Specific Carbohydrate Diet Reviews

Thinking about starting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)?

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It’s no mystery that there has been, and will continue to be lots of talk about treating your ulcerative colitis with diet here on iHaveUC.  We’ve conducted a survey in the past about diet, but there needs to be a simple place for people to share their own personal reviews of how SCD Diet has worked or not worked.  And I’m hoping this page will do just that.

This diet is based on a fundamental idea that by regaining control of the gut bacteria within our digestive system, we as patients living with IBD can also overcome the auto-immune inflammatory reactions that lead to the symptoms we are all too familiar with.

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Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Average rating:  
 45 reviews
by Q on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
SCD works

I read the book Food And The Gut reaction in 2005. I believe this was the original title of Breaking The Vicious Cycle. Diognosed with crohn's in Sept 2004. Theory in book made sense to me but the diet restrictions seemed impossible to me. I am allergic to all tree nuts and peanuts. So I carried on with the drugs, surgery to remove 18" of small intestine in Nov 2007 followed by more drugs and eventually all the same painful symptoms. April 2011 a scope showed ulcerations were back and my disease was back in full force. The medications did little to control the advance of the disease. Doctor gave me two treatment options, both expensive and still only bandaids. My first thought was I am going on the diet in the book I had read 6 years previously. Next say I searched and found the SCD legal and illegal list. The first week was hard as many of the staple foods that included nut flours etc. I could not eat. Then I found that coconut flour was legal. Wow, I made my own biscuits once or twice a week, and found several foods I could snack on. After a month of being hungry most of the time I found my stride and was able eat enough and get the nutrition necessary. 5 weeks in I felt better than I had in 10 years. I read every label prior to purchasing any packaged food. My wife as a big help and by July 2011 was off all meds. I tried to make an appt with my Gastroenterologist but I believe the receptionist was so busy with appointments and patients that I fell through the cracks. I did not call back because I felt so good. August I travelled to Spain with my wife and was able to stick strictly to the SCD diet, not easy but totally possible. I eat all the meat and fat I want, and also all legal veg and fruit. After two years of strict adherence to the diet I introduced brown rice and it went well. Since then I have tried everything and if I eat too much of low quality carbs or beer or similar, I suffer for a shot time, so I go back to SCD but also include rice and a sweet potato which I can tolerate. Cheating even a little in the beginning will stop the process and set you back. Once your gut flora is back to "normal" and your gut is healed as much as it is possible( I had some permanent damage) you will be able to tolerate more and more, at least for short periods. Gut flora is very, very important and everyone will have their own unique flora which will result in a wide variety of complications and results. Good luck.

by Nora Marks on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Went off diet, symptoms returned

I ran out of meds in August, was between Gastroenterologists, ordered meds from Canada to save $$$ but had a long wait to see new Dr. and get meds. I was desperate and tried the SCD diet, hoping it would not work. Well, it did and in 3 days I felt better, bloating was gone, diarrhea was minimal, achiness was gone. I stayed very strictly on the diet for 6 months, was symptom free and off the expensive meds (Canasa). I am a PhD, so scientific research is my passion....I decided to challenge the diet. I ate a few corn chips here and there, then added some wheat crackers, a cookie here and there and I tolerated it pretty well. So really loaded up on cake with frosting, chicken with breading, a milkshake....within a week, my symptoms returned. The more sugar I ate, the more I HURT all over. The constipation and bloody stools have returned and am bloated. So, I did my ABA design, am waiting for the toxic stuff to leave my body and back on the diet. I think it was encouraging that my body could tolerate the grain and sugar based food for so long, telling me I am getting stronger, but not there yet. This diet has really saved my life. Back on SCD and looking forward to not feeling crappy again!

by Marge on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

For years I was in almost constant flare up and taking high dose drugs & enemas. My life was a living hell. There were so many social occasions I had to miss due to severe pain & constant loo trips.

Eighteen months ago I started the SCD. Yes it was hard at first losing some of the foods I loved. However, the benefits far outway denial. At first I controlled and got over flare ups with the diet, I haven't had a flare up for a year now.

I used to smoke and prior to the SCD every time I tried to stop I'd start flaring after 3 days, so back to the cigs. I'm 3 months smoke free now, no flare up although I am vaping at the mo. I tried vaping before SCD and still had flares. To me that's proof that the diet works.

My next trial will be to stop taking top dosage Balsalaside and see if the diet alone keeps me flare free. I thought stopping smoking was the prime benefit first.

I'll let you fellow uc'rs know the results, I'm looking for a positive outcome.

It's thanks to Adam for showing me the way. I've suffered needlessly for years.

Take care guys & wishing better days for you all.

by Kat S on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Yes to Food, No to Meds

I was diagnosed with UC 8 1/2 years ago; I had just started a new job and I was having to excuse myself to the bathroom every half hour, embarrassing! I was put on Canasa and thankfully it worked. A year later, I had a terrible flare. Many times, and I am sure many of you can relate to this, I would have things coming out from both ends. I went back to my gastro doctor and he pretty much looked at me like I was crazy. It was at that moment that I decided to fire him as my doctor and find alternate ways to treat my symptoms.

That was when I started on the SCD. It worked! It was hard, no pizza, no processed sugar, no popcorn, etc....but it worked. I was symptom free for about 6 years and was able to introduce some of the "old" foods into my digestive system.......big mistake.

I have been experiencing another flare recently and have decided the diet will be my way of life for the rest of my life. I don't want to make sure that there is a garbage can near me when I use the bathroom. I don't want to feel like I can't leave the house because there will not be a bathroom around with privacy.

I encourage anyone who is thinking about the diet to try it. There are SO MANY blogs, websites, cookbooks, etc...with great recipes.

And besides, the diet is about the foods that we should be eating anyway.

I am not quite over my flare, but I can get up in the morning and go to the gym and go to work, as well as attend social gatherings. Life is good.

by Maria C on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
SCD Diet Review

This diet has saved my life. I went from being loaded on steroids, Mecaptopurine and almost losing all of my hair to being in COMPLETE remission as told by my colonoscopy today. Hearing the news was probably the happiest moment of my life. Although the diet itself is extremely hard to maintain and requires incredible will power, it is absolutely worth it. I went from being in pain and having bleeding to absolutely NO symptoms UNMEDICATED. This is honestly a big HAHA to the countless doctors that told me nutrition had nothing to do with this disease and that something such as the SCD diet would not help me. I have proved you all wrong. I have been on the diet since January 1, 2015. Of course I have had moments of weakness and cheated--some of those times came along with some stomach cramping and gas, and other times no symptoms. I try to really limit myself when I do cheat as to not overload my system--and I recommend this to all UC patients in times of weakness. ALSO, I must add that I started out of this diet COMPLETELY strict and didn't let go of the reins a little until I felt my body and system was strong enough to take a bit of a hit. If you try this diet, you must be strong and you absolutely must be motivated to conquer your illness--nothing else will get you through it. Sticking to it is the hardest part, and my recent test results have given me even more will power to push through and continue eating this way. It takes time...a heck of a lot of time, and an insane amount of chewing (haha) since it takes a lot longer to get your daily calories when you are limited to low calorie foods. My strategy has been to eat a bunch of little snacks throughout the day, as well as full meals. Not going to lie, this gets extremely tiring. And there are days when it almost just feels easier not to eat because of how restricted you are--but you push through. For anyone out there who is tired of all the medications, side-effects, and little to no relief, you MUST give the SCD diet a chance. More importantly, you must have a hard head and unbreakably strong state of mind to continue the diet long enough to see relief and positive results. Good luck to you all.

by Richard on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Good diet

When nothing else works on my U.C. I go on the SCD for a couple of weeks. My body doesn't like it, I seem to need a certain amount of 'bad'(?) carbohydrate for balance. You must drink plenty of water with this 'regime'. However it soon gets rid of all the symptons and I usually lose a bit of weight. However this time it's really messing with my head, I suppose this is temporary - I read about this with the GAPS diet. One tip - don't cheat!

by Meredith on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Yogurt didn't work for me

I tried the scd diet after coming across Breaking the Vicious Cycle in Dec 2005. My symptoms persisted while on the diet, which I was following to a T. I bought the yogurt maker and was following all the rules and eliminated all illegal food. While on a three day trip I ran out of my homemade yogurt. Two days off the yogurt I was symptom free. The mucus and bleeding just stopped. I realized at that point that dairy is my trigger. Milk, yogurt, whey, non-fat milk powder etc. I stayed on Asacol 400mg 4/3x day and stayed in remission for 1 1/2 yrs. as long as I stay away from dairy - I'm good. The flare was mild and enemas got me back on track.

I was diagnosed in May 2005 with proctitis, sent away from the hospital with canasa suppositories and was back three weeks later with full blown pancolitis. Was put on prednisone for 6 1/2 months. Every time I tried to tapper down the bleeding would start again. Once I eliminated dairy I was able to take just asacol for maintenance. It's been nine years now and I've had four flares, usually triggered by cross contamination and/or stress. Except for the first one I've managed all flares by cleaning up my diet and eating rice and chicken till the symptoms pass).

I currently take 800mgHD Asacol 3/2x day.

I hope this helps anyone who isn't having luck with the diet.

by Pauline on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
It's SCD for me!!!

I've been on the SCD for almost ten years now and loving it. It is a major adjustment, and the first month or so is brutal as you wean yourself off all the crap you're used to eating and your body cleanses itself and adjusts, but as you advance you will find there are so many wonderful websites and cookbooks available with fabulous SCD recipes that it's easier than ever to follow. Just as someone chooses to eat vegan, vegetarian, paleo, etc., I choose to eat the SCD way. By making it MY choice, I'm in control and not feeling like I'm deprived of anything.

Truth be told, I did dream about food for the first year or so on the diet, chocolate, corn chips, etc. I kept a journal of symptoms and what I ate and looking back at it now, I can see how far I've really come. The diet hasn't cured me; I still take two sulfazine a day but that's way better than 16 Asacol or Prednisone or Humira with all their serious side effects.

by Janet on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
life changing

I've had UC for 19 years. Have always been told that diet doesn't matter and have taken all the usual poisons they prescribe. During a bad flare back in Feb I started doing a lot of research and found that gluten causes most auto immune diseases. I stopped all wheat consumption and by the third week I was getting constipated. It was that quick, that easy. I have ditched all my meds and I'm doing great. Getting my energy back and the body I lost to steroids. Never going back to being sick or taking poison

by Joe H. on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

I finally decide to try this diet two weeks ago (1/11/14). When the meds I was given did not help I was put on prednisone. I was on that in Nov. and part of Dec. I also take a probiotic every day. I only used the probiotic after the prednisone was done. After about 2 weeks I ran out of the probiotic and was without it for 3 days. Then the diarrhea began but only for a day, as soon as I started back on the probiotic I got better.

I got the SCD book from the library and started stocking up on all the various ingredients I'd need. I can't believe how much honey I've used since I started. This is almost more expensive than the first meds they gave me!

For those that have been on this diet. Please comment on which recipes you liked best.Today I finally found the dry curd cottage cheese, that is in the book. Only the high end stores carry it here. Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, and Harris Teeter. A 16 oz package cost 11.00. It's about 4.00 less in your large chain supermarkets. I have found it on line for less. Friendship Dairies sells a 3.12 lb. pack for 17.25 but shipping costs another 11.20. Westby Cooperative Creamery has the best deal, 11.55 for 4 lbs. plus 15.07 for UPS ground. That's only $6.65/lb.

Tonight I made the Lois Lang bread recipe which uses this cheese and found it to be very good.

I have high hopes that this diet will keep my UC under control and maybe even end it for good.

God Bless, Joe

by Janey on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Hoping it works long term

So far so good. Started the diet during my most recent flare. Been on ithe SCD diet for about 3-4 months now and flare is gone. Taking maintenance of Apriso daily., but with no health insurance right now I have to do help myself. The book says "fanatical adherence", so that's what I'm doing. DON'T CHEAT! OK, it's tough and kind of boring, but to borrow from a documentary I saw, Forks Over Knives, "dont live to eat, eat to live". So that's what I'm doing. Also doing some meditation and positive thinking. Lots of eggs, meat, nuts and cheese to try to stay full. The Mayo clinic website indicates that curcumin shows promise in reducing inflammation. I'm taking one 500 mg pill to start. There was a study that used 2G per day with maintenance Mesalamine. My goal is to wean off Apriso and move to curcumin. I WILL OVERCOME THIS!

by Miia on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

Started the diet more than a year ago. For me the diet is not a miracle pill that will solve everything in just a few days. It took me a looong time to get to a feeling well state, but I could feel improvement all the time.

by Megan on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
SCD works for me

I was diagnosed little over a year ago and found Adam's site and was introduced to SCD. It has been a life saver! Although difficult to follow sometimes, I try. I do slip and sometimes just follow a gluten free and paleo diet as well, but it has played a major part in my recovery.

by Mark on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Positive, but not a miracle cure for me

37 yrs with moderate UC

learned of SCD through this site (actually once before and ignored it) and started it in March 2013 so 7 mos so far.

Still taking Lialda, Azathoprine, Budesinide, vitamins, and now wrapping up a 20mg prednisone taper.

I lost about 10 pounds on the diet but still a healthy weight.

The most amazing part and totally worth it is a dramatic reduction in gas and a reduction in number of stools.

The other most amazing part for me is the realization that "symptoms" are probably not simply manifestations of the same level of inflammation. I believe that the diet may have reduced the level of inflammation and that could prove to be huge. About 2 months ago I had a doctor appt. and there seemed to be a slightly lower level than in all of my recent past bi-annual colonoscopies. I have another one scheduled in December and it will be really interesting to see if they see a marked improvement.

I have been pretty strict about it. Travel is really tough. I scope out new locations for health food stores, carry trail mix and fruit etc. but most prepared food, even from whole foods has some sugar in it. I make the pancakes and muffins and yogurt from the "Vicious Cycle" and it has become a staple.

It is cutting out like 90% of a typical grocery store. I feel very good about how much sugar I am not NOT eating. I stick to honey. Period. Black coffee but only one a day. NO BEER- none since March. . A bit of red wine or an occasional mixed drink maybe with a bit of honey. I always had a huge sweet tooth- cinnamon rolls and such. a lot of cereal and bread and PBJs. No more. I found super dark chocolate from Trader Joe's and it is my only conscious cheat. only a gram or two of sugar.

I think without the gas and with the added fiber, the disease has decelerated. Here's how flare ups start with me: After a pred taper (controlled to 20mg max over past four or five years- little victories)I am in good shape. A month or three later. I typically get to a point where I am satisfied enough with loose stools several times a day and then a month or two later it slowly slips to more or worse until I know I am simply living with inflammation and it does not get better without more drugs. So the diet has really seemed to slow that process. I still do two to four courses of Pred per year.

Having had this for as long as I have, it it quite possible that my colon is too damaged to be "cured" by the diet but think about it. The diet is so healthy everyone should simply try it in concept.

I have to say that there are aspects about it that make me wonder whether starches in small quantities really do create negative symptoms. I would love to have just a little rice with my meat or feel like I could take the next step (going vegetarian) but I don't think I could get enough calories that way.

All this while under about as much life stress as I have ever had.

by Stephanie on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

I have had mild to moderate UC for ten years now. Three of those were what I call total remission, where I felt so good that I denied ever having UC. (And back then I was eating the SAD, go figure.) The last few years haven't been as great. My nagging symptom is abdominal pain that moves around and rarely goes away, along with occasional "unmentionable" symptoms of UC. Twice I tried the SCD for a week or a few days and I felt much worse. I think that it is good to increase vegetable intake, and the probiotic yogurt can be very helpful (if one doesn't have a dairy allergy), but I just don't get not eating healthy grains. Grains are a good source of B vitamins and the short chain fatty acids that form in the gut when they digest have been shown to have healing properties. The intro diet for the SCD has red meat and a lot of fruit juice, two foods which tend to make my symptoms worse. (I was also diagnosed with fructose malabsorption.) After 10 years, I pretty much know which foods help me and which ones hurt me, and I'm sorry, but rice, quinoa, and oats especially, make me feel BETTER. I also have to be very careful to get plenty of greens.

If someone experiences remission, they credit the SCD, but if it doesn't work, they don't say anything (it is rather like a cult), so I think the diet's claim to effectiveness is somewhat skewed.

by Jamie Barrett on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
SCD Diet Has Worked For Me

First of all I would like to thank Adam for creating this site. It has been a wealth of information and I truly appreciate his dedication.

I have had UC since 2009. When I had a colonoscopy, I was told it was the worst they have ever seen. I felt I was dying, blood squirting out and every time I tried to eat it just when straight through me. So, I would stop eating as to not have the pain.

To make a long story short. I have been through two doctors and on my third. Thanks to this site I have discovered Dr. David Shepard in Tampa. I am from Sarasota, so it is a drive, but I would drive to the end of the earth to have a doctor that believes in the SCD diet. He is not a pill pusher and believes in alternative and natural ways. My last colonoscopy showed much improvement. If I needed to go on drugs at any point I would trust Dr. Shepard.

Secondly, I also want to thank Dr. Fred Harvey in Sarasota as he has guided me through natural ways to get me into remission. He has suggested all sorts of supplements that did help. Most importantly he told me about the SCD diet. With the combination of supplements and the SCD diet, my stomach calmed and I got my health back.

by Lisa on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
6 month drug free!

I was diagnosed with UC a little over 2 years ago (At 29 years old) After in the hospital for weeks at a time, for months, being put on prednisone, imuran, and remicade, I went to see a natural path doctor.. did not help.. tried gluten free.. still ended up in hospital. I stayed on remicade for about a year then started to have reactions to the medication. Tried SCD the first time, quit after a few days. Went back on it a couple months later (determined this time!) and it's been working since! I took myself off imuran almost a year ago, and off remicade 6 months ago. My specialist said I would never be off medication... but so far so good! Although I miss some food... chocolat! it's worth my health :)

by Don Makowski on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Definitely helped me at first

After being diagnosed with UC my doctor prescribed Asacol but it didn't seem to be doing anything and I remember seeing the pills in the toilet. I eventually came across the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall and immediately went and bought it. I started the intro diet a couple weeks later once I had read the book and made all the necessary preparations. A couple days into it and I noticed my system settling down. I was so happy! I actually didn't have a BM for a week! It was great and I was convinced that this diet was the answer. If you read the book you will understand the science behind the diet. Elaine stresses that in order to kill off the bad bacteria that is causing the immune system to respond you must totally eliminate all illegals from your diet. You can't assume anything and must read labels closely. For example there is an ingredient called 'natural flavor', who knows what that is? You have to be very careful not to eat anything that will feed the bad bacteria so that it will die off. This can take weeks, months, and even years, therefore it is essential to the success of the diet.

I was on the diet for 2 years and thought I was cured. I slowly began to add illegals and had no problems until I ate sugar. This caused a massive flare that put me in the hospital for 5 days. This was my second time in intensive care and a couple months later I had my second colonoscopy. My doctor told me that the UC had advanced and was much worse than it was at the first scope. I was told that even though the diet was controlling my symptoms the inflammation was still there. It was just lessened to the point that I wasn't bleeding but it wasn't allowing my colon to completely heal. I was back on the diet at that point but it wasn't helping me this time. I did the intro 3 times and finally began to get some relief but I couldn't get back to where I was before and still had diarrhea, mucus and bleeding. A year later I had another colonoscopy and my new GI said I had severe pan colitis and possibly Chron's disease. I went on Prednisone and gave up on the diet. You can read my blog for the rest of the story. http://donmakowski.blogspot.com/2013/08/name-is-don-makowski-and-i-decided-to.html

I would recommend the diet but only if you can follow it strictly. I would also suggest getting yearly colonoscopies to make sure the inflammation is gone. If you allow this to go untreated you are at great risk for getting cancer. Do not take this lightly! Your life is at stake here! Do whatever it takes to get it under control.


by Ethel Chambers on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Hubby has UC

My hubby Mark has suffered with UC over 6yrs. After reaching breaking point and a little research I came across this diet on your website, what a difference it has made! Mark has been on it 6 wks, his bowels movements has improved immensely, more energy, depression lifted, sleeping better and even less snoring! What a turnaround, really hope he continues to improve.

by Norah on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

I had flares before 3 weeks ago. I started SCD since 6 weeks ago and of course following my doctors prescription. Believe me SCD plays a major part for the intestinal health and of course homemade Yoguhrt within it. All I can encourage you is to stay healthy and eat healthy by your diet proceeding diet. If the diet doesn't work for you withing 1 month treatment you should keep on track regarding that with your doctor. Good Luck and wish you a great health

by Allison Tranter on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
SCD all the way

I was diagnosed 4 years ago... tried the SCD briefly but was experiencing so many other issues from a weakened immune system that I quickly dismissed it. Went gluten-free but still found I was eating too many grains... after a 6 month stint with prednisone, I decided to give SCD a REAL try. I love it! I feel awesome! Drug free. The only thing I really miss is chocolate and chocolate. There are so many great blogs and cookbooks out there now- so I am looving cookong and eating again without the fear of pain, bloating and gas. Yippee. Give it a try for 30 days and see if there is a difference for you, too!

by Ann Smith on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

I was diagnosed with indeterminate UC (doctor couldn't figure out if I had UC or Crohns), & no one told me what I should or shouldn't eat. I had a 2nd firm diagnosis (2-3 mos. later) of mild to moderate UC. Again, although I had a different GI, no information on diet. I was on my own. All I was told was "eat a lot of rice!" I wound up in the hospital in a major flare (which lasted 15 months). I had a lot of symptoms. Unlike every one I've thus far read reviews by, I had a problem with severe constipation. The GI tried various meds, none of which worked. Lialda made me go to eh john but it wasn't a comfortable trip. When I got home from the hospital, I tried eating a piece of toast & boy did I feel it. That was my 1st realization that wheat was probably a no no (even though I was given bread in the hospital!). I can't recall where or when I heard that gluten might be a culprit. I stopped eating wheat altogether & began to seriously read labels & within a week, I noticed a big difference in the way I felt. It was easier going to the bathroom. I still had bleeding. I found this & some other web sites, heard about SCD & decided to try it. It was very difficult & I cheated. I started trying to do it in totality. It was almost impossible. As I went through the lists of permissible & non permissible foods, I found there were things my tummy just couldn't handle that were on their "ok to eat" list. I didn't lose weight right away. I found for me personally, I had to experiment & keep logs. As I got the hang of it, I eventually stopped using SCD. I have the book & I may try again, but as noted, there are things that are on their "ok to eat" list that I can't handle. I've found that we are all different. It's a good diet & helps many, but it's not for me. I more or less stick to a paleo diet & it seems to work. I am a fanatic label reader but have found that labels are not always accurate. Eventually the bleeding stopped (early February, 2013) but I still have some other symptoms. Overall I'm managing. For me, it's all about damage control.

by Ruta Abakuks on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Not for me

I tried the SCD diet in desperation. I was already very ill. I had tried all the different drugs and nothing worked for me. I think that I tried it too late. I could not eat many of the allowable vegetables, so that limited me even more. I loved making the yoghurt, and continue to make it more than two years after giving up the diet. I kept to the diet strictly and lost half a stone, which I could ill advise to lose.

by cécile on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
a diet for life

hi everybody!

I've been on SCD diet for a year and a half now. I decided to begin the diet when after 3 days of not eating anything at all hoping this would stop a flare up, it went even harder when i ate 3 spoons of rice. After the first times on SCD which were astonishing, i had little bad times but i always tried to stick to the diet and it has been an extraordinary experience since i've quit all medication from then. When people ask me about this harsh diet, i use to say that it replaces cortisone.

After a year and a half, i sometimes want to eat some things i'm not allowed to, and each time i tried, it ended with a whole day on the toilet!

It's always strange to have to explain it to people, except for close friends or family who has seen you very bad, the others usually look at you strangely and sometimes think you're dieting to lose weight whereas you're already skinny...

So generaly speaking it's an experience you cannot come back from. It requires patience, because there are highs and downs, but when i see what happens when i eat sugar, i know i'm just totally allergic to it.

... but i also know i'm not over with it. SCD helps with diarrhea, but not with blood, which comes from stress i think.

I hope this can help people, and if some french people want to ask about my experience, don't hesitate to ask my email address to Adam!!!

by Annie on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
SCD will change your life!

I was diagnosed with IBD in 1990-then in about 1996 the docs discovered it was UC. I was under a lot of stress with work and being in survival mode only made my symptoms worse. Rushing to the bathroom up to 15-20 times a day. Just the thought of eating anything sent me to the bathroom. After two lengthy hospital stays, in 2007 a friend gave me the SCD book and I followed it only half way for about 6 months. I was too stubborn to give up sugar and breads. But it was sorta working-I was not rushing to the bathroom nearly as often and I felt better overall. I soon fell off my style of discipline with the diet and was back to my old ways, till I was so severely sick in September of 2012. I refused to take drugs for nearly 22 years when I was finally put on Budesonide 3 x day for 2 months. The drugs helped a lot. Who knew? Haha-anyway...

Then in November of 2012 I decided to give the diet another shot, but this time I would follow it to a tee! No cheating, I would do everything the diet said and be so dedicated and disciplined. I knew I had to do this right. I was not going to spend the rest of my life dealing with this crap. It was time to stop the madness and live a healthy life. So I did, I read the book twice, printed out a spreadsheet of legal and illegal foods and kept it with me, purchased 2 SCD cookbooks and started the process with the bland meal #one. I wont lie-it was hard to follow. I had major sugar and carb withdrawals. I threw a little pity party for myself each day for about 2 weeks, then I realized I had solid stool. Solid stool in more than 22 years! I was hooked.

Then I had the 3 month flare in February that is pretty much predicted will happen. Mine was no ordinary flare (for me) I was so, so sick with stress and over worked, I just thought this is it! I'm done living this way! Make the world stop I want off. I wanted to give up so badly, but I stuck it out knowing there were no other options for me at this point. At about the 6 month mark I cheated once with an ice cream sundae and within half an hour I had symptoms and running to the bathroom. I tested another illegal about a month later-pasta. That too did the same thing as the sugar did. So I just kept plugging along determined. Eating out in public is a pain in the brain-but I just found three of four restaurants that are willing to adjust a meal for me and all is good.

It's now October 23 one month to go and I'll have been on the diet for a year. I had cheated last week with more things and can immediately feel the change in my gut. Very gassy with loose stool but no major diarrhea. This diet is hard, no doubt but you have to ask yourself what is harder? Not living a full and healthy life or having to take more time to prepare foods and watch what you eat? When I started this diet I was 130 lb. Now I weigh 112 pounds. I'm 5'4" tall. I feel too skinny and want to add calories but I know right now I can't. Now I'm trying to build more muscle but at 50 it's a little harder...but what's the pay off? I'll feel better, so now that I know I can do this diet-I feel I can do so many other things that I get stuck on and fearful of.

One more bit of medical help I'm getting is that I found an amazing Functional Medicine Doctor who now gives me IV infusions of nutrients my body was neglected of for so many years. She also found that my adrenal glands were in near failure from all the stress my body was under for so many years as well. I really feel the best I ever have and can say with certainty that the SCD turned my UC and attitude on life around! Good luck to those of you who are currently on the diet and for those thinking of trying it. Don't give up on yourself! You deserve to feel great every day while you are here in this lifetime. :-)

by Kristen on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
No significant improvement

I started the SCD while my symptoms were controlled on Prednisone and for a few months I thought it might be working, but then began to flare again. The intro diet wasn't enough to lessen my symptoms and I needed to start another course of Prednisone while on the diet, then decided to start Remicade. The combo of 6mp, Remicade, and Lialda seem to work best for me. I stayed on the SCD for a year and am grateful that I did. It taught me a lot about eating more whole, unprocessed foods and I feel more in control of what I eat now. It taught me to cook mostly all my food at home, I still bake SCD muffins with honey and make all my own salad dressings. So, overall it didn't cure me, but it was kind of like a bootcamp for healthy eating, which was beneficial for me. I don't regret trying it and I would suggest everyone try it, since it does seem to really help some people.

by James on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

The SCD diet changed/saved my life. I stumbled across the "breaking the vicious cycle" book via this website. Within 48 hours of my changing my diet my symptoms backed off. I was having a severe year long flare up, bad bleeding 30 times a day. It was a nightmare. I'm now completely in a remission and have been for 4 Months. I now live off natural healthy food and my main sugar intake is honey. It's definitely worth doing! I've also noticed that it works well with going to the gym as it's quite easy to eat a lot of protein.

by Annie on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Give it a go!

This diet is a miracle for me. I was diagnosed in 2000 with UC and have been on messavant and prednisalone on and off ever since, culminating in a big flare last March '12. I had nothing to lose so started the diet in April '12 after finding so many good testimonials on the web. I am now feeling so well and have almost come off the pred with no adverse reactions. I have stuck 100% to the diet and although there is a lot of time spent in the kitchen preparing food - it is definately worth it - for me. My husband and daughter are also following the diet as they feel better eating that way - not because they need to - and I just cook some carbs for my son. If I can wean myself off all meds and still be well I will be shouting this diet from the highest mountain as I think that everyone with IBD should know about this. If you're wondering whether or not to give it a go - wonder no longer - go for it! You've got nothing to lose and health to regain.

Take care and be well.


by kirsty mcneil-oconnor on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
SCD - my secret weapon

I first heard of this diet through endless internet searches to help me find a diet when my UC first arrived and the only option offered to me (I was pregnant at the time) were strong steroids and I didn't want to take them during pregnancy. This diet combined with a visit to a gasterentologist/microbiologist who also believed diet would help changed me and my UC forever. Now if I have a flare I revert to grain free living using some of the recipes in 'Breaking the vicious cycle' and within days my symptoms improve - I have needed short term zapping with steroids but generally the diet can stop any massive flares taking hold of me.

by Amanda Riley on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Healing from within

Diagnosed in 2007, two hosp admissions in 2010, lots of prednisolone, pentasa, asacol, methotrexate, azathioprine the last two of which didn't work. Currently the best I have been in years. I decided enough was enough and wanted to heal myself. I modified my diet by reducing down wheat and no alcohol, no caffeine and still desperately trying to reduce sugar my final weakness and little red meat. But what took me to the final level of wellness was Brandon Bay's the Journey. Read the book, find a practitioner and realise we are powerful beyond our imagination. We have the power to heal ourselves. Enjoy the freedom of being able to live a normal life again. I can't explain how much joy this has brought to my life.

by Allison on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
My experience on SCD

I've been dealing with a flare for the past three years. It went from severe to mild but I can't seem to kick it. (I'm staying away from the hard drugs and trying to heal somewhat naturally. ) Enter the SCD diet. I tried it for three months and it did absolutely nothing for me. I'm no stranger to restrictive diets. I've tried everything under the sun. Had food intolerance tests and everything. I had to try the SCD Diet because I heard of the great things it's done for others. Unfortunately, not for me. It left me absolutely starving and I lost even more weight. I'm already 15lbs under weight so I can't afford it. In addition, it did nothing to help my symptoms. I couldn't handle it anymore so I had to stop.

by Roger on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

My first serious flare was about a year and a half ago. I took the prednisone, started on Asacol, and made some mild changes to my diet. Six months after tapering off the prednisone i was bleeding again after showing other symptoms for months. I was given another cycle of prednisone and it was recommended I start azathioprine. I declined after doing some research into the drug, instead opting to commit to the SCDiet and anything else that was rumoured to help maintain remission.

For six months I followed the diet as strictly as possible. I avoided all illegal foods however i did consume raw vegetables and fruits that were not recommended in the beginning stages. No other cheating occurred however i'm certain something unintentional snuck in there somewhere.

My remission is holding strong at seven months. I'm unprepared to make any definitive claims until i've maintained remission for two years with no drugs (i'm still taking a 5-asa having switched to Salofalk from Asacol to save money. I figured, why not, as Asacol didn't seem to be doing much for me anyway although i'm to scared to stop the Salofalk and go completely drug free).

That being said, on a recent trip to Spain i cheated for the first time and after a week started experiencing what i felt were symptoms of a mild flare. I took my daily VSL3 packet up to four packets for a few days, then two a day for a few days, and am now back to one a day and feeling great. I also supplement glutamine, Vitamin D, Krill oil, Vitamin B3, a multivitamin, Vitamin C and systemic enzymes. I have a regular yoga practice and an inconsistent meditation practice. So many things could be a factor.

I'll say two things:

1. It seems crazy to me that anyone would not try the SCDiet either instead of or as a complement to drug therapy. Yes, the diet is wildly strict. But it's been fascinating to learn so much about myself and my relationship to food through this experience.

2. I received my first colonoscopy about four months after my initial flare and the results were poor; lots of scarring and inflammation. I received my second colonoscopy about the same amount of time after my second flare and although my second flare was not nearly as bad the results were still excellent. The doctor didn't bring up the azathioprine again and said that so long as i didn't have any problems i didn't need another scope for three years. And i think that's evidence of something.

by Cindi on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Seems to be working!

I am very new to this community, but have been learning so much from this blog and wanted to share some thoughts on SCD. My 6 year-old daughter was just diagnosed with UC this past spring...it came on really fast, seemingly out of nowhere. We went from nothing to scary symptoms, colonoscopy/endoscopy and diagnosis within a month. She was put on Prednisone and then Apriso, but her symptoms came back before she had even finished the 6-week course of Prednisone. After starting a second 12-week course of Prednisone, our doctor prescribed Azathioprine...which I just didn't feel good about. I wanted to exhaust every option before moving on to such a serious drug. Our doctor mentioned SCD when he first talked to us after the colonoscopy, but at the time I thought it sounded insane. Later, I researched the good, the bad and the ugly, and was skeptical, but willing to give it a try. We decided to try it in conjunction with Rowasa Mesalamine enemas. As a family, we committed to 100% compliance for two months to see what would happen.

We've been on the diet for 7 weeks now. My daughter was doing well when we started...no symptoms, so we skipped the intro part and just started eating off the "legal" foods list. Although it has been tricky to get going, we are getting the hang of it. My daughter has been off Prednisone for almost two weeks now and is still symptom free. I don't know for sure if it's the Mesalamine, the diet or a combo that is working...or even the slower taper off Prednisone the second time around that gave her more time to heal, but I truly believe there is something to this diet. I don't know if I totally agree with the science behind it, but I do know that my husband and I, who were healthy to begin with, feel better...and I was a serious carb-o-holic. I make everything from scratch and it takes a lot of time, but it puts my heart at ease to be healing our daughter this way rather than with heavy drugs. I hope it continues to work and maybe we can start to add a few foods back in. I will say that my daughter does not like it. She feels like she is being punished. It's really hard for her to watch all her friends eat sweets and treats, but we make the best of it and experiment with SCD recipes to find replacements for the things she can't have. I have also stocked up on little gifts she can choose from when she is unable to have a treat at a birthday party, etc. The quality of life question is a biggie, but I think we can stick it out another week until our next doctor's appointment. Then we will evaluate next steps. I know that my experience is not broad on this topic, but I did just want to share my positive thoughts about this diet. It's been hard to find information about pediatric IBD/UC, so hopefully, this will help other parents with very young children decide whether or not to give this a try. Honestly, even if my daughter does flare again, I don't think we will every go back to the amount of sugar and carbs we were eating before...a little would be nice though. :)

by Brent Jones on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Without the Diet

Apriso. 4 pills a day for about a year. I have never tried the diet. I should. But the Apriso has been great. We're all different. Hemorrhoids have messed me up as far as determining where the blood has been coming from. I have been taking Apriso for about a year. The sudden urge to go has definitely improved. But that took a long time. Very strange and I can't explain it. Initially, 10-15 times I had to have a BM. Now.. 4 or 5.

Dr. Conlin in San Francisco.


by Joanna on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
No uc improvement

It is too strict of a diet for it to have zero effect on my inflammation. I still need prednisone and immunosuppressants to function. Wish it was a miracle diet for me but my UC is too smart for it. Been on it for about 15 months. I am in a hospital bed as i type this on iv pred, flagyl, and penicillin.

by Abigail on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Working for me!

I got UC 8 months ago and was diagnosed 3 months ago. I went straight onto Lialda and Prednisone, which did give some improvement, but not enough. Six weeks ago I started SCD. The improvement was immediate. I started the diet without understanding that it really is about eliminating sugars and starches that ferment in the gut and cause problems. I assumed it was all about eliminating textures of food that would cause problems (wrong!) Now that I am learning the reasons for which foods are in and which are out, it is even easier to follow. I am a working mom with a husband and 2 kids to feed. So far they are LOVING the new and varied foods that have come into our lives. I cook the SCD for all of us and just add a starch for them only. I have weaned off the Prednisone and I am in the process of reducing my Lialda week by week. I have cheated some on (off?) the diet and the results of that are always evident the next day so it motivates me to go back and stay on it. I would recomend anyone with UC to JUST DO IT! Give it 2 weeks, for real, with no cheating. You don't need to understand everything before you start. Get a plan and follow it. If it works in that time, you will be motivated then to really find out more, order a few recipe books and get into it for real.

by Katya on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Simply The Best

SCD gave me my life back after severe allergies to medications and constant flare ups. The diet made me feel healthier than ever, cleared up my UC, cleared up my acne, and I always feel great knowing that I am eating clean. I've had a recent set back after becoming lax about the diet after about 2.5 years. This summer I was cooking up lots of okra from my CSA, and also playing around with Coconut Aminos and occasionally cocoa. I also didn't keep up with the yogurt. I've been in a flare up but I have full faith that the diet will keep me in remission for a long period of time again now that I am being strict with it. For the last few years I've felt like my digestive system was just as healthy if not healthier than my "regular" friends and peers, and not only that but my eyes and skin were clear, hair healthy, weight stable - it's just an all around nutritious, delicious option!

Once early on in the diet I decided to test the diet and ate a single piece of gluten free, yeast free millet toast. I was crippled over in pain the rest of the night. That night confirmed that I will never mess around with grains again.

by nikki on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
SCD put me into remission

I was at a crossroads in December 2012: Try a new medication, get back on Prednisone, or try this diet that has worked for so many people... For years I had been suspicious that a bacteria was causing this agonizing vicious cycle of miserable colitis. I was diagnosed in 1997. For 16 years I have been on and off of Prednisone. I have been hospitalized. In December 2012 I had been on 6mp for almost a year. It had put me into remission--temporarily.

When my symptoms came back, they quickly got bad, and I figured I should try this diet--the SCD. I have been on it ever since. I am 100% better. I have been off of the 6mp for a couple of months now. I am not 100% strict on the diet (I was for the first few weeks). Now I use half&half. I use ranch dressing. I have things that contain a little fruit juice concentrate. I avoid sugars, breads and other starchy foods at all costs.

I recommend this diet to everyone I know who has digestive issues. It may seem impossible or miserable at first, but you will get used to it! You will LOVE it!

by Elinor on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

I recommend the SCD to everyone, and wish I knew about it years ago. Gastroenterologists always claim that "diet has nothing to do with it" or that diet affects everyone differently. All I know is that it has made a major positive difference in my life. Anytime I stray from the diet , my symptoms start again. I am an active 68 year old woman with UC for 35 years , who has been on continuous drugs over the years of either sulfasalazine , azacol, or lialda . I have only had 2 major hospitalizations with severe UC , where I was put on high doses of prednisone. The last time, August 2011 , I was also put on Remacaide, but developed 100% antibodies to it. Two years ago October, I started the SCD after a homeopath who is also an MD told me to cut out all grains, cows milk, sugar, and eat only free range meats and organic veggies and fruits,. Honey is now my sweetener. I found the SCD on line, ordered the book and felt totally normal after several months on the diet. I still take sulfasalzine, as I have secondary rheumatoid arthritis from the UC that affects my knee . I don't expect that the diet will cure me of UC, but it sure makes me feel normal. Once in a great while I have an appletini, but don't drink anymore ( wine kills me !) I eat goat cheese and hard cheeses without a problem. My weight is normal for my size and stays stable, but I lost about 20 lbs. when I started the diet , which I wanted to lose anyway .

I encourage you to try the diet for several months before giving up on it, if it doesn't work for you. It is a healthy diet, anyway.

by Clo Mudrik on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
SCD and my UC

The SCD did not worked for me in a major flare up but took me to the GAPS Diet what solved my problem!The main principles are similar but Gaps Introduction Diet with stages that heals ans seals the gut is amazing!The elimination of raw vegs helps to heal the gut so the bleeding stopped!

by Sharon MacArthur on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

I started the GAPS diet on Sept. 16th after about a month on 60 mg/40 mg of prednisone and worsening symptoms. GAPS is based on SCD and uses a lot of the same recipes. Within 2 weeks, I went from 25+ bloody bms a day to about 6-7 with much less blood. I have had UC for 24 years but have run out of medical options (allergic to most drugs and the others have quit working for me. I always considered prednisone my silver bullet but it just didn't work this time. I never thought I could/would do such a restrictive and strict diet. I have 4 kids and a crazy soccer/cheer/golf/gymnastics/sailing schedule for all of them. I thought there was no way I could pull it off. Here I am...in full remission and still cooking away. I can now cook foods my whole family will eat and stay on the diet.

I will say that it is helpful to prep a lot before jumping in. I peeled and cut up a lot of butternut squash, carrots, onions and froze them in small amounts. I also made a ton of broth to freeze ahead. It definitely requires planning but I plan to stay on this plan for at least a year.


by Michelle on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

I was very sick - in the hospital having blood transfusions - when I was diagnosed with UC nearly two years ago. When I was discharged, the doc wanted to put me on a massive dose of prednisone. I asked him to give me four days to try to get myself well through other means. My research led me to SCD and I recovered so fast and so well that I have needed virtually no meds (low dose Lialda). The doc has been amazed at my recovery but refuses to acknowledge SCD'd possible role. I find the diet easy to follow - especially because many of the prohibited foods were making me really sick before. Just had my first follow-up colonoscopy and doc observed no irritation.

by Lesile Dezendorf on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD

I have been on SCD since March of 2012. I am 58 yrs old and first was diagnosed with UC when I was 15. Up until 2 years ago I had only had a few flares (3 during my 3 pregnacies) and a couple more during stressful periods in my life. Up until the last flare in March of 2012 I could treat my flare with a suppository and it would be gone in a few weeks. But March of last year that changed and I ended up in the ER with a severe flare and was put on prednizone and Asacol for a few weeks. At the same time I started on the SCD diet. I heard about this diet Adam from Lisa Marsh who is my step-sister. (I am Paul Martins daugher) I have been very strict with SCD since I started but since I do travel I know I have consumed some illegals along the way. The only medication I take is Low Dose Naltrexine LDN. I hated the side effects of prednizone.I can't say enough good things about the diet. I have been in a very mild flare for the past few months but since about a month ago I am symptom free. I plan on sticking with SCD for 2 years after my last flare as it says to do in BTVC. I doubt I will ever be able to go back to the SAD diet but I am ok with that. I would just eventually like to be able to add some of my favorite foods occasionally like popcorn and chips and salza. I think because of my age the diet takes longer to heal. I am happy to answer any questions people might have or be a support for this diet in whatever way I can.

by Shawna on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
SCD diet

To make a long story short, I've had UC for 41/2 years now and I tried the SCD 6 months ago and 2weeks after starting I went into remission. I'm still taking my colitis daily medicine Apriso, but after 41/2 yrs of nothing working for me I've found the remedy!! I'm very happy with this diet.

by Adam on Specific Carbohydrate Diet - SCD
Has made a big difference

I started following the SCD diet over 4 years ago after meeting another girl with UC who used this diets way of thinking, and after a few months I was off all medications. It's 4 years later and I still follow the diet for the most part, but I've slowly started adding other foods that are not "SCD legal" and things are going real well. I'm a big believer in being able to influence our gut bacteria and the auto-immune response that can exist when things are out of wack down there with diet modifications. I just wished that this worked well for everyone, because I know that its very frustrating for people who try diet changes with little or no success.