One of the solutions that can successfully help in entering remission in inflammatory bowel diseases and other gastrointestinal diseases is the SCD diet. The SCD diet was promoted by Elaine Gottschall, whose daughter had ulcerative colitis. The main foundations of the diet are presented in the book “Breaking the vicious cycle”.
The specific carbohydrates diet, because that is its full name, was developed by a pediatrician in the 1920s to treat inflammatory bowel diseases. Despite this, it works well in this group of diseases as well as in other gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, diverticulum and chronic diarrhea. In addition, this diet can be successfully used in people with autoimmune diseases or other immune disorders to modulate the immune system and enter remission. I would like to point out here that the selection of this type of diet should be done individually based on the symptoms by a specialist nutrition of a sick person. The main reason for this is that the SCD diet eliminates a very large group of foods, which, if the diet is not set correctly, can cause food deficiencies and result in health complications. For example – excluded dairy products must be replaced with other sources of calcium and protein, because this can result in disorders in the endocrine and water-electrolyte balance of the body, and as a consequence may even lead to life-threatening conditions.
The SCD diet is a very individual diet, in which successive stages are implemented. The implementation begins with an introductory stage called the intro. The INTRO stage involves “resetting” the immune system by administering only broth decoction. At this stage, most of the symptoms that the patient struggled with disappear, and I am the living proof – on the first day abdominal pain and gastrointestinal discomfort disappeared. The second day the musculoskeletal and neurological symptoms disappeared. Of course, this is not a rule, but I want to point out here that this diet gives a chance to improve the well-being of people for whom academic medicine no longer has proposals or they are very extreme (e.g. proposal to cut the intestine as in the daughter of Mrs. Gottschall).
What are the next stages of the diet like?
As I mentioned earlier, the diet begins with the intro stage, which depending on the patient’s condition should last from 2 to 5-7 days. At this stage only broth cooked on turkey with carrots, salt, and pepper is served. For the first day or two or even three (depending on the condition of the patient’s intestines) symptoms may occur. After this time, most of the patient’s symptoms should subside. After the withdrawal of symptoms, you can go to the next stages of the diet, which involves the implementation of food analogously to expanding the infant’s diet – initially thermally processed vegetables with removed seeds, through roasting, until the implementation of raw, thermally unprocessed vegetables and fruits. After each implementation of new food, the individual’s response to the food should be checked, which lasts from 1 to 3-4 days. If food is well tolerated, it can remain in the diet, but if it causes the symptoms to come back, it should be ruled out for a longer period.
The SCD diet, despite its numerous advantages, also has one, for some, a big disadvantage that should be considered when customizing the diet. Namely, this is a significant limitation of foods and a long time of their re-implementation. On the other hand, there is scientific evidence confirming its effectiveness, as well as a large group of satisfied patients with good effects.
Here are some sample recipes for the SCD diet
3 cups grated carrot / zucchini
3 cups of almond flour
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons of cinnamon or spices without sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients and transfer to a previously greased form. Bake at 180 °C for about 20 minutes or until baked.
2 ripe bananas
Crush bananas with a fork, mix with eggs, and fry in the form of small pies on hot clarified butter. We serve it with honey or fruit (although they are also very tasty themselves).
Cream of Tomato Soup
4 cups of broth (cooked 4 hours)
1-liter tomato passata (100% tomatoes, from a jar/glass bottle!)
4 chopped tomatoes
3 leaves dried basil (approx. 2 tablespoons)
salt, pepper, and honey to taste
We steam the tomato to remove the skin and cut it into cubes. We grate zucchini with a “pasta”-making-equipment and cook in a broth made of broth so that “pasta” was al dente. Then we pick out zucchini pasta and mix the remaining ingredients in a pot. Serve the cream soup with zucchini noodles.
Source: “Breaking the vicious cycle” Elaine Gottschall B.A., M. Sc.