Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Starting all over again: The SCD intro diet

It's been a while. In the last months, I grew accustomed to the low-carb diet, and started being negligent: testing more and more trigger foods, not counting carbs... Eventually, I found out that some of my symptoms were back.

After 10 months of low-carb, I can say the following: It works very well, it cures you a little (I could not eat beans or lentils before starting it), but I had the impression it was not enough. I'm still convinced that, by returning to a more severe low-carb diet, I would eventually get cured. But I want something faster, so I decided to switch once again.

The SCD intro Diet

An evident choice for me was the specific carbohydrate diet. It's very well known among IBS sufferers, well established, and I hadn't tried it until now. 
This diet relies heavily on fructose, and since I cannot digest it, I must stay away from it until I feel better.
The first step consists in a so called introduction diet, that is incredibly restrictive. You may eat:
  • meat and eggs
  • carrots (or zucchini if you can't support them)
  • Farmer's cheese (careful, some people are intolerant to dairy)
  • Grape juice, cut with water (not for fructose intolerant people)
Carrots must be cooked. As it is so restrictive, it must not be followed more than 5 days. After that, one can switch into the normal SCD.

The aim of this intro diet is to provoke a massive die-off of bacteria in the gut, and let the digestive system rest, by eating easy to absorb, very low-carb foods. On this aspect, I must say I am pretty impressed, I had the usual die-off symptoms (headache, general feeling of being ill, light fever), which surprised me, since I had been under a low-carb diet for so long.

Right now I have just transitioned into the SCD, but without any fructose containing food. It is pretty hard to follow, and is very low-carb (I must eat something like 30g of them a day).

As for the results, I'm very satisfied: all the symptoms that had come back were gone within two days. It's even better than before, since I don't have one bout of foul smelling gas. I used to think these were normal, but I guess I was wrong. Moreover, I found out I can better digest bananas.
I'm just at the beginning, so we'll see how it goes.

Now,  I still think the low-carb diet is enough for most of IBS sufferers. Try it out, and if all your symptoms disappear after 3-4 months, that's all you need. Take the gas into account, it may not be the most problematic symptom, but it is nonetheless one.
For very problematic cases, like me (I've had IBS since I was a kid), you may want to give this intro diet a chance, for a few days, and then transition to SCD. Although it's quite hard to follow, I have the impression it is really efficient. 

An important point about the SCD is that it needs to be tweaked. You may be fructose, dairy, egg, nuts... intolerant. The only way is to start with sure foods (meat, vegetables), and add ONE problematic food for a few days. See if some symptoms come back. This is actually quite hard to do, I found out that I wanted to introduce lots of foods as fast as possible, but I need to resist.

Let's see how it goes in the next few months!

6 commentaires:

Qing said...

I just want to help.

1) In my experience SIBO is a correct theory. I came to this same conclusion based on my past experience in eating raw garlic.

However only when I took chopped raw garlic in 3 daily dosages with foods was I able to kill off the bad bacteria completely. This results in the subsiding of IBS symptoms.

I used to eat expensive probiotic capsules but they failed to clean up all the bacteria.

If you do not have problem eating raw garlic, please try it for a few weeks. Must take in 3 dosages daily for it to work. Just like medicine prescribed by doctors, they tell you to take in 2 or 3 dosages daily.

If the results are positive, do reply here and I will offer other findings to further improve on your IBS based on my own solution.

2) I bought the SCD Diet book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" on Dec 2010 out of desperation. I tried the diet for some time and found it works BUT I knew it was not the true answer. This is because one is just trying to slowly starve out the bad bacteria in the intestines - usually the large intestine or colon, in my preliminary view.

But those bacteria may just go into a dormant state and not really get destroyed. They will likely spring back into action when fed with carbo, sugar, fructose etc.

Why not just kill them once and for all with the strongest and safe kitchen herb - raw garlic.

The 105 pages of the rather expensive 185-page SCD book are just made up of recipes. Frankly not much insight therein besides pointing to carbo and certain foods as culprits. SCD diet is hard to adhere to not to mention not offering a real permanent solution.

3) IBS arises out of a genetic weakness of a certain area of the intestines of the individual that is aggravated by stress acting upon the nervous system and by bad diet.

Once the weakness has been further compromised by the proliferation of bad bacteria, serious IBS symptoms appears.

Therefore after killing the bad bacteria with raw garlic, there should be a protocol to restore the tone of the weak part of the intestines.

I write this after suffering IBS for 30 years and eventually reversing it after much analysing not to mention relentless but fruitless searching for a cure through herbalists and the Internet.

In the end, I came down to this understanding and prove it by resolving my IBS to a great degree.

Guillaume said...

Thanks for your very helpful comment. I tried raw garlic as well (and coconut oil too, another anti-bacteria remedy), but never tried 3 cloves a day. This seems interesting, I will give it a shot. I never considered the "bacteria going to sleep" theory, if you have some sources on that, I'd be most grateful!


Qing said...

You are welcome!

In my case I chopped several cloves of raw garlic and mix them with rice during each meal. I take this dosage 3 times daily in the beginning for several weeks. Now I only occasionally eat raw garlic because the bad bacteria is gone.

Remember the raw garlic should be freshly chopped, then leave it for 15 minutes so that the Allicin that kills the bacteria would be fully released. After that eat it with some food.

Another way to eat the raw garlic is to eat some food first. After that put the chopped garlic in some milk or water and qulp it down quickly so you don't have to suffer the terrible burning of raw garlic in the mouth.

Hope it works for you.

Guillaume said...

I'll have to try this out, cheers!

Anonymous said...

I am in a similar situation I think. I have had IBS-D since I was a kid (about 20 years now), and it's gotten worse the past few years. I have tried some dietary changes (dairy free, gluten free, fructose free, even all-organic.... that was expensive), but nothing has helped so far. I just stared SCD yesterday, so I'm really hoping this one's it. If not, I'll try low-carb, maybe FODMAPs.... Anyway, thanks for sharing your story! I look foward to seeing how SCD works for you. -Julie

Guillaume said...

Hello Julie, thanks for your message. Good luck on the SCD, I really recommend doing the intro diet as described here:

If you have die-off symptoms (feeling like your ill basically), you're right on track! If the SCD does not work for you, unfortunately I don't think low carb will do.
Anyway, hope you get better!

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