The Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Frequently Asked Questions


Diagnosis - What's In a Name?

Elaine writes:
I believe most of these bowel diseases fall along a continuum. Diagnosis is based on manmade criteria and often there are overlapping symptoms so diverticulitis may be a diagnosis at one time and at another time, it might be ulcerative colitis. You are on the right track with the diet and if the pain gets worse or continues, of course you will have to see a doctor to make sure there is no blockages, etc.

Often people go around for years without a diagnosis and are told they need a psychologist, etc. etc. Then one bright day, a lightbulb goes on either in the patient's head or in the doctor's and they say "you have celiac, we will put you on a gluten free diet." After that, even when the gluten free diet is only helping and not getting rid of all symtpoms, they stand by what the diagnosis was for fear someone might suggest again that it is all in their heads. And the diagnosis for celiac is so silly if it is based on a flattened mucosa seen upon biopsy. That is because most people with diarrhea conditions have a flattened mucosa upon biopsy, as bacterial overgrowth causes it.

Colleen writes:
IBS is Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It basically means, "We really have no idea." Syndromes are not considered diseases. They are a collection of symptoms which seems to form a pattern but which is inconsistent and vague enough that the medical profession can't quite call it a disease. AIDS, for example, is a syndrome. People don't die of AIDS. They die of Kaposi's sarcoma or pneumonia or something else, as a result of a decimated immune system. If you had a colonoscopy, there would be no inflammation with IBS. But as many folks on the list can tell you, it can often be debilitating, and there is really no such thing as "I only have IBS." Some people with IBS are in worse shape than some of us with an IBD diagnosis. This is why Elaine says these diseases occur on a continuum and labels are not important.

IBD is Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This includes colitis and Crohn's, and inflammation would be present on examination. These are considered true pathological diseases.

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"We must never forget that what the patient takes beyond his ability to digest does harm."
    Dr. Samuel Gee

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