Starting the SCD Diet

Introduction:

Diagnosed at Age 24 with Crohn’s Disease (Colonoscopy show 90% of Colon affected, GI estimated disease onset 9 years b/f diagnosis in 2007), living in southern Virginia originally from Indiana. Married mother with a toddler at home and working full-time as an Engineer. Love baking, reading, hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Symptoms:

Currently in an ongoing moderate flare-up, tons of blood, loose stool, cramps headaches, tired. Counting the current flar-up starting in July of last year even though I thought I was in remission for Nov -Jan.

My Story:

I tried my first SCD yogurt today and loved it!

Between the support I feel on this site and loving the yogurt, I think I’m going to go full SCD and get this flare-up under control. I’m posting today because I want to know how other people have started the SCD, my family is included on this ride because I do almost all the cooking in the house, so I was wondering do most people ease into it or just jump into it full force?A little background on why I’m trying this diet now. I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s for 6 years now, and was in remission until July of last year. My “first” flare up happened right after I started my first big job out of college, it was most definitely brought on by a high paced stressful job. It was really awful, months of tests before finally being diagnosed and put on Asacol and 60mg dose of Prednisone (which made me go crazy, like laying on the floor screaming at my now husband about not taking the dog for a walk). It did clear up, I got off all the drugs but a low maintenance dose of Asacol, and spent the next few years in happy remission.Fast forward to July of 2011, I had just finished weaning my daughter (born Oct. 2010) and was feeling really good about life in general. So good that I decided it was time for some career advancement, things got stressful even if it was in a good way and my Crohn’s was back. In the past year I’ve been on Asacol, Asacol HD, Entocort, Prednisone, Canassa, Cortifoam, and some other gross gel stuff that didn’t work.

My GI really wants me to try Imuran, but I don’t think the side affect are worth it. There’s also another reason I don’t want to be drugged up, I’ve got baby fever. I’m so ready for another little one. I’m also pretty sure that whatever goes on in your body while pregnant that keeps your body from attacking the baby also helps you’re gut not attack itself.

So I’m making yogurt, working on cutting out caffeine, reading the SCD book and trying to psych myself up to do this diet. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated!

Where I’d Like to Be in 1 Year:
Complete remission and pregnant!
Colitis Medications:
Asacol and Canassa have worked best for me with the occasional prednisone, haven’t tried much else because I’m wary of the side-effects.
written by Amy
submitted in the Colitis Venting Area



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12 Responses to Starting the SCD Diet

  1. Adam
    Adam April 3, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    Hey Amy,
    good luck with everything, diet has been super important for me, and it was great because I was not having any longterm luck with medications so I was pretty much feeling trapped without any other options besides surgery.

    It’s been over 2 1/2 years that I’ve been using the SCD diet, and for me, taking things really slow with introducing new foods is important, especially when people are starting out.

    Going slow with the nut flours, like almond flour is also a good idea. I got caught up in making things like banana muffins and I’d find myself eating like 3-4 of them in about ten minutes, and then it would backfire. Too much of some things like nut flours can really disrupt your system, so moderation is a great idea when starting things off.

    I wish you well with having a baby and with the SCD diet!

  2. Naima April 3, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    I was on all the same medicine and lots of colonoscopies and nothing was working. The next drug was going to be something that stars with an R and is given to cancer patients with lots of side effects. That’s when I decided to take this into my own hands and do the research. I found the book Breaking the Viscious Cycle and immediately started on the diet. Strict. I had issues for 15 years and was experiencing a bad flare for about 2 years. I did the diet super strict for one month and then slowly weaned foods back in. It’s been about 3 years and I do not take any drugs. I take some vitamin supplements but that’s it. My main rules are no rice. No pasta. No bread. I cheat pretty bad on the no bread one. But if I stick with white simple bread im ok. Oh and no beans and no peanut butter. I pretty much know what is going to kill me. I can cheat here and there now but too much cheating and things get bad.

    My suggestion. Dive in to the diet. You’ve tried so many other things. Give this your all. It’s completely worth it. They say to do it strict for one year and then add back in. The no sugar, no bread, no beans, no nothing is hard! Good luck!

  3. Trish April 12, 2012 at 6:02 am #

    Hi Amy. I was diagnosed with UC in 2005 and went on SCD straight away and was on it strictly for three years. I followed it as it says in the book – intro diet, gradual introduction of different vegetables every couple of days (small amounts, well cooked), food diary, etc. It worked like a charm – symptoms diminished in three days, gone after a week and stayed away as as long as I was careful (eg: 10 spicy olives at a party = 10-day flare). I introduced new foods very gradually and made careful notes, and I also did juicing, in order to limit fibre in my gut.
    After three years I weaned myself off SCD but was never as well off it, so whenever I had a flare I’d go back on SCD again. I then developed reflux in 2008, following a car crash and seatbelt injury, so I now also have to watch fats and acid food intake. I can’t tolerate the almond flour products very well either, and find them bitter, so I don’t bother with bread ‘substitutes’.
    Currently I try to follow a healthy SCD anti-reflux protocol of steamed/grilled/baked/roast vegetables, fish, light meats, low-acid fruit and SCD yoghurt, not many nuts because the fat content is too high, and no alcohol or caffeine.
    I am well, and take no medication other than 360mg of magnesium per day and a herbal mixture that supports the colon. I don’t find SCD limiting any more because I’m just used to it – I cook SCD meals for myself and the DH and he has potatoes/bread/rice etc alongside that.
    Hope you find that the SCD similarly helps you – it was originally designed for a Crohn’s sufferer, after all.
    :) Trish

  4. Amy April 19, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    Thanks for all the support! I ended up weaning myself into the diet, and have been on it strict for the last week and a half. I’m feeling really good right now, but I’m a little concerned with the weight I’ve lost (about 10lbs since the start of the diet).

    Has anyone else had similar experiences? I’m okay with a little weight loss, but I’ve got a healthy weight I don’t like to go under (my flares usually drop me 30-40 lbs in the matter of a month, so when I’m healthy I like to keep a little padding)

    If you have found that you do loose weight at the beginng of the diet, does it slow down and stop eventually? What would my timeframe on that be?

    I actually found the diet to be pretty easy to get going on, the only thing I had difficulty with is getting rid of the sugar (it’s in everything!). I also have a love of popcorn (air-popped, with butter and seasoning salt), which I’ve known for a while doesn’t agree with me. Does anyone have a good replacement snack?

    • Melissa May 29, 2012 at 5:15 am #

      Hi Amy
      I was just wondering how you were doing. Feeling better?
      Melissa

      • Amy June 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

        I was doing better earlier in May month, was following the diet really well and feeling great. So I guess I got a little over confident one morning on the way to work and decided what would it hurt to eat one of my favorite things, a brioche. Which is a yeast pastry filled with meat that my local bakery makes (which is on my way to work and I smell baking bread every morning). I won’t lie, it was delicous, but by lunch it had gone right through me. I tried to get back on the diet, but we were headed on vaction, I packed a bunch of yougurt, made almond flour muffins and tried to stick to the diet, but it was impossible. By day 3 of vaction I’d ordered a pizza, which made everything worse.

        So I’ve started the diet over, been on it a week, seeing improvement and starting to add foods back in. It’s just hard knowing I’m going to miss out on some things, like my moth-in-laws cookies at the upcoming family reunion, cupcakes as my sisters wedding shower, those stupid delicious brioches I have to pass every single morning on my way to work. It gets tiring and frustrating, but I feel better ao I have to focus on that.

  5. Jeff May 10, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    Certain things are vague with this diet. I read the breaking the vicious cycle book but not sure if white bread is okay to eat? I understand wheat, rye, grains..etc ie no pasta but is plain white break “allowed?”

    • Adam
      Adam May 10, 2012 at 7:05 am #

      Hi Jeff,

      White bread is not allowed. Here’s a list from the woman’s site who invented the SCD diet which might be of help to you.

      http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/legal/legal_illegal_t-z.htm the “wheat” is listed there which you can see as “illegal”. I myself have not had any white bread or other breads at all which was tough to stop cold turkey but I’m used to no breads now.

      • Jeff May 10, 2012 at 7:10 am #

        Gotcha, I didn’t think white bread contained any wheat products. It’s easy for me to avoid potatoes, white bread and pasta will be touch because my wife is a working mom and often just has time to cook up a fast meal which usually involves pasta. Perhaps I can start out by eliminating some things and see how it goes.

        Thanks.

        • Adam
          Adam May 10, 2012 at 7:19 am #

          That sounds like a good idea. I wish you well Jeff, and keep us posted on how things go for you. Happy warm summertime weather vibrations to you adn your family:)

          • Patrick May 10, 2012 at 8:14 am #

            Hi Jeff and Adam,
            I’m on SCD for the second time in my life. I was on it for 7 years from 1991 to 1998 at it put me in remission after 1 year for 13 years. I’ve restarted it in September 2011 and was pronounced in remission on April 17. I’ve been med free since 2004.
            SCD is strict but making foods in quantities and freezing them or for lunches. You really need to be vigilant with ready made foods, yes there is sugar everywhere and several illegal ingredients in foods. For SCD to work you need to be 100% SCD. There’s no such thing as doing 90% SCD. Any contaminants in your food will destroy any progress you’ve made, this is really important.
            Congrats on taking charge of your health, nobody dos it better then you and your future self will thank you for it.
            Look for me on Twitter @SCDPat, Storify or on YouTube (just started video, have 2 at this time) http://www.youtube.com/SCDPat
            Great work!
            SCDPat

          • Adam
            Adam May 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

            Hey Patrick,

            Do you by any chance take any additional supplements or add in certain pills/vitamins to your diet? congrats for doing so well with controlling your IBD with diet, great news!

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