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How to Start SCD Without Pain?

diet scd specific carbohydrate diet ibs-c triggers

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#1 Alyeska Martinez

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:13 PM

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Hi everyone,

I've been reading up on here and it seems like a lot of people have successfully healed their IBS with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I am considering giving it a try, because it makes a lot of sense. But I have a few questions:

  • Non-gluten grains are my "safe foods". I can't imagine going a whole day without a single complex carb. What do you guys do? Are their nut and seed breads/crackers that you guys eat when your tummy is in knots?
  •  
  • Many foods are allowed on the SCD that I find trigger IBS symptoms for me (cramping, bloating). The main ones are beans and sulfurus vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onion). Should I avoid them? Should I try soaking the beans or slow-cooking them?
  •  
  • A year ago I stopped eating dairy because I noticed I felt awful after eating cheese and I just assumed I was lactose intolerant. But it seems that the yogurt and dry curd cottage cheese are important healing foods on the SCD. Should I try including them? What are your experiences?

Thank you so much to anyone who responds! smile.png



#2 Kathleen M.

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:14 PM

You may want to avoid the gassy foods.

 

If you soak the beans to reduce some of the fermentables make sure to pour off the soak water, give the beans a quick rinse and then cook them. 


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#3 Alyeska Martinez

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:17 PM

Thank you Kathleen! I will give the soaking a try, because I really do want to keep beans in my diet if possibe.



#4 Shaylu

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:21 PM

Hi there,
I know that SCD has worked for some, but so has FODMAP. If the SCD 'no' foods are your good foods than I do not see why you want to try it.

Why not give FODMAP a go first that way you get to eat what you know you can and avoid what you know you need to.

Good luck

#5 rmiller1985

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:02 PM

Hi Alyeska,

 

Although I'm an SCD convert and let everyone know how much it has helped me, I sort of agree with Shaylu here.  Please see my response in your other thread for a more detailed explanation.

 

If you DO decide to give the SCD a try, I highly (very highly!) recommend doing a lot of reading first, and have a very well-thought-out plan for starting the diet.  Many people fail on the SCD because of the way in which they start the diet, not because the diet would not actually work for them.  I bought some of the materials from scdlifestyle.com before starting; pecanbread.com has an enormous amount of information as well (and the guys at scdlifestyle refer to pecanbread.com frequently).  The long-time posters in the BTVC-SCD Yahoo group are also a fantastic resource.  Most importantly, read Elaine's book first.

 

A few of the most important points:

  • The SCD is an all-or-nothing proposition.  If you're going to cheat intentionally ("I'll do SCD 6 days a week, but allow myself a small bit of chocolate on Sundays"), don't bother with the diet; even if you cheat accidentally (people think food labeling laws are strict, but they're not, and it's very possible that some foods that seem to be legal aren't), you can set yourself back days or weeks, so you have to be very careful.
  • The diet is not a quick fix.  If you're looking for a resolution of all of your symptoms in a week, you will most likely be sorely disappointed.
  • It's natural to want to improve as quickly as possible, so the tendency is to add new foods as soon as you start seeing improvement.  This is a very bad idea (ask me how I know smile.png ).
  • The SCD is different for everyone.  You MUST customize the diet, eating only the legal foods that do not aggravate your symptoms.  Just because something is allowed but that something always causes you problems, it doesn't mean the diet doesn't work for you, it means you need to keep that something out of your version of the diet.

For your specific questions:

  • There are many nut "breads" that can be made with almond and other nut flours.  But these are somewhat advanced foods.  At three months, I'm just now ready to try working with nut flours again (my symptoms started to get a little worse when I used them about a month into the diet; I'm not sure how much of that was actually due to the nut flours, but I decided to hold off quite a while before trying again).  For the first several weeks, you're relying primarily on a few peeled/seeded/well-cooked vegetables and meat.
  • The few beans that are allowed and cruciferous vegetables are all fairly advanced foods on the diet (the beans more so).  There are many people who can never tolerate certain foods.  Again, you have to customize the diet for YOU.
  • My experience with SCD yogurt has surprised the hell out of me.  I've avoided dairy products for longer than you've been alive because I believed I was lactose intolerant.  Well, it turns out I AM lactose intolerant, but it's not because it's lactose specifically, it's because it's a complex carbohydrate of ANY kind.  The method used for making SCD yogurt (fermented 24-28 hours instead of around 4) ensures that the bacteria thrive, and eat up all of the lactose.  I believe that much of my success on this diet is due to SCD yogurt, because it apparently has a huge amount of beneficial bacteria, and no lactose.  If someone had told me a few years ago that I'd be heating a half gallon of yogurt every four days, I would have laughed out loud.  I only wish I'd introduced it sooner (I waited two months, thinking I'd probably have a problem with it).  Dry-curd cottage cheese also contains no lactose.  (It should be noted that this is not everyone's experience, some people still have problems with dairy products, even if there's no lactose.  Again, listening to your body and customizing the diet is essential, and it is possible to make the yogurt with homemade almond milk, goat milk, etc.)

As someone fairly new to the diet who has been helped a lot, I'm happy to answer any other questions you might have.  And I've been blogging about my experience on the diet at the address below.

 

Cheers,

Rich


Lifetime wonky gut

5 months SCD

http://omnivoreoncemore.blogspot.com

 


#6 Alyeska Martinez

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:01 PM

Thank you again Rich for such a detailed response! I guess my motivation to try SCD is the thought that it could potentially heal me, whereas low-FODMAP would only help reduce my symptoms. Once I have more tests done I will hopefully have more answers, but I believe that I do have some underlying damage to my gut. The commitment necessary for SCD is very daunting though. As someone who is a full-time student, who commutes 2.5 hours a day, and who is married and with a step-daughter, the SCD would not be easy for me to accomplish. I'm not sure if I can honestly make the commitment to the Intro diet. So I have a lot to think about before I try it!



#7 elouisef23

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:24 AM

I am seriously considering trying SCD too. Although I don't want to because I already eat quite a restricted diet and don't want to give up my rice! :( What is your main issue Alyeska? I have IBS © but my friend with IBS (D) had brilliant success with SCD. I wonder if it is as effective for IBS © ?



#8 rmiller1985

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 10:51 AM

Hi elouisef23,

 

Since I have IBS-D, I can't speak from personal experience, but from what I understand the SCD can also be very helpful for those who suffer from IBS-C.  Both are symptoms of a digestive tract that is not functioning properly, and the point of the diet is to heal the tract so that it CAN function properly.  When it does start functioning properly the symptoms should diminish and then stop, regardless of what the symptoms are.  All bodies are different, so I'm sure that there are some that the diet won't help; but I'm also convinced that it could help a great many people who suffer from IBS, and that it's a reasonable approach for any IBS sufferer to try.

 

I don't blame you for not wanting to give up your rice.  smile.png  I didn't want to give up my daily chips and hummus (sometimes twice daily!), or my nightly chocolate.  But those were outweighed by my desire to give up my twice daily Immodium.

 

I'll be the first to admit that it's not easy.  I haven't timed it yet, but I estimate that I spend two or three hours in the kitchen every day at this point between food prep, cooking, and dish washing.  But the trade-off is that I feel great about the food that I'm eating: I know exactly what's in it and how it was made.  Cost is also an issue: I was a long-time vegetarian, and now I'm eating meat -- and my taste in meat is pretty expensive, I'm more likely to eat a NY steak than ground beef, and I almost always shop at Whole Foods because I find the meat selection and quality much better than at Safeway.  So my diet change is more expensive than an Immodium dose that cost less than $0.50 a day.  But again, there's a trade-off: I know that what I'm eating is good for me, and is helping my body heal.  (I don't want to emphasize the cost issue, it's very possible to economize and do the SCD on a budget; my cost issue is also offset by the fact that we don't go out to eat nearly as often.  I just want to point out why it's difficult for me, and more importantly why those obstacles are worth it for me.)

 

There are ways to mitigate the amount of time it takes.  Many people spend an entire weekend day cooking, and then freeze and refrigerate foods that they can grab and take with them on the weekdays.

 

Alyeska, if your husband and step-daughter are supportive, they could go on the diet as well, as it's very nutritious.  The intro and a couple of weeks afterward would be the most difficult period, as the foods are very limited and the vegetables are cooked to death.  But during that period they might be happy enough to eat SCD at home and then get an "illegal food fix" outside the home, and after that time the choices open up quite a bit.

 

So no argument here: it's most definitely a commitment, and not a choice to be made lightly.  But if you go in with a well-thought-out plan, it's definitely doable, especially if you have some support at home.

 

Cheers,

Rich


Lifetime wonky gut

5 months SCD

http://omnivoreoncemore.blogspot.com

 


#9 Alyeska Martinez

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:48 PM

eloisef23,

My main symptoms are constipation and bloating, so I guess I would be IBS-C. But I agree with Rich in that both problems stem from an unhealthy gut, so I would think that a gut-healing diet would help either IBS-C or IBS-D.



#10 Alyeska Martinez

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:57 PM

Rich,

Thanks for the suggestions. I know I couldn't get my husband or stepdaughter to join me in the diet, they're way too picky! :) But of course they would support me in my efforts to heal myself. I think I just have to be really sure that this is the right choice before making such a huge commitment. I'm hoping that I can have more tests run by the GI doctor I'm seeing tomorrow to rule out some possibilities. I'm also going to a naturopath and the end of the month and hoping she'll know more about SIBO and candida and possible food intolerances.



#11 jaumeb

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 07:32 AM


  • My experience with SCD yogurt has surprised the hell out of me.  I've avoided dairy products for longer than you've been alive because I believed I was lactose intolerant.  Well, it turns out I AM lactose intolerant, but it's not because it's lactose specifically, it's because it's a complex carbohydrate of ANY kind.  The method used for making SCD yogurt (fermented 24-28 hours instead of around 4) ensures that the bacteria thrive, and eat up all of the lactose.  I believe that much of my success on this diet is due to SCD yogurt, because it apparently has a huge amount of beneficial bacteria, and no lactose.  If someone had told me a few years ago that I'd be heating a half gallon of yogurt every four days, I would have laughed out loud.  I only wish I'd introduced it sooner (I waited two months, thinking I'd probably have a problem with it).  Dry-curd cottage cheese also contains no lactose.  (It should be noted that this is not everyone's experience, some people still have problems with dairy products, even if there's no lactose.  Again, listening to your body and customizing the diet is essential, and it is possible to make the yogurt with homemade almond milk, goat milk, etc.)

 

I avoided dairy products for 5 years. Last weekend I decided to try some ghee. Ghee is pure milk fat with no lactose. Well, I reacted badly to it.







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