the key here
is 100% effort. I've spoken to Elaine about, what happens after 2 years?
She says that someone with these diseases does retain sensitivity to those
forbidden foods and after 2 years should continue to be extremely cautious
about reintroducing them to the diet. The eventual goal, I'm afraid, is
not being able to dive back into the junk food at the 2 year anneversary,
but to maintain a healthy normal lifestyle for keeps. I too had dreams of
eating like everybody else someday, but frankly, I'll be quite pleased to
continue feeling good.
>Also, if some people do not improve from the diet, does that mean
that >we are facing more than just 1 kind of UC and Crohns? Many kinds?
I believe this to be true, which could be the very reason that your friend
is currently in remission. There has been a lot of current information involving
antibiotics in treating ulcers as well as IBD. Klebisella (not sure of spelling
or pronounciation) is a bug suspected in IBD and I've heard of some work
in antibiotics in treating it, but I think that with many of us with advanced
IBD, the damage is already done. Maybe a persons degree of recovery, depends
on the stage at which you look for answers and treatment. I waited many
years, even denying that what I saw every day when I got off the bowl was
really blood (sounds so damn stupid in retrospect). Perhaps your friend
hit just the right combination of antibiotics early enough in his illness
to help. Then again, who knows, I don't deny the existance of miracles.
You read and hear constantly of people who have beat everything from cancer
to aids and whose recovery had nothing to do with modern medicine.
I don't pretend to have all the answers. My only proof that the diet
works is my own personel recovery. What more do I need? Best wishes to all,
>Why would pectin be off the diet? Fruit is full of it?
Yes fruit does contain pectin, but it is bound with other vitamins, minerals
and enzymes that help you deal with it. when you refine it out, concentrate
it, strip it of everything else, you are left with a potent chemical that
is dangerous as any other refined product(table salt, sugar, white flour)
but more so to those with scd.
Just a note of experience, re exercise. If you want to make good progress,
the most you should really consider doing is some light exercise, just enough
to oxegenate the tissues. Walking and deep oxegenating breathing is best,
until all your symptoms subside. swiming for 15-20mins after that or some
cycling may be added later. Avoid the gym, you can either build muscles
or a healthy gut but not both at once. Exercise that exhausts should be
avoided since it also suppresses the immune system for up to 8 hrs after.
The chronic infections of top athletes is well documented and attributable
to this. Relax and enjoy some light recreation. And let it be what it is
re-creation (to build again)
Re: what about hypoglycemia
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 09:22:53
>A woman with ulcerative colitis called to ask me about controlling
I had the opportunity to talk to Elaine the other day. here's what she
Stress must be eliminated. Elaine confirmed for me my suspicions about
stress. She said:'Oh of course! doctors have known about the connection
between bowel irritation and stress hormones (adrenaline) for years.' That
means calm down before you expect much healing to take place. She believes
that this is a major factor in those who do not respond to the diet particularly
She also spoke about the link between oxegen deficiency in the bowel
wall and the effect it has on encouraging bad anaerobic bacteria to flourish.
Agreed that deep breathing and light exercise may help.
She warned of the new dangers of hybridisation of crops: some to avoid:
wheat, soy, corn and canola.
The reason for cooking the soups for so long is to get the organic calcium
out of the bones.
Also, please no more questions about canned food. It's not allowed for
the same reasons as the apple juices. please read the section on apple juice
at the back and apply that to canned goods as well.
Gottschall help needed
Fri, 13 Dec 1996 16:54:54
A big Chritsmas wish!!! My name is Britta, living in the Netherlands,
have UC since 2,5 years and decided to change my life and attitude toward
the disease, and all that cirlce of high Pred medication - I am really inspired
of all these people outside, suffering and dealing better with worse cases,
it really helps a lot to get all this different info!
The wish - is THE BOOK - as it is American, I have ordered it now 4 weeks
ago and it is still on its way.....swimming...to my bookdealer! As I heard
it IS not that easy to do the diet, I wanted to start it propperly, with
the beginningdays and so on, knowing exactly what I am doing - not only
stop eating wheat or lactose...so I am waiting..
Maybee someone here in Europe/ Netherlands/Germany (I am German) has
the book and a faxmachine....and I could ask YOU for the great favour to
copy the first chapter, steps, the innitial days, so that I can start already
before Christmas! I know it is work, I don't want noone to copy the book
- it will arrive sometime, but till then....
Or is there a short description on the BASICS, the NO s and YESs? There
is none on the Elaines homepage - would be great to hear something, get
some multinational help????
thanks alot in advance - Britta
Fri, 13 Dec 1996 23:09:39
Allowed; fresh cooked fruits & vegtables (raw, only if you have no
diahrea), cheese, eggs, fish, meats, butter, honey,kidney,navy or lima beans
(soaked overnight & rinsed before cooking). If you have no diahrea you
can also eat almonds,walnuts and pecans, if they bother you, put them aside
Not Allowed; preservatives, starches (including bread,corn, rice, potatoes,
pasta),sugar, and canned fruits or veggies. The only exception is canned
I know that this is just a basic sketch, but its hard to put the contents
of a book into a letter, but this should get you started. Feel free to ask
questions. There are a lot of us here, who've enjoyed the lifegiving benefits
of this diet and would be glad to pass it on.
Britta - You can eat eggs, butter, fish, meat, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables,
cheese and nuts. No potatoes, rice, pasta, wheat, margarine, or sugar. Use
honey for a sweetener. If you are seriously symptomatic, you should stew
the fruits and vegetables. No variants on the sugar are allowed - only honey.
No canned fruits or vegetables. No beer or milk products other than the
dry curd cottage cheese, hard cheeses and home made yogurt (24 hours + old).
Re: One week into the diet and not doing well
Sat, 14 Dec 1996 03:34:03
I faxed your message to Elaine and spoke to her about it. I'm having
a similar situation myself at the moment, but I am keeping the dehydration
at bay by using the ORS I dexcribed in an earlier letter. Did you get that
one? I suggest you start it at once until you can get to a doctor. since
that's what Elaine recommends. She says that the diet is for patients who
are under reasonable control that is who are "managed by a doctor"
who want to get rid of this disease. It is supposed to be used in conjunction
with medication and doctors supervision. You are experiencing a possibly
life-threatening crisis situation if you allow yourself to go into electolyte
imbalance (hence take the ORS) and she suggests you should be on an IV in
hospital for about a week, to let things pass. with or without food as the
doctor sees fit. Are you on the introductory diet? you should be if you
No one could argue with chicken soup and pureed carrots, unsweetened
jelly and homemade yoghurt. Maybe some one could bring them to the hospital.
if that's not possible, just go with the hospital food and forget about
the diet till you get home. Elaine is very sceptical about the effectiveness
of The diet over such a short time. She does not expect to see miracles
within three weeks for chrones but sometimes longer for UC. Once again,
the diet is not a substitute for medical treatment, it goes hand in hand
Hope you take this seriously,
Re: what about hypoglycemia
Sat, 14 Dec 1996 01:41:51
When I first started the diet, I asked Elaine about slippery elm. She
didn't know about the analysis, in fact I tried a number of sources including
a few manufacturers and no analysis had been done by them. She said that
if the diet doesn't appear to be working, and it helps, stay on the initial
diet, just use it for a while until you are stable. It may get you over
an initial hurdle. before the diet kicks in, then as the diarrhea and bleeding
subside, phase it out to see if the diet continues to carry on by itself.
However, I would use just pure slippery elm. because I don't know much about
the other things they add. Slippery Elm is a tried and true herb used by
the american indians for many conditions.
Re: Iron shots/supplements
Answers to kari's questions
Re: ?s about the diet