FAQ

Q: I’m just starting the SCD, do you have any suggestions?

Yes, see this post.

Q: Do you happen to know an SCD-friendly doctor in my area?

Here’s a link that might help you out with that.

Q: Can I eat at restaurants while on the SCD?

Yes, but it is risky. See this post. If your body is anything like mine, it will let you know if you ate an illegal. I’d recommend that you choose carefully from the menu and don’t be shy about quizzing the wait-staff. I’ve never worked in the restaurant business, but I bet that most chain restaurants will not be able to tell you everything that is in their food. The ideal restaurant is a local one in which you can talk to the chef. I have called restaurants in their slow times to quiz them before I decide to give them a try. The smaller, better eateries also tend to have a more well informed wait-staff, making the process smoother.

Q: What does BTVC mean?

BTVC stands for “Breaking the Vicious Cycle”, the title of the specific carbohydrate diet book by Elaine Gottschall, B.A., M.Sc. Other acronyms include SCD for specific carbohydrate diet, CD for Crohn’s disease, and UC for ulcerative colitis.

Q: Do I have to choose between the SCD and conventional medicine?

No. They are not mutually exclusive and many people start the SCD while still on medication. A common goal is to reduce the dependance on medications or eliminate them entirely.

Q: I’m an athlete. Can I still do the SCD? What do I do about electrolyte drinks?

Yes you can. Matt Robinson at Natural Digestive Healing has a section devoted to atletes on the SCD. Check it out. He has the best resource for electrolyte drinks that I’ve seen.

Q: Does this diet treat anything other than Crohn’s disease?

Yes. This diet is also used to treat ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, chronic diarrhea and autism.

Q: What does SCD mean?

It stands for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

Q: Does the diet have any side effects?

I noticed two side effects. In the first few days of the diet, there was a mild metallic taste in my mouth which went away. The other side effect I’ve noticed is that I lost my spare tire of 20 lbs without eating less.

Q: Do you have to limit your portions on this diet?

No. The intent of this diet is not to lose weight. However, you should not eat one food to the exclusion of others. Many report feeling hungry on the diet, especially in the beginning. This is completely normal and should fade with time. Just eat when you feel the need.

Q: Is this a miracle diet?

No. This is basically an elimination diet that requires some discipline, time and effort.

Q: Is this diet hard to follow?

Any change in habit is difficult and therefore no diet is easy. This diet is no different. The potential benefits are clear and compelling however, and the payoff absolutely liberating.

Q: Will my doctor support my decision to try the Specific Carbohydrate Diet?

Maybe. When I spoke to my family doctor about my intent to start the SCD, he was open-minded, supportive and interested to see what happened. On the other hand, a Gastroenterologist I spoke with literally rolled his eyes. I’d like to hear your experience with your doctor. Let me know.

Q: Can I ask you a question?

Yes. Make a comment on any post or use the email link in the sidebar and I will answer as soon as I can.

Q: Where can I get more information?

Visit my resource page.

Q: What can you tell me about SCD yoghurt?

Lots. See this FAQ on the BTVC official site. And here are a few more on my site.

Q: Aren’t there more FAQ’s than this?

Yes. These are just the ones I’ve answered on my blog. See the FAQs on Pecanbread.com and the Knowledge Base on Breakingtheviciouscycle.info for much more.

128 Responses to “FAQ”


  1. 1 Julie May 29, 2008 at 6:00 am

    Paul – Good for you! Any ideas on how to convince my 13 yr old son that he needs to deal with his Crohn’s before it worsens? Diagnosed at 11 yrs; 2 1/2 hellish years later – back on Prednisone taper and not sure what to do. He has sabotaged all attempts to treat – tried several drugs including Remicade, but he’s dropped a drug so we were unsure what failed, the drug or his not sticking to the course. Did SCD for 9 mos – great but hell for mom to cook and hell for son to stay the course; started cheating after 9 mos and sick again… does not want to do the diet, too hard for a teen; getting sick on Prednisone taper @ 12 mg/day now (down from 45mg/day). GI wants to start Humira… H E L P

    • 2 sophia November 8, 2010 at 11:13 am

      Is the SCD diet useful for acid reflux/GERD?

    • 5 Mrs Amer July 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      Hi There Julie,

      I am so sorry to hear about your struggles. We have 2 children diagnosed with Crohns, and it has been “hell.” I know how tough it can be to stick to the diet, but the diet WORKS. Our one daughter who stuck to the diet has been in total clinical remission for 4 years now. The other one (recently diagnosed) is a bit more of a challenge because she is a teenager, and it’s tough to get a teenager to understand how critical it is to do it the SCD way. Some tips to make it more kid friendly (snack type things):

      Get a dehydrator to make fuit roll ups and beef jerky (snacks) (fruit roll ups – blend frozen strawberries, add squeeze of lime or lemon, add a teaspoon of honey – pour into dehydrator pan), jerky – cut beef into strips, spray with a little vinegar, salt/pepper, or any other desired spices (SCD legal), cut into thin strips and dry.

      Fried Celeriac root (cut into discs) and spray with vinegar, sprinkle with salt and put on the dehydrator for a while (salt and vinegar chips!)

      Strawberry, yogurt and honey smoothies make great ice lollies – just freeze in molds (or eat them as smoothies)

      If your kid likes sweet things, these pancakes with honey are absolutely phenomenal, quick and easy to make:

      Almond flour (3/4 cup)
      1 egg
      1 teaspoon SCD vanilla essence
      1/2 teaspoons baking soda
      2 teaspoons melted butter
      Blend in blender (add more egg or almond milk (SCD legal) for thickish pancake consistency). Pour into greased pan on low/medium heat, wait for bubbles to rise to surface, flip over with egg lifter, cook until ready. Serve with honey. You can use this recipe to make muffins for school – just pour into muffin cups instead.

      Cream Cheese Frosting for muffins/cupcakes:

      SCD legal creams cheese (we drip the 24 hour yogurt in a cheese cloth bag overnight and it turns into cream cheese!)
      Honey
      Cinnamon
      Mix together – makes awesome frosting!

      I know that it seems really overwhelming, and we are still struggling with our teenager, but the only way to get this going to to decide to take an entire weekend and just cook and prepare for the coming week. If you stock up on cupcakes with frosting, chips, jerky, fruit roll ups and other snack items, then when you are not available to cook a big meal, your child can snack until you are available. There are some great cook books with snack items/kid friendly items in that become easier to do (and faster) as time goes by.

      It is so hard, and I feel for you.

      Take care.

  2. 6 Paul Stocker May 30, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Julie,

    I’m sorry to hear it’s been so rough. I’m guessing your son is really pissed off. Mad about being sick. Mad about what it’s doing to his social life. Mad about all that is being pushed on him. And you’re upset too. It must be hard to see him suffer, to worry and to think “why can’t he see what’s right?” He has come to the conclusion that he is not like everyone else and that he can’t be. He’s right as only 1 in 544 people are diagnosed with Crohn’s.

    I hid the disease from my family until it was more than I could hide. I don’t know why I did this. Was I embarrassed? I think I was probably scared and didn’t want to deal with it. I only gave up and accepted treatment when I was too tired and sick to deal with the disease anymore. I imagine that your son is scared too. I know you are. He is in a difficult spot. He has to make adult decisions and that’s just not fair.

    One thing is pretty sure. If he doesn’t do something for his Crohn’s he will have surgery. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America puts that number at between 66 and 75% for people with Crohn’s in general – not just people who don’t actively treat the disease. And even the smoothest surgery carries risks of bowel obstructions, infections and other complications. In addition, statistics say that one third of Crohn’s patients that have had surgery, will have it again. The doctors have probably already told you that surgery is a last resort. They try to avoid it as long as possible.

    The problem is that you can’t force him to do the right thing. He needs to make the decision. Perhaps you’ve done all this, but you need to do a few things: First of all lay out the forecast of his life without doing anything about his disease. Lay out all that has happened so far and extrapolate into the future. Show how his social and work life will be dictated by the availability of bathrooms. Some people who suffer from Crohn’s become housebound. Show how he will be subjected to surgeries and embarrassing accidents, fistulas, extreme fatigue, blockages and bleeding. When I was in college I nearly bled to death while I was sleeping. Once you’ve laid out the grim reality, move on to the choice. Simplify it to two basic choices: SCD and medicine/surgery. The reality may be somewhere in between, but he does have a choice of which road to take.

    One one hand talk about the choice of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. List all the good and bad and don’t forget to emphasize that there are NO side effects or long term risks with the diet. It’s healthy and he’ll be able to grow, put on muscle, think clearly and do normal things. Perhaps he can learn to cook and have some fun with that. Right now he is at the mercy of the disease and the current state of medicine. If he’s on the diet, he becomes more proactive and less victim.

    On the other hand talk about the choice of drugs and surgery. Help him find out how crappy it is to have to have surgery – the risks, complications and reality of it. I’d be happy to tell him in gory detail. Especially focus on the side effects of drug therapies. (I’m glad they are there when I absolutely need them, but I get off of them as soon as possible.) The long term side effects of drugs can be quite bad. Steroids for instance have many side effects; high blood pressure, moon face, increased risk of infection, weight gain, acne, mood swings, psychosis, cataracts, high blood sugars, osteoporosis, and insomnia. See this page at CCFA.org. Click on the different drug categories and scroll down to the side effects. Stress that none of these drugs cure the disease, they just treat the symptoms. He may be able to go off of the drugs at some point, but is likely to need them again in the future. I’ve waited 20+ years for that miracle drug and it hasn’t happened. There still isn’t even a clear consensus of the cause of Crohn’s.

    Maybe this is the key – show him that he has the power to control his present and shape his future. That the choice is up to him. Maybe you’ll gain some traction by having him help you lay out the choices – writing down all the pros and cons of the two choices. The decisions that he makes now can in a very real, fundamental, immediate and forceful way affect the quality of his life, the quality and quantity of his opportunities, and his chance for happiness. Or more to the point: What would be more embarrassing on a date, crapping your pants or eating ‘special’ food? Another thing to note is that the younger you are, the quicker healing and the diet will work. I didn’t start the diet until I was 39 and it took 3.5 years to achieve total remission. This is still a small part of my life, but I wish I had found this diet 20+ years ago and avoided all that suffering.

    I have gained a lot of admiration for sticking to this diet. Perhaps his peers would feel the same. I bet he could challenge them to stick to any part of his diet and they couldn’t. Sticking to this diet is something that your average person will say, ” I couldn’t do that”.

    I don’t know if any of this helps as I haven’t been a parent in your situation, but I’ve found that my young kids respond well to having a clear choice between two options. I literally hold up one hand to show one choice and the other to show the other choice, alternately moving them up and down, a visual scales weighing the choices.

  3. 7 CHRIS HARE June 8, 2008 at 1:22 am

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for all the work on your site! I’m considering diving into the diet. Have had mild Crohns for 17 years and tried practically everything under the sun.

    Years ago a naturopath had me on a really strict diet. I nearly starved and lost a lot of weight. It took me years to gain it back so needless to say I’m hesitant to do another diet. My wife is particularly concerned about whether I will be able to maintain let alone gain weight on the diet. Any thoughts or recommendations on how to keep the weight on?

    Thanks so much! Have a great weekend,

    Chris

  4. 8 Paul Stocker June 9, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Chris,

    You’re welcome for the site. I’m getting a lot of good karma from it!

    If you want to seriously do the diet, you MUST get the book and give it a thorough read. Or to be more exact, there is no halfway with the diet – you either follow it completely or you won’t get the healing your need. Okay, lecture over.

    I was over weight when I started the diet by about 20 pounds. Over the course of about 8 months I lost that extra and I’m close to my ideal weight now which has been stable for about 3 years. I still have a bit of a spare tire.

    The book tells you that the diet provides for complete nutrition, so you should be able to at the very least maintain your weight. The good thing is that while the diet is designed to starve overpopulated bacteria in your gut, it is not meant to starve you. You can eat as much as you want and as often as you want. It’s just advised to vary your diet, not depending too much on any one food.

    In the beginning of the diet I was pretty hungry. I ate often. Even now I can often eat a full meal and want more an hour later. So I just eat again. I can only speculate about what will happen for you if you do the diet, but if you are underweight I suspect that you will put on weight as many people have.

    As far as putting on/keeping weight, I’ve reviewed postings from people on the BTVC-SCD group on Yahoo and on the Pecanbread group on Yahoo who’ve asked the same sort of question. Some foods are recommended; avocado, olives, yoghurt made from 1/2 and 1/2, banana pancakes, butter, cheese and coconut oil. People also recommend to eat as much as you want and as frequently as you feel hungry.

    You should also keep a food journal so that you can track what you eat and discover if a particular food bothers you. Some people use the website http://www.fitday.com to track their intake, calories and other details. I have not used it and can’t give you my opinion of it.

    It is normal to feel hungry at the beginning of the diet. This will subside.

    My other advice would be to practice making and eating legal foods before you actually start the diet. This way you can work out some bugs and questions you may have before you make the commitment.

    I’d also advise always having legal food on hand. I’d stock up before you begin because as you’ll learn, it takes more time to prep your food than just grabbing a convenience food. If you have legal food on hand, you’re less likely to fall off the wagon, so to speak.

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

    Cheers,
    Paul

  5. 9 CathyC July 29, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Hello,
    I started the SCD in Jan 07, improved, but only recently got a clear diagnosis: Gastroparesis, Celiac, adhesions, and bacterial overgrowth. The dr wants me to stay on liquids/soft foods for a while and I intend to stay on the scd, but I’m puzzled about monosaccharides beyond ripe bananas and honey. Do you know of vegetables that are monosaccharides or how I can convert them, ie., cooking? ALL veggies I’ve tried cause gas and consequently, terrible pain due to the adhesions.
    Thanks,
    Cathy

    • 10 Zia December 3, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Cathy,
      Has anyone considered a candida infection as well as bacterial overgrowth? I have both and had to do the SCD minus fruit, dairy, honey and nuts for a while. Doc treated the yeast with anti fungals, diflucan, nystatin. I had to eat only cooked veggies for a while. I ate a ton of soups. Now I am feeling much better all the way around. The focus on the candida really helped the gas.
      Good Luck,
      Zia

  6. 11 Paul Stocker July 29, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Cathy,

    I glad that the SCD has helped you improve and I’m hoping it will continue doing so.

    I’m no doctor and just guessing here, but I suspect that your bacterial overgrowth plays a significant role in your gas pains. In that matter I’d have to refer you to the pecanbread website ( http://pecanbread.com ) and the yahoo group where you can ask additional peoples that might be dealing with the same problems ( http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/pecanbread/ ).

    The pecanbread website and group are mainly focused on using the SCD for autism, but is an excellent resource for difficulties that persist in spite of the diet. Many children with autism have problems with yeast overgrowth and bacterial overgrowths. The focus seems to be going very, very slow on the diet and discovering which particular foods are problematic. See the pecanbread website ( http://pecanbread.com ) and their helpful stages guide for beyond the intro diet: ( http://pecanbread.com/new/scdfoods1.html#beyond ) . You’ll notice that vegetables are introduced very slowly and tend to be peeled, very well cooked and sometimes pureed – all to ease digestion.

    I don’t know which vegetables contain mono versus polysaccarides, but I did find this file in a quick search of the internet: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/Other/herr48.pdf

    I’ve had problems with certain vegetables in the beginning of the diet and was able to add them later in the diet without problems. The same was true of some fruits.

    I hope this can help you somewhat.

    Cheers,
    Paul Stocker

  7. 12 Carol August 20, 2008 at 4:52 am

    Hi Paul,
    I’m so glad to hear you’ve had such great success with SCD! Like Julie who posted about her son, I have a son (14 years old) who gave me a hard time about following the SCD diet. We tried it for 8 months when he was first diagnosed at age 10, but gave up because he was still having diarrhea (but no pain) and I therefore thought it was not really working. I later found out that it can take much longer then that to clear up diarrhea completely. I must admit that I found it overwhelming to balance the rest of my life (work, 2 other kids, etc) with the amount of work the diet involved, especially since he complained so much. Four years later, we are going to try again – my son has matured enough to go without sugar and starch, and I am determined to make it work. I bought EVERY cookbook that I could find that was SCD legal, and there are many. The biggest challenge will be making sure that he has enough of a variety of foods that he likes so that he (and I) do not get dicouraged. Reading your story has been very inspiring to me and will help to keep me focused, so thanks for sharing it. Good luck and I wish you continued good health. 🙂

  8. 13 Paul Stocker August 23, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Carol,

    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. You and your son are on a challenging journey, but it certainly is possible to achieve remission. Keeping to the diet continues to be a challenge to my willpower, but it is much easier to win those battles the longer I enjoy feeling well. I appreciate not having to think about bathrooms anymore. I hope your son can hang in there to get the full benefits. Considering his earlier discouragement, you may be interested in the following links:

    The Enhanced SCD – http://pecanbread.com/new/scddeluxe.html

    and

    How to improve the SCD – http://pecanbread.com/new/Improvethediet.htm

    Regarding the problem of food boredom, perhaps you can interest him in cooking some of his own food. Maybe the pride of ownership can help him with that. Not to mention it just might take a little pressure off you. At least you can hope, right?

    Good luck and good eating.

    Cheers,
    Paul

  9. 14 Dora Loflin September 19, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Thank you Paul for your very helpful recipes My husband,previously strong and healthy 82 year old, out of the blue developed Ulcerative Colitis. Bummer.I am a nurse practitioner. Immediately started the SCD diet because it made common sense. He immediately started getting better. Went from heavy bleeding to now almost nothing and no symptoms.A little extra trouble sure beats a colostomy bag.My question is concerning the Yogourmet yogurt maker. It’s temperature is not regulated well. If left on for 24 hours as recommended, the temp goes above 125F. This kills the good bacteria. My husband ate one serving of the yogurt and started bleeding again.Do you know of any yogurt maker that has a reliable temp regulator and still makes a larger quantity without little cups. Thanks again. Dora Loflin

  10. 15 Paul Stocker September 19, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Dora,

    You’re welcome, I hope you can enjoy them.

    A lot of people have had the same problem with the Yogourmet getting too hot. It’s speculated that they weren’t made for 24+ hour processing. Thankfully there is a pretty simple solution: a dimmer switch. A quick google search for “plug in dimmer switch” shows you can get one for $10-20. You could also check your local hardware store. Plug your Yogourmet into the dimmer switch and do some trial and error to calibrate your dimmer switch. Once you’ve found the proper setting on the dimmer switch, use a permanent maker to draw a line across the switch and the switch body. That way you don’t have to worry about the setting changing as you handle it. See this post.

    Failing that, people say that the Excalibur food dehydrators keep excellent temperature. I don’t have any personal experience doing yoghurt in a dehydrator, but I haven’t read about people having problems with them like the Yogourmets.

    -Paul

  11. 16 susan October 6, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    In Jordan Rubin’s book, “The Maker’s Diet”, he states on page 137, that whole grain products that have been properly treated through soaking, sprouting, or fermenting are converted from disaccharides to monosaccharides. Of course the legal yogurt of the SCD and the ripe bana with brown spots agrees with this principle, but if whole grains can be converted into monosaccharides, would they not be legal also? He also states on this page that corn and potatoes can be difficult to digest unless they are consumed in their “pre-digested form” (i.e. after they have been soaked, sprouted, and/or fermented). This young man, Jordan Rubin, who is the founder of Garden of Life supplement company, had suffered severe crohn’s disease as a teenager, and has been in remission for 12 or more years on this diet. Can whole grains be converted into monosaccharides and would they then be safe to eat as part of the scd diet?

  12. 17 paul stocker October 7, 2008 at 2:25 am

    Susan,

    I am not a scientist, so I can’t tell you whether or not whole grains can be converted to monosaccharides. However, I do know that the SCD specifically prohibits sprouted grain bread so you can safely presume that sprouted grains are not allowed. If you wish to remain strictly SCD, you should not eat grains in any form. As Elaine, the author of Breaking the Vicious Cycle is often quoted as saying, “when in doubt, leave it out”.

    -Paul

  13. 18 sandra wilkerson October 8, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    I like your site. It’s so good. Do you have a recipe for ranch dressing? I will be at your site every week. Thank you, Sandra

  14. 19 paul stocker October 9, 2008 at 12:52 am

    Sandra,

    You’re welcome and thanks for the props. I don’t have my own recipe for ranch dressing.

    Check out this page on Raman’s site.

    Here is another one that uses no dairy on the Pecanbread site although I have no idea to make cauliflower juice.

    There is also another ranch dressing recipe in Marilyn’s Thanksgiving Dinner page on Pecanbread.

    -Paul

  15. 20 ryan October 12, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Hi there,

    I’ve been checking out your SCD food blog and found it really useful. Thanks a ton for creating this site. About a month ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and have recently started the SCD diet, which I’m really hopeful will help me.

    My question for you is about the start of the diet. I have the book BTVC and have been strictly following the intro diet and now adding a few items. Can you tell me a bit about how long it took for the diet to work for you (i.e. get passed your symptoms)? My major symptom is D and it’s hard to know if adding foods is ok or not because that symptom has not gone away.

    Thanks a ton for any help,

    Ryan

  16. 21 Paul Stocker October 13, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Ryan,

    I noticed improvements within about 10 days of starting the diet. Mainly the improvement at that time was due to the decreased frequency of pain and decreased frequency of having to go to the bathroom. The D did not pass for many years, but it became less frequent, less painful and less urgent – I didn’t have to run to the bathroom – it wasn’t an emergency anymore. It was a slow but steady improvement. Keep in mind that it will take time to heal.

    If you’re not already doing so you should keep a detailed log that includes things like what you eat and drink, when you ate and drank, when you had to go to the bathroom and the quality of the poo. Also include anything you put in your mouth – aspirin, etc. Record your pain and gas levels and when they occurred. Record your sleep, mood and stress level. Keep track of your weight. All of this info will help you puzzle out how your body is reacting to foods. You may find that you are intolerant to some legal foods or maybe allergic to something. You may find out that eating a particular food in the morning is harder for your body than later in the day. Reactions to foods can take up to a day to occur – so keep that in mind too.

    For more help see this page on the pecanbread.com website – http://www.pecanbread.com/new/Improvethediet.htm for ways to improve the success of the diet.

    -Paul

  17. 22 Mary Salazar October 16, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Paul,

    Thanks for a great site

    Mary

  18. 23 Paul Stocker October 16, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Mary,

    You’re welcome.

    -Paul

  19. 24 susan October 23, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Paul,
    My son started the diet 6 days ago for crohn’s disease. In the 7 years he’s had this diagnosis, he has never had diarrhea or severe gut pain. He does however have osteopenia, low weight and muscle mass, a large fissure, and recently 2 fistulas as well as a nasty looking terminal ileum on pictures from a recent colonoscopy. Do you know of people who have healed fissures and fistulas with this diet, and how soon should we notice some improvement, as this is the main way he will know if the diet is helping. Also when the diet says you can have cheddar, colby, and monterey jack cheese, is that any square of these cheeses at the market or does it have to be specially aged for a certain period of time so it is low lactose? Thanks so much for starting this website and helping people. Healing with this diet really does have to be a grass roots effort. Our GI doctor was silent when we told him about the diet. Susan

    • 25 judy March 20, 2014 at 11:13 am

      I know this is an old post, but I just want to say that I was dx with CD two years ago, with predominant symptoms presenting as a fissure with intermittent D and C. Signs of bacterial/microbial infestations became more apparent as I began to investigate my body. I tried a lot of conventional meds and holistic diets, etc. Elimination diets, Low inflammation diets, dairy free, soy free, corn free, gluten free. But never totally grain free (I always had the non gluten grains because I thought it was good for me and helped with weight). BUT…the anal pain and fissure never let up until I went totally grain free on the SCD and also adhered to the other illegal items as well. This has been a whole month without the fissure pain that I suffered with for 2 years. The intro diet is hellish, and I had to keep reminding myself it will get worse before it got better due to “die off” and “low carb flu.” But no matter what the doctors say, there’s something to this! I cheated a couple weeks ago in an implusive moment and had popcorn at the movies for the first time in two years. Though I chewed it to a pulp, I suffered 4 days later with horrible cramps, joint pain, and stabbing pains at the terminal illeum. Getting back on course I won’t be doing that again. But yes, it worked for my fissure when no cream, surgery, suppository, botox, etc. would.

  20. 26 Paul Stocker October 25, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Susan,

    I don’t know of specific people that have had fissures and fistulas healed with the diet. I would suggest you pose that question to the BTVC-SCD group on Yahoo (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/BTVC-SCD/).

    I suspect that with the diet working you should notice that your son should eventually gain weight so monitor that closely as a measure. I presume that your son has some pain given your description of his ileum and this should eventually fade also. Encourage him to keep a detailed record of how he feels. I noticed definite improvement about 10 days into the diet. My understanding is that the younger the patient, the quicker they are to respond to the diet and heal.

    Regarding cheese, in addition to the list in the BTVC book, you should look for the word “natural” on the label, “cultures” in the ingredients list and zero sugars in the nutrition facts label. Of course, the cheese should have no extra ingredients like peppers or other vegetables. Avoid anything described as “cheese food”. I don’t know of a specific age requirement for cheese.

    -Paul

  21. 27 AJ November 21, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Paul! I am writing a book on carbohydrate restriction in the management of Crohn’s disease. I was wondering if you could drop me an email directly. Thanks!

  22. 28 lilly January 10, 2009 at 6:26 am

    Hi Paul,
    I have been living with chrones disease for the past 13 years,I have gone through quite the same experience as you have.Iam so glad to hear many positive things about the scd diet.
    Last year i brought the BTVC book and ever since the then i have been amazed with the information provided in the book.
    Its been 6 years now that i have been on aziathiaprine and i have been suffering with perianal fistula for the past 5 years.I have come to a point in my life that i dont want to rely on the drugs anymore.I know i cant take this drug for the rest of my life and i need to make a change.Iam going to start the diet soon and iam very determined.
    Aziathiaprine contain maize starch i dont know if that will be a problem for me starting this diet.please let me know any information you have about his.Thank you.Lilly

  23. 29 Paul Stocker January 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Lilly,

    First of all I have to warn you not to change or discontinue your medications without consulting your physician. Doing so can hazardous if not dangerous.

    I can’t lay my hands on a quote from Elaine Gottschall, but it’s clear that the need for a medication trumps any illegals it may contain. Based on your question, I’m assuming that you are taking a pill. You could investigate compounding your Azathioprine to eliminate illegals although I confess I don’t know if this is possible. Locate a compounding pharmacy and speak to the pharmacist. I’ve read of parents getting things like children’s Motrin compounded for their SCD kids, but my impression is that it’s expensive. If you are unfamiliar with the notion of a compounding pharmacy, see this article on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compounding.
    You could also ask your doctor and/or pharmacist if Azathioprine is available in any other forms that might not contain illegals.

    Even if compounding isn’t possible or prohibitively expensive, I wouldn’t let that discourage you from trying the SCD as it will still be possible to see gains. For instance, I was 8 months into the diet and seeing definite improvements before I realized that I had been eating illegal chicken during that time.

    As I’ve never used Azathioprine, I can’t give you first hand experience using the SCD to wean from it so I’d encourage you to join the BTVC_SCD group on Yahoo and ask them if anyone has been in your position. Even though we all have slightly different experiences, it can be helpful to hear from someone with a similar experience.

    Here’s the address for the BTVC_SCD group on Yahoo: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/BTVC-SCD/

    Best of luck to you and I’d love to hear how it goes.

    Cheers,
    -Paul

  24. 30 lilly January 14, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Hi,
    Thank you for the information you have provided,i really appreiciate your advice.I will be talking to my gastroenterlogist soon about my medication.Thank you again for replying to my message and concerns.
    Regards Lilly

  25. 31 Paul Stocker January 15, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Lilly,

    I just remembered that a medication that I’ve been taking since 1988 is chock full of illegals (sucrose, lactose, starch-wheat) and I was still able to see improvement and eventually remission despite them.

    -Paul

  26. 32 lilly January 15, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you for the recent message,iam glad you got on well with the scd diet even though the medication you took had some scd illegals in them.No matter what i do believe in Elaines theory of the scd and i will definatly will be starting this diet.
    I just recieved my yogurt maker and also the dimmer switch,i will be making my first batch tonight..hope it goes well.Anyway i have been trying out some scd food and getting into the habit of going to my local market to buy fresh fruit and veg.Iam glad that their are people like you available to help with the scd diet.Kind regards Lilly

  27. 33 Gwyneth January 15, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Thankyou so much for sharing your wonderful story of recovery, and all of the other great recipes, tips and advice.

    I was diagnosed with mild UC 18 months ago, have been unwell (but functional) for the last few months, but not really responding to meds. I started the SCD a week ago. I have seen improvement already, so am feeling very positive.

    Anyway, I have a question about the homemade yoghurt: do you know if it really is necessary to heat the milk to 180 degrees if it is already pastuerised?

    The reason I ask is that I have success with a ‘casual approach’ to yoghurt making that I learned from my Mum: I heat the milk to just past blood temperature (the wrist test), put it into a warmed casserole dish, mix in yoghurt starter, put the lid on, and then pop it into the hot-water cupboard for 24 hours or so.

    Best wishes,
    Gwyneth

    PS I am taking things slowly at the moment, but can’t wait to try your curry recipes!

  28. 34 Paul Stocker January 19, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Gwyneth,

    You’re welcome. I’m glad I can help.

    Regarding your yoghurt question, I would definitely recommend heating to 180 degrees as per the SCD instructions. My understanding is that even if milk is pasteurized, it can still contain bacterias that we want to avoid on the SCD. The heating to 180 degrees is a step to ensure that we can control which bacteria is in our yoghurt as not all are beneficial for those of us on this diet.

    See the page on wikipedia regarding pasteurization and you’ll see that in the type of pasteurization called “High Temperature/Short Time” the temperature does not reach the 180 degrees we shoot for at home. Furthermore it states that “pasteurization is not intended to kill all pathogenic micro-organisms”.

    Pasteurization on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasteurisation

    Good luck!

    -Paul

    • 35 Sue B October 10, 2009 at 5:55 pm

      I get my milk raw from my brother’s farm. The state checks the milk at a minimum, monthly, and has no problem shutting him down if the bacteria count is too high. He then has to test within limits for a couple of days before he can sell milk again.

      One time his bacteria count was high. He has the equipment to test the milk himself, also. He went down the street and got a carton of milk from the local convenience store, tested that, and was appalled at the bacteria count that it showed! It was off the charts!

      I would definitely pasteurize the pasteurized milk.

      – Sue B

  29. 38 Gwyneth January 19, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Hey Paul,

    Thankyou very much for your reply, and the link. It makes a lot of sense to me and I will be buying a thermometer today.

    Take care,
    G.

  30. 39 lilly February 6, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Hi paul,
    How are you doing?Hope all is well,its been a week for me since i have started the diet,i have just added the ripe banana and hopefully add the apple sauce in the next couple of days.Anyway i just want to know when did you introduce the scd yoghurt and probiotics into the diet?,also do i give a time gap to find out their effects?.
    I have made an appointment with my doctor to get b12 injection done,Elaine says in the BTVC that you should get your b12 levels up to HIGH NORMAL.Could you share me any experience you may have had with b12 injection,i believe i need to get it done because i have had part of my small intestine removed and thats where b12 gets mostly absorbed.
    Also i want to introduce vitamin c supplement and iam not quite sure when to bring that into the diet?.
    Iam just so glad i have found your website to get the help that is needed for this journey that iam on.Thank you and hope to hear from you soon. Kind regards Lilly

  31. 40 Paul Stocker February 11, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Lilly,

    I’m fine thanks.

    I’ve become a sort of after-the-fact expert. I did keep a detailed food diary, but I didn’t proceed through the stages as on pecanbread ( I wasn’t aware of them). I tried the intro diet as described in the BTVC book, but only for a few days. After that I ate whatever was legal including yoghurt. I did not wait for days between new foods as I wasn’t aware of that either. I just relied on my diary or immediate experience to tell me that, for instance, apples didn’t agree with me in the beginning. I have not used any probiotic other than the yoghurt. Knowing what I do now, I may have used the Pecanbread stages.

    Regarding B12 shots:
    I’m missing that part of my gut too and have been taking B12 shots which have brought my level up to Elaine’s recommendations. I found I feel better when my B12 is up. I’ve been doing some reading this year regarding auto immune disorders and have become concerned about the aluminum in my shots though. At my last shot, I asked to see the bottle and found it on the label. I’m currently seeking methyl B12 nasal spray to get around this. My concern is that since my immune system is already compromised ( allergies, eczema, Crohn’s) I don’t want to belabor my immune system any more than necessary with the removal of unnecessary metals. It may be possible to get methyl B12 as a sublingual too, but I have more research to do.

    Regarding when to introduce a supplement:
    Check out this page on pecanbread: http://www.pecanbread.com/new/Sup1.html
    This is all I could find on the BTVC website: http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/knowledge_base/kb/supplements.htm

    I think if you are doing well, and carefully monitoring your reactions, you could bring in a supplement at most any time. Just keep in mind that it needs to be legal and that a reaction to it might not happen for days. Also be sure you don’t introduce more than one thing at a time whether it is food or supplement.

    Cheers,
    Paul

  32. 41 lilly March 14, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Paul,
    How are you?Hope things are going good for you.I have been on the diet for 7 weeks now and i have been doing well for the past couple of weeks with formed stool twice a day.For the past couple of days i have been getting loose diarrhea and i think i could be having the the 2/3 month flare.Please could you give me any advice on what you did when you had setbacks.I know alot of people go back on the intro diet and try having chicken soup.What did you do to aid yourself?I would be grateful to hear from you soon,Many thanks. Lilly

  33. 42 Paul Stocker March 15, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Hey Lilly,

    I’m fine and things are going well, thank you.

    I have to confess that I didn’t have the setbacks that so many talk about. My progress was slow but sure. My D took about 2-1/2 years to completely clear. It just got farther and farther apart until it was gone.

    Like you say, it sounds like a lot of people go back to stage one during a flare, but because of my experience, I can’t offer you anything more than that. If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to pose your question to the VBTVC-SCD group on yahoo.

    The only thing I might add is that you might want to examine your stress level. Stress can really make things shoot up. I suppose it’s different for everyone, but if you think stress is your problem, maybe you can reduce it somehow?

    I hope you start feeling better soon.

    -Paul

  34. 43 Lilly March 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you so much for your comment,since my last email to you i have improved alot and iam getting formed stool twice a day.I have been applyling oil of oregano to my fistula and it has healed the external skin also i will be getting my seton out on friday and see how i progress without it.
    Ever since i started the diet i have felt a thousand times better and i dont feel sceard to go to the toilet.I have strong faith in God and i know he will help along the way of this incredible journey of healing and hope.I wanted to know did you have problems adding onion,garlic and mustard into the diet? as they are stomach irritant.I could not tolerate garlic but iam hoping to add them back in soon.Also did you use any natrual remedies to help you progress more faster?.such as oil of oregano or collidal silver etc.
    Thank you so much once again for replying to my post and best wishes always.Lilly

  35. 44 Paul Stocker March 31, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Lilly,

    You’re welcome and I’m glad to hear you’ve been improving.

    I’m afraid I’ve become more expert after the fact. I wasn’t aware of the pecanbread stages and additionally, I’ve been taking a medication throughout this time that contains illegals. I did the intro diet as described in the BTVC book, but only for a few days and after that, I ate most anything on the legals list. I didn’t have the advance and flare cycle that you so often hear about and could only isolate a few foods that didn’t agree with me in the beginning. Onion, garlic and mustard were not obvious irritants to me. I had problems with green pepper, apple and cauliflower. 

    The only non-food changes I made were to take vitamin supplements.

    -Paul

  36. 45 Cindy Moretta April 12, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I sent you an email about a month ago about my husband Bob having UC and traveling to NC to visit family. I just want to thank you for your response.
    We had a great trip and although he was on SCD we did very well.
    Had a great time. He is on many medications at this time, I’m not sure if the diet is helping or all the meds. And because of that it seems its getting harder for him to stay on SCD, he thinks because he was on SCD and cheated here and there while away that’s its okay to keep on going the way he is. I have to say although he has never spent a day in the hospital with UC. He was going to the bathroom once an hour before SCD and now maybe 3 or 4 times a day huge difference to me. But its not me I’m talking about, so I guess I should let him be and not be the Nazi as my sister in law says I am! and let him be!
    I am the one who did the research and bought all the cookbooks and read the book. So I guess I should let him be and decide for himself! I just want what is best for him, its hard to let go of something I know will benefit him in the long run!!
    I am so glad you have this website it is wonderful to have somewhere to go and read of someone that has done so well on SCD.

    God Bless you Paul,
    Cindy Moretta

  37. 46 Paul Stocker April 14, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Hi Cindy,

    I’m glad to hear that you had a great trip. It sure sounds like the diet is helping your husband if it has cut his bathroom visits so much. That can’t be a coincidence, right?

    I think I can understand some of your bewilderment. I’ve talked to a couple of people in my neighborhood with IBD. They have asked me about the diet and of course I tell them how it’s improved my life in so many ways. People are funny animals though. When I get to the point of explaining the diet where they learn they can’t have potatoes any more they say, “oh, I could never do that”. It never fails to baffle me. One lady in this example is a postal carrier. Can you imagine having UC and walking by all those homes with all those toilets and not being able to use a single one of them? Ironic. I guess she would rather not eat during the day than give up spuds. I just don’t get it. I suppose many people would rather take a pill than change their lives.

    I think it all comes down to motivation. I can only assume that your husband is not sufficiently motivated to really change the way he eats. It has to be frustrating for you. You want to help him and have found a way that doesn’t have the pitfalls of drugs and he’s apparently not convinced.

    If your husband wants to improve his health and try to wean off his medications, there is no way he can accomplish that without being SCD strict. The results of the cheating that he is doing is probably being masked by his meds.

    Perhaps I am out of line here, but it sounds like your sister-in-law is out of line. I’m not privy to your conversations and able to make an apt comparison, but the nazis were in the business of killing people, not trying to heal them.

    One of the realizations I’ve had when I became a husband and father is that I can no longer think solely in terms of self. It is not just me anymore that I need to think of. My “self” now includes my wife and two children. One of my motivations for trying the SCD was the hope that it would keep my children from having to see me in a hospital with tubes coming out of every which way and their mother scared to death.

    Good luck with Bob. I hope he continues to improve and sees what might be possible for him.

    -Paul

  38. 47 Rob K April 30, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Hi Paul,
    My story is very similar to yours. I’ve been dealing with the disease since I was 17 (now 39). Had surgery about 3 years ago and the Crohn’s has returned.
    I started SCD at the begining of this year and felt really good at the start. My goal is to stay on the diet for at least 1 year and to be med free. I’ve been trying to wean off prednisone by 1mg per week. Every time I get down to 5mg my symptoms flare up. The biggest issue is lack of energy since I’m losing blood.
    My GI says I should go on Humira and since I’m anemic I should be taking an iron supplement which of course is illegal.
    Your thoughts?

    Rob K

    • 48 Paul Stocker May 12, 2009 at 10:36 am

      Hi Rob,

      I’m sorry it took me so long to reply.

      I’m glad to hear that the SCD is helping you out, but sorry to hear of your struggle to wean.

      Personally, the risks associated with the biologicals and immunosuppressants like Humira scare me so if I were in your position, I would look into low dose naltrexone (LDN). I don’t have any experience with it myself, but this drug is generating good reports and seems to have less of a potential for side effects, especially serious ones.

      There are some issues with LDN. Since LDN is off-label for Crohn’s your GI may not prescribe it for you. If you find that to be the case, you may have to find another GI or perhaps your primary care doctor would be willing to write a prescription for you. You should also ask if LDN interacts with any other medications you are taking. You should also get on the BTVC-SCD group on Yahoo, search the message archives for LDN and ask the group. I’ve noticed that at least one person is getting their LDN compounded so it seems wise to see if LDN contains illegals and decide if the expense of compounding would be worth it for you.

      Regarding iron: Yes, iron supplements are SCD illegal, but you could eat more iron bearing foods like spinach, kale or liver. Do a google search to help you find more. I know that some foods can interfere with the actions of some medications, but since your GI is recommending an iron supplement, I’ll guess that upping your dietary iron won’t be a problem for you. If you have any concerns though, consult with your doctor.

      More info about LDN:
      It was studied at Penn State for Crohn’s and found to be helpful.

      Here are some other LDN sites to look at:
      LDNers.org is focused on LDN as used for MS, but contains lots of generally helpful info.

      http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org is an informational site advocating LDN.

      LDN World Database This site is compiling databases of people’s experience with LDN for a host of diseases. You can look at the databases per disease and add your own LDN experience.

      There are several groups on Yahoo that deal with LDN. Go to Yahoo’s groups page and enter “LDN” in the search box under “Find a Yahoo! Group”.

      A final thought occurs to me. I’m glad that you’ve set a goal for one year, but I hope you don’t become discouraged if it doesn’t happen that soon. It took me 2-1/2 years to loose my symptoms completely. I remember reading that Elaine said that Crohn’s can take 3-4 years to reach that goal. The rule of thumb is to wait one year after your last symptom before you try going off the diet. Anyways, I’ve found that the hardest part is not looking at a year ahead of me, but avoiding the temptations of today.

      Final, final though: is your B12 level good? I’ve found that if my B12 is low, I feel run down.

      Good luck and if you think of it, drop me a line down the road to let me know how it’s all working out for you.

      Cheers,
      Paul

  39. 49 Rob K May 12, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Paul,

    It’s funny!! I came across LDN on your site shortly after I sent you a reply. Since then I’ve spent all my evenings on LDN sites and forum’s. I’ve already spoken to my GI about it…he’s heard very little but said he would look into it. I have a follow up appt in a couple days and I hoping he will write the prescription.
    I also found a compounding pharmacy in Toronto that can produce the pills SCD legal.
    My plan at this point is to sitck with SCD as long as it takes in combination with LDN.
    Also, I’ll have to get my B12 levels checked. Is there a supplement you can recommend? What about shots?

    Thanks,
    Rob K

    • 50 Paul Stocker May 16, 2009 at 11:21 am

      Rob,

      The LDN is an exciting prospect, isn’t it?

      Regarding B12:
      Forgive me if you know this, but if your Crohn’s is in your ileum or you have had that part of your gut removed, your body cannot absorb B12 either from food or the kind of pill supplement that you would swallow. This leaves you with three options: shots, sublingual and nasal sprays. I used to get shots, but when I discovered that it contained aluminum I looked for a sublingual. Even though the shots made a big difference for me, I didn’t want to give my immune system the extra work of additional metals to get rid of. I investigated a B12 nasal spray and found that I could get it at Coastal Compounding, but I would need a prescription to get it and a 3.5mL bottle of 30 sprays runs about $25USD. I finally found a sublingual B12 that I think is working for me. I’ve been taking it for a couple of months and my energy is pretty good, but I’ll have my blood level checked this winter to find out for sure.

      The B12 sublingual that I’m using is a liquid from Pure Encapsulations. I found it on the website “OurKids”. Here’s the link . The ingredients check out as legal. The only thing that is arguable would be the stevia. If you check out the legal/illegal list on the BTVC website, you’ll find that stevia is illegal, but if you follow the link in the note section you will find that Elaine said that “Stevia may be used in minuscule amounts in supplements.” Elaine didn’t qualify what “miniscule” meant, but I don’t think that it is bothering me. Of course your mileage will vary.

      Good luck Rob and if you think of it, let me know how it turns out for you.

      -Paul

  40. 51 Shannon Holdenried May 20, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I have a question about white vinegar. Is it legal as it is derived from grains?

    Thanks

    • 52 Paul Stocker May 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm

      Shannon,

      Yes, white vinegar is legal. It should be clear, with no residue on the bottom of the bottle. I know this can be an issue with apple cider vinegar, but not sure if with white vinegar.

      -Paul

  41. 53 Faune K May 27, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Paul!
    I’m a homeschooling mama of 6. I am loving your recipes! I thought I saw a recipe for homemade Root Beer on your site at one point and now I can’t find it. Am I mistaken? Please, if you have such a recipe, tell me where to find it!
    Thank you,
    Faune

    • 54 Paul Stocker May 28, 2009 at 10:09 am

      Faune,

      I bet you’re thinking of the book section on my blog (scroll down). I don’t have a recipe, but refer to the book “Homemade Root Beer Soda & Pop”.

      However, I think I need to remove this book from my blog for a couple of reasons:

      1. I suspect there is still yeast in the soda when it is finished and people on the SCD want to avoid yeast. Alcohols like mead are different because the concentration of alcohol reaches a point that kills the yeast.
      2. I have come to realize that even without the yeast, the root beer is illegal as it is essentially a carbonated bark tea and bark teas are explicitly illegal.

      When I want a soda now, I simply combine a juice with sparkling water. Try grape juice and sparking water. You can also make a sort of lemon-lime soda by sweetening lemon juice with honey and adding sparkling water. It’s no root beer, but it does have that refreshing fizz.

      -Paul

  42. 55 lilly June 24, 2009 at 3:34 am

    Hi paul,
    How are you? Hope you and your family are well,i just wanted to ask you some questions.Its been 5 months now i have been on the diet and medication free for 2months.
    Iam still having symptons like blood andn diahrea,How long after being on the scd did you stop noticing blood.
    Also were you on medication whilst being on the diet for the first year.
    I really dont want to go back on taking my medication but yet iam sceard my symptons might worsen.I have done well so far into the diet and now i feel like everything is going back to square one.Many thanks Lilly

    • 56 Paul Stocker July 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm

      Lilly,

      How long after being on the scd did you stop noticing blood.

      Bleeding was not an ongoing symptom for me. My only obvious bleeding was when I had a bad flare in 1986 and wound up on the operating table because I couldn’t wean off of prednisone.

      Also were you on medication whilst being on the diet for the first year.

      Not for Crohn’s. I’ve been taking Dilantin since 1988 for seizures, however.

      I really dont want to go back on taking my medication but yet iam sceard my symptons might worsen.I have done well so far into the diet and now i feel like everything is going back to square one.Many thanks Lilly

      Has you condition worsened? If so, when?

      Perhaps you are experiencing a typical setback that happens at the 3 and 6 month marks. Maybe your meds masked the 3 month setback and you are now having a 6 month setback a little early?

      To more generally answer you question regarding easing of symptoms I can tell you what it was like for me. My main symptoms were pain and D. The diet started making me feel better within about ten days, but it took about 2-1/2 years for them to abate completely. My pain was not generalized like an ache. It was short-lived sharp cramps associated with gas and eliminating. These pains and the D became further and further apart over the 2-1/2 years until they were gone. It may sound like a long time, but keep in mind that for 6 months I unknowingly ate illegal chicken and also the Dilantin that I have been taking contains illegals.

      Try to not panic. Pay close attention to your bleeding to see if it is getting better or worse. Be sure to keep a log of your trips to the bathroom and how it was. I understand your fear and I think keeping a log will help you see clearly what is going on and make your decisions.

      -Paul

  43. 57 Anne July 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Read all about you!!! I can only imagine the hope and the inspiration you provide to others….Your web site is very interesting and informative…You have been a busy guy!!! I can vouch for your culinary skills..You’re a great cook, and on a totally unrelated matter…a pretty decent brother-in-law!!

  44. 59 Maria Atwood, CNHP July 30, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks so much for putting a list of legal & illegals in an easy download format. Great site –

    My question is about fermented kefir, beet kvass and other foods that Weston A Price members, and chapter leaders like myself make and eat. I’m a nutritionist and work with people in helping them to transition from a SAD diet to an NT ( Nourishing Traditions) diet by Sally Fallon, author of the book by the same name.

    We drink raw milk, eat raw cheese, drink kefir, and other wonderfully healthy fermented foods. Many of us are grain free but none of us would ever even consider going off our raw milk, raw cream and other digestive wonders like kefir. Rubin, the author that wrote “The Makers Diet” recovered from Crohns via these foods. I hope that these type of foods are allowable, or could you please explain why they are not. Also, if any of these are legal, can the list be updated to reflect that. Kindly email me privately at my email address above, in addition to posting whatever your answers are here.

    Thanks so very much
    Maria Atwood, CNHP

    • 60 Paul Stocker August 3, 2009 at 5:06 pm

      Maria,

      You’re welcome and thank you.

      My question is about fermented kefir, beet kvass and other foods…

      Kefir is allowed on the SCD, but is considered an advanced food. See this link.

      We drink raw milk, eat raw cheese, drink kefir, and other wonderfully healthy fermented foods.

      I did a search on beet kvass and all I can tell you is that I would consider it as not allowed because is not listed in the BTVC book or the BTVC website. One of the guiding principals for following the SCD is “when in doubt, leave it out”.

      AMENDED April 2nd, 2013: Fermented vegetables like kvass, while not specifically mentioned in the BTVC book appear to be legal as long as you make them yourself using legal ingredients and the liquid dripped from SCD yoghurt. Note that these foods tend to be considered advanced. For more info on fermented foods see this page at Pecanbread.com.

      Milk of any kind is not allowed on the SCD. It must be made into SCD yoghurt (fermenting for 24 hours), before being allowed. It is also pasteurized (180 degrees F. for 3 min.) prior to being made into yoghurt to eliminate unwanted bacterial strains. Milk in it’s raw form is disallowed because of the lactose and extra bacterias. The SCD method of making yoghurt removes virtually all the lactose.

      I don’t know about raw cheese as I don’t know what that means. I believe the general guidance for cheese is that it has to be natural and aged, but it’s more complex than I understand so I just follow the cheeses outlined in the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book.

      Some fermented foods are encouraged on the SCD. I’ve heard of some people making their own sauerkraut and also of sauerkraut juice being used.

      For more information read “Breaking the Vicious Cycle. Intestinal Health Through Diet” by Elaine Gottschall which contains the research behing the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

      -Paul

  45. 61 Gary October 10, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Hi Paul,

    You’ve got a great blog with lots of useful information. I’ve been on forums and asking everywhere but so far no answers to a questions I have regarding fiber supplements.

    I’ve got IBS and have recently turned to the SCD to try to get better. I just started a couple of days ago and seems to be helping so far. One problem I have is that I’m not regular and was wondering if there is any “legal” or allowable fiber supplement to help people who have problems with being regular?

    If you know of any product or have any suggestions for me I’d greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Gary

    • 62 Paul Stocker November 4, 2009 at 6:52 pm

      I’m glad you’re finding some relief with the SCD. I don’t know if it’s the same for IBS as it is for Crohn’s, colitis or autism, but it can take years to heal completely. I’m very encouraged that you are seeing results after just a few days.

      As far as legal fiber supplements go, my knee-jerk reaction is to recommend you add more fiber to your diet instead of using a supplement. I’ve never used fiber supplements, but a quick look into Metamucil tells me that it is illegal as the psyllium fiber it’s made from is mucilaginous. The BTVC website legal/illegal list will tell you that mucilaginous herbs and mucilaginous polysaccharides are illegal. See here, here and here. I suspect that other fiber supplements have similar problems.

      I’m not a fiber expert, but a quick google turned up this list of fiber in foods, many which are SCD legal.

      If you have a fiber supplement that you want to use, let me know what it is and I can try to research it for you.

      -Paul

  46. 63 Candice Castillo October 13, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I had a question and I was hoping you could help. I have indeterminate colitis with lots of bleeding. I started SCD 3 months ago, and at month 2 I entered a pretty bad flare, with several trips to the ER and just ended a predinsone taper. Unable and unwilling to do any other IBD drugs (I had so much inflammation I could no longer pass stool) Anyways my first 2 months with SCD were great, I felt wonderful and found that changing my habits was easier than I expected. Around the time before the flare (in fact maybe even a the start of it) I tried to add a SCD legal probiotic. I was eating one cup a day of the yogurt but wanted to start the probiotic. Since then all hell broke loose! This also happened when the bleeding orginally began..after I decided to start on VSL #3 2 years ago, after one day I was bleeding buckets. After being the ER a few times this last flare, my homopathic DO suggested I get rid of dairy all together and stay with the diet. I did it that, I did not want to get rid of the yogurt but I saw improvement right away. I tried Goats yougurt slowly as recommended by Pecanbread but felt worse with it. At this point I am strictly on Stage 2-3 of SCD without dairy and yougurt. I am improving greatly and wondering if I should chance a probiotic? Do you need a probiotic or the yougurt for SCD to be sucessful?
    Thank you and keep up the great work!

    • 64 Paul Stocker November 18, 2009 at 9:57 am

      Candice,

      Regarding probiotic on the SCD, my understanding is that the probiotics (yoghurt or other) are important. I believe the bacterias we do want provide for some competition to the bacterias we do not want and so help speed the healing. Of course, if you find that they are making you sicker, than that isn’t any help at this time.

      I went to http://www.vsl3.com to discover its ingredients but could not, so suspect that it is illegal on SCD.

      It could be that you are not yet healed enough to tolerate the goat yoghurt. I would advise you to keep doing what makes you feel better and then sometime in the future try to introduce goat yoghurt as per the pecanbread website or pill form probiotics. I’ve learned that reactions to foods can sometimes take days, so you could be particularly cautious when introducing goat yoghurt by trying a very small amount (1/8 tsp) then waiting many days to see if it affects you, keeping careful track of you symptoms.

      See this pecanbread page for more info on probiotic pills: http://www.pecanbread.com/p/probiotics1.html

      Here are instructions for starting slowly with probiotic pills: http://www.pecanbread.com/p/slowprobiotic1.html

      The yoghurt is preferred over the pills because they are a better delivery device than the pills. The dairy protects the probiotics it contains to deliver them farther along your digestive track than the pills can. This way more of the good stuff gets to where it’s needed most.

      Any way you go about it, it is important to get your gut flora back in shape.

      Take care and keep up the good work.

      -Paul

  47. 65 vickith October 25, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I’m an elite athlete (cyclist) with ulcerative colitis. I was diagnosed this summer (mid-July) and with the exception of four weeks, I’ve been in a constant flare.
    I’m trying to eat a low-residue diet during my flares. But I’m curious about the SCD. My main concern is how this diet works for athletes – because grain products are not permitted. How can I ensure I get adequate carbohydrates? I’m wondering if you know of any other athletes who follow SCD?
    Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions are appreciated.

    cheers,
    vicki

    http://ottawa.cx
    http://victoriasisland.typepad.com

    • 66 Paul Stocker November 18, 2009 at 10:22 am

      Vicki,

      Sorry to hear you are dealing with UC.

      I am not an elite athlete though I do play hockey once or twice a week. I suffer the most from not being in as good a shape as I could be – a result of a character flaw, not a lack of energy due to the SCD. I don’t know any elite athletes on SCD, but I don’t think I suffer a lack of energy when I’m on the ice. I don’t have a sophisticated understanding of diet as related to sports, but do know a few things about carbohydrates.

      It will take you some experimenting, but try using SCD legal fruits like grapes and spotty bananas in place of the pre race pasta for your carbs. I may very well be wrong, but I suspect they are easier to digest and therefore less work for you body than pasta, et al. You could even experiment with honey as your carb source. If I remember right, the honey will take virtually no effort for your body to use as fuel. You can even find honey in sticks which you may be able to use during your rides as terrain permits.

      When I play hockey, I use a 50/50 mix of legal white grape juice and water as part of my hydration routine. You can also make your own legal electrolyte drinks: http://pecanbread.com/p/tanya/electrolytedrink.html or some SCDers use E-Lyte Sport which appears to legal: http://www.elytesport.com/ Additionally, smartwater by Glaceau contains electrolytes and appears to be legal.

      -Paul

  48. 67 Kathleen December 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I just came across your site for the first time. After 18 years of living with off-and-on cramping, adhesions, mucous diarrhea and more, FINALLY I have a diagnosis: Crohn’s. I’m hoping this is the beginning of a journey toward wellness, not the beginning of toxic drugs and worsening health. I’m really worried about making the wrong decisions since I know so little.

    Here are my questions:

    1. One medical dr. online says that for every person he’s met who does well on SCD there are 3-4 who don’t get better on it. Over the years, you must have met many other people with this. Do you think those are the odds?

    2. Do you or most people you know with this still take the standard medical drug treatments? (Forgive me if you said this somewhere. I’ve been skipping around your site — could have missed it.)

    3. Do probiotics play a role in your plan? I figure that if bacteria has gotten out of hand, then good bacteria should be helpful. But then again, they probably need carbs to keep them alive. Can you help me figure this out?

    4. After all these years of inflammation, my kidneys have stones and cysts. They have even bled during really bad flares. I know lots of protein is hard on kidneys. Have you heard of this complication? Any ideas?

    Okay, that’s alot to ask in one post. I am so grateful to have someone to ask. Heading into more tests this week. Colonoscopy just hours before Christmas.

    – Kathleen

    • 68 Paul Stocker December 16, 2009 at 4:57 pm

      Kathleen,

      I’m sorry you’ve got Crohn’s, but glad you finally have a diagnosis – at least that can be some relief.

      Try not to worry to much about the decisions you make. Short of having surgery, any treatment you decide upon can be changed. Besides, stress will only exacerbate your condition. The last flare I had back in 2004 was caused entirely by stress.

      For what it’s worth, I just put up a post that you might find useful. It helped me to think about all the treatments for Crohn’s and make my decisions feel more solid. Here’s the link: https://eatingscd.com/2009/12/16/a-decision-tool/

      Regarding question 1:
      Actually, I only have met a few people with IBD and the only people on the SCD that I “know” are on the internet. I have no idea what the success rate of the SCD is. I don’t think there is any way to tell. It may be helpful to find out what the odds are for the different Crohn’s drug. Are they better or worse than the SCD, for instance.

      Regarding question 2:
      I can’t say. I don’t take any drugs for my Crohn’s, but I didn’t before the diet either. I have read enough of people’s experiences to know that it varies from using medications all the time, to weaning off of them to not using medications any more. In addition, some people may need occasional medications to deal with flares. I think most people on the SCD are hoping to minimize or eliminate medications.

      Regarding question 3:
      Probiotics are key to the SCD. Have you read “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” yet? If not, you need to. The basic idea of the diet is to alter your gut flora. Consider this: the average adult carries one and a half pounds of bacteria in their gut. At first this is staggering when you consider you can’t even see the little buggers with the naked eye. Your flora constitutes a range of different bacterial strains. The SCD aims to change the ratio of the different strains and that is where the probiotics and specific carbohydrate restriction come into play. To oversimplify: the probiotics add good bacterias and the lack of specific carbohydrates reduces the bad bacterias. The diet does not eliminate all carbohydrates, only specific ones, hence the name.

      Regarding question 4:
      I’m not familiar with that complication. I know that the SCD can be done vegetarian, but that is outside the scope of my experience.

      Good luck with your colonoscopy. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping it goes well.

      -Paul

  49. 69 lilly December 13, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Hi Paul,
    Hope you are well?Its been 11 months now i have been on the diet and i have had no blood and mucous for last 5 months.Sometimes i get diahrea which happens if i have salads such as lettece or oranges.C

  50. 70 lilly December 13, 2009 at 5:55 am

    Hi Paul,
    Hope you are well?Its been 11 months now i have been on the diet and i have had no blood and mucous for last 5 months.Sometimes i get diahrea which happens if i have salads such as lettece or oranges.How long did you have diarhea when starting the diet?It would be heplful to know.Thank you for your past comments and advice i really apprieciate it.
    Many thanks
    Lilly

    • 71 Paul Stocker December 14, 2009 at 6:24 pm

      Lilly,

      I have been well, thank you. I tried going off the diet, but found it didn’t work for me – I had to go to the bathroom too much.

      I’m glad to hear your last 5 months have gone well. I don’t remember how long the diarrhea lasted for me and I suppose it depends on how you define it. If you define infrequent loose stools as diarrhea then that persisted for years. To this day I can induce loose stools if I overindulge in salads or citrus or coffee, but I don’t consider myself to have diarrhea anymore as I can control it by what I eat. I figure it took me about 2-1/2 years to become symptom free.

      -Paul

    • 72 Paul Stocker December 14, 2009 at 6:24 pm

      Hi Lilly,

      I have been well, thank you. I tried going off the diet, but found it didn’t work for me – I had to go to the bathroom too much.

      I’m glad to hear your last 5 months have gone well. I don’t remember how long the diarrhea lasted for me and I suppose it depends on how you define it. If you define infrequent loose stools as diarrhea then that persisted for years. To this day I can induce loose stools if I overindulge in salads or citrus or coffee, but I don’t consider myself to have diarrhea anymore as I can control it by what I eat. I figure it took me about 2-1/2 years to become symptom free.

      Cheers, Paul

  51. 73 jon January 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Hi,

    I have a 6yo son with possible crohns or UC.

    No definite diagnosis yet because we have only doen one colonoscopy.

    Because his symptoms are mild, we don’t see the need for evasive procedures month after month.

    In the meantime we are on SCD, and it seems to be working. However his iron supplement has sugar in it, and SCD does not allow that. There is no way he will talk B12 supps thru needle. He just won’t sit.

    Are they any alternatives?

    John

    P.S. Happy the SCD worked for you. nice.

  52. 75 Barbara January 8, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Paul, My 14 year old son was diagnosed with U.C. a year ago and it has been so distressing to watch our son go through this. He took a very bad reaction to Asacol and Pentasa and ended up in hospital with an extremely painful,stiff neck and diarrhea and bleeding much worse. The G.I. suggested Imuran or surgery which we feel is not an option at the moment. He started taking LDN 3 months ago and was doing well until a week before Christmas he had the flu and a flare up of the U.C. I started him on the SCD diet and within 3 days we saw a big improvement, but the past 2 days he has started to have diarrhea and bleeding again, He has stuck rigidly to the diet so we are very discouraged, How long should it take for the symptoms to stop. Thank you so much for this site it really helps to know that other people were able to get their life back and to know there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. God bless you. Barbara.

    • 76 Paul Stocker January 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      Barbara,

      I’m sorry to hear that your son is suffering. I’m sure it is hard on all of you.

      The SCD is not a quick fix. You have to remember that it took time for his body to get sick and it will take time for it to heal. It is common to see improvement early on the diet and to also have set-backs. The most common times are at the three, six and sometimes nine month marks. The early improvement is what helps people to remain committed to the SCD, though.

      When you experience set-backs or flares it is a good idea to drop back to the intro diet for a short time. If the bleeding is serious I presume that you are in contact with your doctor and of course your son should do whatever is necessary to get that under control.

      Ironically, the good news is that your son is young. The SCD generally works better and faster the younger you are. I know it’s hard to be patient mother, but take care of his bleeding, keep him on the SCD and see what happens when he weans off his drugs.

      Perhaps this will also help to sooth your mind: Even though I was deathly ill as a teenager, I don’t remember most of the bad stuff. My mother will tell me about awful experiences I had that I have no recollection of.

      Don’t hesitate to write back if you have other questions or concerns.

      -Paul

  53. 77 Robynne April 24, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Hi, thank you for sharing your experience! It’s very comforting to know that there are others on this journey to healing 🙂 I have not started the SCD yet, I’m still gathering all of the information that I can so that I can “prep” my kitchen for the switch over in my diet. I suffer from ulcerative colitis (ulcerative proctitis) and have had this condition for approx. 2 years now; I am thankful not to have much of the pain that can be associated with this but am hoping that the SCD remedies the on-going bleeding that I’ve had. In getting my fridge and cupboards ready, any idea what is illegal and what is legal in terms of condiments, salad dressings, cooking sauces, pre-mixed seasoning blends etc.? I’ve also heard that using tupperware or plastic containers, teflon, wooden utensils and anything else that gluten can hide in, tend to derail this diet as well. Thoughts?
    Thank you again for any and ALL of your help. I’d be interested to see what your progress is, it looks like it’s been about a year since you posted!

    Robynne 🙂

  54. 80 Robynne May 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Paul, thank you for responding to my initial questions.

    I wondered if you were aware of supplements that are SCD legal? I train on a regular basis and need to find something that I can incorporate into post-workout shakes. I’m having a very hard time finding something that I can mix, like a protein powder made of legal ingredients only. The vegetarian ones have some form of grain in most of them (albeit sprouted, but still illegal); and I’m kinda stuck. Any ideas? Or maybe a suggestion to another resource for other actively training SCD-ers?

    Thank you again!

    • 81 Paul Stocker May 16, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      Robynne,

      You’re welcome.

      I’m presuming you mean supplements of the type that say, weight lifters might use to gain mass. I don’t have any personal advice on that. I would direct you to two places, however. Visit Matt Robinson’s “For Athletes” section on his blog and try posting your question on the Yahoo BTVC-SCD group.

      Just in case you mean supplements more in the line of vitamins, see this page on pecanbread.com.

      -Paul

  55. 82 Robynne May 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Paul, thank you again!

    Not so much a mass builder; anyone who works out and weight trains should be supplementing with additional protein directly after their session to speed muscles recovery and development (in addition to decreasing post-workout soreness). I’m a kinesiology grad (exercise science) and I’ve been trying to keep things the same even though I must really watch what I eat! After a good search this afternoon, I found it! The only protein supplement (which is just a “supplemental” source of protein) that is SCD legal is egg whites…. provided that you don’t go for the fancy flavored ones that are sold in health food stores. Rose Acre Farms sells “Dried Egg Whites” that have NO additives; they’re just egg! There’s another site online that sells them fairly inexpensively, I hope that this information helps others! It was tough to find!

    I’m really looking forward to seeing how the egg whites taste like in a shake with some fruit and almond milk!

    Thanks again!!!

    • 83 Paul Stocker May 17, 2011 at 7:05 am

      Robynne,

      That sounds great. Did you contact the company to make sure that there are no additives? I could find a nutrition panel on their site, but no explicit ingredient label. I’d encourage you to follow up on that to be sure.

      -Paul

      • 84 Barbydoll March 9, 2013 at 4:27 am

        I haven’t yet baked with coconut flour, but look forawrd to giving it a try. Pre-GAPS, I baked a lot, so for my first few months on the diet, I avoided baking altogether. I didn’t want to fall into old habits with new ingredient substitutions. Now that healthier eating has become a habit, I’m looking forawrd to the occasional baked treat as part of my diet.

  56. 85 Roy December 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Hey Paul
    Great website! keep up the good work.
    -Roy

  57. 87 Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Dear Paul,
    my 7years old daughter is on SCD for about 3,5 of months now. She was diagnozed with UC when she was 5. Nothing as a Imuran or mesalazin, chinesse herbs, psychotherapy etc. didn’t stop her bleeding yet. Only during last two months on the diet her condition has very improved! We were soooo happy and grateful. But these days she has setback. I pray it is small setback in 3 months on the diet, which E. Gottschall wrote about. It aggreviate after she tried almond flour muffin, but it is already about 14 days ago. Another thing can play a role, that we tried very slowly to reduce dose of mesalazin (to skip each second evening dose). Our GI doc doesn’t agree with SCD, because he does not know it…Please, do you have any experience with this 3 months setback? And do you have any advice if to go back to the Intro (for how long?) and how long could this flare take? We tried intro for 2 days, but daughter already hates these meals of intro diet…she rather eats nothing…Thank you a lot for any information! Take care! Debora (Europe)

    • 88 Paul Stocker May 2, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Dear Debora,

      I’m sorry that your daughter is dealing with this, but glad that the SCD is helping her feel better.

      My recovery from Crohn’s was slow and gradual enough that I didn’t have a dramatic set back at the 3 month time. I also wasn’t aware of that common experience so I don’t have a memory of it.

      I cannot predict how long your daughter’s setback will last. If she wont eat the intro diet, just return to eating what she was before the almond flour muffin. I think bone broth is helpful to sooth an irritated gut. You can find out more about bone broths here: http://pecanbread.com/new/elaine2/soup.html.

      Good luck and even though I know it’s hard, try to be patient.

      -Paul

  58. 89 Anonymous June 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Hello Paul, this question might seem alittle weird but I promise you it is a serious one :p, I was wondering about toothpaste is it possible to brush your teeth with it or should one avoid it?

  59. 91 Kal July 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Paul!
    Great website! Thank you so much for all of this information! I have been on SCD for two months now and have been having mixed results. On the one hand, I am going to the bathroom less, but on the other hand I am also eating less (just graduated college=broke, etc.), and also I have been having new symptoms which I never had before starting the diet, e.g., frequent urges to go. I’m just wondering if this is something that you’ve experienced? I’m worried that the improvement in certain symptoms is due to the fact that I am eating less, rather than the diet. Any way to tell?

    • 92 Paul Stocker July 14, 2012 at 7:05 am

      Kal,

      You’re welcome.

      My progression on the SCD was slow. I noticed good changes almost right away, but my symptoms did not abate immediately, they became further and further apart until they were gone. Unlike you, I don’t remember having any new symptoms in the early days of the SCD. It’s possible that these new negative things you are experiencing are a symptom of die off which is a great thing as it means the diet it working for you. Take a look at this page on Pecanbread.com that talks about die off: http://pecanbread.com/new/temporarysymptoms.html

      I don’t have a specific test that will tell what the diet is doing for you other than to say keep to it and record everything in detail. In a word the best test is patience.

      Cheers,
      Paul

  60. 93 Anonymous June 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I just started the diet this week. I feel better already. I had been on Atkins 4 ago and lost 50 pounds and got rid of my candida. Then my urologist suggested I get off the diet (I failed to ask him why). I started eating grains and now I have gained the weight back and have candida. Anyway, I was taking magnesium oxide for years for constipation. It works miracles for me, but I realize it acts as an antacid, which discourages the digestion of food and causes rebound problems. Any suggestions what I could try that’s legal on the diet

    • 94 Linda LaMarca June 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      P.S. My name is Linda and I am anonymous. I was previously unable to put in my name.

      • 95 Linda LaMarca June 11, 2013 at 8:56 am

        I have an interesting questions. We are not supposed to have Galactose on this diet, yet modified citrus pectin and Larch arabinose galactin are good fiber supplements and clear the liver of toxins yet they contain galactose. What should we use as a fiber supplement when the stools are like rabbit droppings?

        • 96 Paul Stocker June 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm

          Linda,

          Just eat fiber in it’s natural form: vegetables and nuts.

          -Paul

          • 97 Linda LaMarca June 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm

            Paul, I do take Betain HCI, it doesn’t cure the dry hard stools for me, and I take digestive enzymes.

          • 98 Anonymous July 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm

            Paul, I just read that eating fermented foods are discouraged. And that vegetable fibers are hard to digest and candida feeds of the fiber. What’s the deal?

            • 99 Paul Stocker July 8, 2013 at 11:36 am

              Anon,

              Like many other foods, fermented foods can be either legal or illegal, well tolerated or not well tolerated. The two main concerns are the culture used and the amount of fiber. You want a ferment that uses a SCD friendly culture. The amount of fiber in a fermented food will affect each person differently, but has nothing to do with the actual fermenting. You may not tolerate a lot of fiber in the beginning of the diet, but much better later on. Candida is only a problem if it is dominant in your gut. The SCD is designed to control that balance of bacterias.

              For a good read on fermented foods, visit this post on Pecanbread.

              -Paul

    • 100 Paul Stocker June 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Linda,

      There is an excellent article on SCDlifestyle.com that addresses this issue. Here’s the link.

      -Paul

  61. 101 Linda LaMarca June 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, but the vegetables and nuts just don’t help. I can’t possibly consume enough to ever make a difference. I’m 63, kind of know my body, and I’ve been off the magnesium oxide for three days and already suffering from dry hard stools. It’s a conundrum. The magnesium oxide works but is an antacid. Any other ideas?

  62. 103 Alyssa July 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    What type of fiber supplement can I take on the SC diet? Can I take methylcellulose fiber? (What is in Citrucel?) Fruits and nuts do not work for me at all.

    • 104 Paul Stocker July 8, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Alyssa,

      There are no legal fiber supplements. However, Elaine does have a protocol for constipation in two posts on the BTVC website: post 1 and post 2.

      Methylcellulose as an additive to a supplement is allowed because it is nearly impossible to avoid. However, in bulk it is discouraged though. From Colleen on the BTVC website:

      Cellulose in your supplements is okay and virtually impossible to avoid. People get confused on this issue, because it *is* an indigestible fiber and therefore not ideal to ingest. This is why we need to cook all our fruits and veggies in the beginning – to break it down. But a tiny amount in a supplement is fine.

      -Paul

  63. 105 Emelia January 3, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Your site is amazing – all the time and effort you have put into researching this stuff is invaluable, so thank you for that! I came across your site because I am trying to research if hemp hearts (aka seeds) can be legal on SCD. I am not scientific-minded or good at this kind of thing, so I have not gotten any farther than just seeing it as illegal on BTVC, but it doesnt make sense to me as to why it would be illegal and there is no offered explanation. I figured hemp was not a “mainstream” food back when SCD started, so that is why there is not a lot of info on it. I am really just trying to find more non-animal protein sources to broaden my menus… Anyway, if you are able to find any info, it would be so greatly appreciated! If not, that’s ok too – thanks again for everything you’ve already posted here!!!

    • 106 Paul Stocker January 4, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Emelia,

      Thank you for the compliments. I’m proud of what I’ve done here, but it sure is nice to hear such nice things from my readers.

      Regarding the reason for hemp seed being illegal: From the BTVC_SCD group on Yahoo by Kim M.:
      “From what I can tell in a quick online check, hemp (and marijuana) have polysaccharides as their carbohydrate structure. I would consider them to be very advanced, essentially “illegal” for SCD use if you plan to swallow and digest some form of hemp.”

      -Paul

  64. 107 Valerie March 19, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I really want to do this diet to heal my leaky gut, but have a bunch of food intolerances. Did a blood test to find food intolerances. The main ones that concern me are: beef, chicken, coconut, milk,and eggs. My kids probably have several of the same intolerances as me. I don’t see how I coulda age the diet especially without eggs and gelatin. Feeling very hopeless like healing is never going to come.

    • 108 Paul Stocker March 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Valerie,

      I did a little digging on the official BTVC website and found Elaine’s thoughts regarding vegetarians,

      “I say to vegetarians: do not go on the diet unless you will eat one egg per day or more and some cheese. You can get enough complete protein if you eat these foods. But if you do not, you will have a hard time and it is not healthful with IBD.”

      I think you could do the SCD without beef, chicken, coconut, and milk, as there are other animal proteins like fish and pork and also probiotic pills if you cannot take the yoghurt. I just don’t know how these compare to eggs and the quote from above.

      Given your feelings of hopelessness, it seems like the SCD is worth a try. Aside from the learning curve, I’ve found that the most difficult of the process is having patience. It takes a long time and it’s not easy particularly when you start from a low-feeling place. You have to savor the small victories and forgive yourself for messing up.

      -Paul

    • 109 judy March 20, 2014 at 11:26 am

      I did the food intolerance test for leaky gut too. Came back positive on almost everything (although I was only very slightly for beef and chicken..eggs were very high). I have been doing the diet going from intro to stage one and have been slowly improving after initially feeling worse…which is a good and positive thing to experience as you have “die off” of bad bacteria and initial “low carb flu” symptoms as your body adjusts. I would suggest all types of fish for your intro, skip the eggs and don’t try coconut until you’re advanced. Many food intolerances will go away within several months or a year as your gut heals. You can even make bone broth from fish, just google it, i’ve seen it around. And maybe you could try lamb, bison, and pork. Also, knor unflavored gelatin in the store is made from pork bones I believe. I try to follow http://pecanbread.com/f/how/introdiet.html
      for the intro diet. It’s a great website. Just make adjustments as you need. Don’t feel hopeless! I thought two months ago that healing would never come, and I feel like after two years of searching and reading 100’s of books, healing is coming. This is the diet I avoided since the beginning, and now I’ve come full circle. We can be so stubborn sometimes. 😀 Good luck and God Bless!

      • 110 Paul Stocker March 21, 2014 at 9:33 am

        Judy,

        Thanks for your input. It’s invaluable to hear how a similar situation is handled by someone else. An “I’ve been there and it’s not easy, but possible” goes a long way.

        -Paul

  65. 111 Valerie March 19, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Don’t know why auto correct put coulda age in last post but it is suppose to be could handle

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  67. 113 div July 13, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Hi Paul,
    Is there a SCD way of colonoscopy prep?thanks

    – div

    • 114 Paul Stocker July 13, 2014 at 9:38 am

      Div,

      Yes.
      Marilyn, lead moderator of the BTVC_SCD group on Yahoo lays it all out. Create a Yahoo account and join the BTVC-SCD group. In the “Getting Started with SCD” folder of the “Files” section, see the document ColonscopyPrep.rtf. Alternatively, if you already have a Yahoo account, click this link for a download of that file.

      -Paul

  68. 115 Bryan April 21, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Hello, I just started the SCD diet 5 days ago. I was wondering if I can start taking probiotics now or if i have to wait for the “die off” period

    • 116 Paul Stocker April 23, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Hi Bryan,

      According to the BTVC book, SCD yoghurt is part of the intro diet so as far as Elaine is concerned, probiotics can start right away. However, some people have to work up a tolerance to probiotics. Your milage will vary. Keep a detailed food log to track your reactions.

      -Paul

  69. 117 Judy April 21, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    I would wait. You want everything to die off first. You may want to read a little into doing 4 R programs. I waited one month before starting the scd legal scdophilus (can buy online and purchase their yogurt starter too if you wish to make your own yogurt once you can eat coconut milk, etc.) Best wishes!

  70. 118 Dan October 6, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Hi I been on the diet for almost 3 months now. In the beginning I had miraculous progress almost reducing my IBS symptoms with 70-80%. But then about 4 weeks in my stomach got really bad again. So I went back to the introduction diet and it got better again. But then the symptoms came back again and now it is pretty bad. I found this both so frustrating and heartbreaking as it felt like I had found the cure and it was the first time my stomach had been well for 24 years. Do you know if it is normal to have these relapses? And if so what one could do to combat this?

    Thank you

    Dan

    • 119 Paul Stocker October 7, 2015 at 7:37 am

      Hi Dan,

      Yes, these relapses are expected and require patience and perseverance. You are doing the right things by going back to intro foods. I know it’s tough and sometimes the optimism just disappears, but stay legal and take it just a day or hour at a time. Revisit your journal and make sure you didn’t introduce something that has irritated your system. Sometimes people find that non-obvious things bother them like carrots.

      -Paul

      • 120 Dan October 7, 2015 at 7:48 am

        Thanks a lot Paul. It is so difficult to really understand what one can eat or not. But of course if I only eat chicken I’m better but I feel it tears on my energy so still trying to get enough minerals and stuff and only been eating stuff on the actual diet. And make my own bread using farmers chesse, almond flour, eggs and honey. Thanks for making this site a very nice gesture

  71. 122 Aparna mohanty October 11, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Hi!

    I was diagnosed with crohns one month back, endoscopy showed fine nodularity in stomach and colonoscopy showed ulcers in illeum.
    So I have crohns of stomach and illeum. I was diagnosed after 9 months of misdiagnosis as IBS.
    My symptoms are stomach pain all the time whether I eat or not and I have lost quite a bit of weight.
    I have been put on pentasa and budesonide but they don’t seem to be working.
    My question is does SCD work for crohns of stomach? Cuz thats were I suffer mostly.
    Paul, since you might have come across lot of people with IBD, have you heard anybody recover gastric Crohns or gastoduodenal crohns with SCD?
    I am suffering a lot cuz of this pain,
    Please reply!
    I am planning to start SCD, suggestions are most welcome.
    TIA!

    Thanks,
    Aparna

    • 123 Paul Stocker October 11, 2016 at 9:31 am

      Hi Aparna,

      I don’t know. You are the first person I’ve come across with it in the stomach. If you try the SCD, keep a very detailed journal of what you eat, your symptoms, everything you can think of and see if it helps.

      -Paul

  72. 124 Aparna October 11, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks Paul!
    I am heart broken and worried 😰

  73. 125 Aparna October 12, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Paul,as far as I remember, initially when you were diagnosed, there was an ulcer in your stomach, doesn’t that mean that the disease was in your stomach too?, pardon me if I am wrong. I wan’t to start SCD but before that I just want to see similar cases like me who beniffited.

    Thanks!

    • 126 Paul Stocker October 12, 2016 at 7:21 am

      Aparna,

      Ah, I have to look at that again and clarify. That ulcer was a run of the mill peptic ulcer, secondary to the Crohn’s. I think they’re caused by a specific bacteria.

      -Paul

  74. 127 Magali De La Torre March 16, 2017 at 2:08 am

    I have a question? I am a 20 yr old female and what scares me about this diet is that people loose a lot of weight. I don’t want to lose anymore weight than I already lost. In beginning of this year I weight 105 Jan 2017 and now we’re in March 2017 and I now weight 88 lbs. is there any way I can gain my weight back? I’m scared to lose more weight. I was also diagnosed with GERD. So does this SCD Diet help with GERD? Please answer asap. Thank you.

    • 128 Paul Stocker March 16, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Magali,

      This is not an uncommon fear. I lost weight, but then again, I had 20 lbs extra to start with. It took most of a year to loose that and then I stabilized at a healthy weight. You don’t have to be afraid of loosing more weight though. See what Elaine says about weight loss at this link.

      You may loose some weight, but if you are healing, that should stop and eventually reverse. Being on the SCD means you will probably eat a lot more food than you’ve been used to.

      I don’t know about the GERD.

      -Paul


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What I'm Eating

Shrimp Étouffée

New almond muffin flavor.

Cauliflower mash.

Home made dill pickles.

Moroccan preserved lemons.

Smoked chicken drumsticks.

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