| Mik Aidt's testimonial to the SCD
Mik is the founder and lead webmaster of the SCD Web Library. Mik started the SCD in July 1996; here is his dramatic success story.
|| Mik's Welcome Letter
Welcome to the SCD Web Library. If you haven't been here before, allow me to introduce the place to you.
This is a web site dedicated to spreading information about the "Specific Carbohydrate Diet" (SCD) and the apparently controversial fact that diet can be a way to cure intestinal diseases.
(As the matter of fact, possibly also many other "diseases of the Western civilization", such as various internal infections, arthrisis, rheumatism, astma and blood clots.)
As appears from the letter below which I wrote a year ago to the SCD support group on the Internet, I started this web site because the SCD - which I learned about from a web site in July 1996 - has saved if not my life, then at least my intestines.
The SCD was the "medicine" I needed - but this no doctor in Denmark wanted to let me know. They had their steroid types of medicine they wanted to sell me, even though it could never cure me. On the contrary, the conventional medicine that doctors and hospitals have to offer takes one into a vicious cycle of needing more and more of it. Until you are so sick that you must have an operation.
Living with the Specific Carbodydrate diet has not only changed my eating habits for good. It has certainly also changed my view of the so-called "experts" and authorities; the dieticians, the official advisers on diet at a national level, the doctors, the medicinal industry, the magazines - and not to mention the organisations that deal with intestinal disorders and imflammatory bowel diseases.
What is happening during these years at the turn of the 20th century is that all of a sudden the Internet makes it possible for ordinary people like you and me to gather tons of information, get in touch with fellow sufferers all over the globe, learn about one another's experiences as well as thoughts, theories and experiments... and eventually end up with conclusions that are controversial, ignored or directly denied by the authorities on the field.
Internet has given us a strong alternative to the information of the authories; in health matters just as well as in politics.
If I had had to rely on the information that Danish doctors could give me in 1993-1996, I would have had to let their surgeons remove my large intestine by now. The Internet is the only reason it didn't happen - and I'll be forever grateful that I was born late enough to experience this fantastic invention.
Internet is a true revolution of information. Surfing the net has tought me that while the SCD is a diet developed specifically to cure people with intestinal problems, there are numerous other well-documented research projects pointing out that low-carbohydrate diets like SCD are more than a "medicine" for sick intestines; a low-carbohydrate diet seems to be essential to health for human beings.
This knowledge has been a well kept secret in society for too long.
I can see that Internet is going to change this.
As such, this web site is dedicated to a belief that Internet is a means to let people have better and healthier lives, whoever and wherever they are.
Now, sitting here at the computer with healthy intestines, this webmaster work has given me a new health problem: I am getting serious trouble with my right shoulder and arm from using the computer mouse. Well, I am not in doubt I'll find a solution for that, though it might not be on the Internet! ;-)
Copenhagen, August 1997
|| Mik introduces himself to the "Long Island" list
PS: And then I just heard on the news the other day: "A scientic research has now proved that Prednisone and similar hormone medicine affects people's sex life dramatically. It simply kills it."
Tue, 25 August 1996 22:46:32 GMT
Hi everyone in the group,
I have been a quiet "listener" since I joined the mailing list group three weeks ago, - I think it is time that I present myself. My name is Mik Aidt.
I feel I have benefitted VERY much from reading your many letters. First, I gathered them all in one long document and printed it all out, in order to read the letters carefully and to be able to get back to them easily later on. Then I thought: All this information is too valuable to disappear in Cyberspace. Especially new members could benefit from it. So, as a service to newcomers, I began placing the correspondence of the mailing list on Internet.
I live in Copenhagen, Denmark, I am 34 years old, work as a radio journalist (more about my background on www.mikaidt.dk) and have had ulcerative colitis (and possibly also morbus crohn's) for about four years.
When I first discovered blood in my stools, I went to my doctor who looked at me with a worried glance and said something like: "This is a chronic disease, and it will probably only get worse. It is a mysterious disease; we cannot explain it, and we have no medicine that will cure it. We can only try to keep the infection down. Eventually, most people end up needing an operation. However, the good news is that once your intestines have been removed, you'll be cured!"
Well, she was right when she stated that it would only get worse.
I went through months of hospital tests, and since I have travelled more than three years in Africa, the doctors looked for all possible sorts of microbes and amoebas in my intestines and stools, only to end up with an uncertain diagnosis that I "had either ulcerative colitis or crohns". Too early to tell which of the two, they said.
I started taking som salazapyrin-tablets, but got some frightening allergic reactions from it.
Then I tried Pentasa, and some other pills, reacting allergic to all of it.
Eventually, I moved to another city and changed to another doctor.
I found one that had studied these particular diseases.
My new doctor told me:
"In your case, we are running out: There are no other types of medicine. You are among the unlucky 10 percent who are allergic to all known types of medicine"
"So what do I do then?"
"Try to hold the imflammation down with prednisone suppositories. Apart from that, I am sorry, there is no more we can do for you - except the surgery."
"How about changing my diet? What should I eat?"
"It doesn't help. Eat as you like and what you feel is good for you. It is scientifically proven in many research studies that whatever food you eat has no effect whatsoever on this disease."
This was the kind of statement I had heard from every doctor I had asked. "Food has no relevance". When I was at hospital, my request to talking to a dietician was refused. (Not to mention the food they served at that hospital: absolutely awful! Scandalous!)
The best advice they can give people with intestianl problems at the hospitals is that they should eat spaghetti, wheat porage, mashed potatoes and brown rice (which is approximately the worst advice they could give, according to the SCD theory).
I also told one of these hospital doctors that I had noticed a change in my drive for sex; it worried me that it had somehow disappeared! "Is that because of the medicine or could it simply be because of the imflammation in the intestines?", I asked.
"No way! Neither has any effect on that!", was the confident answer, not to be questioned any further.
So, I started looking into alternative medicine. A herbalist (homeopath) told me that I should stay away from carbohydrates and then gave me some papers from an Austrian doctor, Wolfgang Lutz who claimed to have saved hundreds of patients with a low-carbohydrate diet. The papers told about this doctor's personal experiences, but nothing about WHY such a low-carbohydrate diet would have such a positive effect.
Then, I more or less made up my own diet, and in the beginning, it had a great effect. After a while, though, things started sliding downwards again. Blood, diarrea, bloatedness, farting. During early 1996, it developed to a point where I couldn't make a normal living without the daily Prednisone suppository. This put a damper on the flare, but as time went on, even this medicine seemed to have less and less effect. The bleeding just wouldn't stop anymore.
I spent my summer holiday 1996 at a place where there is access to Internet. I started looking for web pages on "imflammatory bowel diseases", and found so much material out there in Cyberspace that I was almost losing my breath. The discovery of a home page about Elaine Gottschall's book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" and her "Specific Carbohydrate Diet" was like a revelation to me - it made me SO happy to learn that apparently there seemed to BE a way out - and an explanation to this hell of a disease.
For the first time, here was a message of hope! Elaine Gottschall's book was a well kept secret in Denmark - not even the Danish Colitis/Crohn's Association had ever heard about it.
Through the webmaster of the page on Elaine Gottschall's book, I heard about Deborah Dowd whom I contacted and who sent me some encouraging testimonial files and more material - as well as telling me about the support group and the SCD mailing list (which at that time did not have a list server). Again, I was absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of sensible information and the warm and helpful tone that exists in this group.
I ordered the book instantly. For two weeks, I impatiently waited for it to arrive, while my diarrhea got worse and worse, thin like water, full of blood.
Reason: I ran out of Prednisone medicine on July 20, 1996, and didn't feel like calling my doctor to order more. Having been on the stuff for three months non-stop and still bleeding, and knowing about its cancer growth side effects, I decided to put it to a halt.
Result: A period with liters of blood spraying out of me, diarrhea like water, running to the toilet at least every second or third hour, all day and all night, and as a new unpleasent development: fever every night, combined with strong, unpleasant and constant stomach pain. And at one point, (that was a bit later, though), the imflammation even spread to my right eye, making me half blind.
After about a week on Elaine's diet, the stomach pain disappeared. Then I started getting extremely weak and tired, hardly being able to walk up the steps to the third floor where I live. People who have travelled in Africa or Asia will remember how it feels when you have had a strong diarrhea for a while.
After having been on the diet for 14 days, I noticed something that I took as a first sign of improvement: For the first time in months I hadn't been to the toilet at all that day - 17 hours ago I was there last! And the weakness was gone.
Something to celebrate, in my little world! So, today I felt it was time to join in.
It has been a scary period, that is also why I have kept "silent" here in the group - I wanted to wait and see how things would turn out. At several points I have felt very close to calling an ambulance and giving in to hospital treatment. Today, I can sense improvement and have a strong feeling I am going to make this.
If this really works for me, I will have completely lost my confidence in the Danish health system. What pisses me off the most, is the stubborn statements of the doctors I have met about that "food makes no difference. Eat what you like..." - same thing mentioned in the magazine of the Danish Colitis/Crohns Association. A magazine which, by the way, happens to be sponsored by a medicine company.
And whose answer to me - when I told them about what I had learned on the Internet - was that "they did not need any Internet, because they were fully confident in relying on the educated and skilled doctors of theirs."
Honestly, it appears to me as if somebody somewhere in this system is only after selling more of the expensive medicines and keeping the hospital surgeons employed.
Well, didn't want to bother you with my whole life story! The main message from here is that I feel grateful for the valuable information and the support from receiving the letters in this online SCD group.
Thank you so much, all of you,
Well, thank you, doctor, for your arrogant confidence in your self when you insisted on the opposite!
|| Mik's updates to the "Long Island" list
The letter above was written and sent to the SCD mailing list on August 25th 1996. Two months later, my bleeding and diarrhea had disappeared completely.
A miracle? It certainly felt that way!
As Christmas came closer and my health was back to normal (for the first time in years), I got into a hectic period with loads of work - got the flu, then influenza... and on December 20th, the blood and the diarrhea returned.
This made me realize that this diet alone wouldn't make it for me if I didn't add some common sense to it: As a New Year resolution, I made some changes to my life style in order to improve the general status of my immune system:
I have learned now that ulcerative colitis is much more difficult to get rid of than morbus crohn's, and therefore, as the matter of fact, I should be prepared that there'll be relapses. So far, I have only had that one.
- I made sure to get a full eight-hour nights sleep - every night and with a bedtime before midnight
- I put an effort into getting some real exercise at least twice a week,
- attended a yoga course, and generally tried hard not to overload myself with stress and work...
This - combined with the diet - seemed to be the right track for me: After approximately one month of remission, I was back to normal stools, visiting the toilets only once a day. It was a great feeling! - and this time around I was aware that it was still a fragile situation.
As I am writing this, January 1998, I feel as healthy as if I had never heard about this (so-called "chronic") disease. No symptoms at all since February-March 1997. Waao! :-D
I feel very privilleged that I learned about the SCD diet in time. And I feel so sorry for all those who didn't, and who'll have to live with a plastic bag on their stomach for the rest of their lives.
In about two years time, when I know for sure that this diet really has cured me, (which it presently appears to have!) I am going to make some noise in the Danish press concerning what appears to me like a true scandal: how an ignorant hospital system and profit seeking medicinal companies are making tens of thousands of people suffer and loose their intestines.
The business of drug therapy, surgery, ostomy bags, etc., world wide has been calculated to more than three and a half billion US dollars a year...
In Danish: Vi taler om en omsætning på 20 milliarder kroner om året her!
(Ref: The financial cost of Crohn's disease)
And please note: I don't say all doctors are ignorant - because obviously, I know there are qualified and serious doctors who make valuable, scientific efforts to solve the mysteries of this unknown illness.
What I say about doctors on this web site only refers to the particular ones I have met face to face, in the hospitals in Denmark.
PPS: Did I forget to mention: what a beautiful feeling it is to have that almost forgotten desire for making love come back to you after three years of absence. Thought it had left me for good. Never trust a doctor when he tells you with his "I-know-better-attitude" that sex drive and hormonal medicine - or sex drive and intestinal diseases - have nothing to do with each other.
Being completely "healed", I gradually got less and less strict with the diet. Coffee and alcohol, for instance, quickly found its way back into the dailyday. Having been completely healthy for one and a half year, in a stressed period, the disease showed its ugly face again, sneaking in little by little. Signs of blood and diarrhea returned, and seemed to linger on and on.
Waited more than half a year until I decided to go back to the strict version of the diet, and even made it much stricter: only fish, green groceries and water for a whole month. Nothing else. No milk products, no fruits, no honey. Lots of A- and E-vitamins, zink, fish oil and other supplements. The campaign worked: within a month I was back to health again. Have been feeling great ever since. And not to mention: still haven't touched any kind of medicine since August 1996.
August 1, 1999
Celebrating my three year "anniversary" on the diet. Fit and healthy! :-)
Tue, 3 Jun 1997 16:47:44 GMT
>I was wondering ... can you tell me what a typical day's breakfast, lunch &
>dinner is? I'm just curious, because I'm not very "faithful" to the SCD
>diet, and of course payng the consequences constantly. Only if I (a) take
>Asacol, and (b) keep totally away from starches (bread, bagels, buns ...
>all that good stuff!) is it manageable. But I find if I cut out the
>starches, I'm at a loss of how to get enough calories because that means I
>cut out cheese and other stuff I put on bread.
>So I just wanted to hear how YOU do it.
Uh! It is a long story...
Well. For breakfast, I have eaten the same thing every morning for over a year now. I am very happy about this new routine in my life, and I make sure NEVER to miss my breakfast anymore. (Used to start the day flying off to work, grab a sweet "Danish Pastry" on the way on the bicycle, etc...)
Simply: Half a liter of home made (24 hour fermented) yoghurt, with raisins, a bit of coconut flour, some almond flour and a bit of crushed almonds.
That is a great solid way to get the engine running right from the morning.
Then I take some vitamin pills, fish oil, apple cider vinegar, iron supplement. Flush it down with some home made "kombucha tea".
To be more exact:
Every morning, right after eating 0,5 liter home made (24 hour fermented) yoghurt, I take:
- 1 multi-complex vitamin pill (including minerals)
- 1 vitamin C pill (1500 mgr)
- 1 Q-10 pill
- 3 cl Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 cl "Kraüterblut" (liquid Iron supplement)
- 3 cl Fish Oil (sometimes liquid, sometimes pills, with A- and D-vitamins removed)
- 30-40 gram of fresh, organic ginger, cut in slices, put in a thermo which is then filled with app. one liter of boiling water. Ready to drink after approximately one hour but better to wait for several hours, since it gets stronger and stronger as the hours go by.
Two-three hours later, I am usually out somewhere in town or at work and it is around 11 o'clock AM.
I can only very seldom eat what they serve in the canteen at my work place, (full of sauces with heavy cream, or mixed with cheese, etc) so I bring my own little plastic jar with home made food.
- Sometimes fresh shrimps mixed with olive oil, salt, spices, almond flour, green or black olives, Iceberg Salad and small cubes of Emmentaler cheese.
Sometimes an omelet made of three eggs, with some roasted coconut flour and some fresh tomatoes or green salad.
- Sometimes fried turkey meat, again chopped in small pieces and mixed with olive oil, salt, spices and almond flour.
- My favorite meat dish: I take the "ruffage" which is left over after having made home made carrot juice (don't know it is called). Then I mix it half and half with minced turkey meat, add some spices, garlic and salt, and fry it on a pan.
Tastes juicy and great.
Then at around 2 or 3 PM, I am hungry again. I grap for my bag where I always have
- a bottle with either half a liter of home made carrot juice or half a liter of organic grape juice.
Small supplements to nip from:
- Olives from a jar, maybe an apple, etc.
During the afternoon, I empty the thermo can of
- ginger tea that I've prepared in the morning.
This kind of "tea" can keep you going if your stomach is empty and there's no "safe" food around, and on top of it all: it is bloody healthy - just like garlic, for instance.
At around 5 PM, my "first dinner": Very varied. Different ideas every night. Usually something which is quick to prepare, with meat and salad.
At 8 PM, I am ready for a "second dinner" which is the main course: This time around, I spend more time to prepare the dinner, might even look at some of the recipes in Elaine Gottschall's book or from the Internet. Generally:
- Lots of chicken, turkey, fish. (Only once in a while "red meat")
- Salads made of cucumber, green peper, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes... etc.
- Dressing made of olive oil, home made yoghurt, mustard and a bit of honey, etc...
- Dessert: Creamy yoghurt with strawberries and honey. Or simply some yoghurt with honey and crushed nuts (which have been browned on the frying pan - in no oil).
Or yoghurt "ice cream"... (See Gottschall's book).
Or some home browned cashew nuts. Or simply almonds with raisins.
Usually, I drink a glass of red wine app. every second day.
I'll stop here, before this gets too long. This will have to be the short version.
Everything's still the same: I am so happy with the SCD that I think I'll never ever again return to the socalled 'normal' diet, even though it has been quite a while since I noticed any signs of my colitis. However, once or twice a year it does appear when I have been sick with influenza or after a stressful period telling me that I am not entirely 'cured'. But I have a feeling of being in complete control of the disease, and this is what matters!
My morning fruitsalat is my medicine. I still refrain from any milk product, including yoghurt.
I can soon celebrate my nine year anniversary with SCD.
Haven't seen anything of the disease in something like five years now. Honestly, I think I am going to say the "c"-word: I feel as if I am CURED!
The only thing that puts a damper on my happiness is the many phone calls I keep getting on a weekly basis from miserable Crohns or Colitis sufferers who are either signed up to get an operation, or who have just had one. In Denmark alone, hundreds of people every year are told they need an operation and have to live with a "plastic bag" on their belly for the rest of their lives. I feel so sorry for them, because I am strongly convinced that in many cases it could have been avoided, if only the doctors would open their ears.
But then of course, some plastic bag producers and hospital doctors would lose their million dollar business...
Meanwhile, I've been "getting busy" in a new way. Got married in February, and our first-born is on his way in July, and as I seem to be getting more and more Colitis/Crohns phone calls and people asking for help - more than I am able to handle without disturbing my work and family life - I've recently decided to start a little side-activity as a personal coach.
"..If I had had to rely on the information that Danish doctors could give me in 1993-1996, I would have had to let their surgeons remove my large intestine by now. The Internet is the only reason it didn't happen.."
"What pisses me off the most, is the stubborn statements of the doctors I have met that "food makes no difference. Eat what you like..."