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Why do die off reactions occur?

Most people with severe digestive problems have an overgrowth of bacteria. Most pathogenic bacteria have a toxin in their cell wall that gets released when they die. When many bacteria die at once, there will be an increase of bacterial toxin.

When you see negative symptoms during the first days of SCD, you should rejoice: the bad bacteria that have destroyed you are being eliminated!

The same toxins the gut pathogens have been giving off all along are all being released now, all at ONCE, as these bad guys bite the dust. They are DESPERATE to survive, so they are sending you messages to GO GET FOOD. Meaning, they want their Nutrigrain bars and their sugary cookies and all the other stuff that they've been thriving on all this time. They KNOW they will DIE if they don't get it.... so they are willing to go to desperate measures to influence their "host".... and break down your will to defeat them. This is a life or death struggle for them and they mean to win. You must make up your mind that your plan is to erradicate them from your body once and for all..... and determine you won't give in to them!

How to decrease the severity of temporary initial symptoms.

Gradually decrease the amount of starches and sugar at least a week before starting

Do not use antifungals at the same time as the beginning of SCD

Take a chelation break if you are doing chelation.

List of possible die off temporary symptoms: Not everyone experiences all of these symptoms, and some may not notice any symptoms.

  • fever
  • extreme hunger
  • nausea and vomiting.
  • dizziness
  • achy joints and back
  • change in bowels (diarrhea or constipation)
  • strange skin rashes
  • runny nose and funny cough
  • headaches
  • behavior changes/irritability/tantrums/short tempered
  • sleep disturbances
  • Things you can do to make it more tolerable:
      It is important to note that the die-off reaction is an inflammation response brought on by the increase in bacterial toxins.
    • Epsom Salt soaks in a warm tub
    • Activated Charcoal Capsules for a brief time. Do not take it during meal times or within 2 hours of medications and supplements.
    • Green tea has an incredible ability to neutralize some of the harmful effects from bacterial toxins. You might want to drink green tea before starting SCD and during the initial stage of SCD until the die of reactions subside.
    • Chicken soup and bone broths have natural anti-inflammatory properties. This is important because the die off reaction is an inflammation response brought on by the increase in bacterial toxins. Click here to view recipes and info about the benefits of chicken soup and bone broths.
    • Drink 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with a pinch of salt in a glass of water as needed (on an empty stomach). As the bacteria die off the toxins cause your pH to become acidic which makes you feel much worse. The baking soda buffers the acid. (Catherine Tamaro)
    • You can also use the electrolyte drink to help prevent dehydration: Recipe for the electrolyte drink
    • Slowing down the introduction of enzymes (some call this the "low and slow" method.
    • Going slower in the introduction of the SCD probiotics and yogurt. You should wait before introducing these if you have a strong die-off symptoms ( has ideas on introducing this yogurt)
    • Following the directions for the introductions of foods.  Click here to view chart for the gradual introduction of foods.

    Directions for doing Epsom Salt baths:

    Directions for Epsom Salt baths: Use warm water.
    Start with 1 cup of Epsom Salts in waist deep water; soak for at least 20 minutes. If 1 cup is tolerated, increase to 2 cups of Epsom salts at the next bath. If 1 cup is not well-tolerated (hyperness, irritability, whining), reduce the dose to 1/2 a cup or less for subsequent baths until you reach a tolerable point. Negative symptoms indicate that the person is detoxing more than his or her body can handle. Do not exceed two cups of salts in any one bath. Epsom salt baths can be done up to twice a day, on an as-needed basis.