The Celiac KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
- By Carol Frilegh
- Published 01/3/2008
I am 79 an undiagnosed Celiac, since March 2000. I had chronic sinus infections and fluctuating weight, lost 86 pounds, got pneumonia, and needed antibiotic and Prednisone. I also got MCS and Latex Allergy. Unable to eat without pain, I started The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Things began to improve at once. I am not cured but SCD has been effective in managing the Celiac and helped improve my damaged immune system. It is a bit stricter than the gluten-free casein-free diet, but
I've been here less than a month and although I haven't read every article and blog, I certainly plan to. I've been too busy writing my own thoughts and have some about the old KISS formula, "Keep It Simple Stupid."
Well, we are neither simple nor stupid; Celiac disease is far from simple.
I am going to over simplify the comparison of two diets: The Gluten-Free Casein-Free diet and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Both diets are gluten-free, essential for a Celiac diet!
Why make comparisons?
Because, from my writings, it would appear I am trying to shove the Specific Carbohydrate Diet down your collective gullets. Such is not the case, (I don't get any remuneration for perching on a Specific Carbohydrate Diet soapbox, I don't bake for it or stamp tee shirts LOL).
The Gluten-Free Casein-Free diet is almost a universal default protocol and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is lesser known. We are a bit like the MAC and PC guys you see on TV commercials.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet has a reputation for being difficult, yet those who follow it don't have to be cautious about contamination of utensils, etc. A very positive feature of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet diet is its effectiveness in addressing yeast and fungus issues (Anti-fungals may sometimes be required at the start).
Changing to any diet with restrictions is a challenge if you've been on the "SAD" (Standard American Diet) for your life before celiac struck.
On the Gluten-Free Casein-Free diet, dairy is a definite "no no" because of the opioid peptide theory. The caution is justified among those with true casein intolerance. Liquid cow's milk isn't even a good choice for healthy adults. It's mainly milk marketing boards that disagree.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet allows certain selected dairy, sometimes called "treated dairy." This includes cheese that has had bacterial cultures (without bifidum) added and is then aged at least thirty days. The cultures feed on lactose in the milk and after the minimum aging period, the cheese becomes almost entirely lactose free.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is known for recommending the use of home incubated yogurt. It has a gazillion more active pro-biotic bacteria than commercial yogurts including Dannon "Activia" brand. Yogurt is powerful food. It should be introduced very slowly and started in tiny increments.
It is very very important to remember that dairy is NOT MANDATORY on a Specific Carbohydrate Diet. If you are dairy intolerant that may change as progress takes place.
Children are advised to avoid it for the first three months on the diet. It is suggested that goat's milk makes a better tolerated yogurt because it has smaller molecules.
If you plan to start a Specific Carbohydrate Diet for trial (a month is a reasonable period) and are currently on the gluten-free casein-free diet because of dairy concerns, dairy is not mandatory on a Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a "stand alone" diet. Best results are obtained by strict adherence and not combining it with protocols from other diets.
Over time I will blog on the other main differences which are fewer than people realize.
More about differences and similarities in my next blog entry.
As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).