Letters from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet support group 1997 (14)
You are what you eat
Wed, 22 Apr 1997 22:09:40 GMT
Fell over an article in an old magazine. It has nothing to do with SCD and it is all wellknown basics, but even so, I found it a nice little reminder about the basics in taking care of the immune systeme!
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You are what you eat
Excerpts from an article in Cosmopolitan, August 1995
Noone is yet bold enough to claim to be able to cure all disease through diet but nutritionists are edging closer to formulating the perfect diet to keep you in optimal health.
Here's what's on the menu so far:
You should be semi-vegetarian, allowing for a little low-fat dairy food and some fish. Yoghurt gets the green light, as do eels (rich in vitamin D and thought to help ward off breast cancer) and oily fish like sardines (rich in omega-3 oils).
Red meat and high-saturated fat foods are out.
Greens and fruits are in.
You migh wash all this down with the occasional glass of wine - but sparingly.
And if it's a hot drink you fancy, green tea is your best bet - although the occasional cup of coffee won't do too much harm.
Onions and garlic every day keep your immune system revving, and you can colour-coordinate your diet, relying heavily on reds, oranges, yellows and greens.
If all this is driving you nuts, well yes, add those too: they've got lots of vitamin E, with Brazils bringing selenium to the table and almonds oleic acid.
Finally, time your meals properly. Breakfast is a must. If you fuel up properly at breakfast, your metabolic fire will smoulder all day long.
And so will you.
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Re: seeds on the diet?
Wed, 23 Apr 1997 17:21:51 GMT
>I have been on the diet for 3 weeks now and it seems to work for me, but
>I am not sure yet.
Three weeks is a relatively short period. Stay with it and I'm sure you'll be
very happy in another month or so. The key is to not introduce too many things
too fast. For example, don't even think about nuts and definately no seeds
until all diarreah is gone and your stools are formed. Seeds can be especially
problematic at first. Even after my symptoms were gone and I tried eating 3
roasted pumpkin seeds, which I had roasted myself, I got instant diarreah - it
was horrible. It is definately not worth it, and it's not like seeds are a big
thing to give up.
>I believe that I am facing a hole bunch of problems which add up to my
>UC. Allergies are definitely a part of it, especially to candida and
>moulds and some foods to a minor degree, unfortunately ones that are
>allowed on the diet like nuts and dairy products. So I normally would
>have to rotate them but that is really difficult.
About food allergies, many Naturopathic doctors and other holistic
practitioners will tell you that allergies are your problem. This is what
happened to me also, and I was convinced (for a short while) that eliminating
the "food sensitivities and intolerances/allergies" was going to be the answer
to making me well again. I went on restrictive rotation diets after undergoing
several IgG IgE allergy blood tests and a Vega test. The tests came back with
lists of foods I should not eat, and other foods which I should only rotate.
The funny thing was, the test results were ambiguous and also, certain foods
which I knew I was allergic to because of an obvious reaction I get when I eat
them did not show up on the test results. The Naturopathic doctor explained it
away by saying it was because the tests only find "hidden allergies" and not
obvious ones. So I still believed in the allergy
theory and followed the special elimination diets prescribed. My
Naturopaths were high qualified and well trained, but this is what they are
trained in school with. Many of them don't know about the Specific
Carbohydrate Diet, so they use the allergy theory. Don't get me wrong, I am a
believer in natural medicine and I respect Naturopathic Physicians - even
moreso than I do MDs, but the fact is, they don't know everything. In fact, I
have since taught several of these NDs about the SCD and now they prescribe it
to patients too!
What I discovered was that the elimination of food allergies diets did not help
with my Crohn's disease, but the SCD definately did. When I first got the
book, I didn't really believe it would work, so I went on the diet kind of
halfway - eating mostly allowable foods, but occasionally eating non-allowables
too. At that time, it seemed to help a little, but then I would get symptoms
again too, so I thought it didn't work. I gave up on diets and got so sick I
was dependent on Prednisone for a long time. It got to the point where I was
suffering so much with the pred side effects, I told myself I was willing to do
anything to feel better. So I decided to give the SCD diet one more try, and
this time I followed it religiously. It worked like a charm and allowed me to
go off all medication (it took some time to do this), and now I'm in remission.
It was definately worth it.
The reason I am telling you all this is to make you see that you may want to
think twice about believing the candida, fungi, allergy stuff. I know the
theories sound very plausible, but if you can just overlook all that for a
while, and dedicate yourself to the diet, you will probably see results - and
without all the other worries of whether you are allergic or not. Of course,
if you get an obvious anyphalactic reaction from eating something, like
tightness in the throat, burning mouth or lips, rashes, hives, trouble
breathing, then that is a definate indication you are allergic to the food and
should not eat it. But my point was that if you are eating things and don't
know what is causing digestive upset, the diet guidelines can help you out.
>And I think other major culprits are fungi and moulds, so fighting them
>seems a wise thing to do. That`s why I drink a blend of garlic and Pau
>d`Arco tea every night before I go to bed, and this often makes me
>dizzy, which is in my eyes a proof of the presence of candida and other
>fungi and moulds.
Making you dizzy does not sound like a good thing to me. I have never heard of
that symptom as an indicator that the remedy is working.
>I think the bottom line is that we have to boost our immune system, and
>a major role in doing this is improving digestion.
The SCD will do this for you.
> I also wanted to ask
>you wether anyone of you has had problems eating seeds like sesame seeds
>or pumpkin seeds. According to Elaine we are not allowed to have them,
>but I am interested in your experiences , if any, anyway.
As I previously mentioned, I tried seeds, as well as dried fruit, and both did
not agree with me. I have found over time that what Elaine says in the book in
terms of what to eat and not to eat is true. She speaks from experience. She
still follows the diet herself, even though she doesn't have IBD. She finds it
to be a healthy way of living.
Hope my stories will be of some help to you or someone else.
Re: major shift of events
>Right now I'm having a really bizarre change -- I've gone from having D
>to being constipated (I'm still not quite used to sharing these grosser
>details, but this group seems to understand!). This wasn't a pattern
>for me before this. I haven't been constipated for like fifteen years!
>It seems distinctly related to the diet. I am getting plenty of fiber
>and am taking probiotic supplements. It is very surprising. I am
>hoping it balances out. Does anybody have experience with this strange
>shift of "events" related to the diet.
Don't worry these are the classic symptoms of the early stages of UC (and Crohnes disease as well?)
Are you taking any meds?
Re: major shift of events
Wed, 23 Apr 1997 23:41:11 GMT
I'm glad to hear about the improvement. Whether you have d or c. the
slippery elm and Psyillium will help and they are allowed by Elaine. They
help in three ways that sacgrada does not, First they are water soluble
fibre, which means that they increase the bulk of those weedy little stools
so as to exercise the colon in a more regular fashion. The fibre, being
water soluble, is not harsh but acts like a gentle broom sweeping out the
buildup and remnents of fermenting stodgy food. Absorbing water, they
decrease diarrhea whilst at the same time they work like a strong magnet,
drawing toxins from the gut like a sponge.
Re: Milk allergies
Thu, 24 Apr 1997 16:18:58 GMT
>Does anyone know if a person who is allergic to dairy can tolerate the
Before I got CD I had no problems with dairy. After I got CD I realized that dairy caused me abdominal pain, cramps, diarhea and gas, so I avoided it and drank Rice Dream and VitaSoy milk substitutes. When I went on the SCD I stopped these, as they are not allowed on the diet. At first, I did not tolerate the homemade yogurt very well. I always got a stomach ache after eating it. I had been making it using commercial yogurt as a starter, which is perfectly allowable. However, when I tried making yogurt using powdered yogurt starter (YOGURMET brand), I no longer got stomach aches. Since then I have been making it this way, and tollerating it fine. I don't know what the difference is between the two methods, but I could only tollerate the second method I mentioned.
You see, when we make our own yogurt and ferment it 24 hours, it gets rid of virtually all the lactose which is what a lot of us are intollerant to - the sugar. In this homemade form, it is very good for us. It is like our medicine. I also make sour cream, which I like very much too. The book doesn't explain how to make it, but it is allowable if we make it homemade. If you or anyone else wants the details again (which I posted before), just e-mail me and I will tell you again.
So, the best thing to do is experiment, and see what you can tolerate. And I
suggest to anyone who can't seem to tolerate homemade yogurt made from
commercial starter, to try making it with powdered starter that you buy at a
health food store. It may make the difference. DCCC has no lactose either, so
if you can find it, try it out. It is supposed to be one of the easier
tollerated allowable foods I think. It is a little bland, so I have added
melted butter and salt to make it taste more like regular cottage cheese (which
actually has cream added, which is why we can't have it). Hope this helps.
Naturopaths, Toxins and other things
Sat, 26 Apr 1997 14:56:48 GMT
Mostly, I've been lurking lately but I've been interested in the discussion on naturopaths, especially Denise's comments. I've been seeing a naturopath for about 4 months now. He's the one who uses auricular medicine and measurement of magnetic fields that I wrote about early with much skeptisism. My situation is that I have IBS and have been using the diet faithfully for a year and a half. It has helped me wonderfully but has not cleared my symptoms completely. I improved dramatically for the first 6 months then I reached a plateau where I continued to get diarrhea a few times a week. When I saw the naturopath he diagnosed protozoan parasites which he said were very common in those with IBD's and has been treating me for that. He found very low adrenal levels which fits in with information that Micheal has posted in the past. He also said that my liver was not clearing the toxins effectively from my body and this was the explanation of the crushing tiredness that I feel. Over the four months I've very slowly improved although I've also made a few changes to my life style on his advice. I now only drink distilled water and have removed orange juice from my diet, and I take only one vitamin supplement of B12 and folic acid which he said I needed while he said, at the moment, multivitamins would be a problem because my liver is not functioning effectively and would not be able to clear excess vitamins ingested. What I've found interesting in all this is that I have fibroid cysts in my uterus and in one breast and I recently stumbled across the theory that these cysts are a depositing ground for toxins when the liver cannot clear them. Its the body's way of putting the substances out of harms way. I asked my naturopath if I might expect the cysts to disappear as my liver functioning improved and he said that in his experience this usually happens. So I'm curious to know if those who suffer that crushing tiredness, have you had any experience with fibroid cysts.
Taking tylenol was a concern for me too. I found children's chewable tylenol which is starch and sugar free. The dose is half that of an adult dose so I take two tablets. I got this info by asking my pharmacist if there were any tylenol products without starch or sugar.
My experience with immodium was that it releived my diarrhea but tended to 'block me up' for about 36 hours. I also found that if I took it regularly ( every day) I would finally get a lot of pain. My philosophy is that when I get diarrhea it's because my body is trying to clear irritants from the intestines. If I take an antidiarrhea pill then these irritants are held back where they may do more damage to my mucous lining. So I only take them when I absolutely must be sure of no diarrhea. My GP's solution to IBS was to perscribe antidiarrhea pills. Over the course of a year or so I slowly found my symptoms getting a lot worse.
>Does anyone else have any tips on eating out while sticking to this diet.
I use carrots instead of potatoes. Also when I first started eating out I always chose places with a salad bar and took my own dressing. Now I just ask for oil and vinegar on the side. I ask lots of questions about the food preparation and explain that I have food allegies and its very important I have no sugar or flour. I also take some fruit and some of my own bread. As far as fast food is concerned, I've found that Wendy's hamburgers are no problem, so I get the salad and take the meat out of the hamburger. Red lobster is pretty good too as they have salads and lots of options that don't use flour or sugar. Hope this helps.
Parasitic Infections From Eating Raw Fish
Sun, 27 Apr 1997 15:46:50 GMT
Jim and everyone,
Glad to hear the diet is helping you feel better Jim!
The restaurant topic is one particuluarly close to my awareness right
now, since I just got back from a weekend trip and feel really great --
I don't usually travel quite this much -- have been doing more so since
my energy has come up on the diet. :)
Lately what I have been doing is carrying a large bag of nuts with me --
me latest favorite is pecans. Simply knowing I will have some food
reduces my anxiety about not finding anything (or enough) on the menus
in restaurants that I can eat. I would consider taking other stuff with
me too, but the nuts are just so convenient.
I have found it hard to eat in restaurants. I bet others out there have
had the experience that some people consider sugar a "spice," and don't
mention a food has it in there unless you drag it out of them. I tend
to get fish, broiled, or chicken, plus a vegetable -- steamed if
possible. It seems like eating in a chinese restaurant would really be
great if I could be sure they would really not put anything extra in
when I specify that I can't handle cornstarch or soy sauce or sugar or
flour. I swear I have had the experience of waiters telling me, "yeah,
yeah, sure," and then somewhere in the process, someone decides this is
all in my head and that a little "whatever" won't hurt me. I hate
that. I've been getting more paranoid since being on this diet, that's
for sure! :)
I am a fan of salad bars but I worry about the addition of sulfite
additives (which bother me) that they sometimes use to keep the stuff
fresh. Lately, when my husband and I have taken weekend trips, we find
it just as easy -- or perhaps more so -- to go to a grocery store and
buy a bunch of veggies and maybe some meat or cheese from the deli
counter (ruling out extra spices on the baked chicken -- seriously, this
weekend I was told that corn syrup was one of the spices used on some
baked chicken that I was first told had no sugar in it's making!). Then
we ravenously sit in our hotel rooms, eating like cavemen. The
atmosphere is not as great as a pleasant restaurant, but then we go out
somewhere we want to be, with our tummies happy.
As time goes on, I get better and better at being assertive, but it's
definitely been a chalenge for me. I was delighted this weekend to go
to a restaurant that really took me seriously and I got what, to me, was
a delicious platter of steamed vegetables that I sprinkled my pecans
on. (I never would have considered that a satisfying meal three months
Lately I have been keeping a rigorous food log to try to find out which
food or foods leaves me feeling puffy and achey the following morning.
Dang nabbit, I'll figure it out yet!
Best wishes to all,
Regarding eating out,JCORLESS wrote:
> Does anyone else have any tips on eating out while sticking to this diet.
> Just like we keep hearing the labeling is not always accurate, the
> resturants do not always give you correct information.
> I have been on the diet for almost 4 weeks and I feel much better. I do
> miss eating out and would like to hear from others.
> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > To: SCD <email@example.com>
> > Subject: Traveling Abroad
> > Date: Thursday, April 17, 1997 10:33 PM
> > Hello All,
> > I have just returned from a belated honeymoon to Mexico with my husband
> > and have been slowly getting to read all the emails. It was sure a
> > challenge to eat abroad in a country who's mainstay is rice and beans!
> > We did okay though. My husband is on the diet too, which made for good
> > companionship.
> > We were on the coast of Mexico and practically lived on fresh fish and
> > guacamole -- which I did really well on. I seemed to feel hungry most
> > of the time though. It's hard to consider ordering three main courses,
> > even on Mexico's inexpensive prices!
> > Towards the end we had a few bad experiences with the food, which made
> > us grumpy -- tiring of playing tourist, we lost our charm, and the
> > waiters we met up with were often impatient with communicating with us
> > about how foods were prepared. Also, I got a lot of dirty looks for
> > leaving my beans and rice on my plate!
> > On the whole, however, it was a good experience. I found that I could
> > eat papaya and the mangos with no reaction at all -- surprising since I
> > tend to bloat and get grumbles when I eat most other fruits. With them,
> > I not only had no reaction, but felt particularly good. Wonders never
> > cease.
> > On the way home I had a fantasy of traveling the world, writing a book
> > on getting by in foreign countries for people on special diets. I know
> > I would have loved something like that! Is it just my fantasy, or does
> > anyone else out there think it would be a good idea?
> > Best regards everybody,
> > Denise
Re: SPECIAL CARBOHYDRATE DIET
Mon, 28 Apr 1997 2:26:42 GMT
> Hello Everyone:
> I am very concerned about the amount of fat this diet involves - large
> amount of nuts, butter, eggs. These foods are very fattening. Can anyone
> help me in this area. I know a little fat is not harmful but I am
> concerned about putting on too much weight by following this diet.
> Anyone who can give me advice, please reply and thanks.
Welcome, Lorraine -
I've been on the diet 3 months and have not gained any appreciable
weight. I eat more cheese than I did before, more eggs (I didn't eat any
before SCD), and more oil. However, maybe I was less healthy than you in
that I used to have a few candy bars and other fattening snacks during
the week, and I've cut them out. Plus I eat a lot more fruits and
vegetables than previously. So no weight gain, but I am planning on
getting my cholesterol checked soon.
Anyway, I hope you stay on it assuming it helps your Crohn's. It's not like
you'll wake up one morning 25 pounds heavier. If you do see that you're
gaining weight you can adjust what you eat accordingly.
Tom Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: SPECIAL CARBOHYDRATE DIET
Mon, 28 Apr 1997 11:04:26 GMT
I've been on the diet for 2 years (May 1st). I'm not concerned about the
fat. Bloodwork has shown that all my levels are perfect. The most fattening
thing I eat is the yogurt which I make with half & half. I also have a
weight problem but have lost about 30 pounds since starting the diet.
Another 20 or 30 would put me at a perfect weight. I think that eliminating
the potatoes, bread, pasta and similar starches helps keep the weight down
and frankly although I still carry some extra weight I am at the peak of
health. This makes it more than worthwhile for me. Lots of good luck!
Re: Diet after colon removal
Sat, 3 May 1997 5:00:43 GMT
In theory, the SCD should be perfect for someone with a malabsorption
problem since the diet includes foods which are PREDIGESTED (eg yoghurt,
fruits and honey or easily digestible. eg pumpkin, squash, courgettes,
carrots (well cooked) and soups