No Bread / SCD ... How will I know if it's necessary, or even helpful?

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slpshtmike
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/14/2010 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm a newly diagnosed 21yr old Crohn's patient. When I first got out of the hospital I was extremely scared so I was eating very little and very little variety. I've been slowly adding back foods to my diet, and now I want to either add-back or rule-out breads.

So, it seems like it's a pretty common consensus that the SCD diet is in general very helpful for Crohn's patients but its always a case by case basis. On one hand, I want to do everything that I can do avoid ending up back in the ER... but on the other hand, as far as I know I've never had any problem with wheat and I don't want to cut it out if I don't have to.

How do I figure out if I am able to eat wheat? I've had a couple half sandwiches in the past few weeks and quite a bit of rice... as far as I can tell it didn't really do any harm but I just don't know for sure. I think sometimes in the past I've had stomache aches from eating large amounts of carbs, but I can get stomache aches from eating large amounts of anything.

If I chow down on a sandwich on wheat bread, how will I know that it did harm? What I'm really worried about is doing harm without noticing it, I don't want to eat wheat/carbs for the next few years and then find out that it was causing a bunch of damage to my intestines. Will I feel gassy and bloated right away if that is the case?

I'm going to make an appointment with a local naturopath here pretty soon and hopefully she can help me figure out some of the dietary questions I have (I also want to know about lactose-free probiotics), but the last time I posted a question on these forums everyone was extremely helpful so I am hoping to get some insight from you first.

Thanks, I really appreciate the help!

EMom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 5/14/2010 8:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi slpshtmike! Welcome to the forum!

I wish you much success if you decide to embark on the SCD! It has been a God send for us! My 18 yr. old son (I need to update my sig.) has followed it for over 2.5 yrs now. He is doing amazingly well!

If you are really interested in the SCD, please get a copy of the book, "Breaking the Vicious Cycle", if you don't already have it. It explains that there are *specific* carbs which you must avoid--grains are just one. These specific carbs are disaccharides, or double sugars.

Food for thought: The author of the book, Elaine Gottschall, was famous for her phrase "fanatical adherence", meaning that you cannot expect results if you don't follow the diet 100%. So I guess what I'm saying is, you really cannot "figure out if you can eat wheat" if you are truly going to do the SCD; it simply must be avoided. I hope that doesn't sound harsh...I don't mean for it to!

You will not necessarily feel gassy and bloated right away if you eat wheat or any "illegal" food on the SCD. Like everything else, each person's reaction is individual. Likewise, you do not always KNOW if a particular food is causing damage.

Probiotics are great, but also consider making your own home made yogurt (one cup has 800 billion beneficial bacteria!), as the book puts forth. Other fermented foods are great, too! Sally Fallon's book, "Nourishing Traditions", is an amazing, encyclopedic-style cookbook with a fascinating section on making your own fermented foods for their beneficial bacteria.

Lastly, there are many really great cookbooks and online resources for this diet. If you would like them, just ask! Also, maybe check the discussion threads in my signature for more thoughts on diet.

Hopefully spookyhurst will come along with more thoughts/advice. She explains things much better than I do! Best wishes to you!!!
Mom to 17 year old son diagnosed in June, 2007.
Omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, vit. C, calcium, vit. D3, a good multivitamin and SCD legal yogurt
Started The Maker's Diet in Sept. '07. Incorporate Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) recipes, too. Med-free.

Threads discussing diet:
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=17&m=984588
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=17&m=1533705
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=17&p=1&m=1262312


spookyh
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 5/14/2010 10:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Prior to starting SCD, I didn't seem to have any obvious issues with SCD illegals (with the exception that I think I was becoming lactose intolerant). Like you, if I ate too much of something (like french fries) I'd feel bad, but otherwise, nothing caused immediate symptoms. However, one or more of those things certainly was causing problems. For instance, all 3 of my fistulas healed at around 4 or 5 months into the diet. I haven't had any constipation (or bleeding) since around 7 months on the diet. My acid reflux went away immediately. I don't have eczema anymore (that took the longest to heal). My seasonal allergies are almost non-existent, even though this year was supposed to be awful for allergies. I have no idea what item/items were behind all of those (and other) problems. Maybe the sugar? I did eat a lot of it, probably more then I did of the other forbidden items. Regardless, I won't be touching any SCD illegals for a long time (I'm thinking 5 years). After that, I plan on staying mostly SCD, and eat an illegal meal once a month. Who knows though, by then maybe I won't want to bother with illegals turn.

I'm actually happy eating SCD! There are a lot of yummy foods to be had, so my old favorites have been replaced with new favorites. I'm even being cautious and avoiding raw foods still (I'm a 17.5 months into the diet). Once I start eating raw, I'll really have it made yeah.
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
Current Meds: LDN, Pentasa, Effexor XR, Zyrtec
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Coconut Oil, Garlic Oil, CoQ10, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


songstress
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 393
   Posted 5/14/2010 10:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't do the SCD but I created my own diet that has worked extremely well. Its similar in the fact that I cut out all white carbs, potatoes, and sugars. I do, however, eat WHOLE wheat foods. But no pasta or anything. It has helped but I am not cured and I sstill have pain but I feel better and have more energy.

I think cutting any bad sugars or carbs will be helpful in any disease, just take for example diabetes.
Psalms 9:18
But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.

Finally awarded disability after 4 long years! Thank God for attorneys!
Dx'd with Crohn's colitis May 05, spread to ileum as of 08'-- Currently on Humira every 2wks, Pentasa, Entocort, Phenergan,Zantac, Ambien


spookyh
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 5/14/2010 10:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree songstress, the carbs really seem to be the problem. Within 9 months of cutting mine down, my triglycerides went from high (160ish) to low (80ish).
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
Current Meds: LDN, Pentasa, Effexor XR, Zyrtec
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Coconut Oil, Garlic Oil, CoQ10, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


DaveF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1109
   Posted 5/15/2010 5:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Spooky, thanks for the post. I have been on SCD for the last couple of months and the results have been mixed for me. It is encouraging to know that just cause the results are mixed now, does not mean that things will not get much better in a few months. I am getting to "fanatical adherence" I think. Last week was at a catered lunch and ate dried fruit. It had to be legal. Then of course I looked it up after I ate it and had the bad gut and saw it was not.
Next day Cajun corn. I thought how can corn with a bit of spice be bad. I had one hand on the fork and the other on the keyboard. This time before I ate it I looked it up and of course saw no corn. My new program is to assume things are illegal unless I know they are ok. Perhaps you have to learn the hard way, at least I did, that this is the approach with SCD.
Pill cam Monday, I am praying that I finally get a complete diagnosis.
David
Diagnosed March 3rd 2010, Kapidex 60mg, Pentasa 3000 mg, D 50,000 (weekly), Probiotics, Probiotic Yougurt, SCD


newfoundsun
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 145
   Posted 5/15/2010 7:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I just celebrated my 6-month mark on the SCD.  Yes, diet is individual, but I found the guidance of this diet very reassuring to follow at the beginning of my diagnosis.  I don't know if it's the diet or the supplements/program of my Naturopath, but both my SED rate and CRP level have gone down dramatically.  I've "accidentally" eaten some illegals these past 6 months, and they didn't always cause problems.  Other times I knew within a few hours that something didn't agree with me!  I'm weird in that I can eat the raw fruits and veggies right now, but other things that are "legal" can give me more gas than normal.  I follow the diet with the "fanatical adherance" that Elaine says you need to have.  I like this because I don't have to "wonder" if this or that illegal was the problem.  If it's illegal, I stay away. 
 
I do think that it's important, once you find what "diet" you want to try, to stick with it for a good amount of time to see if it works.  To each his/her own, in this regard.  Nobody can tell anyone exactly what will work or not work!
newfoundsun
 
http://www.newfoundsun.wordpress.com/  (my blog about this journey I have just started)
 
CD diagnosed 11/12/09
Cytomel and Levoxyl for thyroid.  Supplements as per my ND.


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 5/15/2010 7:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I do not follow the SCD diet at all and am currently in remission. I follow a modified low residue diet all the time and it works great for me. It takes alot less work than SCD diet (not always having to read labels, or having to always prepare my food) and I can still eat breads. JMHO In fact things like sandwiches etc agree with me very well. The SCD diet is just one diet among many. Some have had success with it, but others have not. You just have to find what works best for you. The low res diet was recommended to me by a dietician when I was flaring. Now I have modified to add other things into it. I wish you success in whatever you do.

Hugs
Gail*Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Zanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 5/15/2010 9:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I, like Nanners, follow a low residue diet. It works well for me. I have tried to do the SCD in the past but there is no way I can eat the foods allowed. I would end up staying on the broth for life. I simply can not eat most of the foods recommended. Also I have been tested several times for gluten allergy and tested negative. I will not give up one of my safest food catagories for years to follow a diet that may or may not help me, especially when I know low residue does work for me. Basically SCD in concert with medication may work for you, but so may other diets out there. The old adage still applies, we are what we eat. So no matter what "diet" you are following, you need to eat good nutritious food. NO JUNK.
Suzanne

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


spookyh
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 5/15/2010 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Having to read labels and cook from scratch are nothing compared to the misery of fistulas and other crohn's symptoms. I'd rather spend more time in the kitchen then spend it in the bathroom or in bed turn. There isn't a food in the world that I wouldn't happily give up for better health!
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
Current Meds: LDN, Pentasa, Effexor XR, Zyrtec
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Coconut Oil, Garlic Oil, CoQ10, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


DaveF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1109
   Posted 5/16/2010 5:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Spooky, agree agree agree!!! My wife says she is impressed with my discipline, she does not know how easy it is to give up some food or the other, if there is the promise to feel better in the future
Diagnosed March 3rd 2010, Kapidex 60mg, Pentasa 3000 mg, D 50,000 (weekly), Probiotics, Probiotic Yougurt, SCD


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 5/16/2010 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes folks, but we are just trying to show others that there are more options than just SCD. I am glad Spooky that your diet helps your issues, but for Zanne and I and many others our diet options help us to avoid Crohns issues too, i.e. obstructions etc. So I just want everyone to know that the SCD diet is NOT the only Crohns Diet option. As with all Crohnies diet is a very individual thing. And you don't have to do just the SCD diet for it to be the only healthy option, because its not the only choice. JMHO
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*
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