The Specific Carbohydrate Diet
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (often abbreviated to SCD) is a diet which eliminates processed foods, grains, complex sugars and starches. This means no bread, rice, pasta, cakes, cookies, candy, etc but the diet is very nourishing and healthy and probably very like what our distant ancestors ate. Would you feel you were missing anything by eating the meal above?
SCD has been described as a way to “re-boot” your digestion by starving out the “bad” bacteria that are causing digestive problems. It can also give your overall health a great boost. Trying the SCD diet will certainly not harm you. It could probably have you feeling better than ever, even if you don’t have an inflammatory bowel disorder or intestinal damage. But anyone who has a bowel problem, such as Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, or other inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD) may find this diet extremely helpful, in fact, tailor-made.
Elaine Gottschall is the researcher who coined the name the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), following its success in treating her 4 year old daughter’s illness with Ulcerative Colitis. She researched it in her academic work and wrote about the principles in her book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Health Through Diet”.
The main principle is following a diet that allows only specific carbohydrates needing minimal digestion. it can help reduce intestinal inflammation and make life a lot easier and enjoyable for people with inflammatory bowel disorders.
People with intestinal problems such as ulcerative colitis (UC), celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), may find difficulty dealing with food and food intolerances.
The diet was originally developed by Dr Sydney Haas, who found that certain carbohydrates were better tolerated by patients with celiac disease. Elaine Gottschall further developed Dr Haas’s work for patients with all types of inflammatory bowel disease. It has also been used effectively with children suffering with autism, who are often found to have bowel problems.
The theory behind SCD is that complex carbohydrates are not fully digested by certain people and the remains of these are fed on by harmful bacteria in the gut, producing gas and damage. These bacteria can also produce toxins which add to the sufferer’s problems.
If is thought that if complex carbohydrates (this includes sugar) are avoided, these “bad” bacteria are starved and die. Only simple carbohydrates are allowed. Honey is a simple carbohydrate and this is allowed on the SCD diet.
Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disorders are often painful and include ulcers, diarrhea, bleeding, and anemia.
Elimination diets, like SCD are being found to help many with IBD and other inflammatory or autoimmune disorders.