Letters from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet support group

Fri, 6 Dec 1996 08:38:33

Hello everybody,

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.
Nonetheless, I am glad that the diet seems to work for most people.

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

Moshe -

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.

Good luck,
Bart Hansen

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?

Hi Simon,

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.




Hi Bill,

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
>hypoglycemia (usually just when she is under stress) and using the scd diet,
>which she has just heard of.
>Sorry, I don't have the book handy (lent it to someone) to look it up, and
>she has just ordered it. And I didn't see the topic brought up on the web
>site. Thanks.

Elaine doesn't say much about hypoglycemia in the book, but as the condition itself improves, so will the hypoglycemia. When it occurs under stress, it's usually because of having late lunches or skipping meals. to balance the metabolism and create an environment that is inducive to growth or regrowth, one must be strictly regular about meals.


I had the opportunity to talk to Elaine the other day. here's what she said:

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 men.
She suggested relaxing and taking very dry wine with meal as a calming agent.

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
PS: FAX nr. is 0031-24-3 888 659

Fri, 13 Dec 1996 23:09:39

Dear Britta,
Thats a tall order, but here goes;
The main ingrediant to this diet is homemade yogurt. If you have a yogurt machine, just simmer milk or half & half, let cool completely to room temperature and put in yogurt maker for at least 24 hours. If no yogurt machine, put in an enviornment of 100 degrees (24 hours), I use my oven with the lightbulb taken out and replaced with a standard 75 watt bulb and I keep a thermometer in there. If it gets too hot I wedge the door slightly open with a pen. The following is basic and the book should fill in the blanks.

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 for now.

Not Allowed; preservatives, starches (including bread,corn, rice, potatoes, pasta),sugar, and canned fruits or veggies. The only exception is canned unsweetened pinapple.

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.

Sincerely, Rachel

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).

Good luck,
Bart Hansen

Re: One week into the diet and not doing well

Sat, 14 Dec 1996 03:34:03

>Hi everyone,
>I'm 26 and have had UC for a year and a half. These last two months I
>haven't been doing very well, and when I heard of the SCD diet, I decided
>to give it a try.
>I started last Friday night (a week ago). On Monday, I saw some
>improvements and I was starting to believe in a miracle. However, in the
>last 3 days, I haven't been well at all. Quite a bit worse than I was
>before. The strange thing is that my symptoms are different from what they
>usually are. I get no blood and no 'white stuff', just a really bad
>diarrhea all day long. Also, I have been having fever (which I almost
>never have), I have lost some weight, and I'm very dehydrated. I feel
>really weak now. The 4 grams of Pentasa that I take daily don't seem to do
>anything, nor do the cortico enema (which usually work well on me).
>Has anyone experienced something similar after starting the diet? Is it
>possible that it is just a pure coincidence, and is unrelated to the diet?
> From my symptoms, I would almost think that I have a 'regular' diarrhea,
>like people who don't have IBD get on occasion. Should I consider taking
>regular diarrhea medicine, like Imodium? Should I stop the diet and drink
>a big glass of milk ;-)
>Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Hi David,

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 are eating.

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 with it.

Hope you take this seriously,


Re: what about hypoglycemia

Sat, 14 Dec 1996 01:41:51

>Dear Michael,
>Thanks so much for all your good info on SCD and Elaine's info. She is so
>right on and you are doing such a clear job of conveying clean info to us.
>Much appreciated. I wonder if Slippery Elm is allowed on the diet. I
>believe it's a starch however it's properties are to soothe the intestinal
>tissue. Any thoughts? I'm testing a new formula at the office to soothe
>inflammed intestinal tissue and it has slippery elm in it, marshmallow too.
>Apparently, marshmallow kills pain, too.
>Bye, thanks again, Sheila Shea

Hi Sheila,

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
Sat, 14 Dec 1996 01:41:50

>Hi, just wanted to chip in with my two cents. I once heard a lecture by the
>eminent herbalist John Christopher and he said eat grapes to improve iron
>and resolve anemia. And the quantity has to be continuous and high. Has
>anyone used this approach? Sheila
>>Hi Athena,
>>Go ahead with whatever therapy you choose, medically speaking; but have you
>>tried juicing? carrot tomatoe,celery and spinach plus a tiny bit of peeled
>>raw beetroot, with the leafy tops (cut out the stems etc) makes a great

>>juice that contains all the co-factors needed to absorb the iron and plenty >>of other minerals too. Don't take when diarrhea is active. Use English
>>spinach or silverbeet.
>>Regards Michael
>Always interested in Intestinal Health and Colon Hydrotherapy issues.

Hi all,

I've taken to a rather nasty flare up, this last two weeks. Last weekend, the diarrhea was up to 30 times with a lot of bleeding. I was still on the diet, but I think I would call it cheating since I had been eating a lot of raw nuts prematurely and under a lot of work stress plus flu. So I seem to be right back at the begining, I went back onto the introducing the diet menu and started making yoghurt. It's so much easier in a crock pot. I'm doing about a litre a day. and feeling better for it.

I was wondering about the yoghurt -the lactose is gone , so the culture should starve pretty quickly - probably why Elaine says buy fresh yoghurt as a starter) and most people say that culture eaten with food is destroyed by the stomach acid. So I was intrigued when I natural cook book of handedly said, "Yoghurt is a wonderful natural antibiotic since the acid in it kills most harmful bacteria." So maybe thats why it works. The acidophilus cultures mean "acid loving" so maybe the yoghurt just provides a nice growing environment for them. That means don't throw away the whey (clear liquid). Elaine said you CAN drink this, but maybe this whey is the real active ingredient in the yoghurt for those on the diet.
this would suggest that acidophilus supplements taken first thing in the morning with lots of water to dilute and neutralise the stomach acid, would be helpful as well.
I'm improving very slowly . 4 days later, no pain. bleeding subsided greatly. The pain disappeared when I started the Tien Chi from Yunnan province. but the diarrhea is still active. I have been taking a form of ORT (oral rehydration therapy).

1 teaspoon of Celtic salt
enough grape juice to yield 20g of glucose (100mls in my case)
enough water to bring the solution up to 1 litre.

mix well, put in fridge and take 250ml after each runny bowel motion. 1/2 that for more formed stools.

Last year it was this kind of flareup that put me in hospital with dehydration and collapsed veins. This time round I seem to be maintaining a good fluid balance. my veins are up and skin not too wrinkly.

You can by rehydration satchets from the chemist, but these are expensive and rarely comply with the diet as they often have sugar.

Maybe the grape juice has helped keep the aneamia down in my case.


Hi group,

Has anyone any experience with naturopathic medicine? I would appreciate any comments, advice etc on the following.

I have IBS and have been on the diet for over a year. It is a wonderful help but hasn't completely solved all my problems. I still gets bouts of diarrhea even though I follow the diet very carefully. Some fruits seem to be a problem for me now although I've found rotating my diet and not eating things two days in a row helps. Anyway last week I went to a naturopath (highly recomended by a friend) who practices auricular medicine. He uses the ear, pulse rate and measurement of magnetic field to diagnose the patients problem. Using these same measurements he checks the effect of possible remedies on the patient's magnetic field to see which would be appropriate for the patient.
Does this sound reasonable or is it complete hocus pocus?
My visit began with filling out an extensive health record before seeing the naturopath. Within 5 minutes of being in his office he suggested that my problems were parasitic( of the protozoan type) He said in his 20 years of experience that this was usually the cause of IBS and IBD. These organisms, he claimed are in our water supply and become lodged in the intestines when the immune system is not functioning properly. I have had parasitic testing with negative resullts but he claimed that most labs don't pick up the type of parasites that he was refering to. He also recommended a diet to deal with this. He was unfamiliar with the scd but recognized some similarities between it and his diet and advised to continue with the scd.
Following this he tested me using the auricular diagnosis. This took at least three quarters of an hour. He said that there was presence of parasitic activity in the cecum/appendix area, congestion of the liver, accumulation of heavy metals in some cells and a disturbance of the pineal body. He gave me ultraviolet treatment on both ears for the pineal body disturbance and perscibed 3 homeopathic remedies each designed to help boost my immune system to cope with the diagnosed problems. He also said that I needed to consuming human strain acidophilus and bifidum. The actual yogurt that he recommended does state on it that it has these active cultures but when I went to buy it at the grocery store I found it had high levels of sugar too so I've opted to stay with the yogurt that I currently buy for yogurt making. (Astro- balkan type yogurt which is plain and lists bacterial culture). I told him that I currently am taking lacto-dophilus capsules twice daily but he was unsure if these would contain the human strain acidophilus. I am to see him again in a month. The whole visit took nearly 2 hours and with remedies cost me nearly $300:00 Canadian.

Any comments would be welcome because of course I'm trying to assess if this is money well spent or if I'm being taken. Being of a scientific background I am somewhat skeptical but then traditional medicine has been of no help to me either.

Good health


Answers to kari's questions
Mon, 2 Dec 1996 17:40:25

I'm glad you have decided to give the diet a try. Hopefully you're feeling well right now, even with the stress of Christmas exams.

The reason that Elaine doesn't recommend canned vegetables is because she doesn't feel that all companies can be trusted in their labelling. Personally, I have used canned tomato puree without any problems, but if you are trying the diet for the first time to see if it can help you then I would not recommend using canned vegetables. That way if the diet doesn't work, you won't have to wonder if it might have worked if you hadn't used the canned vegetables. If it does work you can always try adding them later when your health is stable and see how it goes. I freeze my dry curd cottage cheese in the containers that they come in. I just put them straight in the freezer without even opening them or anything. I haven't had any problems with this, although the longest I have left it in the freezer is only for a few weeks. Corn and pop corn are definitely not allowed. I always add honey to my yogurt, roughly a tablespoon for each cup of yogurt. And I either add some fruit, like blueberries or peaches, or I add about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, which makes it kind of taste like ice cream! Butter is definitely okay because it is 100% fat, which means, of course that it doesn't contain any carbohydrates to worry about. There is a web site that Mik from our group has set up. The URL is: http://www.inform.dk/djembe/scd/ . This does include some of the recipes, but others in the group have maintained a recipe file for all the recipes exchanged in the group, so maybe you can ask for those files (or maybe Mik should ask for them for his page)

Well, good luck with the diet. Christmas is probably a time when most of us will be tempted to cheat, so hang in there and just try to remember that you only have to give it your all for a few weeks and then you will know if it will help you. Once you see how much the diet helps you, it makes it easier to stick with it.

Take care,

Re: ?s about the diet

>Hi. My name is Kari and I have decided to try the diet over my Christmas break
>while I am home from college. But I have several questions before I get
> 1. Are canned vegetables ok if there are no additives or preservatives?
> 2. Can dry curd cottage cheese be stored?
> 3. Is corn and popcorn off limits?
> 4. How do you eat the yogurt. Do you add flavorings or fruit?
> 5. Is butter ok?
> 6. Is there a place on the internet where I can get some recipes in addition to what is in the book?
> Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Kari

Hi Kari

In answer to your questions:
1. no, because there are many additives including sugar that are not legally required to be listed. If you want to just do a trial, play it safe. Canned V8 juice is OK though in moderation.

2. in the Freezer for a few months or in the fridge for a week. (freeze promptly anddon't freeze old cheese. also check the use by date on the cheese itself).

3.All grains are out. Corn is maize and that's a grain/cereal

4. The yoghurt is delicious with honey and fresh fruit.The book has many other cooking uses.

5.butter is perfectly OK it's pure fat. No lactose. there are many cheeses like this listed in bold at the back of the book.

6. I'm not sure about this one, but for a trial, don't try to get too complicated. Setup a three or four day menu and when you feel comfortable with that routine, then start to vary it.

Regards Michael