I Need Help With the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)

My Background:

I took accutane, am 20 years old, and recently started the SCD diet. I had my gallbladder removed 5 weeks ago and had severe complications from that surgery (the surgeon accidently nicked an artery and a nerve causing lots of pain and nausea.


My Story:

I am just extremely concerned because I recently saw a nutritionist, where i learned about the SCD diet. I started it yesterday ate mostly cheese and grapes, but made the bread (almond flour and cottage cheese) and ate it with peanut butter and honey. I also ate strawberries, and apples with peanut butter. Today, I am sicker than I have been in months. I have the worst diarrhea i have ever had, and cannot keep anything down and have been projectile vomiting. I also have cold sweats and feel like it is impossible to get comfortable. And it is the SECOND day. This situation is really making me just want to continue with what I was doing, I am just wondering if this has happened to anyone else. I called my nutritionist today and she said that occasionally the first few days people can experience flu-like symptoms, if that is the case this would be the worst flu i had ever had in my life. She also told me to switch to the chicken soup for a few days and to keep her posted. Any thoughts or comments would be much appreciated.



-Submitted by Lindsay in the Colitis Venting Area above.


* A link to the diet page which talks about the: Specific Carbohdrate Diet

8 thoughts on “I Need Help With the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)”

  1. Hey Lindsay,
    Great questions you have.

    I’ve been following the diet for almost 2 years now, but before I started it, I had some nasty UC symptoms. There are some major differences though between how you are starting the diet, and how the diet is intended to be started.

    First of all, let’s look at what you had your first day: “started it yesterday ate mostly cheese and grapes, but made the bread (almond flour and cottage cheese) and ate it with peanut butter and honey. I also ate strawberries, and apples with peanut butter. ”

    All of that stuff is definitely not part of the introductory foods recommended on the SCD Intro diet. I know it can be tempting to start eating what are known as “SCD Legal” foods, but there is quite a bit of science behind the diet, and a specific process needs to happen to get to foods like cheeses, grapes, honey, bread and peanut butter.

    For example, peanut butter is a very advanced food on the SCD diet, and actually, many people who follow SCD don’t eat peanut butter or do so rarely. I’m one of those people who does just fine with peanut butter, but its a food that you would consider trying only after feeling much better from several weeks or even months of successful SCD dieting. So my two cents would be for you to re-read the information about starting the SCD diet as intended. Foods such as home-made chicken soup, and broiled hamburger meat is what has helped me get out of the flare and back into normal living.

    Regarding your other question, it is not uncommon at all for people starting to feel some “die off” effects just after starting SCD. But, for sure you should contact your doctor if you feel anything that doesn’t feel right. Many people get headaches that last for a short while while the body is adjusting and cleansing itself of the “bad gut bacteria” that the diet is trying to contain and get under control. I myself was not concerned with my strange mental and physical challenges when I started SCD, because I knew headaches and some other odd feelings were relatively common for others.

    I wish you the best of luck with SCD. It is something that doesn’t work for everyone, but there are an awful lot of individuals (like myself) who credit it with relieving many if not all of the UC symptoms.

  2. Hi Lindsay,

    If you’ve had your gallbladder removed you’re going to have to do a few things to help you digest fats. I’m guessing the main reason you had so many problems with SCD starting out is that you ate a ton of fats and your body isn’t able to handle it on its own anymore.

    The gallbladder acts as a pouch to store bile. When you eat a lot of fat, it lets bile out to help digest the fats. Without a gallbladder, your liver excretes the bile slowly so you can only handle a small amount of fat at one time. If you take bile supplements (look for ox bile or bile salts in a digestive enzyme supplement like Thorne Biogest) with every meal it will help with digesting fats. You can start by taking one capsule with a meal/snack and increasing if you’re still having symptoms. Eating small meals/snacks often will help too.

    I would stop the almond and peanut butter as those sohuld not be eaten in the inital stages of SCD. Try bananas, papayas and pineapple which are good carbs that will also help with digesting fat. When having chicken soup, try to skim the fat off (put it in the fridge and it’s easy to remove the layer of fat on top).

  3. thank you so much for your feedback, i had a miscommunication with my nutritionist about what is okay to start with. i have had nothing but chicken soup since then, and am doing much better. does anyone have any other suggestions about what to being eating? im finding the directions i was given very confusing, and although i am a fan of chicken soup, i cant really keep eating it forever. it says i can start eating pears and apples, and i am allergic to apples… basically i am kind of feeling like this diet is impossible to undertake..

  4. and also i am kind of confused as to how long the stages are supposed to last and also as to when i can eat cheese.

  5. I’m glad you posted this. I’ve been reading up on SCD and was wondering how to throw myself into it. I’ve been a vegetarian for years, so the thought of eating nothing but broiled burgers and chicken soup for the first few days is a bit daunting! I’ve slowly started eating meat again to get used to it (anyone ever see Supersize Me, where the vegan is throwing up in the parking lot after eating a Big Mac???) and then I think I will be able to just DO IT.

    1. Hey Heather, congrats to you for thinking about changing your lifestyle completely with a massive diet change, especially considering you’re vegetarian. I think your idea of gradually geting into meat is a great idea instead of going headfirst into it. Please keep us posted on how things go for you and best of luck! You’re inspirational with such big changes all for your overall health!

  6. Hi Lindsay, On starting the diet, there are no timeframes for going through the stages – it’s all about finding what works for you. It might be that a couple of days of intro are enough to calm down the B and D and start you healing, or you may need to go the full 5 days. After that, add one food at a time – a new one every 2 to 4 days to see if you react to it. Again, the more sick you are, the more important it is to go slowly. Add a few different vegetables from stage 1, one at a time, then a cooked fruit, then some more veggies. It’s a slow process, but very worthwhile. I’m going the phase in for the third time at the moment – I’ve been doing it for about 40 days (after having a nasty bout of food poisoning that caused a big flare), and I’m eating meats, most veggies, and I’ve just started a bit of fruit and yoghurt.

    It can be difficult, but it works for me, and that makes all the effort worthwhile. There is a great book on doing the first 90 days of SCD here SCD Lifestyle E-Book (Free Guide), and Jordan and Steve give away the first chapter for free. The book is worth getting because it walks you through to food and the mental side of the diet too. They also do great podcasts on a range of topics.

    Feel free to ask any more questions you might have. There are a lot of people with a lot of experience out there, but the most important thing is to learn to listen to your body.

    Good luck,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.