|Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet
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- Feeling Great And Pregnant!
A friend told me about the SCD--she had kept her Crohn's Disease in remission while on the diet--and I decided to give it a try. I'd been living with Crohn's for over 10 years, with syptoms of fistulas, bloating, cramping, nausea, and pain. The drug 6MP helped for a while, but stopped working for me at the beginning of 2007. So, the SCD was really worth trying at that point. Plus, I wanted to become pregnant and not while on 6MP. I started the SCD in February 2007, and my syptoms improved right away. I did feel a little spacey and tired during the first couple weeks on the diet--probably detox from all the foods that had been giving me trouble. I was able to ramp down on the 6MP and was off it by March 1, 2007. I felt better on the SCD without medication than I'd ever felt before. I got pregnant by the end of March, and so far everything is going well. I consulted with a prenatal nutritionust, and she agreed that the diet is very healthy. I have a few "yucky gut days" here and there, mostly if I am not getting enough rest or have a virus. The diet is hard when you start out because you have to really rethink your recipes and your lifestyle (much less eating out!). But when I think about how good I feel, it's totally worth it. I love the almond flour baked goods, and I'm eating more fruits and veggies than ever. Once you get into the swing of things, it's easy. And I find that after a few months on the diet, I don't even miss the foods I used to crave. I would highly recommend giving the SCD a try if you are having any intestinal issues. The diet has even helped my Mom, who has suffered from arthritis in her knees for years. She's having no pain whatsoever!...more info
- A miracle
This book is a real solution for IBD-IBS-Celiac. It's a pitty that there is no current big research to Elaine's approach. Try this diet if you want to cure yourself. It's a shame that the majority of doctors don't tell pacients of this solution. I hope this change soon.
It really worked for me and I'm very happy!...more info
- A good informative book
This is a must-have for those on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. You also want to add the websites on the diet to your favorites. The book does not contain all of the information that is on the websites (especially some very important tips and guidelines), and I had to print out several pages to keep handy....more info
- One of the best for intestinal problems
This is an excellent book for those with intestinal problems. Well done, good recipes and good scientific back up and explanations for the information given. Recommended for anyone with diverticulosis,and other bowel problems....more info
- Immediate Relief Within 200 Page Easy Read!!
After doing nearly two years of research on my Fianc¨¦'s 'condition', I became convinced he had Crohns Disease. He had been hospitalized early last year for a fistula and released, without a diagnosis or any direction as to preventing another. I received instructions as to his dressing changes, but I was concerned about how to avoid another hospital stay. I found information online that described Crohns and the various drug and surgery treatments, all stating there was not a 'cure' for this disease. -Until I came across this book! This book outlines Crohns, Autism, neuro issues, all in a very easy to read, without being condescending way. The best part is after you understand the origin of each issue, you are given a step by step method of CURING it! From the first day I rec'd the book, I began fixing the recommended foods for my Fianc¨¦ and he has started to feel better! Now two weeks in my possession, he is starting to look better! He hasn't any complaints of indigestion or mouth sores. He can confidently enjoy a meal without the concern of what may follow and his energy levels are starting to return! The guidence is clear and the recipes easy to follow, this book makes what Dr.s haven't been able to figure out, almost easy. I am so grateful that a bit of a dietary adjustment and creativity has had such high dividends. If you have any health issues, I recommend picking this book up. -You'd be surprised just how much effect what you eat has on how you feel. I have to admit, even I feel better!...more info
- Good, but take care
I have bought this book several years ago and read it few times. I suffer from Crohn's disease for some years now and am still looking for some "perfect diet".
Advices in this book are generally good, and basically - you can't say that anything is wrong on first sight. After all, it was written by a person who suffers IBS herself and has checked all this recipies on herself. So, what can possibly be wrong in it? Fact is that Crohn's disease has many faces. I know many people who suffer from it (through membership in Crohn's and Colitis society in my country and also occational days in hospital) and had a chance to discuss their eating habbits, advices and sometimes even to discuss advices from this book (which I borrowed to few of them). Result is: there is no general rule about diet because it depends on which part of your bowel is affected. In practical this means that some dishes (ingredients, spices, etc.) are good for one person and bad for another. And vice versa.
So, my advice is: read this book, but don't follow blindly. Idea behind is good, even testing of dishes was good, but not enough good. You have to check and decide for yourself if everything written inside really works for you too.
Second problem with this book is that it is not internationalized. Actually, many cookbooks have the same problem when "chef" likes to play around with some exotic ingredients. In this particular situation, some ingredients mentioned in this book are almost impossible to find in Europe (for what reason - I don't know), but the fact is that I feel a little bit handicaped. What would be good in this situations is that writer makes additional effort and explains with more detail for what purpose some spices are used and how can they be replaced with more conventional ones. A list of shops in US where you can buy this spices offers no help to readers in other continents. This is the reason I'm giving this book three stars only - I just think it is not complete and targets on wider audience than it really supports. Otherwise, it is still valuable to read....more info
- This diet was a God-send!
I've had IBS for years and found this diet and book last September. I've been on the diet for 8 months and have had a complete cessation of my symptoms. I highly recommend this book to anyone with digestive disorders. ...more info
- Really Works!!!!!!!
This book really works! My husband was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis last year and the doctor said that he needs to have his colon taken out. We contacted a nutritionist and said that diet with help. The first diet we tried didnt work, we spent so much on the suppliments and doctor phone consultations and my husband's symptoms were getting worse. THEN my husband stumbled upon this book!!!!! Within two days on the starter diet, we saw improvements. It is a strict diet, but the recipes inside the book helped a lot, and they are yummy too. I highly recommend this book to anyone suffering from Ulcerative Colitis and is really serious in breaking the vicious cycle :) I dont think this book will work, if you're not committed to it 100%...more info
- Wonderful book which offers excellent results.
After learning of the SCD diet on the internet, I knew I must buy the book. The book is clearly written, easy to understand and easy to reference. The diet itself is a miracle. I started the SCD in July 2005 and currently have no symptoms of Crohn's Disease. I feel great. It is a bit hard to comply with the diet which, among other things, eliminates wheat, starch, most dairy products, complex carbohydrates. But complying with the diet is a wonderful trade off for eliminating the symptoms of Crohn's. I recommend the book and highly recommend the diet. After 10 months on the diet, not only did I feel better, but my GI tests were all negative for active Crohn's....more info
- No more brain fog and chronic pain!!!! No more ADHD in son!!!
Elaine Gottschall's book, Breaking The Vicious Cycle, which details the SCD, saved my life. This book is THE AUTHORITY on doing the SCD. It describes in plain terms, the science behind why and how it works. It details what to eat and what not to eat. There are even many recipes included that will help you see the many possibilities of yummy foods you can have on SCD. Many of these recipes are extremely kid friendly.
I tried many things before SCD, gluten free, casein free, various other elimination diets, rotation diets, digestive enzymes, but nothing worked to the level that SCD did.
Before trying the SCD, I had Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (autoimmune), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the early stages of both Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis, and symptoms of Bipolar disorder.... I was lost in chronic pain, brain fog, insane exhaustion-- unable to enjoy life. SCD has given back the joys in my life. I've lost 80 pounds and have stabilized at a healthy weight. I have so much more energy to live, not just physical energy, but mental energy as well. I can keep track of what chores need to be done and don't feel overwhelmed or daunted anymore, and I have the energy to actually complete them! I can discipline my children and actually be effective. I can follow conversations. I can move and walk and even dance pain free. I feel connected to the world around me instead of lost in fuzzy brain fog. I can enjoy my children, my husband, my friends, my family and my life once again.
My son has been pulled from the brink of Asperger's by this diet. His ADHD has also been fading. Emerging is this sweet, calm, focused, articulate little boy. SCD also gave him the first solid stools of his entire life. His little body is rapidly healing on this diet. I should also note that Feingold Program did not help at all and actually made his sensitivities worse, even after trying it for many months! SCD gets at the source of the salicylate problem. Removing them completely with Feingold is just a band-aid approach. Doing SCD my son's list of salicylate foods that he can tolerate is growing and growing. He can now have tomatoes, many high sal spices, small amounts of berry juices, which before SCD would have sent him pinging off the walls.
Thank you Elaine for bringing this diet out into the public's knowledge! Rest in peace knowing you made a difference in this world.
"All diseases begin in the gut" - Hypocrites (460-370 BC)
I bought this because my grandson's doctor said he should be on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The narrative portion of this book is excellent in explaining the differences that the diet can make. It also is very good at showing how the diet evolved.
Then came the actual diet! Well, it has only been a week or so since I read this and I'm CERTAIN my mind will change in time, but when I read the actual diet, I was overwhelmed at the changes we would have to make. I thought that, even with all the wonderful potential benefits, I didn't know if I could even do half of the diet!
But I've become much more aware since reading the book. The doctor said if we can at least do the Gluten-free and Casein-Free portion to the best of our ability, that would be a major help. I now look at products in the grocery store with a different eye...one reflecting on what I learned in the book. We have even gotten the ingredients for the peanut butter brownies - but we haven't had time to make them yet.
I discovered that Whole Foods has lists of Gluten-free and Casein-free foods that they carry. So I plan a shopping trip there next week.
I believe a few months from now this family will be much closer to the diet than we are now, slowly but surely replacing what I normally buy and fix for dinner. And, chances are, the changes we make will be permanent, even if made slowly....more info
- Very Pleased
I can't believe how fast this arrived.
In excellent shape and exactly what I was looking for!
I love Amazon!...more info
- Thank You, Elaine Gotschall
I am writing b/c it was primarily b/c of the reviews on Amazon that we decided to try the SC diet after our daughter was diagnosed with a very bad case of Crohn's Disease. When she was diagnosed 1.5 years ago, even IV prednisone was not bringing her SED rate (an inflammation marker) down from a scarily high number. After two weeks on SCD, her SED rate was normal!
My daughter's GI doctor encouraged us to use the diet and says that he tries to get all his patients on to it b/c the results are so impressive.
I would encourage anyone having GI/IBD troubles or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) to try this diet. You have NOTHING to lose, and a world of good health to potentially gain.
Good luck! ...more info
- Answer to Our Prayers (Crohn's + J-Pouch story)
I usually don't write reviews, but this book has literally changed the lives of so many people in my family, I thought I'd at least have to thank Elaine for this book publicly.
My mother has had Crohn's disease since she was a little girl, but Doctors didn't know what was wrong with her until later. She'd literally drink gallons of anti-acids and over time, began to think that everyone just went around having a stomach ache and other "bathroom" problems...that was normal to her.
After having children, she had severe flare-ups that left her skeletal and hospitalized, fighting for her life. She went to a Naturapathic Doctor and he got her on a raw diet (free of processed flours or sugars, no meat, dairy, eggs or grains whatsoever). This healed her for the time being. She was able to maintain herself and go back to her regular eating habits carefully through having the next 5 children, but the last one, along with financial troubles and a death in the family left her stress levels frazzled, and made her immunity susceptible to the Crohn's. She went down to 100 lbs for her 5'8 frame and was too weak to walk. She tried to go back the raw diet, but it didn't help. Nothing did.
The Doctors told her she didn't have Crohn's (even though she'd been diagnosed numerous times previously that she did), but Ulcerative Colitis and that cutting out her large intestine would solve the problem. She finally gave in and got the surgery and had a J-Pouch made from her small intestine to work as a small colon, but the surgeon made mistakes...he left a small hole which seeped toxic waste into her abdominal cavity causing excruciating pain. She convinced them that this was not normal, since not even the highest morphine doses were helping subdue all the pain. They fixed it, but she would regularly pass little titanium staples and once they found the reason behind another extremely painful gut pain: there was a staple that hadn't been closed all the way and was ripping her with its sharp edges. The doctors gave her a 1% to 2% solution of Nitroglycerin (yes, that Nitroglycerin: to make bombs) for the "butt burn" which made things worse and had her on numerous medications to mask all of her symptoms. Steroids, blood thinners, opiates, Azacol (the "cure all"), and dermatologist prescriptions for her Pyoderma gangrenosum: this is where you get deep ulcers on the skin of your legs that start as hard lumped hot-spots and then erupt (sorry, pretty graphic). All the while, her doctors and dietitians have told her to eat whatever she wanted. She had no reason not to trust them, but her doctor actually told her just recently: "You have exhausted my knowledge base." So, basically he'd give her whatever she wanted just to shut her up because he could no longer help her and her constant pains and burning.
Happy Ending: A friend gave me the title to this book, I researched it and flew home to give it a go. They were tiresome of the "Cure-alls" that everyone was giving them. They tried Acupuncture, Homeopathy and herbs...you name it, they tried it. Why would this be any different? Because of the science behind it!
The first day, she showed improvement and burning started to subside to the point that she has been on the diet for 3 weeks now and has stopped taking all of her medications, which I don't know if I would recommend because it was really hard for her and it might've been better to stay on the drugs and get better at the same time. But she couldn't tell if the diet was working or not past a certain point because she wasn't sure if the pain was being masked by the drugs. She was already trying to detox off Oxycontin when she started the SCD, but was sick of the withdrawals, so stopped cold turkey to get it out of her system.
Currently her burning and pain levels are at a "1" and "2", 10 being the worst pain, and is off all medications. She now has only a small amount of pain in a specific spot (the doctor says it looks like a bruise and offered to just kill the nerve endings there...of course we said no! Come on, is there any holistic view here at all folks?) and though she was had a hard time with energy, she is getting stronger day by day! I share her entire story in case someone with similar experiences is searching for the answer because we couldn't find anyone who had a J-Pouch AND Crohn's!
Perhaps someday she can transition into more raw foods for the concentration of energy and nutrients or at least juicing, since she has no large intestine, but for now, "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" has saved her life along with my family's. She still has kids living at home that she can be a Mom to now: a 6 yr-old, a 10 yr-old, and a 16 yr-old. This has truly been a blessing. ...more info
- it's worth to try
I immediately begin the diet after I read this book. After 2-3 weeks all gas and cramps has gone. But I have lost too much weight. Anyway I will go on staying on the diet because I want to give it a chance to heal my ulcerative colitis....more info
- My Crohn's Disease is manageable w/o meds
I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease last September. I was in a lot of pain because I had inflammation from my stomach all the way to the other end. Conventional meds weren't working so my doctor told me in December that I would have to go on Humira or Remicaid or would be facing surgery in the next year. Either would cost me about $600/month out of pocket. I got the BTVC and started the diet Jan 5, 08. I didn't do the intro portion and jumped right into eating whatever I wanted. I had some relief but was still taking pain meds. I joined a Yahoo group dedicated to SCD and found out about the intro diet. I started that on Feb 5. My pain stopped within 48 hours and I have only had a couple of "flares" or setbacks as I call them since. I slowly add food one thing at a time to my diet, go back to intro when I eat something that doesn't agree with me, and I couldn't be happier. The reason most people fail on this diet is because they eat advanced foods to fast. I am currently off all meds and haven't had to take a pain pill since Feb 5. Go to www.pecanbread.com and look at the stages they have outlined. They don't work for everyone, but will give you and idea of what is considered an advanced food. Try the diet if you have digestive issues. I promise it's worth it....more info
- Chronic Intestinal Distress
This book offers help to those who have Chronic Intestinal Distress and is highly recommended....more info
- Elimination diet is much better choice
The SCD diet has a very high percentage of success and there is a good reason for this.
It completely eliminates refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and flavorings, white flour, any food high in trans fat and of course any junk food, which is bad for everyone.
This diet takes care of: bacteria overgrowth, gluten intolerance (very common in IBD patients), allergies for wheat and oats and allergy for soy.
Eliminating milk from an adults' diet helps with digestion for everyone, with or without lactose intolerance or milk allergy.
The downside of this diet is that it is unnecessarily restrictive, hard to follow and extremely expensive .
There is no need to eliminate all the grains for ones with gluten intolerance or wheat allergy and of course for ones whose problematic food is milk. Maybe white rice really is not good, but brown rice has very high nutrition value and should be allowed. Quinoa and amaranth are very good sources of protein, iron and calcium.
Maybe at the time that the book was written there were no available high quality commercial yogurts, but now one can find lots of them in any health food store.
This is definitely not a diet for ones with allergies for nuts, fructose intolerance and who has difficulties to digest animal protein.
The difference between SCD and elimination diet is that SCD eliminates foods just 'in case', because they could be a problem, while elimination diet is designed to identify the food allergies and/or sensitivities for every individual person and remove only that foods, which are problematic for that person.
Also, elimination diet does not sell books for $22....more info
- The only diet that works for my husband.
My husband had an operation about 2 years ago to have part of his intestine removed. He had been on all kinds of medications before that but even those weren't working all day great anymore, plus he was starting to get many side effects from the drugs (water retention, frail bones, and more!). Just months after the operation the pain returned to his abdomen. This time, he was determined to learn more on the topic, read many books, went to see homeopaths, read more books and tested a few different diets. One of the first one was the SDC diet, as described in this book, which is a bit tough if you're not yet convinced of the effectiveness. He tried a few other diets which did help a bit but the problem was still there. When he finally came back to Elaine Gottschall's diet and stuck to it for a bit longer, he became totally healthy. He's now strong, full of energy, and totally off any medications. Once in a while he cheats a bit (garlic bread, or ice cream!!).
This is totally worth reading. Very informative and will change the life of your loved ones. The diet can be a very balanced in every way (vitamins, proteins, minerals).
Thank you Elaine for giving my husband hope and his life back....more info
- Worth the Effort
This book was recommended to us when our daughter was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. I combined the diet with the medications prescribed by her doctor, as well as specific advice like diet being low fiber. After a year and a half on the SCD, she is symptom free, all blood tests normal. I believe this diet has given her time to heal. My only criticism of the book would be the need for revision. After much research and continual inquiry with manufactururers, I have discovered that labels can generally be trusted. The book leads the reader to believe that ingredients such as sugar do not necessarily have to be listed. I have discovered that labeling regulations must now be stricter than at the time the book was written. I wish we had known this, as it would have made food choices a bit less difficult. My advice is diligent label reading, contact companies as to ingredients, especially asking about things like 'natural flavors', learn what wording can disguise things like sugar or corn (i.e. maltodextrin which is derived from corn),and eat lots of that homemade yogurt. The yogurt has worked wonders. Also, in the way the book was written, we did find the diet a bit difficult to follow in the beginning, recommended sites like Pecanbread will help. The diet has been an answer to prayer....more info
- I Didn't Believe It Would Work Until I Tried It!
My husband, with Crohn's Disease, was told by his doctor that food had absolutely nothing to do with his illness or his recuperation. We proved him dead wrong! The SCDiet has led to "health miracles" for six of my immediate family members: Me (Celiac Disease, FMS, Severe Allergies, Asthma), my husband (Crohn's), my 83 year old mother (Diverticulitis, Hiatal Hernia, Bleeding Ulcer, Arthritis), my two brothers (IBS & Celiac), and a son (Celiac). Each of us have no symptoms left and have been able to eliminate all drugs pertaining to each of these illnesses and also reduce blood pressure meds. We were each overweight and have easily lost to within about 10 pounds of our desired weight; three of us losing over 50 pounds each. We feel better, have more energy, and look better than we have in years! We find that it takes less food to satisfy and sustain us when we eat whole, natural foods . . . we have broken the cycle of overeating and binging. The SCD has been a God-send for us all! Please visit austinscdfriends.com to learn how we did it....more info
- Life Changing!
The book is very well researched. While I am still a little skeptical that this could really "cure" my intestinal woes (diagnosed with SIBO after 5 years of chronic symptoms), I am very optimistic after only 3 weeks following the diet. My quality of life has improved drastically in such a short time....more info
- The most restrictive diet ever
Gottschall starts the book with a plausible idea: carbohydrates cause many digestive problems. Monosaccharides, such as fructose and glucose, are absorbed in the stomach. Disaccharides and polysaccharides, such as the sucrose in table sugar, lactose in milk, and all starches, can be poorly absorbed and then feed bacteria in the bowel. This idea knocks out a wide variety of foods, including all grains, potatoes, many beans, anything with table sugar, etc.
But she doesn't stop there. The diet also restricts anything that some people with inflammatory bowel disease have reported trouble with. For example, parsnips should meet the carbohydrate profile, and were allowed by the doctor on whose work Gottschall bases her diet. But some people with Crohn's apparently have trouble with parsnips, so they're forbidden (Personally, I've never noticed a problem with parsnips in the 15 years I've had Crohn's.)
Then, there are the things which Gottschall forbids just because she doesn't think they're good for you. For example, she's decided that all soy products of any type are bad, the good health of many Asian cultures notwithstanding.
She doesn't even clearly describe why each food is forbidden (she uses the dramatic term "illegal"). She even comes right out and says that it could be due to any number of factors, so don't worry about it and just follow the diet.
I am sure that the diet works, since it eliminates everything that's ever caused a Crohn's sufferer problems, or theoretically could, and then some. However, that makes it a painfully restrictive diet. Many people with Crohn's have gone into remission on much less restrictive diets (e.g. grain-free diets, The Paleo Diet, low-carb diets, etc.). In fact, Dr. Lutz reports better than a 85% remission rate among his patients on the diet from Life Without Bread, which has the very simple restriction of no more than 72 grams of carbohydrates a day.
My personal experience is that my Crohn's improved dramatically after going on a simple low-carb diet. I strongly suspect that many people's success on the SCD is due to the fact that it's just hard to eat high-carb on this diet, rather than specifically due to the distinctions between specific types of carbohydrates.
I'd recommend that everyone try a simple low-carb diet first, before subjugating their life to the SCD. It's essentially impossible to travel on this diet, and forget about ever being able to eat out, go to a dinner party, etc. That's a massive commitment, especially when it may not be necessary.
(As a postscript, let me say that I expect a lot of "unhelpful" votes. You have to be almost religiously committed to follow the SCD. People who make that kind of sacrifice don't like to hear any criticism of their chosen path.)...more info
- Invaluable help for anyone with IBS or IBD
Finding this book has saved my bacon - that's all there is to it. After 30 years of suffering with 'IBS', which turned out in the finish to be ulcerative colitis, within days I was well after following this diet strictly, and I now have a level of health I hadn't known since my teenage years. I cannot quite follow, and do not care about the logic behind the diet, but for me, it works. For anyone with a bowel disorder, it is certainly worth a try. ...more info
Best book regarding Crohn's, I've been on the diet for 2+ years, no hosptial stay overs, no fevers, no PROBLEMS. I have been off meds for 1.5 years, get this book and search google for "SCD" diet, start cooking the food today! Since Highschool I was sick with Crohn's, always at a hosptial and doctors gave me steriod meds. Then in Grad school, a havard med student I know, who has Crohn's passed this book onto me, it worked for him, it worked for me, it works.
- Very helpful
This book gave me the explanations for why my IBS causes me pain. My doctor and acupuncturist didn't have the time for lengthy explanations. I am very grateful for the healing that the information and the diet have given me....more info
- A Miracle
If you're reading this it's probably because you have been diagnosed with some form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Crohn's or UC in my case the disease is indeterminate. After 5 years of trying all medications with the exception of Remicade my case was spiraling downhill. The only thing that would help my continuous intestinal bleeding was ever increasing steriods, Entocort and Prednisone. After getting pancreatitis for the second time from Immuran I decided to try the diet since I had nothing to lose. Within two days my bleeding stopped and hasn't returned. I had a colonoscopy two months ago and the doctor was very surprised with my quiescent disease, no active inflammation. I wouldn't go off the diet today if someone offered me $10,000 to do so.
The diet seems very overwhelming when you first read the book. I enlisted the help of my mother in baking me one SCD item a week. I've found if she makes a loaf of the SCD bread this really helps me get through with legal pizzas and toast. I've found a lot of convenience foods that work well for me too like raisins and dried apples. Good luck and give it a go!
In summary this diet had helped me more than any medication or doctor in the last 7 months....more info
- A little time-consuming, but worth it
I have been battling severe Crohn's disease for about 15 years; it mainly affects both my ileum and my colon. Over the years, I have gotten numerous severe infections that took advantage of the effects from all my immuno-suppressant drugs. I bought this book only a month and a half ago, and of course while I am not fully recovered, my symptoms have decreased dramatically in such a short time. Before, I was unable to even work. Two weeks on the diet, my cramping, number of BM's, and pain was so reduced that I felt confident enough to get a job. I am now working 30 hours a week, have a lot of energy (which was completely absent before) and only missed one day of work due to my symptoms. I do have to say, some of the products are hard to find. For instance, the nut breads in the diet I can only find at Whole Foods. I devote one day a week to making things (that I would normally buy) at home instead (mayonnaise, ketchup, etc...). So, in conclusion I think this is a great book, even if you don't decide to go by the diet, which can be tedious at times. It's VERY insightful into the whole digestive process and why people with IBD have such problems. As a Nutrition Major, I learned things from this book that even I was previously unaware of. Bottom line: Very Beneficial. ...more info
- An absolute must for IBD sufferers!
This book gives hope to Ulcerative Colitis sufferers. It's well written, informative and the recipes are delicious and nutritious....more info
- I'd like to rate this book higher than a five...it saved my life!
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and then Crohn's about 4 years ago. The medication that my doctor put me on worked for a little while, but than stopped having any affect on my colon. I tried several different medications, including Remicade, but my symptoms just kept getting worse. I was hospitalized twice last year because my inflammation was so high and I was losing so much blood.
Then about 4 months ago, my husband came home from work with a web link he had found while researching UC and Crohns, it was for this book. I immediately navigated to the website the next day for research and then read all of the reviews on Amazon. I figured...What do I have to lose? I had been feeling like I was slowly dying. I was so encouraged by the reviews that I bought the book, read it and went straight to the grocery store to start buying SCD legal foods that week.
I have followed the diet for 4 months now, but my blood work came back after the first 3 weeks with absolutely no signs of inflammation. I was finally in remission, after being in a constant flare for one straight year. That really encouraged me! I was getting stronger every day. After only 4 short months I now have no symptoms whatsoever!!!
This diet is unbelievable! I share it with other friends that are suffering from the same type of illness because I know from personal experience that the GI's won't recommend a change in diet because they truly believe that diet has no affect on the colon. I feel very sad for those that follow their doctor's advice and then suffer endlessly.
One quick comment about the difficulty of the diet! It is challenging at first, especially if you are not that experienced of a cook (like me). But now it is like second nature. I just do it and it makes me feel wonderful! My motivation is thinking about how I used to be pre-scd, my energy was so low that I couldn't even do simple house work and I didn't feel like doing much of anything else. After one month on the diet, my husband came home one day to find me painting the living room. My energy is off the charts! I even went running last week. Yeaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I guess what I'm trying to say is, buy the book. Try the diet for 30-45 days to see how you feel! What do you have to lose?! Having to cook for yourself is not any worse than the constant pain, tremendous blood loss, low energy and the feeling of complete hopelessness. To me it is exciting, hopeful, healing and energizing. I am grateful to have found such a simple cure. My thanks is to the late Elaine Gottschall for having the courage and perseverance to share her story and the path to success and then provide us with the road map so we all could follow....more info
- Saved My Life
Like many others here, this book literally saved my life in 2007. I had been diagnosed with my initial flare-up of Ulcerative Colitis, and I was so ill that I had lost 30 lbs. in about a month and a half - down to 94 lbs, which even on my small 5'1" frame is WAY too skinny. It was around Halloween, and I halfheartedly joked with my husband and son that they should hang me on the front porch as the skeleton.
I bought this book when I was at the end of my rope. I was in such severe pain, and my gastro doc was threatening to put me on Remicade treatments (very scary, especially for someone with an extensive family history of cancer and leukemia) if I didn't gain weight. I was on opiate painkillers, nausea meds, steroids, immune suppressants, and an anti-inflammatory (Colazal). I just didn't seem to be improving. Enter "BTVC."
Yes, the diet is restrictive. But if you are very ill and desperate for help, as I was, you'll do anything short of selling your soul to heal your body. Within 1 month of sticking to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, the diarrhea (which I'd had for 3 straight months) and the worst of the intestinal cramping were gone. Within 2 months, I was back up to a normal weight of 110 lbs and I was feeling great. I began to exercise again! I was able to go back to college by January.
Now, almost 2 years later, I still have breakthrough symptoms from time to time when I try to eat wheat products; however I just start making my yogurt and eating wheat-free and I'm fine again. (But come on, to live wheat free for my whole life? French bread with butter and radishes tastes way too good for that. A treat every now and then is worth the price paid.)
I highly recommend this book if you are ill with UC, Crohn's, any other IBD, IBS, or Celiac Disease. I've also read testimonials by moms with autistic children who claim it really helped their kids. I can't speak to anyone else's experience, but as I said - this book literally saved my life....more info
- Eye opening and practical
This book made a huge difference for my husband who was suffering from a bad case of ulcerative colitis. Her approach is so sensible and based in science, it's a mind bender why doctors are not utilizing her knowledge. Within a few days of following the diet suggested, my husband had a great improvement in his symptoms. I'm recommending this book to all my friends who have "stomach problems" and those who have lactose intolerance....more info
- helping my son who has autism and epilepsy (LKS)
This is a well written book with great recipes, including yummy easy baked goods. This Specific Carbohydrate Diet is helping my son, who has autism and Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, speak more clearly, be calmer, feel more comfortable and have fewer headaches. I'm on this diet too and I feel great, more energy (I have no particular health problems). It's a healthy, nutritious diet, plenty of healthy carbs and protein and healthy fats/oils. I find it easy to cook large batches and freeze them. Elaine writes from long, tried and true experience. This is not a theoretical book or weird science experiment. Rather, she is handing down what has actually worked for thousands of people. This is a highly recommended book.
- Great idea but be careful
I bought this book soon after being diagnosed w/ crohn's and after going on the diet, I would feel fine one minute and really sick the next. The idea behind the book is fantastic but it's a one size fits all diet plan that just doesnt work for everyone- it didnt work for me b/c even though I only ate foods that are considered "safe", I would still experience horrific bouts of pain and actually ended up in the hospital after going on the diet and now I know its b/c I was allergic to some of these foods and it wasn't doing me any good to be on this particular diet plan. So if you decide to buy the book, I would say be careful b/c some of the foods that have been deamed as being safe may not be so safe after all. ...more info
- A new lease on my life!
I've known for years that I was gluten-intolerant and strictly avoided it. A friend of mine who is also gluten-intolerant with other problems (rice and corn etc) recommended this book to me and while I didn't seem to have any problems with other foods, I have been struggling with feeling tired all the time and sick and achey. Well, I have been on it now for almost a month and I am practically a new person. The first 2 weeks were a little rough, I really felt "wiped out" but I hung in there and at the beginning of the third week, I started feeling so good and having so much energy! I'm nearly 40 years old and I have never felt this good! On the sdc website is an explanation for the feeling tired, too long to post here, go read it, it's very interesting. Plus, I'd like to point out that the feeling bad at first is like the pain from a surgery. Ya know, the injury is one kind of pain, but the surgery pain is a "healing" pain, well that's the best way to describe the first two weeks on this, you feel bad, but it's not the same feeling bad that you get from eating something you shouldn't, at least it was for me. I also love all the recipes in the back of the book, they are just basic recipes, but tasty and I've already started redoing some of them to suit my own tastes. I also feed my whole family and have fed company some of the dishes and everyone has remarked on how healthy the food is and how good it tastes. I hope everyone who gets this has the great success that I am having. And also remember, this diet isn't for life, I intend to stay on it for a long time to make sure I am all the way healed, and I look forward to an occasional chocolate, but right now, NOTHING is worth risking messing up this wonderful wonderful feel good!...more info
I bought this book for my 27 year old son. He has suffered with ulcerative colitis for 6 years. The last 4 years have been very bad. Bed ridden a few times a year. Heavy doses of drugs just to get it under control. Doctors where not much help at all. He was just miserable.
He's been on the diet for almost 3 months. The first couple of weeks were very hard for him. He wanted to quit, I Talked him into giving it a month. He called me a few weeks ago and said ` Dad
this is the first time in 4 years I've felt normal. I love this diet'.
He's off the drugs and happy. The diet has made such a difference in his life, I wanted to share that with anyone having similar problems....more info
- We've had amazing results from this diet!
This has been a lifechanging book for my husband, who has UC. Although it can take months to see results, we saw amazing results from this diet the very first week. We have remained on the diet for more than 6 months now and plan to stay on it permanently. The Specific Carb Diet is not an easy fix, however. To see results, you must remain 100% dedicated to the diet with absolutely no consumption of "illegal" foods. It did require a major change in our eating habits and my cooking habits. But it becomes much easier and just a way of life after a few weeks of adjustment. Thanks to this diet, my husband is medication-free for the first time in years! We are now eating healthier than ever. I strongly recommend this diet to anyone with a digestive disorder. ...more info
- Very good book
This book is filled with great information for people suffering with intestinal disorders such as ulcerative colitis, crohns and other similar diseases. It is clearly-written, and very informative. You won't find many authors who would write such a book, and also unselfishly have all pertinent information from the book online to help others. Wonderful woman. Check out [...] ...more info
- I'm a believer!
My son was 21 when he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2004. We found Breaking the Vicious Cycle in 2006. It was a godsend for my son. After being on the diet for a year or so, he was feeling like a new man, so much so that he went off the diet. Needless to say, that didn't last long! He had a major flare-up of his colitis within weeks. He now knows that this is going to be a life-long diet for his health and sanity. He "slips" every once in a while, but he's young and that's to be expected. I highly recommend this book/diet to anyone with any kind of stomach/bowel/colon problems. If it helped my son, it can help you, too!...more info
- This book has saved my life
I highly recommend this book for anyone suffering from digestive disorders. I have suffered for 40 years and NOTHING has given me relief from terrible daily pain. I have read hundreds of books and worked with numerous doctors - never getting relief - until I started the diet recommended in Ms. Gottschall's book. My life has been transformed. For the first time since I was 18 months old, I am living PAIN FREE and experiencing what I could only try to imagine until this time in my life - normal bowel function!! This may not be the answer for all, but it is based on good science and is certianly worth a try for anyone suffering from IBS, colitis, celiac disease, or any kind of intestinal dysfunction. I also recommend Dr. Mark Pimentel's book, "A New IBS Solution." For me, the two books are a perfect compliment.
- Breaking the vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Throgh Diet
After being totally confused about what to do about my digestive issues. A friend recommended this book. I have been following the diet for about 5 weeks now and as I have stayed with the suggestions fairly precisely I have found relief. My diarrhea and abdominal pain has stopped and I am eating many more foods than before. I have kept all starches out of my diet and for now this seems to be the correct avenue. I trust that one day in the near future I will be able to add some dissacharide sugars in the form of starches back in without causing upset and disturbance. I have eaten organic Stonyfield yogurt in the place of her home-made yogurt suggestions and this has worked fine for me....more info
- Just started on SCD diet
I've been on the SCD diet for about a month. It has helped so far, and I would recommend this for anyone with ulcerative colitis....more info
- Book everybody with Crohn's or colitis have to read and follow
I had decided to write the review after reading and implementing [for my son] what book is suggesting.
My son developed colitis when he was 16 , after going through the doctors and pills we realized , that there must be the other way than taking medicine for rest of the life.
We spent a lot of time doing reaserch to find alternatives and came across a lot of information and this book - Breaking the vicious cycle- read the book , and with the proper diet [ our son is not taking pills anymore] he had not have a "flare-up" for 5 years.
I would highly reccomend this book - after reading - please "stick" to it....more info
- For Everyone
This is a book for people suffering from intestinal destress. It works wonderfully in that capacity. In addition my wife who has no problem started the diet and started losing weight--a pound or so a week. She is delighted.
One proviso, the author says that diet soda is acceptable. My experience is aspertame is toxic in any form and should be avoided.
With that stated I am recommending the book to my friends....more info
- worth trying the diet but do not get carried away
If you have UC or Crohn's the approach described in the book is worth a try. However the book explicitly says that if there are no improvements in 3 weeks this diet is not for you. My advise is not to buy the book/almond flour/ yogurt maker and anything else the book recommends until you do the following. Take out all grain products, dairy, fruit, nuts and sugar out of your diet and stay on meat and cooked vegetables for a week. If it makes a difference to you, go ahead and buy the book.
If you decide to proceed with the diet make sure to check internet resources and join the mailing list. In my opinion the book is not well written. The idea might help you with your condition but it is hard to implement without the support of the mailing list.
If you have IBS - do not follow the diet. I have learned it the hard way. Doctors suspected UC in my case so I got on the diet. I was on the diet for 3 months and was getting worse and worse. In the end UC was ruled out and I am stuck with the IBS diagnosis. If you have IBS you need to stay on a low-carb diet. SCD is not a low-carb diet. Diets high in carbs might promote Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth - something you might already have or get if you have IBS.
- From no digestion to a normal life
I bought this book because I was no longer digesting food normally. Nearly everything I ate was passing through unchanged, and I was very concerned that I would be unable to work, enjoy going out for a normal life, not to mention what may happen to my health if I could not digest food! Doctors/scopes were no help. There were no pathogens detected, and I do not have any of the diagnoses listed by other reviewers; the only lead I have is that it seems the decade of nonstop NSAIDs damaged the small intestine, not accessible with scopes. I've since learned from medical journals that NSAIDs rapidly ulcer the small intestine in the vast majority of people. Anyway, I followed this diet, with very quick improvement. The references to actual research was one of the things I appreciated. If a doctor doesn't "buy into" this program, I am ready with the proof! I also don't think I ever would have figured out that starches were a problem if this book didn't clearly spell that out. It has been half a year for me; healing this much damage does take time and I am not done, but as long as I follow the diet I do very well. Regardless of the source of intestinal damage, it seems there is a similar healing process so this book is likely to be helpful to anyone who needs to heal the intestines. I highly recommend this book. Best wishes for good health! ...more info
- Healing Oneself Through this Book
I have known about this book and the author for many years through Dr. Ronald Hoffman, who was my "health guru" in New York. He is also on the radio, which is where I first heard him, and now syndicated all over the country. I never thought that I would have to use the "specific carbohydrate diet" espoused in this book, as I had never had stomach problems. However I developed intestinal distress at the beginning of March, and was told it was a possible parasite. For three months I suffered with chronic diarrhea, and whatever the Doctors gave me did not work. My colon never went back to the way it was, and I went for a variety of tests, but got no real answers or a solution. I finally decided to take matters into my own hands, and after a month on this diet, which I do not find difficult at all, I feel like myself, and I am 100% improved. Thank you, thank you!
Doreen Altman...more info
- Accessible reading, practical recipes, impressive testimonials
Not especially comprehensive or news-breaking (much of the advice is similar to the fashionable South Beach Diet, though this book's emphasis is not on losing weight). What it comes down to is the wear and tear on the gut due to the ingestion of complex, hard-to-digest sugars, grains and starches. The more you indulge in them, the more they harm the intestine (the vicious cycle), producing nasty mucous that leads to poor malabsorption of critical nutrients. So ban the sugars, breads, pasta and stick with selective meats and vegetables.
The testimonials certainly suggest that the book has helped many--not weight problems but numerous digestive and related, serious illnesses. And $20 is a lot less to spend than the exorbitant prices for herbal "cures" for malabsorption being advertised on the internet (face it, chronic pain is "physical work," and some of us are willing to shill out any amount for a pill that promises relief as opposed to adding to our labors and fatigue). And you can get gouged even more by subscribing to one of the internet "courses" that few consumers are able to adhere to. (All the same, several sites dedicated to the diet and this book will give you all of the info of the book and more.)
Gottschalk's prescriptions overlap with numerous other diets (with perhaps the exception of the low-glycemic diet, which stresses complex rather than simple carbs). Still, the disagreements force the reader to make certain choices--she recommends honey as a form of pure glucose requiring little work on the part of stomach to digest. But look in a book even more popular than this one--"The Master Cleanse" by Burroughs--and you'll find honey condemned as a "toxic" food. Certainly an overstatement, but the scientific evidence that I've seen would suggest that honey contains at least as much fructose as it does glucose (perhaps the 50/50 balance is what makes it "legal"), so I'd be hesitant, despite my grandparents' advice and practice, to substitute honey whenever sugar is called for. In fact, the author may be overly generous in the amount of sweetness she allows (sucrose is out but, with the exception of high fructose corn syrup, fructose and honey, and even saccharine, are permitted). Finally, if you intend to follow the book's regimen, be prepared to make your own yogurt--absolutely nothing of the store-bought variety meets the author's stringent requirements. (Another conundrum, because she says avoid bifida and casei. Not only is it hard to find such bacterial cultures, but the manufacturer of the machine and starter culture (Yogourmet) she recommends loudly proclaims the inclusion of both ingredients in their product!).
I've tried the regimen, but have yet to be able to contribute to the impressive number of positive testimonials. (Reading the reviews encourages you to check out the SCD site which, in turn, steers you back to Amazon's reviews and testimonials for "proof" of the diet's success. Now there's a troubling cycle for you.) No doubt for every person who experiences success on the diet and announces same to the world, there are many who fail and simply move on to the next diet. And as the old saw goes, each of us is different--the human species can be maddeningly disparate. My stomach isn't your stomach any more than yours is Gottschalk's. Why are the other mammals not subject to the same genetic aberrations that haunt the destinies (let alone guts) of each one of us? ...more info
- Extremely informative & practical
Wonderful book, has changed my life and brought me back to health. The receipies were easy, yummy and full of optimum nutrition. I recommed this book to everyone who is not feeling 100% percent.
- Treat Yourself right
This popular book, written by a biochemist and cell biologist, got its start when Gottschall's daughter was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at a young age. She developed the "Specific Carbohydrate Diet," a strict grain-free, lactose-free, and sucrose-free regimen, as an alternative to medication and surgery. The diet is intended to starve anaerobic bacteria in the intestinal tract, similar to the use of antibiotics for Crohn's. No clinical trials have been conducted on its effectiveness for IBD as far as I know, but if you are looking for alternative approaches you might try this dietary approach. Visit the IBD Book Store for other reviews on books related to Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis, and IBS. As for other books for proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle...more info
- Please read this
Please read this book if you or anyone you know has bowell troubles. It will save you....more info
- I Learned More About Myself & This Disease
I was diagnosed with Colitis about five years ago. It has remained relatively quiet but lately has really proven itself to be a force in my life. In trying to gain a better understanding of this disease I search several websites and came across http://breakingtheviciouscycle.info
It was there that I discover the author of this book and gave me the desire to read more. The book was written in layman's terms of the disease which was very helpful to me. It also discussed methods of treating the disease through a very specific diet of limited carbohydrates. I've used the suggestions and found them to be very beneficial. If I would recommend the book for any reason it would be to gain a better understanding of the disease and how to combat it. Granted, not every treatment works on every person, but the helps in this book certainly were helpful to me....more info
- Don't miss this book
Well, I really can't say much more than has already been said here. Twelve years ago I got this book. It saved my life. Absolutely, positively saved my life. Two other members of my immediate family have Crohn's disease, yet will not stick to this diet. One of them has been resectioned FIVE times; the other chronically ill and heavily drugged. Meanwhile, my latest colonscopy shows NOTHING yet again. There are great cookbooks for this diet now...there weren't when I started. If you think sticking to this diet is difficult, trying being resectioned...or worse....more info
- Didn't work for me
Although I found the book interesting, it did not offer what I hoped for --relief during my most recent UC flare. Unfortunately, I found removing starches from my diet made me feel much, much worse. Perhaps under other circumstances (...like not actively having a flare) it would work.
I also found it curious that all sugar and starch had to be strictly eliminated, but there were a gazillion honey recipes. It just struck me odd. I like honey just fine, but if I'm consuming it everyday how is that better than a little sugar or something healthy like a sweet potato from time to time?
I was only diagnosed last year and had to be hospitalized at the onset, so I am very anxious to find relief that doesn't involve stronger medications than the ones I've already tried! ...more info
- SCD "cured" my U. Colitis
R e a d t h e b o o k !
T r y S C D!
It is specific healthy whole foods. It can not harm you.
When you go on the SCD diet you can see for yourself intelligently from your first hand experience if it works for you. I was eating this way for over six years and it was not that hard to eat healthy when it made me feel great and stop all my symptoms..
- Great Diet for people with Ulcerative Colitis and RECOMMENDATION
This specific carbohydrate diet really works. I no longer have any signs of UC (ulcerative colitis). The book is a really easy read (only 78 pages-- the rest of the book is recipes). The RECIPES are easy and fun. I read of few reviews that said it was hard to make the food in the recipe book. I disagree.
I do RECOMMEND that you have a Cuisinart Food Processor Prep 11+ or other food processor. It makes grinding up the nuts really easy and really fast. The food tastes great. I have enjoyed the muffins, bread and pancakes... taste like the real thing! I am also lactose intolerant so I have not made the yogurt that is crucial to the diet. I do take probiotic pills instead.
It really is not a hard diet to follow... lots of fruits, veggies, meats and nuts. I would also recommend a juicer. The "Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer" is pretty amazing. I make fresh carrot and apple juice almost once a week (the juice lasts about 5-7 days). Delicious!
Hope you purchase the book if you have any kind of intestinal issues. This book is also good to read for people that have children with Autism or for people with mental disabilities.
Also, I recommend that you buy the nuts at Costco. They are really inexpensive there. Lowest price that I found....more info
- It worked immediately!
My 18 year old son was diagnosed with UC in May and I was told it was lifelong and incurable and he would be on medicine forever. That's when I fired the Dr. and found this amazing book. I am NO cook! We kept a journal of what he ate, bm's, cramps etc. and I have a whole spreadsheet that proves it works. By day 7 he had no cramping at all, by day 27, regular bowel movements returned.
I think it's absolutely retarded that Dr's say what you eat has nothing to do with your health........... who trains these people??...more info
- Proven naturally healthy diet.
I was introduced to this diet 7 years ago. Began the diet with my physicians knowledge and was able to go prescription drug free within a year. The diet really works and the book not only gives the how to and recipes, it gives the scientific information to back up the evidence. I highly recommend this book/guide to all that suffer from intestinal disorders....more info
- Breaking the Vicious Cycle
We got this book from the library along with several other books on the subject. The other books were slicker, more professional looking, so we left this one for last to look through. It reviewed several medical problems that did not concern us, but when we got to the general description of how the digestive process works and what can go wrong with simple what to do about it suggestions and recipes - well, then we found we could not do without this book and had to buy it. We use is regularly now. By the way, we too are more regular....more info
- This book changed my life!
Guided by the book, I started the SCD diet in June 2007 (9 months ago). At the time I was on Remicade and had had a bowel resection for my Crohn's disease. I have suffered for over 20 years with the disease and my doctor said I would be on Remicade for the rest of my life. After being on the diet for only 3 months, my insurance changed so drastically that I could not afford the Remicade. With great trepidation, I took myself off of it. I have now been off of Remicade for 6 months. While I am still healing, my life is so very different than it was a year ago. I never miss work, I have no pain, I no longer need to plan my life around trips to the restroom. I credit the book, God, and the diet for my miraculous healing. The diet is very difficult and I really did not think I had the will power to tackle it. I am so glad that God gave me the strength. Although the SCD diet is quite restrictive, it is not as restrictive as inflammatory bowel disease!...more info
This book is full of great information. It really explains things that doctors cannot and has helped me a great deal. I recommend this book to anyone...not just ones with stomach issues. ...more info
- Bout time I reviewed this book
Everyone who suffers from any autoimmune disease must read this book. This diet has changed my life, and has changed the lives of many others.
The diet is said to mainly help intestinal disease and autism, but I believe anyone who is generally sluggish, low in energy, or has a host of unspecific annoying symptoms like joint pain, sinus pain, excess weight etc, should give it a try.
I became ill in 2004 with an unspecified intestinal disorder but symptoms were not dissimilar to crohns or ulcerative colitis. Within days I felt better generally, within two weeks my symptoms had subsided. After a year I was mostly pain free - and felt better than I had ever felt, even pre illness. I still follow the basic principals today - I now just believe that this is a healthy life style. Now that I am well I have adjusted this diet to be primarily whole foods, I do eat grains especially in the winter, but mostly spelt and rye.
Now I am just a healthy person who cares about the molecular structure of her food.
Many reviewers giving 5 stars sound almost evangelistic in their praise which might actually put some people off. I think one review on this list (a very old one) goes so far as to say that Elaine has a loyal band of followers who counteract any negative reviews. But the reason this happens is that people like me, many scattered all over the world and who have never met Elaine, have had their lives changed so dramatically that we simply cannot help but express it in this fashion.
If you are ill you owe it to yourself to spend the 20 bucks, read the book and every word on the web site and give this diet an honest try for a month. It is so tragic that such a simple solution is missed by people who are so very ill because the info does not come from the conventional medical community, or because diet folklore muddies the credibility of this books information....more info
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