I have been suffering from UC for two years. I am currently on Mesasal pills and I have just started on SCD by Elaine Gottschall. Have you heard of it? Please let me know when Colitis Healing Manual is out. Thank you.
Thanks for writing. The Mesasal / Mesalamine medication you are taking now is used to treat mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis. You are doing the right thing for your gut by trying the Specific Carbohydrate Diet from Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet by Elaine Gottschall.
I have used SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) in the past. I know the “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” book by heart. Gottschall’s book offers valuable insight on different types of carbohydrates and how they affect our digestion. I have seen numerous testimonials from colitis and Crohn’s disease patients saying that the SCD helped relieve the symptoms of their illness and even cured them completely.
As a former ulcerative colitis patient I followed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for six months. However, SCD did nothing to heal my colitis. After years of trial-and-error with different diets, foods and remedies, I finally understood why the Specific Carbohydrate Diet failed me. Colon inflammation can be caused by any of the following: viral, parasitic, bacterial infection, food sensitivity/allergy, gluten intolerance, etc. Unfortunately, SCD does not address all of these issues.
If your disease is the result of a parasitic infection, SCD cannot treat it.
My colitis was a result of an anaerobic parasitic infection (entamoeba histolytica, to be specific). Parasitic infection symptoms are similar to Colitis/Chron’s disease (bloody diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, fever).
Parasitic/bacterial infection must be treated first with antibiotics, then any possible food sensitivities must be eliminated. If your disease (IBS, Colitis, Chron’s) is the result of a parasitic infection, SCD is useless.
SCD does not address all issues associated with gut disbalance.
The next step is to address possible candida/yeast infection, leaky gut syndrome and dysbiosis. Then dietary measures have to be adjusted on case by case basis.
Positive aspects of The Specific Carbohydrate Diet
- High in protein and fiber.
Negative aspects of The Specific Carbohydrate Diet
- Not suitable for someone with heart disease because it is high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Harmful for people with small intestine bacteria overgrowth, like in IBS and yeast/candida problems (too much honey, cheese and fruit juice).
- Allows the consumption of diet soft drinks sweetened with saccharin, a known carcinogenic substance that can trigger abdominal pain and diarrhea.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet can be a great starting point for IBD/IBS patients, but for diet to be effective, it must address yeast/candida and intestinal bacteria overgrowth issues (which are very common in ulcerative colitis). To promote total colon healing takes more than just a diet. You need to add certain modalities such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, nutraceuticals, etc.
That is why I am writing a Colitis Healing Manual – I will definitely let you know when it comes out.