For those who read the blog regularly, you may remember that I tried the SCD intro diet in november. But I consider it as a very low carb diet, in a way. After a month under a very very strict SCD, I had lost so much weight (and I am REALLY thin) that I had to go back on my old diet. It is still very close to the SCD, I only allow myself some canned foods that contain very small amounts of sugar, and a few chocolate.
One year under low-carb is not so hard as it may sound. After a few weeks, you will know almost every food that you may of may not eat, and how much.
The plus side
Well, I've written about this one quite often. On an everyday basis, provided I stay away from my typical trigger foods (lactose, fructose, gluten) I don't have any symptom. I was able to do much more last year than I could in the last three! I also noticed a small improvement with some foods, like beans, or wheat (of course I could eat only small portions of it, it's high carb).
First of all, after several months I understood that low-carb is not enough to become 100% symptom free: I need to work on my stress related issues (more on that in another post!). If very high stress is involved, low-carb will lessen the probability of an IBS flare, but won't necessarily make it zero.
Another thing that bothers me quite a lot is that I don't have the impression that I am getting better any more. The first three months were incredible, and then I think I plateaued. Dr Lutz, an austrian doctor who specialized in low-carb for Crohn's, says it can take up to three years. Elaine Gottshall, very well known for introducing the specific carbohydrate diet, claims you must follow it for one year once every symptom disappeared. So I guess one year is not enough. But the feeling that I do not make progress makes me wonder. It could be that after three or four months, one could go back to a low-fodmaps diet, which is way easier to follow.
Finally, the real problem with low-carb, and every diet I could try, is that I can still make mistakes after so much time on it! Eating out is always an adventure, unless I want to bully the waiter asking for every ingredient in every dish. My latest discovery was that artichokes contain quite an amount of fructose. I unfortunately found about that a bit too late...
So, what to do?
This may sound rather harsh after everything I have written regarding low-carb. But it is not: I still consider it is the best decision I have ever made for my IBS. But now it is time to go beyond, and work on stress, maybe try a few other methods. I will probably try eating more rice in a few months time, since I never had problems with it, thus ending my low-carb attempt, and coming back to the low-fodmaps diet.