It Takes A Villus
- By Carol Frilegh
- Published 01/5/2008
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
Our insides exist largely as an invisible world until something goes wrong, something like Celiac Disease. Electron microscopes provide two million degrees of magnification making close observation of the digestive tract possible. The intestinal lining with its microvilli, goblet cells, plasma membrane and other components can all be explored with intense scrutiny.
The microvilli play an important role in absorption and secretion. When the delicate microvilli are diseased, their tiny filaments are no longer able to generate the waving motion that plays such an important role in the digestive process. Just picture a tractor running over a beautiful lawn and how it flattens out the area.
We can change worn down brush attachments on a vacuum cleaner but when several thousand of the microvilli that are present on the surface of a single cell in human small intestinal cells get mowed down, the digestive process is in trouble.
The exact cause of celiac disease is not known, but inheriting or developing certain genes increases susceptibility. Celiac disease can occur at any age and although as yet has no known cure, it can be treated and controlled.
The smallest amount of gluten aggravates symptoms. Excluding gluten from the diet is estimated to be about 70% effective in reducing symptoms. However, for some people, the removal of gluten is not enough. They frequently are able to benefit further by also eliminating sugar and starch. This means no corn, potatoes, rice and soy.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet fills this requirement. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet excludes carbohydrates not easily absorbed directly into the bloodstream and relies instead on monosaccharide carbohydrates that do no further harm to the system. The diet is also effective against yeast overgrowth and fungus. Research indicates starches and certain sugars feed microbes, such as bacteria, yeast and fungi. These harmful microbes in the intestinal tract can cause gastrointestinal problems, autism and other illnesses. Specific Carbohydrate Diet eliminates these microbes by starving them while continuing to nourish the body. As the body heals the gut/brain connection is repaired.
The person currently on a standard Gluten Free diet, who migrates to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet will encounter some additional restrictions.
Despite the fact that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet diet has not received major publicity or media exposure it is well worth exploring. I blog almost daily about the diet because I have followed it for eight years and seen a substantial number of reports from people having success with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet after disappointments on other diets.
Learn more about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet diet by reading "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gottschall
You can view her website at:
Editor's Note: Celiac.com supports the idea that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is gluten-free and can be very helpful for many people, depending on their situation. We disagree, however, with the assertion that Elaine Gottschall makes in her book Breaking the Vicious Cycle that people with celiac disease can be cured by the Specific Carbohydrate Diet after being on it for a certain time period.
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