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AliB

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)

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Hi everyone. :)

I just came across this and found it very interesting:

From Elaine Gottschall

The study finds that populations with the highest colon cancer risk have a higher number of bifido bacteria than populations with the lowest risk. The authors were very surprised at this result since bifido bacteria is a "good" bacteria. Of course this is an epidemiology study (which always have flaws) but combined with Elaine's knowledge on the subject sends a powerful warning in my mind.

Most yogurt nowadays has Bifidus in it, mmmmm. Actually there was a lot on that page that was interesting and since my link didn't work, here it is:

Elaine writes:

Bifidis is normally the only gut bacteria present in breast fed babies. Early researchers felt that when bifidis persists into early childhood and beyond, it correlated with celiac disease. I, personally, do not believe in using bifidis in a probiotic or in a yoghurt culture.

The use of different strains of probiotics has been a subject of much discussion. I do not pretend to know the answers for most of them and have told the list that spending one year doing library research convinced me that there is more ambiguity than black and white answers.

To further the confusion, very smart people are advising some very dumb things. Companies have jumped on the band wagon proposing oral administration of various types of Lactobacillus strains along with things like bifidis and have given absolutely no attention to the fact that these bacteria will mutate depending upon what is in the colon for them "to eat."

Seth on healing crow referenced a wonderful article which was a chapter in a book written by his former professor of bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin. (copyright 2000 Kenneth Todar. Bacteriology pg 303. I have it in front of me.

"The normal flora of humans is exceedingly complex and consists of more than 200 species of bacteria. The makeup of the normal flora depends upon various factors including genetics, age, sex, stress, nutrition and diet of the individual......The distribution of the bacterial flora of humans is shown in the following table. This table lists only a fraction of the total bacterial species that occur as normal flora of humans and does not express the total number or concentration of bacteria at any site."

It then goes on to list many species including Bacteroides sp and Bifidobacterium bifidum. I understand that these two are closely related. Others include Enterobacteriaceae (E. coli) and Lactobacillus, etc.

Then comes the confusing part:

" The greatest number of bacteria are found in the lower intestinal tract, specifically the colon and the most prevalent bacteria are the Bacteroides, a group of Gram-negative, anaerobic, non-sporeforming bacteria. They have been implicated in the initiation of colitis and colon cancer. Bifidobacterium bifidum is the Gram-positive counterpart to the Bacteroides in the colon. They are anaerobic, non-sporeforming, lactic acid bacteria. They are the "friendly" bacteria in the intestine. Bacteroides predominate in the intestine of meat-eaters, bifidobacteria and other lactic acid bacteria predominate in the intestine of vegetarians."

From Elaine:

That said, it appears that bifidis could replace bacteroides and the implication of the latter in initiating cancer and colitis could be overcome. However, that is not certain and considering that our paleolithic diet was high in meat, I would doubt if meat is the real suspicious element in the diet. The research has indicated to me that any work done to support this thesis was not done without many other variables in the diet including high starch. Seth provides the following information:

"Intestinal Floras of Populations That Have a High Risk of Colon Cancer

APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Sept. 1995, p. 3202-3207 Vol. 61, No. 9

The study finds that populations with the highest colon cancer risk have a higher number of bifido bacteria than populations with the lowest risk. The authors were very surprised at this result since bifido bacteria is a "good" bacteria. Of course this is an epidemiology study (which always have flaws) but combined with Elaine's knowledge on the subject sends a powerful warning in my mind.

t writes:

In the case of bifidus, it has a tendency to overgrow. Each type of bacteria has different properties, different byproducts... I usually think of it in terms of different levels of tenacity and agression. Your gut is truly a multicultural society - some member are more altuistic, and others are criminal. Some are interested in improving the neighbourhood, and some are only out for themselves.

L. Acidophilus is about as community-minded a bacterial strain as you will find, with S.Thermophilus and L.Bulgaricus running a close second. The others are either less friendly, or are unknown quantities. It gets even more complicated if you consider soil based strains.

So we stick with Acidophilus in our supplements, and Acidophilus, Thermophilus and Bulgaricus in our yoghurt, because they are good neighbours.

Julie writes:

I am one who had used yoghurt containing Bifidus as my starter the first eight months on the diet and after a few back to back flares where nothing helped, Lucy clued me in that the Bifidus may have overgrown in my colon and therefore caused my endless flare. Sure enough, after I switched to the powdered yogourmet starter I literally came out of the flare overnight! I am a big proponent

From the LI listserve

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It's so nice to read posts by people who have been helped by the SCD. Basically I think I am already avoiding the foods that the book says to avoid, but I ordered it and can't wait to get it. I was hoping it would have gotten here today but it didn't.

I also just found out that I have a mass somewhere in my abdomen. A doctor in August ordered an abdominal ultrasound but never said why. I was complaining about almost non-stop abdominal distention, even when I wasn't eating, but I thought it might be related to hormones. Since an US last year revealed nothing and since I don't have insurance coverage I decided not to get it. But now my symptoms are getting worse so I called the doc's office to see why exactly she ordered it and the receptionist said the notes in my chart say that the doc felt a mass. Now she did not say this to me because I certainly would have gotten the ultrasound back then. I am scheduled for one tomorrow morning. This may sound crazy, but I am almost hoping they will find something so I have an explanation for my symptoms.

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It's so nice to read posts by people who have been helped by the SCD. Basically I think I am already avoiding the foods that the book says to avoid, but I ordered it and can't wait to get it. I was hoping it would have gotten here today but it didn't.

I also just found out that I have a mass somewhere in my abdomen. A doctor in August ordered an abdominal ultrasound but never said why. I was complaining about almost non-stop abdominal distention, even when I wasn't eating, but I thought it might be related to hormones. Since an US last year revealed nothing and since I don't have insurance coverage I decided not to get it. But now my symptoms are getting worse so I called the doc's office to see why exactly she ordered it and the receptionist said the notes in my chart say that the doc felt a mass. Now she did not say this to me because I certainly would have gotten the ultrasound back then. I am scheduled for one tomorrow morning. This may sound crazy, but I am almost hoping they will find something so I have an explanation for my symptoms.

The SCd undoubtedly would still help you even if you do have a mass. People have found all sorts of things disappear when they have been following the SCD for a while. I hope you find out what it is and are able to get it dealt with - I also hope you don't have to have an operation. Could the mass be a blockage in your colon or is it higher up than that?

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Hi,

I had a colonoscopy in June and absolutely nothing showed up so I would think it's higher up. We'll see what they find tomorrow if anything.

Kristina

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Hi All,

The ultrasound showed a few cholesterol deposits in my gallbladder and that's it. I am almost disappointed because I would really like to have an answer why my stomach is distended 24/7. In addition I have gone from a size 9 to a size 13 and it's hard to maintain my weight, let alone lose weight. I got the book today and will start reading it tonight or no later than this weekend, but I am concerned that there is something else going on that has been missed.

In addition, I have maxed my outpatient benefit on my insurance (it was only $2,500) and won't have coverage for outpatient visits or labs until June 2009. The doctor who ordered the ultrasound said she wants to see me because I am still having problems, but one, I am wondering if she can really help me, and two, I am not sure I can afford to keep spending money. I am still paying off my part of the colonoscopy I had done in June, which is what maxed my outpatient benefit.

I am scared and frustrated and feel completely lost. At first I thought it had to do with my hormones since it was somewhat cyclical, but now I don't know anymore. The weight gain is causing major depression for me since I struggled with an eating disorder when I was younger and still have pretty severe body image issues. To have gone up 2 sizes in about 8 weeks is very frustrating to me especially since I keep eating right and exercising.

I glanced through the book earlier and it does seem like I am doing what is recommended for the most part. However, I do eat canned vegetables and regular bacon on occasion like every 2 to 3 weeks. Maybe once I read it there will be more revealed that I am doing and shouldn't be doing. Still, I don't understand how I can go from feeling pretty good in August and tolerating tons of food, to feeling THIS miserable and now having reactions to a lot more foods like lamb, beef, and some others that I did not have before.

Kristina

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There is something else I wanted to ask. It has been suggested to me to cleanse my liver and gallbladder and also to do an intestinal cleanse. This would involve juice and broth fasting along with taking supplements that contain ground psyllium mixed with apple pectin, citrus powder, and ginger. I have read that ground psyllium is NOT good for people with GI issues and I have read that it IS good. What is the opinion regarding ground psyllium here?

I did read the symptoms of a congested liver and it does sound like what I am going through right now.

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This is a post I have just put on the 'Related Disorders' section - I thought it might interest you Kristina from the point of view that it may have a lot to do with your gas and bloating (and anyone else with the same of similar issues). It is very interesting info.

Quote from 'Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride.

"Hypochlorhydria

People with abnormal gut flora almost without exception have low stomach acid production. Toxins produced by overgrowth of Candida species, Clostridia and other pathogens have a strong ability to reduce secretion of stomach acid.

What does it mean and why is it important?

The stomach is the place where protein digestion begins. Hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach walls activates pepsin, a protein-digesting enzyme, which starts breaking down the very complex structure of dietary proteins into peptides and amino acids. To do its work properly pepsin needs the pH of the stomach to be 3 or below. In Hypochlorhydria not enough acid is produced, so the pH in the stomach is not low enough for pepsin to do its job properly."

"As a result of low stomach acid production the whole process of protein digestion in the body goes wrong from the very beginning. The maldigested protein then passes through to the small intestine. The intestinal wall and pancreatic enzymes, which accomplish further steps in the protein digestion, expect the protein to arrive from the stomach in a particular form in order to do their job properly. It is like a conveyer belt or an assembly line in a factory. If the first person does a poor job, then no matter how well the rest of the people in the line may work, the end product is likely to be of a poor quality. However, what happens in the body is even worse. The problem is that in the body 'the rest of the line' cannot work properly either, because it is regulated by the first person. This first person is the stomach acid."

A lack of stomach acid raises further and more serious implications. It is a barrier against harmful microbes from anything we put in our mouth. Without that protection, those pathogens can get through to the intestines and set up home. Once they are in there they can trigger symptoms in any part of the body. As Natasha continues...

Normally the stomach is the least populated area of the digestive system due to its extremely acid environment. However, in a person with Hypochlorhydria all sorts of pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria and fungi can grow on the stomach wall, such as Helicobacter Pylori, Campylobacter pylori, Enterobacteria, Candida, Salmonella, E.Coli, Streptococci, etc. The most research in this area has been done in stomach cancer patients, the majority of which show low levels of stomach acid production. Microbes, which populate low acid stomach play a very important role in causing stomach cancer, ulcers and gastritis.

Of course, most of these microbes love to eat carbohydrates, particularly the processed kind. The digestion of carbohydrates starts in the mouth with the action of saliva. When the food arrives in the stomach in the normal situation stomach acid stops this digestion. So, carbohydrates have to wait until they arrive in the duodenum to be digested. But in the stomach with low acidity overgrowing microbes start fermenting dietary carbohydrates, often with the production of various toxins and gas, which can make it very uncomfortable.....

She recommends taking Betaine HCL with Pepsin if possible to encourage good protein digestion. If you can tolerate it, a few spoonfuls of cabbage juice or a cabbage salad before a meal, also sauerkraut - not the pickled kind but the fermented kind, and beef broth or home-made meat stock can also help increase the acid.

Note though, don't take HCL if you have an ulcer or gastritis. try to get the stomach to heal first with the diet and then try taking it later if you do decide to give it a go.

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Hi AliB,

Thank you for the post...but I am already familiar with it and taking Betaine HCl with Pepsin. Back in 2003/2004 I would have a distended stomach by mid-day. fluid retention, a lower backache, and fatigue. After seemingly endless searches a doctor told me about HCl. I tried it thinking it wouldn't help but it did so I have been taking it ever since. This is different. I am distended 24/7 and it just won't go away. On Sunday I will try a one-day water fast to see if that will help but I doubt it.

I also take digestive enzymes with the HCl.

Kristina

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Kristina....make sure you see your Gyno as bloating can be the only symptom of ovarian cancer. Not trying to scare you, but better safe than sorry. If you have already had that tested and posted and I missed it....sorry. But just had to mention it.

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Hi ShayFL,

I just had that checked, too. I don't think I posted it though so thank you for mentioning it. I am trying to rule everything out and I am slowly running out of money. They just found an ovarian cyst of 1.2 cm so no big deal.

I'll keep plugging away. Something will eventually have to change.

Kristina

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Kristina, I think that both sides of the psyllium issue may be correct for different people. Sorry I forget if there are any other symptoms you have? Are you constipated as well?

Probiotics, problems with sugars and starches, fructose or other intolerance, intestinal motility issues, parasites, all come to mind.

I have had the problem of gaining weight like that and bloating over 2-3 days, but it hasn't been constant all the time. I am still working on the answers. Keeping the honey minimal seems to help. I am focusing on trying to get good consistent elimination, which also seems to make a huge difference.

My concern on the colon cleanse or whatever is that it might be too hard on you. But I do understand the need to try to do things that are financially manageable.

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I'll keep plugging away. Something will eventually have to change.

Kristina

Kristina I wish I had some miraculous advice but I don't. I would be very stressed out in your shoes. I am glad that nothing bad has been found but it sure would be nice to find out what's wrong so you can fix it.

Best wishes

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I just want to cry. I feel even worse this morning - still abdominal distention (day 25 today), very little energy, and swollen eye lids. Where do I go from here and what do I do without insurance? I am so depressed about all this. I make it through the day taking L-Tryptophan, L-Tyrosene, and DLPA to keep my mood up.

I checked my blood sugar this morning and it was 99 - from what? All I ate yesterday was ostrich, coconut oil, green beans, some bacon (I know, not allowed but I haven't started yet), and a very small granny smith apple. The last thing I ate was around 7 PM and 11 hours later my fasting blood sugar is 99.

Kristina

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Kristina, wish I had more to offer. It sounds like you feel like you don't have options.

Blood sugars go up with infections and maybe inflammation??

What happens if you fast? Does the distention change?

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Kristina, wish I had more to offer. It sounds like you feel like you don't have options.

Blood sugars go up with infections and maybe inflammation??

What happens if you fast? Does the distention change?

In the past fasting has not helped but back then I think the distention was hormonal. Now I am not sure and Sunday I was going to try and fast.

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Ironically, your BS can go up even if you fast. The liver spews glucose when it gets low and for some people their livers "overreact" and you get higher BS readings.

I used to have "bloating" all of the time and I dont anymore. It wasnt the SCD that got rid of it. It was NEEM. I felt like poo inside for 3 or 4 days but then the bloating went away and it hasnt returned (unless I eat a crap load of cabbage or something like that). I AM NOT SAYING THAT IT WOULD WORK FOR YOU. But it did for me. Apparently it killed off some buggers in there for me.

Another thing to consider is an Ayurvedic herb called Triphala. Google it.

I hope you find some relief soon.

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Ironically, your BS can go up even if you fast. The liver spews glucose when it gets low and for some people their livers "overreact" and you get higher BS readings.

I used to have "bloating" all of the time and I dont anymore. It wasnt the SCD that got rid of it. It was NEEM. I felt like poo inside for 3 or 4 days but then the bloating went away and it hasnt returned (unless I eat a crap load of cabbage or something like that). I AM NOT SAYING THAT IT WOULD WORK FOR YOU. But it did for me. Apparently it killed off some buggers in there for me.

Another thing to consider is an Ayurvedic herb called Triphala. Google it.

I hope you find some relief soon.

How did you take the NEEM? What form is it in? I think I have NEEM essential oil. Not sure if it's for consumption or not.

I did have really bad disbyiosis on a test in January - C. Diff, toxoplasmosis, low good bacteria, high bad bacteria and more. Now reading the SCD book I can see where my occasional cheats may have made that worse although I was taking megadoses of probiotics for about 2 months. I am on Natren Healthy Trinity now but only started a few days ago.

Maybe it is "just" a combination of digestive issues, disbiosis, and hormonal imbalance. I don't know. I am trying to decide if I should go to the doctor. We may possibly have insurance starting Jan or Feb next year through my husbands new job if that comes through. I guess I could wait until then and in the meantime start the SCD.

Thank you for your reply and everybody elses replies, too.

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Kristina, I am very sorry for what you are going through. I, too, wish I had the answer. Bloating has been a problem for me. The SCD diet has helped some - but having a daily bowel movement helps more (for that I have to use a combo of magnesium supplementation, prune juice and psyllium). I seem to need to do all 3; before adding the psyllium back in nothing was happening.

However, I was not having the other symptoms you were having.

I hope that you are able to get back in with a doctor very soon and that your husbands job comes through so that it makes it easier.

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NO...the essential oil is not for consumption.

I took this brand:

http://www.organixsouth.com/

There is a thread about Neem somewhere on the forums. Others had success with bloating using other brands as well. I liked these because they were small and I only had to take one a day. I took mine in the morning (empty stomach) with George's aloe (4 oz) for a good 6 weeks. But relief came early on.

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I am not sure where is the best place to post this, but since I think all of my problems stem from digestion/food issues, I will post here.

I have been taking a steroid for about 2 years now (adrenal fatigue, have been at a dose of 40 mg/day of cortef for a little over a year of that).

I thought I had read that steroid use decreases stomach acid. Yet this morning as I research more - I am seeing info that says the opposite - it increases stomach acid production.

Does anyone know anything about this? If it increases stomach acid production, then that helps it makes sense as to why I have not been able to get off the Nexium. Yesterday I didn't take the 1 dose of nexium I am still on - and noticed some burning last night in my stomach, which I don't usually have. I am watching cautiously to see what happens. Today, I am feeling some burning after I eat, faintly feeling it in my esophagus. I will probably need to keep taking the nexium at 1 dose per day.

I am currently trying to reduce use of the cortef, but it is very slow going as I seem to react to minor changes. I have to reduce by small amounts very slowly.

I do not think that the SCD diet will help with the over-production of mucous that I have, sadly. :( I can say that I am slightly less bloated, and I don't seem to need to take as much magnesium - but that is about it. Over all I think it is a much better way of eating though - even though I will probably eventually migrate back over to using a few things that are "easier" - such as canned tomatoes. I think it is easier on the digestion at this point as well - which is a good thing for anyone.

Also, as there does not seem to be any job in sight for the near future for my husband, I will not be able to do alot medically with regard to this. I have tried using the Betaine HCL as many websites suggest that as an alternative test to see if it is needed. Unless I eat ALOT of protein, even 1/4th of a tablet can cause burning/pain in the lower left of my stomach. (1 tablet has 15 mg calcium, Betaine HCL 350 mg and Pepsin 1:10,000, 45 mg).

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NO...the essential oil is not for consumption.

I took this brand:

http://www.organixsouth.com/

There is a thread about Neem somewhere on the forums. Others had success with bloating using other brands as well. I liked these because they were small and I only had to take one a day. I took mine in the morning (empty stomach) with George's aloe (4 oz) for a good 6 weeks. But relief came early on.

So you took the TheraNeem Leaf Capsules? I may give that a try.

DMarie - I took Cortef for a little while and it IS hard coming off of it. Have you had your other homones checked like estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone? Mostly progesterone? Most of us have too much estrogen and when stressed, progesterone, which is a pre-cursor to cortisol, gets shunted away to be turned into cortisol. As you are reducing the Cortef you may want to consider using some natural progesterone cream. I found this website www.progesteronetherapy.com to be very helpful. The woman who runs it will answer emails and she also sells a nice, natural progesterone cream, but it's actually not that obvious when you go to the site. She also doesn't try to pester you into buying her cream when you ask her questions.

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Got another question - I am getting ready to order some digestive enzymes. The one I found says it has vegetable polysaccharides as a filler. Is that ok on SCD?

Kristina

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Got another question - I am getting ready to order some digestive enzymes. The one I found says it has vegetable polysaccharides as a filler. Is that ok on SCD?

Kristina

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Those enzymes dont sound SCD legal. :(

If you try the Neem, note that it might get a little worse before better for 3 or 4 days. But hang in there. It is a great anitmicrobial and cannot hurt in that respect. But keep on with the SCD and the probiotics as well.

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