Questions About the SCD Diet and Ulcerative Colitis

Hi Everyone:

I’m very happy to have found your website.  It’s terrific.

I was diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis about 6 years ago.  After my second flare I tried the SCD and within a month all my symptoms were gone.  I followed the diet strictly for about a year.  After that I started adding a few illegal foods in, but was still quite careful.  I moved to a different city about 4 months ago and was “cheating” a little more frequently.  Last October I started having a flare.  I went back on the intro diet for a few days and then back on stage 1 and 2 foods.  Unfortunately, I’m responding much less successfully than the last time.  But, I really can’t complain because I feel just fine (except I’ve lost weight and at least twice a day I have a trip to the toilet with bleeding).  I guess I have two questions that I’d like to ask you:

1)  According to the BTVC book, the author claims you can be cured after following the diet for one year after the last symptom has cleared.  I was under the impression that one did not, therefore, need to be on the diet for life.  Can you comment on that?

2)  Also, when re-introducing foods, how can one know if a particular food is causing a problem.  In other words, how can we know how long it takes for a certain food to pass through our digestive tract?  Could symptoms be caused by days or weeks of eating the food in question?  So, perhaps it’s more of a cumulative thing rather than having a bit of sugar or starch once in a while.  Can we still have flares if we follow the diet strictly for life?

I really enjoy bread (I’m originally from Quebec and nobody makes bread better than the French!), pasta and yams.  Rather than seeing if I can reintroduce these foods (well, probably not the bread) as a permanent part of my diet somewhere down the road, I would like to be able to indulge in small amounts a few times a year (especially for special occasions/holidays).  I feel I can now live without these foods for the most part as there are so many enjoyable SCD foods.  In a way, I’d rather not risk re-introducing the foods gradually as I wouldn’t necessarily know right away if they were doing me harm. Just a taste every once in a while would satisfy me.  Can this be done or am I asking for trouble? It would also be interesting to know what kinds of illegal foods people have been successful in adding back (such as your corn tortillas).  As well, which foods are commonly the worst offenders (as in don’t even think about re-introducing).

I am nowhere near re-introducing foods at this point, but it would be great to have some input as to what I can one day look forward to.

Sorry I guess that’s more than 2 questions!

I’m so happy to have found the SCD and if I have to be on it for life, than that’s the way it has to be.  I find I do really well when I’m at home where I have complete control of what I’m ingesting.  Traveling and eating out are such challenges.  But, at least, I can cook quite well and I enjoy it.  I want to avoid meds at all costs – I hope it’s possible to do this.

Thanks for your help.


*** to learn more about the SCD diet feel free to check out the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Page

5 thoughts on “Questions About the SCD Diet and Ulcerative Colitis”

  1. Hi Moxie!
    Glad to hear that you’ve had success with SCD! I have had success with it as well. Although, I will say that you can be strict on the diet and still have a flare. So, although the book says that you can be cured through food alone…it might be a stretch. I know that other factors in life contribute to a flare…stress is definite, but I think that seasons definitely play a role (pollen, air pollution etc.) I say do what works for you. Have you ever been tested for Celiacs disease? (Gluten) If you are only having bread and pastas as your illegal food and you have a reaction to it …it might be worth while to just get a blood test to see.
    I wish you the best….good luck with everything.

  2. Thanks, Michelle. That’s a really good suggestion to get tested for gluten intolerance. If I could include other foods in my diet (except for gluten) that would certainly be good news. I definitely do think the seasons play a role, as I always seems to flare at the same time of year (starting in the fall). All the best to you.

  3. Hi Moxie, I’ve read some other comments by Elaine (I can’t remember where unfortunately) about phasing out of the diet. She explained what her daughter did when she went to college, which was to have a small serve of rice, and see what happened. She bled, and stuck to SCD for another week. She had rice again, bled again, and gave up on rice for a while. Then she did the same with potatoes. 1/4 of a potato, and was okay. A week later, half a potato etc. So the message I took from it was to go really slowly. And if you are okay with two things independently, don’t assume you’ll be okay with them together. Treat rice and potato in the same day as a new thing, and wait a week.

    I guess it’s much the same a phasing in legal foods after the intro diet, but much more spaced out.

    If what you want to do is be able to have things only on special occasions, you could try them a week or two beforehand. If all goes well, you can eat it again on the day. And if something goes wrong, you’ll hopefully be felling better on the day.

    I have to say, I didn’t find BTVC a particularly useful resource. I explained the basis for the diet well (which is important for me, if I don’t understand why, I have trouble doing things), but there are much better explanations of the diet out there.

    All the best


  4. Thanks, Catherine. You’re right, the diet is explained very well, but not how to carry on afterwards. My main priority is to get over this flare, which has been going on now for about 3 months. It’s a little distressing, because last time I was fine within a month.

    I’m also thinking about the future, so I don’t make the same mistakes I made the last time. After a full year on the diet, I was adding things back gradually. I can live without potatoes and rice for the most part, but I find bread is a difficult one so I started trying gluten-free bread or sprouted bread. Then more and more I was trying different things and had no problems until about a year later when I flared. I wonder if it’s the accumulation that’s the problem. I find it difficult to undertand that after one or two tries with a particular food that one can flare. Wouldn’t it be more from the build up over time of a certain food?

    Also, is one year enough time? I remember reading that you should be on the diet for one year after the last symptom has passed. But I also remember reading that for UC it should be two years.

    In any case, hopefully in the future I can try to be more systematic about how I re-introduce new foods. Thanks for your advice – it’s a little more clear now!

    All the best, moxie

  5. hi moxie –

    sorry you have a reason to be here – it sucks – definitely i believe it’s a cumulative thing – i thinks that’s why it takes so long to heal cuz it took a long time to get sick – at least that’s how it worked for me – i also second getting your blood tested for allergies/intolerances – i firmly believe in blood type diets – i’m an o, so according to the theory, i’m a meat eater – problem is, i became an very strict vegan about 17 years ago – lots of fruits, veggies, and worst of all, GRAINS ! result, major uc – but it did take about 5 for my symptoms to appear – i’m better now, but still trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t – all i know is that i will probably be this way the rest of my life – so say good bye to pizza, veggie burgers, pasta, …. you know, all the good stuff – the good thing is i still have all my original plumbing … and i’d prfer to keep it that way – and at this point, i still have choices – good luck – it will get better !

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