Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I was diagnosed with Crohn's last spring after years of discomfort, but I must say, my discomfort thankfully never reached the extreme levels to require hospitalization. I was told my condition was a mild case, but that I would have to take medication for the rest of my life. I experimented with various elimination-type diets while taking the drugs. Nothing seemed to help, and the drugs seemed to aggravate my problems. My doctors (I saw a few) were, like you've described, not inclined towards alternative methods of treatment. After unpleasant experiences with Asacol and then Sulfasalizine, I have been eager to hear what others have to say about their successes with the SCD diet. I am determined to do whatever I can to avoid medication. I have now been on the diet for 3-1/2 weeks, but it has been stressful when I still feel sick even though I'm adhering to the diet 100%. I know I have to give it lots of time, but I worry about the inflammation (and worry about the effects of stress on my condition), and now I'm thinking that perhaps a combination of drug therapy and the SCD diet would be beneficial to me until I am "symptom free." This is scary for me, because I really felt that the drugs made things worse - and after reading so many accounts of similar experiences, I swore that I would never take medication again. Now I'm confused - and with my next doctor's appointment coming up, I know his advice will be to take the drugs again. That's my story (as brief as I could be) - I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on starting out with the drug/diet combination? Thanks for listening! Y
Thanks for writing! I'm so glad you were able to find my site and can get some ideas about the SCD!
From what I have heard, many people do combine medication with the SCD when they are just starting out. I completely understand about wanting to avoid medication - I really hated having to take it myself, and that is why I wanted to try the SCD too. I did keep taking Asacol, (similar to Sulfasalizine) for more than a year, just to be on the safe side. But I tapered the dose down, after checking with my doctor, to just one pill a day (instead of 12!) after several months on the diet. Then I took that one pill a day for a year. I don't think it really did much, but I was scared of getting symptoms back and wanted to make sure everything was healed inside.
The diet eliminates the bacterial problem, which in turn helps your body tissues to heal. That healing process can take some time, though. While it heals you may feel some symptoms for a little while. One idea is that if the medication makes you worse, you could talk to your doctor about a different kind of medication. For example, I have heard that some people don't tolerate Sulfasalizine but do tolerate Asacol, and vice-versa.
When it comes right down to it, though, it's important to remember that you are the one who cares the most about your body and the doctor can't really ethically recommend that you stop taking the medicine that he prescribed for Crohn's. So as you continue on the diet and see that you don't have any more symptoms, you will come to the place where you have to personally decide to stop taking the medicine or to continue it. (If you're taking Prednisone, it needs to be tapered off of very slowly, under a doctors guidance.) For me, I didn't see any reason to continue the Asacol when I didn't have any symptoms left!
I hope this helps!
Wow! What a great resource! Thank you for putting this together for us! I was just diagnosed in November 2009, after 35 years of apparent health. The doc wanted me to go on Entocot and Immuran right away, but I wasn't comfortable with that. A friend told me about BTVC, I bought it, and by the end of the first week after the diagnosis I was on this diet. Almost 4 months later I am still doing well, but have needed new recipes, so your site is just what I need! I feel I CAN make a difference with diet! Quick question....I am seeing a Naturopath and taking supplements. Do you take supplements or do it just with diet?
I look forward to trying out lots of your recipes!
Blessings to you! EJ
Thanks for your note! I'm so glad to hear that you've been responding so well to the diet! I'm happy that the website has been such a good resource for you.
The only supplements I take are the SCD legal multivitamin from www.freedavitamins.com, a Vitamin D supplement from Trader Joe's that looks to be totally legal and a natural fish oil capsule made by Kirkland. There can be illegal fillers in a lot of supplements, so you have to watch out for that since the goal is to be 100% on the diet for it to completely work for you.
You can find a good list of legal and illegal supplement fillers at this link: http://breakingtheviciouscycle.info/knowledge_base/kb/supplements.htm
And for a list of vitamins made specifically for the SCD, see this link: http://www.lucyskitchenshop.com/freedavitamins.html and this link: http://www.lucyskitchenshop.com/acidophilus.html or this link: http://www.digestivewellness.com/subcategoryitems-digestive_wellness_scd_legal_food-vitamins-24-15.html
You can also order them directly from Freeda Vitamins or from our Amazon Store, right.
I hope this helps! Please feel free to write any time you have more questions.
Thank you for your wonderful website. It has been such a blessing to me. I have ulcerative colitis and have been on the SCD diet since November. I have followed it religiously and haven't had a symptom since the first week. My question for you is: Would it be o.k. for me to take tylenol for an upcoming dental appointment? I have searched and searched, but can't find any concrete answers regarding a legal pain reliever. Have you ever used anything for pain?
Thank you so much for your note! I am so glad to hear that you have found the SCD and have done so well on it! That's wonderful news. Good job for sticking to it 100%!
I have taken Tylenol myself with no problems. I look for the type that is a tablet, not the coated kind or the softgel kind because they have extra illegals on the outside. The tablet has the least illegals in it, and it has worked for me. (I figure the tiny amount of illegals in it are probably comparable to the bacon "fried, once a week" that's allowable according to Elaine in BTVC.)
I hope this helps!
I'm 20 weeks pregnant and had a major flare during my first trimester. My Dr. put me on iron pills because my iron level is so low. I know it's illegal (I've been on the diet on and off for two years- hard to not cheat) and I'm starting the intro diet again because I still am having diarrhea. My Dr. are not allowing me to get off the iron - do you think that it's going to effect the success of my diet very much? I did the intro for three days and introduced bananas and today, butternut squash. I've having very few BM but when i do its still not solid (although it's not diarrhea either). I'm hoping for better progress but am feeling a little dishearted because I know iron could be the cause of not getting better. Any suggestions? advice?
Thanks for your note!
From what I remember from being on the Long Island List Serve while Elaine was answering some questions on it, she said she didn't like iron supplementation herself but would rather that people got iron from natural foods like spinich, liver, red meat, etc. But it seemed to me like more of a personal preference instead of a hard and fast "this is illegal."
So when I was a little anemic during pregnancy, I did take some iron pills that I got through www.freedavitamins.com, (they carry a few other SCD vitamins and have a minimum of illegals in their other vitamins so I figured it was the best choice). I had no problems with it, took it just for a short time while I needed it, and was fine.
I'd just keep on with the iron pills, maybe try the Freeda brand to minimize illegals in them, and then continue on the diet. I figure that Elaine did allow a couple of minimal illegals like bacon, crisply fried, once a week (even with sugar in it), and one diet drink a week containing aspartame. Because of this, I think that when you need to take a pill that has a tiny amount of illegals in it (like Tylenol or a prescription drug for example), go ahead and do it - I don't think it's going to cause a flare-up. It hasn't ever caused any problems for me!
I hope this puts your mind at ease! Just keep up doing the diet 100% and keep up the good work!