Question Regarding the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)

I was diagnosed with ulcerated colitis in August of 2011.

The doctor who diagnosed me prescribed the wrong type of medicine. My colitis is in my transverse colon. The medication he prescribed would never have reached the area that has colitis. The doctor diagnosed me after a colonoscopy, prescribed the medication, and told me to make an appointment with him in three months. He gave me no other information. No information about diet what to look for etc. He told me this as I was awakening from the anesthesia for my colonoscopy. My symptoms became progressively worse. I went from having three BM’s a day to having 30 or 40. I have been out of work since the end of October of this year.

I did connect with a new, kind, considerate GI doctor. I have tried the specific carbohydrate diet. I have been on it since about November 28, 2011. At first my symptoms started to get better after several days I was going perhaps 6 to 8 times a day, I am now having to go to the bathroom 10 to 15 or more times a day. My iron levels are incredibly low, I’m constantly tired, rundown, and chilled. I am on prednisone and Lialda. My new G.I. Dr. is weaning me off the prednisone. I now take only one 10 MG pill a day. If the diarrhea would slow down he would lower that does. I need to go back to work. I am running out of sick time. I hate being home stuck in the house all day.

But the specific carbohydrate diet does not seem to be working for me.

I am uncertain if it is because I still use some honey, or if the diet just is not going to work for me.

My doctor is not a believer in the diet.

I also have seriously considered going back to smoking. I quit smoking cigarettes in November of 2010. I started showing symptoms of colitis, I did not realize at the time, in the spring of 2010. I have read many stories with people who have started smoking again have had their colitis go into remission. My belief is I would rather have quality of life and be sick perhaps for the last five years or so then to suffer and be unable to work and or leave my house for the next 20 – 25 years. Any advice or direction or information that may help put this horrible illness/flare-up into remission would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for any suggestions or help give me.

written by Patty

submitted in the Colitis Venting Area

5 thoughts on “Question Regarding the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)”

  1. Hi Patty,

    I’ll tackle this part of your query: “Dr. is weaning me off the prednisone.”

    Since you have to go to work weaning off prednisone may not be the right time. There should be no guessing as to when to taper because the symptoms will come back. You need to be comfortable enough at work to function so that is why prednisone is so important. Your doctor has it right. If the diarrhea would slow down he would lower the dosage. Unfortunately that is tough to keep track of. I have detailed a method below that I use to taper off drugs so there is no guessing. I have previously postd this on the site.

    “Many suffers do not know how to gauge their progress when on the SCD. The metrics I use is I take enough drugs (prednisone) to allow me to stay away from the bathroom for 1.5 to 2 hours while I’m at work. That works out to ¼ of one 5 mg. pill. It is very important to note through the whole time I’m on SCD I’m bleeding, have nausea, likely cramping but that is normal. It is also important to note that some weeks my colitis is rampaging and causing me all kinds of problems. This is normal and really has nothing to do with SCD from my point of view. The next week you may find that symptoms have quieted. Over time you may notice your bathroom trips may become 3 hours apart for a period of time. At this point you may taper down your drugs as per your doctors instructions. That is how you measure your SCD success. In summary, the philosophy I use is to stabilize my condition at a fixed drug dosage. That is my benchmark. Then I try to slowly taper down the dosage when bathroom visits say its time. I view each dosage reduction as a success. The goal is to be drug free. I should also mention I don’t let the weight loss worry me. As long as I keep up my nutrition I feel my body will have the energy to deal with my colitis. Hey I think of my body as a drug factory that manufactures its own medicine. So you need to keep it strong.”

  2. You might try checking out the e-book at scdlifestyle It has a lot of great info to get started on SCD. I started the SCD after just reading Breaking the Vicious Cycle and looking at the legal foods list, but there’s a whole lot more that needs to be considered to be successful. So I restarted the diet using the ideas in SCD Lifestyle. Good luck.

  3. Hi Patty.

    I’ve had Remicade infusions, tried Lialda, Prednisone and was told to take 6-mp (I’ll never take 6-mp. I started doing the SCD diet as well. The thing about this diet is that it is very generalized and will not work for everyone. I had a food allergy test which revealed I was allergic to many types of foods. After finding out this information I have begun to keep a food journal and also record how many times I go to the bathroom per day. This way you can see which foods cause a reaction. I’ve slowly started to get better as I go to the bathroom less and find it more solid.

    I just found a nutritionist/chiropractor who has studied intestinal diseases extensively. I’m now getting an intestinal permeability test and a gluten sensitivity/autoimmunity test. These tests are fairly new and have been helping colitis patients find the cause instead of just taking medicine for the rest of our lives. The gluten test may not sound new but it checks for 12 enzymes instead of the one that most gluten sensitivity tests check. Keep in mind they are fairly expensive ($500 for both) but it is easily worth it to find out exactly what’s wrong. Patients of this “doctor” have gone into remission because of the findings of these test. If you’re interested you can search for “leaky gut” which is nickname for intestinal permeability. GI doctors will never recommend these as they only believe in medicine to cover up the problem. I’ve had enough of the medicine and will continue to get rid of this disease the natural way.

  4. Stick to the diet! It can take 2 years but it works. My husband has Crohn’s. We started SCD in August, 2011. He did feel somewhat better after a month, which encouraged him to stick to it. Now, just this week, he started having non-D poops! He never believed in diets though he always knew some foods triggered crises. He was reluctant to believe that some of his favorite foods, like rice, were bad for him. But if you read Breaking the Vicious Cycle, or the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) books, you realize that some of the bad effects of certain foods take DAYS to happen, so it’s very hard to know which foods to avoid. With SCD and GAPS it’s all figured out for you, and the testimonies of so many people show how valuable that information is.

    Because of DH’s diffidence we didn’t really do the Intro, we went on Full GAPS from the start, but it still worked, in about 5 months. And he’s had resections, hospitalizations, been on Prednisone a hundred times, tried Remicade, etc. He isn’t cured but definitely in remission, let’s hope it lasts.

    It’s harder to stick to the diet during holidays but I encourage you to tell other people about it because many, many chronic diseases like Arthritis and Autism are helped by this same diet. Which is very close to the Paleo diet, i.e. what science tells us our ancestors ate in the wild, what are guts are designed to digest. It all makes sense. If you don’t have the GAPS book yet, ask someone to give it to you for Christmas! It really helps you understand how our modern diet is making us sick.

  5. I just realized that I never responded to all of your kind replies. I continued to get worse and ended up in the hospital for four days a few weeks ago. I am doing better now and want to thank you all for taking the time to respond to my questions.

    Wishing you all wellness,

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