What Is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet?

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is a group of foods which are grain-free, sugar-free, starch-free, and unprocessed. While removing many foods that are toxic and digestively harmful, the diet remains natural, extremely nourishing and representative of what our ancestors ate.

Eating SCD is a way to “re-boot” your digestion and give you an overall health boost. The diet will probably have you feeling better than ever, even if you don’t have any intestinal damage. But if you are one of the lucky few who needs a bit of digestive support this diet was created especially for you.

Where Did SCD Come From?

The principles of SCD were laid down by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas as he treated Celiacs and other IBD patients in the 1950s. One of his patients was Elaine Gottschall’s daughter who at the time was very sick with Ulcerative Colitis. Dr. Haas helped Elaine’s daughter to achieve lasting remission through diet and the use of fermented foods.

Elaine Gottschall then dedicated her life to researching the diet – gut connection. She coined the name the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and released the science and ground rules in her life’s work Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Health Through Diet.

Breaking the Vicious Cycle is the reason we are here today and. We are very grateful for all the hard work that Elaine put into it and we think everyone should own a copy or two.

What Science Is Behind the Specific Carbohydrate Diet?

The diet’s guidelines are based on the fact that not everyone’s digestive tract has evolved to optimally digest complex carbohydrates and other man-made food products like sugar. The main principle of the diet is that carbohydrates are classified by their chemical structure; they are monosaccharide, disaccharide, or polysaccharide. On the diet, only monosaccharide carbohydrates are allowed to be eaten as all others require extra digestion steps to break the chemical bonds down to monosaccharide carbohydrates.

Any food that is not properly digested causes bacterial and yeast overgrowth when undigested carbohydrates are fed on by bacteria and yeast in the intestinal tract. This starts a chain reaction of excess toxins and acids which cause irritation of the small intestine cells damaging them and causing food absorption issues which only helps to continue the cycle.

The diet is an all natural way to break this cycle of bacteria and yeast overgrowth by eliminating the food sources they feed on. By working to restore gut flora to normal levels, the intestinal tract is allowed to start repairing any damage by itself.

How Does the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Work?

By eliminating complex carbohydrates, lactose, sucrose and other man-made ingredients from the digestive process, the body is finally allowed to start healing. As gut flora levels start to stabilize, the reduction of irritants from undigested foods, toxins and other man-made ingredients allows inflammation levels to retreat.

This is accomplished by beginning the diet with extremely easy to digest, natural foods. This “intro diet” starts the healing process and then more complex foods are added back to the diet very slowly. By carefully adding foods back to the diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is individually tailored to each person’s state of injury and digestion abilities.

What Do I Eat Already?

Below is a quick summary of the Do’s and Do NOTS. Please check the official list before eating something.

Eat This:

Allowed Meats: Eggs, Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Fish, Pork, Wild Game, Bacon, Lamb

Allowed Vegetables: Fresh or frozen of most commonly eaten vegetables are acceptable (asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, pumpkin, spinach, squash, string beans, tomatoes and watercress) Click here for others

Allowed Fruits: Commonly found Fresh or Frozen or dried with nothing added are acceptable (apples, avocados, bananas (ripe with black spots), berries of all kinds, coconut, dates, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi fruit, kumquats, lemons, limes, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, prunes, raisins, rhubarb, tangerines) Click here for others

Dairy: SCD Yogurt, natural 30-day aged Cow and Goat cheeses (not Kraft – see below), Butter, Ghee, and Dry Curd Cottage Cheese (DCCC).

Nuts: Almonds, Pecans, Brazil nuts, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Cashews, Chestnuts (no additives for butters, salted mixes and flours)

Legumes: Peanuts, White beans, Navy Beans, Lentils, Split Peas, Lima beans, Kidney beans, Black beans

Spices: Most non-mixed spices are allowed, screen for anti-caking agents, and make sure the ingredients are listed

Not This:

No CEREAL GRAINS: Wheat, Barley, Corn, Rye, Oats, Rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Triticale, Bulgur, Spelt, Quinoa

Not Allowed Meats: Ham, Processed Sausages, Lunch meats, Bratwurst, Turkey dogs, Hot dogs

Not Allowed Vegetables: Canned are not allowed due to the usual addition of sugars, processing aids and preservative chemicals.

Not Allowed Fruits: Canned and most fruit juices are not allowed due to the common addition of sweeteners, preservatives, and processing aids.

Not Allowed Legumes: Soybeans, chick peas, bean sprouts, mungbeans, fava beans, garbanzo beans

Dairy: Commercial yogurts, milk of any kind, unnatural cheeses (Kraft and most other mainstream shredded cheeses fall into this group), all of the following cheeses: Cottage, Cream, Feta, Gejetost, Mozzarella, Neufchatel, Primost, Ricotta, Processed cheese spreads.

Starches/Tubers: Not allowed including Potatoes, Yams, Sweet potatoes, Arrowroot, Parsnip, Cornstarch, tapioca starch

Spices: No Curry powders, Most Onion and Garlic powders are filled with anti-caking agents

Drink This:

Weak tea or coffee, Water, Mineral Water, Club soda, Dry Wine, Gin, Rye, Scotch, Bourbon, Vodka

Not This:

Instant coffee, Most commercial juices, Milk, Soda Pop, Sweet Wines, Flavored Liqueurs, Brandy, Sherry

Sweeten With This:


Not This:

Sugar of any kind (Cane, Coconut, Table, etc), Agave syrup, Maple syrup, artificial sweeteners.

Ready to Get Started?

Grab Your Free Quick Start Guide Below:

Free Quick Start Guide!

Learn how to properly start the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

  • Get digestive relief fast with simple recipes
  • Grocery store checklist and step-by-step pictures
  • 1-week menu with safe, anti-inflammatory foods
  • More than 20,000 downloads!

In Good Health,

– Jordan and Steve

876 thoughts on “What Is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet?

  1. Avatar

    I had all standard tests to rule out any chronic conditions but the way my body reacts to wheat gluten, fruit and some vegetables tells me that something is wrong. I’ve just been diagnosed with osteoporosis at 33 and since I am taking calcium and vitamin D for over ten years now, I wonder why my body can’t process the nutrients. Could this diet help to ?repair´ my intestines to absorb the calcium and vitamin D?

  2. Avatar
    Cara G Montgomery says:

    Many of the foods allowed on the diet have been causing reactions for me. I’m down to a very minimal diet. How can this diet work if I can barely eat any of the “allowable” foods. My sensitivities seem to be growing!

  3. Avatar

    I’ve been on the SCD diet since the end of November 2017. I was diagnosed with GERD, and rather than take medications that only make things worse, I decided to try this diet. I haven’t noticed very much progress. My symptoms remain mostly as they were when I started, with perhaps nominal progress. In following the diet, I’ve also added supplements such as the HCL, enzymes and bitters. Wondering what else I may want to do? What am I missing? Any suggestions?

  4. Avatar

    I have been on the SCD diet strictly for about 1 1/2 months at least as best as I can based on what I know. I have been feeling much better since starting the diet. I should mention that I have been diagnosed with mild Crohn’s disease which includes an inflamed stricture in my colon. My small intestine is not inflamed. I did the intro diet for about 2 days (according to Elaine) and then started adding foods. I did not puree everything. I never did have diarrhea but did have some constipation. I was having a pain twinge in the area that has the stricture and depending on what I ate, was how bad and long the pain was. In the last month the pain pretty much dissipated with only a twinge here or there. In the last couple of days it has significantly increased, today being the worst but I haven’t added anything new. I eat the yogurt but I have since the beginning and have gotten better and better until yesterday. I did read in Elaine’s book that sometimes you get a set back after a couple of months, is that what this could be? I am looking for some help. I really don’t want to start from scratch all over again. Thanks for any advice.

    • Avatar

      HI Linda – It’s hard to say, as we do recommend pureeing your foods at least for the first 2 weeks of the diet and then followign the phases found in our eBook..This will help you determine problematic foods. We’d suggest some digestive enzymes for starters, as that should help:
      First, here’s a video where Jordan talks about digestive enzymes and how to use them: https://healthygut.com/2013/07/who-needs-digestive-enzymes-and-how-to-take-them/

      Here are some digestive enzymes we recommend:

      Digest Gold – http://amzn.to/XHZOjS

      Gi Pro Helath Prozymes – http://www.giprohealth.com/enzymes.aspx (SCD Legal)

      Thorne Dipan 9 – http://amzn.to/1bQ6aHM

      • Avatar
        Cyndie Ovalle says:

        Hi there my daughter has been battling Crohns for two years she is now 15
        Her colon so diseases that they would like to take it out is anybody on here that has some this diet and been able to heal to live a somewhat normal life? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated

    • Avatar
      Jenna Gardner says:


      Really interested reading about this diet. I have ulcerative colitis & have really struggled to get it under control for the last 18 months. It’s been hell really. My biggest problems are severe urgency, stomach pains & diahhorea. I was following a low fibre diet at one point to see if that would help – white bread etc, but I didn’t see a big difference in my symptoms. Can I ask why milk is not advised? I thought some whole milk was meant to be good for you?

  5. Avatar

    Hi. I’ve put my 10 y/o daughter on this diet after reading your website. She’s had severe allergies since birth. We’ve lived overseas her entire life and have battled/treated giardiasis for years. She’s exhibited signs of Celiac’s or gluten intolerance for the last year or more. We recently treated our family for positive H.Pylori tests and hoped that would cure her chronic stomach discomfort. We started the SCD diet and a full elimination diet (eggs, dairy, nuts, grain) about 2 months ago after a terrible gluten reaction. Her stomach pain is significantly reduced but hurts now because she’s always hungry, I believe. She had a faint rash on her trunk for several days and now has a red rash and her hands and between her fingers. We reintroduced eggs a few days ago. Could this cause the rash? Are all these things normal? Is it ok for her to eat unlimited fruit? She’s always starving. (btw- we’ve not officially tested her because the country we live in doesn’t have adequate testing facilities. We do have a home test but I’m hesitant to reintroduce gluten just for the test.) Thank you so much for any advice or suggestions. Any help is truly appreciated. Blessings.

    • Avatar

      Hi Tanya – whether to not she has a confirmed diagnosis of Celiac Disease, gluten can cause digestive distress and we’d suggest omitting it from the diet for at least 3 months at the very least. Eggs can certainly cause a reaction, as they are part of the four horseman we talk about here (so is fruit): https://healthygut.com/2011/03/what-to-do-when-the-scd-diet-isnt-working/ We’d recommend digestive enzymes and probiotics for your daughter – Here are some SCD legal suggestions for kids: phttp://www.pecanbread.com/p/Sup1.html

    • Avatar
      Victoria Shaw says:

      I believe the sense that she is always hungry is actually healing going on in her intestines. It is a pulling feeling. I and my son feel it even soon after having eating a calorie rich meal.
      Rashes are a clearing out of toxins. Observe, keep a record of symptoms and persevere.
      Good luck.

    • Avatar

      Hi Tanya,

      It definitely sounds like your daughter could have an egg allergy. Upon doing an elimination diet and then adding eggs back in, I too suffered from terrible rashes (the rashes were very painful). If your daughter is having stomach pain it could also be from the diet itself. A lot of vegetables with few simple carbohydrates (like rice) make me feel very bloated and uncomfortable. Unfortunately the way food is grown nowadays makes any special diet very difficult. Meats found in grocery stores are typically treated with preservatives to last longer and are often found to have high levels of dioxin. Vegetables that have also gone through many rounds of genetic modification are also very difficult to digest with a damaged digestive system. If your daughter is really struggling with not getting enough calories, you can also try adding back in quinoa or rice and see how she reacts. A little about myself: I have a severe case of Celiac’s disease and a slew of food allergies (dairy, soy, eggs, cashews, pistachios, mango, some preservatives and food colorings). I started off on this diet but have altered it to include quinoa and rice, and have limited my meats to wild-caught fish. – I feel completely better now. But it required a lot of alteration to get where I am today.

  6. Avatar


    I was wondering if there is any gut health related difference between this and a keto-paleo diet? I’ve been following the latter for a year now without much success for my gut health, and, as I see it, I’ve already been avoiding all the foods on your “avoid”-list.

    Kind regards

  7. Avatar

    Wondering if Bragg’s liquid aminos and nutritional yeast are allowed on the SCD diet?
    Thank you!

  8. Avatar

    I was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 48 during my 1st routine colonoscopy in the year 2000. It was discovered by that time an arthritis infusion process using Remicade was also helpful for Crohn’s disease. I underwent Remicade infusions every 6 weeks for about 15 years before the effectiveness of the treatment became too ineffective to bother with. The Remicade worked well up to that time. I was able to maintain my weight.
    After the Remicade process became ineffective, I started to gradually lose weight. At 6’2″ and close to 190lbs in 2010, I have lost weight continuously until now I weight about 128lbs. I lost almost all of my energy, and I can now see that I will die in the not too distant future.
    Thinking about death caused me to do a little light research on the subject of Crohns. Yesterday, I finally started my research. Almost immediately I found the YouTube video “10 Keys to Conquer Crohn’s & Colitis” by Jordan on the Dr. Josh Axe YouTube channel. It is very inspiring and very good information.
    However, I lost my wife to Mesothelioma two years ago. For over two years I have been eating baked beans from a can. Obviously, this is not working for me. I think it is time to attempt to develop some cooking skills, since I have not been able to interest any women in myself – lol.
    The video was great, but it did not provide any suggested meals or recipes. This site looks great for recipes, but most of them are beyond my current capabilities. I wonder if anyone can point me to beginner recipes. Note: I went through all my cupboards last night searching for something to eat. All items included gluten, or whatever, except for the Quaker Oats (old fashioned). There is nothing else in my pantry or cupboards that would be SCD. So a shopping list would be very helpful as well!
    Skinny in Mineral, Wa

    • Avatar
      Margaret Horner says:

      Hi…I have had Colitis for over 35 years. I tried this diet for 2 yrs without much relief. I came upon a Facebook group called Heal Your gut and thats where I found out about Kefir. ii highly recommend this fermented drink as for the first time i=I feel normal. If your gut is compromised you will experience what is called “die off” where it may feel like youre not getting better but if you continue drinking Kefir (1 litre a day for 2 months) i can assure you it will make your life so much better. Drugs are NOT the way to go as it is likely your issues are from taking antibiotics.

      • Avatar
        Kathryn Jones says:

        Dear Margaret, Your story intrigued me and I wonder whether you make your own Kefir or you purchase it? If purchased, which brand do you buy? Thanks for sharing your experiences. Best regards, Kathryn

  9. Avatar

    Are you aware of any information or research available on whether Black Seed Oil is beneficial in treating SIBO? Would you recommend incorporating it into an SCD diet? Thank you!

  10. Avatar


    I got Ulcerative Colitis for 2 years and very bad, I am hoping this diet will help me but i wanna know if we can take medication with this diet. I am on mesalazine 4grams a day and Anti-TNF bioligics for several months which are keeping me away from bleeding. So whilst I love to try this diet, I cant forgo the medication because it would destroy me. Can i still try this diet while on the medication?

    • Avatar

      HI Sal – first off we always recommend consulting with your doctor about your medications. You can still do the diet while on medications, as that shouldn’t be an issue.

  11. Avatar

    Tests reveal I have a parasite, Cyclospora. Treating with an herbal protocol given me by my nutritionist. I have other issues, SIBO for one. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this parasite?

    Thanks, Eric Hissom

  12. Avatar

    Hi there,
    A friend of mine gave me your SCD book because I have two autoimmune diseases and have been diagnosed with a leaky gut. I have tried this diet and was very strict on it for about a week but last night, I just couldn’t resist eating nutella and meringues. Now I was wondering if I would have to start all over again with the into diet or if I can just carry on where I left off. I really felt great while on it but the setback is pretty bad, can feel the flare up. Sugar is definitely my biggest problem..Please help!

  13. Avatar

    My son over the last few days has been getting these excruciating headaches on and off when he has a bowel movement. I am not sure if this is related to your topic here but was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to proceed with testing. I find that many times doctors just don’t know or can’t be bothered so this makes me nervous that they will misdiagnose. I would like to go in armed with some direction we can look into.

    • Avatar

      Hi Aaron, just saw the post about severe headaches with bowel movements. There are medical problems that can cause headaches with valsalva (bearing down as in during a bowel movement.) They have to do with the changes in pressure transmitted to the brain and upper spinal cord and sometimes can reflect a more serious problem to be addressed. I recognize this is a “natural” website and many won’t want to hear this. But consider seeing a neurologist for valsalva induced headaches. Or researching the topic. If there is a problem then early diagnosis and good information can be key. If there isn’t, then you’ll be reassured.

      Best of luck!

    • Avatar

      Aaron, here is a link to a study on valsalva induced headaches. Variously also known as exertional and cough headaches. Perhaps taking a copy of this article might help give your doctor the direction you feared might be lacking. It is published by the National institutes of health.


      Best of luck to both you and your son!


  14. Avatar

    Day nine. 4 Days of intro, 5th day in phase one. Following religiously. However, my constipation is worse than ever. It is clear that BTVC was geared toward relieving diarrhea as a predominant symptom. I have this “gut” feeling that this diet is not for me, and my particular condition. I’ve done the constipation protocol. Feeling worse and worse, disheartened. In pain. It is difficult to have faith in this when all the evidence is that is hurting rather than helping. Not sure I have a question. Maybe: any guidance, given the situation? Thanks.

    • Avatar

      HI Eric – constipation (after issues wit diarrhea) can be a sign your absorbing nutrients again. However, regular bowel movements are important. Have you tried the buffered C and magnesium?

  15. Avatar

    When do I introduce dairy? The Phase charts have no dairy through Phase 5, the sample menus have no dairy. Yet, you say in the book: “if you can tolerate cow or goat cheese be sure and melt some of this on you burger.” You say this in Phase! Any guidance on this? Thanks, E

    • Avatar

      HI Eric –
      Yogurt is to be introduced when your symptoms have calmed down and you have had some time to heal. There is no specific time, but we do recommend around the 4th week of the diet, as we want to introduce the healthy bacteria as early as your body will allow.

  16. Avatar

    I have IBS. Constipation predominant, but plenty of diarrhea too. I listened to Cris Kresser’s chat with Dr. Kenneth Brown, who has developed a supplement called Antrantil, which supposedly is targeted for IBS-C and methane predominant overgrowth. Does anyone have experience with this supplement? And would you recommend taking it during the intro diet? At what point in the diet should I start taking it? Thanks.

  17. Avatar
    allicia mendyk says:

    I have been following SCD for about two months now. My biggest concerns have always been constipation, gas/bloating and feeling very full/heavy. I was diagnosed with SIBO and worked with a naturopath to correct this but after two months of SCD I am finding that I haven’t been able to introduce any foods without having any issues. All that I have been able to eat is the soup, beef/chicken, and butternut squash. I have been taking magnesium calm to help with constipation, as well as digestive enzymes and HCL hoping that those would help with my digestion problems but have had no luck. It seems that any of the fruits and veggies in phase 1 and 2 seem to bother me and Im not sure where to go from here as I would like to be able to eat more foods but I have no appetite and am having lots of digestive issues. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated!

  18. Avatar

    Hi, my naturopath recently suggested this diet

    The one thing I find hard is the removal of all grains and starchy veges. As a naturally thin tall guy with fast metabolism who’s active, I’ve always had to eat quite a lot of these (particular sweet potato/rice) to maintain weight and muscle.

    I’m just not sure how I’m going to meet my ~3,200 calories without going crazy on fats and proteins, which surely also can’t be a good thing?

    Really want to commit but just need some advice around this. I realise many people are the opposite (looking to lose weight) so it’s harder to find info on following these guidelines while trying to maintain weight.

  19. Avatar

    My wife at 70 yrs. came down with psoriasis ! i could not believe it.
    Any thoughts on this diet for psoriasis ?
    A Dr. said she is allergic to Vit -E–after all these years ?? I don’t believe it.

  20. Avatar

    Hello my name is Thomas Karol , my husband was suffering from liver cancer, and the doctor’s told me that there is nothing they could do to save my beloved husband life. Then a friend told me about hemp oil , i told her that my husband liver cancer was in the last stage that i don’t think the hemp oil will be able to help, and she persuaded me to try, for the love of my husband, i decided to give it a try. I did some research and i found a doctor who helped me with the cannabis oil to cure my husband liver cancer and he assured me that after 3 months the liver cancer will be gone, and For the past one year my husband is perfectly okay and he is free from cancer, if you know any one who is suffering from cancer you can save his/her life by contacting Dr. Brown Nelson via his email : (brownnelson07@aol.com) it worked exactly as the doctor prescribed. Thanks to Dr. Brown Nelson for taking away sorrow in my life. God will bless Dr. Brown Nelson for helping me with cannabis oil and for his support and care, i will keep on help you to fight cancer in the World, all i have to say is THANK YOU LORD.

  21. Avatar
    Carol Wowchuck says:

    Hi folks! I just fold out I was diagnosed with Disaccharidase Deficiency, which is a genetic disorder where my body is lacking enzymes to digest most sugars that are more than a single chain, meaning I should only be eating monosaccharides. I was apparently diagnosed years ago, but was not told (it’s a long story). I have been fighting with my diet for years, and have been on a low sugar diet to begin with, so my symptoms have only been moderate. I wanted to know if this diet really IS the correct diet for me? Thanks for your time!

    • Avatar

      Hi Carol – no one can tell you with 100% certainty that any diet is right for you – if they do, they are lying!! However, based on what you’re describing, it sounds like SCD could be a great fit for you. The only way to find out for sure is to give it a try 🙂

  22. Avatar

    Are the “siete almond flour tortillas” allowed on this diet? Ingredients are almond flour, tapioca flour, water, sea salt, xantham gum.

  23. Avatar

    I am new here. I went on wahls and got really sick on it. My celiac came out full blast with IBS symptoms. I did some research and realized I need to go low fodmap, which excludes a lot that is on this diet. I was hesitant in the past because of the eggs. I found out that honey is not good for IBS symptoms. So how can scd use it for digestive auto-immune diseases like celiac? I am looking into this and Dr. Mercola’s diet.

  24. Avatar
    Shivam Gupta says:

    hey am constipated so what normal things i can eat regulurly to get rid of this fastly and betterly. last time i used some medicines and i become good but as their effect i get ulcers in my mouth badly but after some time i again get constipated and its fourth day i didnt go for pooping so please tell me what i can eat to become healthy.

  25. Avatar

    If I’m traveling and can only get canned beans to eat (staying in a hotel room)… If I buy organic and rinse them with water before eating, would that be okay?

    Thanks in advance!!!!

    • Avatar

      Hi Mary – canned beans are not legal on the SCD diet and can be problematic for those w digestive issues. But of course if this is your only choice of food you don’t want to starve either:)

      • Avatar

        Is it just because of the can? Would beans in a pouch be okay?? (like this: https://www.luckyvitamin.com/p-663909-fig-food-company-organic-black-beans-15-oz) The beans in the pouch are organic and the only ingredients are beans and water (I asked if they add anything while processing that they don’t list and they said no). I have to travel quite in the next few months and they would make things super easy but of course don’t want to be doing any damage.

        Thanks again!!

        • Avatar

          HI Mary – beans can be hard to break down and can cause gas and bloating as the bad bacteria have the opportunity to feed on the undigested molecules. There are worse things you could eat I suppose on your trip, but we’d suggest looking for a different SCD legal staple food while traveling. Here are some ideas: https://healthygut.com/?s=travel

  26. Avatar

    I have leaky gut sydrome and my main problem is rosacea and ezcema. I am highly reactive to all dairy and eggs. I also cannot eat a lot of food listed under your list. I cannot eat almond. Is macadamia nut, flaxseed oil, olive oil allowed under this diet? thanks

    • Avatar

      HI Marcy – you can tailor the diet to fit your needs. There is a very speicif way in which all nuts are introduced on the diet. Olive oil is just fine to consume.

    • Avatar

      Marcy, I have the same issues as those that you listed: Eczema, am reactive to dairy, eggs, almonds and other things. I am curious to know how and if this diet has helped you? Thanks!

  27. Avatar

    Hi, my wife has RA and it keeps progressing. Now the doctor wants her to take Biologic s to knock out the immune system. Shes on Methotrexate currently. Will this diet help active RA. do you think, or should we be looking at other diets. We have discovered that there is alot of info out there about Leaky Gut and food and what its doing to some people. My wife had bad Acne when younger and we have a daughter with very bad acne today. Please comment
    Thanks so much.

  28. Avatar


    I am interested in this diet as I KNOW there is a connection between diet and . At issue is that I am anaphylactic to eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and milk, so I depend on soy and coconut yogurts and proteins. And I cannot use almond flour without an Epipen.



    • Avatar

      Hi Barbara – the SCD diet can be tweaked to fit your needs. Many find that as they heal their gut they’re able to tolerate more foods, so we’d suggest starting out and adjusting it. Our tough case meal plans are egg, nut, dairy and grain free so you can check those out here if you’re interested: https://healthygut.com/meal-plans/

  29. Avatar

    Please forgive me if this question has already been asked, but would these diet be alright for a child? My daughter turns 11 in two months. She has had blood tests for coeliac and just last week had an endoscopy. The Gastroenterologist is about 99% certain that she has got coeliac disease. The biopsies should be back in a day or two. Any other suggestions for children? Her Ferratin is within range but on the very low end of the scale. I remember a doctor recently mentioning that she has low (?) Vit D. Her only symptom was tiredness/lethargy. I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as dies my older daughter who is 24. Thank you so very much for all of this information!! We live in Brisbane, Australia.

  30. Avatar

    What is the recommendation regarding resistant starch such as potato starch and scd? Resistant starch is widely thought to be good for bacterial growth in the colon and i said to pass the small intestine without degradation.

    My best /Ingmarie

    • Avatar

      HI Ingmarie – while most starch is illegal (and so are potatoes) there is a time and place for resistant starch to help proliferate the good bacteria. We’d suggest testing this out once your symptoms have calmed down and your diet is dialed in. WE do not recommend resistant starch for anyone with SIBO or candida issues.

    • Avatar

      HI Angie – teh SCD diet can be adjusted to fit your needs. Many of the foods highest in oxalates (like chocolate, a great deal of fruit and grain) aren’t a part of the SCD diet any way. The only dairy we suggest is yogurt and this can be made with goat milk or nut milk instead of cow’s milk. Let us know how we can support you!

  31. Avatar

    Hello. I suffer frow severe acid reflux. Started scd diet 2 weeks ago. I fell a bit better but still not satisfied as I get hearthburn and indigestion after most of my meals. How mutch time it usualy takes for scd diet to work? Maybe I’m just very inpacient.

  32. Avatar

    Can I eat gluten free oatmeal on this diet? Also, how do I insure enough fiber in the introductory phase of this diet? Don’t see much natural fiber in the diet in the beginning and constipation has been an issue.

    I recently had a very minor flare up of diverticulitis (just some tenderness) and want to get started…

  33. Avatar
    Christina Booth says:

    Hello, my son has been on this diet successfully for 2 months now for treatment of Crohn’s disease. After being stable for 7 years He had a flare that lasted for 3 months even despite heavy meds. This diet has changed his life in very positive ways. My question is this, is sodium nitrate allowed? I found fresh bacon, but it has sodium nitrate. Also, you have ham listed as an illegal. I did find a pork butt (basically ham not pre-cooked and seasoned), I believe that should not be a problem for him. Am I right? Thanks for your help!

    • Avatar

      HI Christina – thanks for reaching out! So great to hear of your sons success on the diet thus far:) Sodium Nitrate is not specified as legal or illegal according to Breaking the Vicious Cycle’s website. IF the meat is local, not precooked, and/or seasoned with additives it is generally recognized as safe. Test it out when symptoms have calmed down and see how he does:) We’d also love to hear more of your son’s story! One of the most powerful ways we’re able to help other’s is through sharing stories. Please shoot me an email at lorijo@scdlifestle.com if you’d like to help others by sharing your own story:)

  34. Avatar

    I am wondering if this SCD lifestyle would be beneficial to me.
    My current naturopath recommended i go gluten- and dairy- free, mainly to deal with me missing my periods & having closed comedones on my face.
    Apparently the dairy (even ghee, or dairy-derived probiotics) will always have the excess hormones, since it is from the milk of a cow who naturally has more hormones because she was pregnant. I believe that the hormones are the culprit that have contributed to the closed comedones and missing many periods.
    Do you think i should stay dairy free on this SCD, or do you think i can experiment with the legal dairy (cheeses & ghee) found here.
    I have signed up for the webinar, and look forward to learning how i can improve my health.
    Many thanks

    • Avatar

      Hi Vic Most find they feel much better while going off of all dairy. You can slowly introduce the SCD yogurt as described in the eBook as a great source of probiotics. If you choose, you can test out some of the other legal dairy foods but it’s important to eliminate those for now so you can see how you feel with out it.

  35. Avatar

    Why is Primal Defense on the avoid list if someone is doing this diet for Crohn’s . I thought it was specifically formulated for healing.

    • Avatar

      HI Leah – I’m not exactly sure which primal defense product your speaking of but I am guessing it’s a probiotic. Anything on the SCD “illegal” list is because it has the potential to feed pathogenic bacteria and thus prevent the gut from healing. There are some exceptions to the rule, but in general we do want to avoid products that contain fillers, additives, etc. that could potentially do more harm than good.

  36. Avatar

    I have been battling what seems to be SIBO for almost a year. I have been gluten free and dairy free and mostly sugar free for 9 months and have very little luck. I explored the SCD for a bit, but then my Doc said just try the GF and DF diet. So I discontinued my SCD diet. Now my new GI Doc wants me to try FODMAP diet..which is fine.
    But it quite interesting the differences between FODMAP and SCD.

    My bowels are normal..all of my symptoms are Belching- crazy Belching all of the time- regardless if I am eating or not. I wake up in the am belching. I drink water- I belch, etc..and some stomach/intestinal pain. Minimal gas and healthy lower GI bowels.

    I am at a bit of a loss on what diet to follow and what to do.
    I have been taking a boatload of supplements/herbs to “kill” the SIBO causing bacteria and replenishing with probiotics but I am not supposed to eat any probiotic foods like kraut, kefir, etc.. based on whatever any diet is or isn’t recommending.

    I am totally frustrated at this point and would like some guidance or ideas of best place to “restart” again for the SIBO situation.
    Thanks for your thoughts!


  37. Avatar

    How would I know if I need candida diet? How do you know if you have fungal overgrowth in your gut? Is the SCD enough to start with? I have had bloating, terrible headaches and nausea after I eat for YEARS!!! I know many foods that I can avoid to reduce the frequency of these symptoms but there seems to be less and less that I can eat. Help! (Digestive enzymes help somewhat)

    • Avatar

      HI Monica, thanks for reaching out! There is testing available for Candida but you can also just go off symptoms you’re having that could be caused by candida. Some of the main ones are: cravings for sweets, brain fog, depressed immune system, gas and bloating and a white coated tongue to name a few. Changing your diet is a great first step in recovering, but starving it with dietary changes isn’t quite enough. You’ll need supplement to also combath the overgrowth and we’d suggest a protocol similar to this one here: http://gutinfections.scdlifestyle.com/

  38. Avatar

    Any thoughts on SCD Diet helping with hiatal hernia caused by h pylori? H pylori treated and healed but left with weak les valve and hiatal hernia.

    • Avatar

      Hi Jo – yes we would definitely suggest the SCD diet in this case. Any thing you can do to do decrease inflammation of the stomach, heal the gut, and normalize the function of the LES is going to help. Healing the gut can also keep H. Pyori from recurring easily as well. Also be aware of the effects of slouching and constipation as contributors of the hernia.

  39. Avatar

    Four or five years ago I was diagnosed with collagenous colitis. With the help of my naturopath I’ve managed it with diet, staying away from gluten, dairy, sugar, and a list of individual foods to which I had developed sensitivities, determined by AlCat blood tests. At first all I could eat was cangee: plain white rice cooked to death (for about 4 hours); I guess that made it more digestible. For the last year or two I’ve been mostly symptom (frequent diarrhea) free, except for times of emotional upset or when I experimented with adding back forbidden foods. And except for abdominal bloating, which I seem to be stuck with for life.

    Recently I had eye surgery, and added lactoferrin and black currant seed oil to my supplement regimen, to combat the dry-eye side effect of the surgery. About a month after the surgery I started experiencing explosive diarrhea; at first intermittently, then constantly. I stopped the dry-eye supplements, then stopped almost all supplements, to give my body a rest. I found that broccoli, never before a problem, even well cooked would cause gut explosions. I’ve also had to eliminate apple juice and even cooked pears.

    Do you have any recommendations specifically for collagenous colitis?

  40. Avatar

    Why make your own yogurt and almond milk if you can find organic options without any illegal items added, just trying to understand why it says make your own

    • Avatar

      Hi Natasha –

      If you can find high-quality almond milk without any added gums, stabilizers, thickeners, or other additives (so just almonds and water) – go for it!

      SCD yogurt is special in that it is fermented for 24 hours. No store bought yogurt we’ve ever found is fermented 24 hours – and the long ferment helps get rid of any milk sugars that could cause a flare. We don’t recommend subbing store-bought yogurt for SCD yogurt. Making yogurt is fun and easy – I promise 🙂

  41. Avatar

    Hi, I’m really wanting to start this diet, I have coeliac disease and know there are many types of grain that I can’t tolerate, I also have problems with fructose and get sore tummies a lot, my coeliac antibody level has still not got down to a normal level after two years of being completely gluten free and I think it’s because my body is so damaged from having it for so long and not knowing and I just want to get back to normal!
    I saw that in the start up diet you have beef patties with it, I can’t have beef and I can’t have fish either or eggs!!! Is there something else I can replace the beef and eggs with? Thanks

  42. Avatar

    I got diagnosed a year ago with diverticulitis. I’m going through a really bad flare up at the moment. Would this diet be appropriate? I’m in so much pain and have no energy.

  43. Avatar

    I have Hashimoto’s (my antibodies are down to 66 and my thyroid levels are in “normal” range) and I am 1 week in to the 6 week Elimination Diet. I am only allowed to eat lean meats, certain fruits and veggies, and sweet potatoes. I dot feel any better yet nor do I have more energy, in fact, I’m more tired. I’ve read that the SDC diet may be better than the elimination diet, but I’m confused. I have no gastrointestinal symptoms and my bowel system actually works great. I’m sure I have some level of an impermeable gut though. Do you recommended the strict Elimination Diet to start and them move to the SCD diet?

    • Avatar

      Hi Sydney – dairy products aren’t necessarily bad, but they do cause problems for many people digestively. If you tolerate them well, you can reintroduce them after some time on SCD

  44. Avatar

    Hi, I probably have Celiac and certainly Chron’s disease. Celiac could not be tested according to my doctor because I didn’t eat gluten for 16 years. I am just not able to eat gluten because of severe complaints the day after. Now my doctor advises me to try the famous FODMAP diet from Australië. I am very hesitant to start it. What if my symptoms get worse? What is your opinion on the FODMAP diet? It seems to have great effect on IBS people.

  45. Avatar
    Baban Safari says:

    I’ve been diagnosed with crohn’s since 2005, before that I had lots of bloating and severe pains and the constant bathroom trips. I was referred to gastroenterologist and after going thru Hospital checkups bloods tests he told me I might have crohn’s, after the tests it was obvious so I was put on Humira out of the other choices like steroids. After year of being on humira I still had lots of bathroom trips but the pain was gone and I also watching diet. A year later my pains came back I was admitted to the hospital for three days, the inflammation had gotten worse Humira didn’t seem to have helped. Then I met a guy at the hospital who told me about the SCD diet that he had gone thru with the diet and symptoms disappeared. Right away I started to read about it and evem ordered the book breaking the Vicious Cycle. When I got out of the hospital I started the diet. Eliminating the food that was making my life a living hell. It’s been a over two weeks everything is fine. But I have one question… My question is that because I love coffee I no longer use regular cream or milk for my coffee is still okay to use lactose free cream or should that be eliminated as well.? Thank you guys here at SCD DIET for all your help you guys are lifesavers sorry to have bore you guys with my history.

  46. Avatar

    i have recenty diagnosed with celiac disease…doctor advised me to take glutene free diet….IS SCD DIET IS BETTTER FOR ME than GFD

  47. Avatar

    Hi ! I was diagnosed with moderate CD about 5 weeks ago. The Dr. wanted to put me on Remicade right away but I refused. I only had symptoms last summer and they were mild. The reason they found the CD was because I was admitted in november for tachycardia (heart rate >130 bpm) and then the blood test revealed elevated CRP levels… so after many many scans they found inflammation in the last 25 cm of my ileum and ulcers 🙁

    So I started the SCD diet 4 weeks ago. Since I don’t usually have alot of GI symptoms (slight diffuse abdominal pain) so it was tricky for me to know how fast to advance in the diet. I just monitored my heart rate and my degree of fatigue. But just after the 1st week on the diet, my heart rate dropped from 120 to 65-70 bpm! My energy was back up and I was feeling great. My CRP levels 4 weeks later were in the normal. My fecal calprotectin is in the grey zone (174), but I don’t have an initial value to compare it to.
    I did the intro diet for 2 days then slowly started adding in phase 1 and phase 2 foods. I introduced raw fruit during phase 2 because I felt like I could tolerate it. I don’t have any raw veggies (except juice) or whole nuts or beans/lentils.
    However, about a week ago I started Jinni’S Wild Oregano oil protocol and my heart rate is back up to 100 and I feel fatigued. I don’t know if I’m Herxing (die off) from the wild oregano or the diet itself. Also, I read in a SCD cookbook that raspberries should be introduced at least 3 months into the diet. has anyone else heard of that?.. I’ve been eating so many blueberries, blackberries and raspberries lately since it’s summer. They don’t hurt me… but then again my heart rate is back up! What do you guys think it could be? I had a food journal the first 2 weeks then just forgot to fill it in.
    But honnestly, I eat pretty much the same foods daily : eggs, chicken, meat, cooked : buttersquash, bok choy, onions, asparagus,tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, spinach, basil, peppers. Bone broth, jello. And i have raw fruits. The only food that I know bothers me a bit are the peppers so I barely have any of those unless I overcook them. The veggies listed above were introduced gradually and did not affect me nor my heart rate in the begining of the diet…

    Anyways, right now I stopped the wild oregano and the strong probiotic doses. I’ll wait another 4-5 days to see if my heart rate drops and my energy increases. In the mean time I am juicing green veggies to help detox and drinking plenty of water and increasing my OmegaGenics dose (1 capsule twice daily) to help decreasing the inflammation which is probably causing my increased heart rate.

    Thanks :_

      • Avatar

        Hi Mariel,
        Please see my above reply to Mary. It appears she has salicylate poisoning, as do I, and as a nutritionist I now can recognize this dangerous situation since learning and reading much about it in the fall. I just read Steve’s article about phenols and sals, and found it helpful and glad to learn more about phenols. I just want to mention to you what I told Mary about how common it probably is today…and how dangerous and debilitating it is too so that SCDLifestyle can be very aware of it, especially since the diet has lots of sals foods.
        Thanks for all the great work you guys do! I have recommended you many times to people
        Maureen McGovern, DT

    • Avatar

      Hi Mary,
      I had to reply because your symptoms sound very much like salicylate poisoning. I know because I finally figured out what the h*ll was making me sicker and sicker the last 10 years. The more I followed the Mediterranean diet and upped my fruits and berries and nuts and coffee and teas and coconut oil and wine and beer and honey and spices…THE SICKER I GOT. Salicylates a.k.a. salicylic acid a.k.a. aspirin are naturally occuring pesticides/toxins/poisons in many plants, especially from around the equator and organic ones! This is actually a very common problem that ically no one knows about because sals are present in most processed foods and personal care products because it is a natural preservative! And if you’re taking aspirin daily, look out! The 4 main symptoms of aspirin overdose are tacchycardia, hyperthermia, hyperventilation, and hearing loss. BUT chronic poisoning, like most of us have, are many many symptoms, including Afib and other heart symptoms, ulcers and many gut problems, brain fog, memory loss, dementia, aggression, depression, anger, tension, mood swings, weight gain, no energy, headaches. You name it…YOU’RE POISONED!!! I have found alot of relief since avoiding the sals, but it’s not easy to do since they are practically in.all foods and personal care products! Also, of course, it’s going to take a long time for the body to heal. I’ve already cured all my heart symptoms in a few months…including terrible AFib…and have seen other terrible symptoms go away like overheating and terrible mood problems. I recommend the website http://www.salicylatesensitivity.com. for lots of important info. I will even give you my email address if you’d like. I am a nutritionist, who loves the SCD diet, but would be glad to help you (no charge) all I can.

  48. Avatar

    A warning should go out to let people know if you have Adrenal Fatigue and a lot of people with leaky gut *have* Adrenal Fatigue you shouldn’t follow this diet. If you have Adrenal Fatigue, following this diet will make you much worse.

    If you are not familiar with Adrenal Fatigue but believe you have leaky gut, I advise you to read about AF to see if you might have it.

    Adrenal Fatigue can easily cause Candida & LG. It did mine! Only when I treat AF as well as Candida & LG do I have wonderful results. But before I realized I had Adrenal Fatigue I tried everything on my Candida and Leaky Gut. I never made *any* progress.

    When you have Adrenal Fatigue you become low in serotonin. A huge percentage of serotonin is stored in the gut. I also read that serrotonin has antifungal properties! That alone makes a person susceptible to candida! And candida causes leaky gut.

    Not only that, but with Adrenal Fatigue the body becomes dehydrated on a cellular level. Dehydration is an open invitation to candida!

    When I realized I had Candida & LG I asked my doctor about it. He told me a body has to have something wrong for it to develope C & LG. And he was right.

    I hope this helps people bc I went 6 years working on my C & LG with no results and a lot of disheartening frustration not to mention a lighter wallet.

  49. Avatar


    I never shop for myself- till now. The first meat I bought – was chicken slices.
    I though I was doing good. NOPE. Bad sibo symptoms in one hour!. Then read the
    label- oops lots of additives.


    Next shop trip, I went to the MAIN MEAT counter. { like big pieces of uncut ham,, etc }.

    HUH? reading the labels – they had as many additives –
    and about the same ones — as the processed / lunch meat section!



    • Avatar

      Hi Larry – I’m sorry you’re struggling! If you don’t have a lot of experience shopping for food or cooking the diet can seem a little overwhelming. When Steve and Jordan started they were just two college guys who had NO experience in the kitchen.

      They figured everything out and broke it down as simply as possible in our eBook here: http://scdlifestylebook.com/

      Chapter 5 is all about meat – what kind to buy, where to get it, and how to cook it!

  50. Avatar


    Diagnosed with UC a year ago, still have symptoms with bleeding. Doc says I’m allergic to the 5-asas and I’m not responding to cortenema.

    Been looking at diets last couple days as I’m convinced the disease can be handled and managed with a proper diet and lifestyle. However, during a flare would you recommend this diet? Typically it’s advised to adhere to a low residue diet during flares, but easily digestible carbs are obviously off limits with this diet.

    I feel at a loss.

  51. Avatar

    Hi, I have SIBO, functional dyspepsia, and cystic acne. I know I want to eliminate grains, sweetners (cane sugar, maple syrup, agave, artificial sweetners, etc.), and dairy (except for eggs and organic unsalted butter maybe) from my diet, and I have started eliminating foods high in FODMAPS from my diet already. I’ve had 1 round of treatment for my SIBO (7 days of Flagyl), but idk if it was successful; and my motility specialist warned me SIBO is often a life-long struggle that requires diet interventions for symptom management. I keep food journals and can tell coffee – even weak coffee – really jupmtarts my cystic acne breakouts. Until recently I was not able to have most vegetables or fruits because last year I had developed borderline delayed gastric emptying due to being over-Rx’d antibiotics for throat infections. My gastric emptying rate is now back to normal. I’mI’m very glad I found your website, and I did order a paperback version of Breaking The Vicious Cycle already. In the meantime though when I click on the links to the quick start guide here I don’t see a button or url on that page that downloads or re-directs me to the guide. Any help you could offer would be appreciated because I would love more information about the intro phase to the SCD.

  52. Avatar

    hi all,
    i have suffered Ulcerative colitis for over 20 yrs diagnosed when i was 24, but right now i really need to gain some control over it.
    i have bought the SCD book and i am just starting to read it. my doctors have always said that diet has no effect on UC, flare ups have always just been something that comes along when they like? i usually have flare ups that last around 18 months, then i’m symptom free for a year, sometimes two. of course ‘symptom free’ for me is only using the toilet 5 – 10 times a day flitting between diarrhea and constipation? but they always come back, usually worse each time.
    i’m a typical bloke, i like red meat, bread, booze etc so this will be a huge life change for me, but i feel so ill right now, sluggish, old, bloated etc. i’ve been taking immunosupressants (azathioprine) for over 15 yrs, countless courses of steroids and trips to hospital, and i push so much stuff up my back side i can barely sit down most of the time. (sorry to be crass).
    there has to be a better way.

    • Avatar

      Hi Dean – it seems kind of silly to us to think that what you eat would have no effect on your digestion process and a disease like UC and we’re glad you agree. It’s like saying what soaps and lotions you use would have no effect on eczema. Sure – your eczema might not be CAUSED by what lotion you’re using, but if you switch from a scented lotion to pure coconut oil, your eczema still might improve.

      There’s no way for us to know if you’ll improve on SCD – but we’ve seen this diet help so many people! You can get started here: https://healthygut.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

  53. Avatar
    Subramanian says:

    I am from India and since last 2-3 years have been suffering with Crohns disease. Recently I have purchased Elaines book on SCD. I am a pure vegan and till date have been having Rice and Gluten breads with veggies. I can see in the book that Elaine has suggested to eat fish, chicken, egg apart from apple cider, and apple mash for the first few weeks. My query is, is this SCD diet specifically for people residing in western countries and not for Asian origins. Does weather also play a role with the diet. Since in India and specifically where I live its very hot and humid, so would the food I take as per SCD create issues because of the hot/humid weather. What are the alternatives I can try. I have frequent bouts of bloating and gaseous motions and pain all throughout my body which I feel is the side effect of Crohns. Does anyone feel like this.
    Please suggest

  54. Avatar

    I was diagnosed with celiac disease some months ago and I’ve been on a gluten-free (and lactose-free) diet since then. I feel much better. However, as I still have many symptoms consistent with leaky gut/SIBO, I’ve started an SCD diet. But I’m really concerned about losing (more) weight. I’ve always been skinny and I cannot afford losing even a pound!
    Any Ideas?
    By the way, any of you has experienced tinnitus and hearing loss problems? Did they improve with the diet?

  55. Avatar
    Cillian Gavin says:

    Hi.i have Crohns and for the past 2 months my symptoms have been the worst they ever have. 5+very loose stool. Cramps that last 24 hours. Low energy and drive. Have you come across anyone with simillar problems. I am very tempted to start the diet

  56. Avatar

    Hey Guys,

    Dealing with really bad acid reflux for years. As a professional singer, it’s gotten to the point where it’s burning my vocal chords and I’m having trouble singing. Very anxious to do this. I’ve already read the book and ready to start. I have one question, though. In Elaine’s book I see that she talks about using Vitamins, in your quick start guide I didn’t see anything about using those. Should I be using Vitamins for the intro, in phase 1 or at all? Thanks!


  57. Avatar

    So…I found your site, and I have terrible excess that just showed up about a year ago. I had done a juice fast, and also had to take antibiotics. I’ve been trying to do a canadensis helping diet, and have taken away more foods to combine with this SCD program. I think I have leaky gut. I bought aLive Food Plant Enzyme Supplement, but just got home and realized that many of the items are from fermented brown rice. Should I take this back, or go ahead with it?

  58. Avatar

    I have done the SCD diet for 2 years about 10-12 years ago. Nice to see that there is so much more information on that now.

    I have UC and during the time that I did the diet my colitis actually got worse. Until I found out that I really don’t do well with nuts and legumes. I actually do very well eating white rice as well as any potatoes. So for me I had to change things up but still I am very happy I kept the diet very strict for a long time. It has taught me a lot about diet and what works for me. The yogurt is awesome!

    After 10 years now I can say that I have my colitis mostly under control, if I have a flare up it is usually very mild and I can generally pinpoint it towards stress. It has taken me a lot of time and trial and error though. I write this not to critique the SCD diet because I know if works for many. But more to emphasize that every person is different and has their own issues. Personally I think it’s more a jump off point from which you can figure out what works for you.

    Colitis is not easy though. Lots of challenges. Lots of good vibes wishes to all of you!

  59. Avatar

    Hey Steve,
    Just finished listening to the Heal Your Gut Summit. I have Hashimotos and want to address leaky gut as well as constant bloating and gas w/ the SCD diet. I was going to get Thorne GI Encaps to help heal lining but checked SCD list and all ingredients, (slippery elm, marshmallow and aloe) are illegal, any thoughts? Thanks much!

  60. Avatar

    I have IBS-D and This is so Disappointing ! NO Flour Allowed?! I am from India and I HAVE to eat Roti! Because of Hashimoto I can not eat Wheat/any Glutan Roti, No Sugar, No Dairy and its ALready so Frustrating, I was advised to eat Palio Roti means golden flax seeds flour(illegal), coconut milk(illegal), tapioca flour(illegal), or millet flour(iligle) roti or chick pea flour(illegal) roti . For bread i was adviced to make coconut flour bread which is again illegal as ALL flours r Illegal. THEN WHAT DO I EAT ?!! I am SICK of eating rice and Quinoa!!

    • Avatar

      Hi Naveneet – I feel your frustration and I empathize! I remember starting on SCD and being completely overwhelmed but what I couldn’t eat. It is better to focus on what you CAN eat and how you WILL feel – you can start by eating the intro diet foods, and you will feel a lot better really quickly. During the Intro diet and phases you will eat a lot of meat and broth and plenty of fruits and veggies. after you’ve done a lot of healing, you can start introducing some SCD illegal foods like flax seeds or tapioca flour and see how you react to them.

      This is the best way to start: https://healthygut.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

  61. Avatar

    One of my main problems is incomplete bowel emptying (spending 30 minutes or more in the toilet and using a lot of toilet paper is not uncommon). I went off all gluten products for over seven weeks a few years ago, but it did nothing.

    Do you think that your program could help me?

  62. Avatar

    I am reading so many things about eggs. Some say eat the whole egg, some say only the egg yolks, some say only the egg white. PLEASE help me and tell me the correct answer. I eat hard boiled 2 hard boiled egg yolks right now, but it doesn’t seem to fill me up enough. PLEASE email me the correct answer. I would be so very grateful.

  63. Avatar

    I have a lot of questions but I will start with the milk question, are almond or any nut milks permitted? I have Gastoparesis and have had increased issues since being on PPIs for months. I honestly know and understand what acidosis can do to the body (3rd year kinesiology student) so I don’t buy the treatment being given. I have used various diets to help my IBS and GP to include the FODMAP. The results were typically short lived. I noticed komboucha does help my symptoms. Perhaps the most telling is that when I have re wine with dinner it helps some of the time, white wines do not. I recognize that red wines have lots of acid in them and even tannins. Also, what about apple cider vinegar on this diet?
    Next, I’m a distance runner so I NEED carbs and calories. GP has presented a real fight in this issue. Most bread type carbs are what I’m told to eat however I LOVE my fruits and veggies. Honestly I feel sicker now on an almost exclusive grain carb diet than I did before. I am GF and have been so I don’t eat wheat. I have given up corn as of about 4 years ago as well. The only grains I agree to eat are quinoa and rice. I do like sweet potatoes and they provide a hefty dose of glycogen for my long runs, please advise on that one.
    The biggest issue right now is nutrients. My hair and nails are dry and chip regularly. I suffer from dizzy spells because of the lack of nutrients. Lately I’ve noticed an increase in chest pains which I can’t help but think is a result in the increase of acidosis in my body as it moves further from it’s alkalinity.
    I feel the sickest I ever have and I have multiple ultra marathons to complete. Advice is appreciated.

    • Avatar

      Hi Adrienne – thanks so much for commenting.

      Almond and nut milks are permitted on SCD. ACV is allowed, too.

      You’ll get your carbs from starchy veggies during the early phases of SCD – later on you will be able to try introducing some starches. This article explains more: https://healthygut.com/2013/03/starch-evil-or-golden/

      Based on what you’ve written here, we would advise you give distance running a break and focus on healing your gut. You can check out several studies that link distance running to increased gut issues. Any sort of intense exercise puts the body into a state of inflammation – we recommend you focus on gentle exercise only while you get your body healed on SCD – once you’re feeling better you can re-introduce the more intense sports you love.

      Here’s how to get started: https://healthygut.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

      If you have more questions, you can email us at support@scdlifestyle.com

  64. Avatar

    Hi everyone, I’ve started the SCD diet and slowly re-introducing dairy into my diet with the SCD yogurt. I’m taking a large tablespoon at a time twice a day, but struggling with that amount. Dairy has always given me acid reflux, and sadly, the SCD yogurt seems to be doing the same which really surprised me, as so many people have said they can tolerate the SCD yoghurt. I don’t have a dairy allergy. Any advise appreciated.

    • Avatar

      @Nicole – how long have you been on SCD? we wouldn’t recommend trying the yogurt until at least 30 days in. If you’re having a reaction now, just eliminate it and try again in a few more weeks. Also, if this is your first batch, you may need to tweak your technique to be certain you’re getting an adequate ferment. Are you using a yogurt maker??

      Hope this helps!

  65. Avatar

    It seems to me that I remember a prepared food diet that you offer. Perhaps I was looking at something else. I would like a list of all of the options that you offer besides the book and tape. Thank you

    • Avatar

      Hi Susan! If you mean pre-cooked food that is delivered to you – sorry, no we don’t offer any kind of service like that.

      We do offer meal plans (recipes and a schedule of when to eat what) but you do the cooking yourself 🙂

      Here’s the link to the meal plans: https://healthygut.com/meal-plans/

      You can find all of our products at the top of the webpage under the tab “Products”

  66. Avatar

    I have struggled for years with stomach pains, food allergies, hormone problems etc. I had lost faith in the medical profession many years ago with these issues. When they could not find the reasons behind my symptoms, they would tell me I was depressed and should take anti depressants. This I refused and found some relief and quality of life through natural medicine, which gave back some quality of life, but did not solve the issues. After being hospitalized on several occasions I discovered that I had become allergic to egg after having an IgG test. Over the following years I have slowly removed other things from my diet. I have seen a doctor again since who diagnosed me with Pyroluria. I am also an undermethylator, with high copper. My 8 year old son has the same condition. The treatment for this is being hindered by my malabsorption problems and he has suggested that I look into this scd diet. I do have some concerns looking at the introduction diet, as it contains a lot of egg. (Which I cannot eat) Can someone tell me what else I could eat in place of the egg?

  67. Avatar

    I’ve been looking for a good info about leaky gut and you have provided me with a lot of info.

    I’m 74 and followed a veggie diet for 40+ years and a vegan on for the past 5. I am at a loss what I am going to leave out as then it seems that I would vanish ha ha.

    Can you suggest something to help me out? Tks.

  68. Avatar

    How did some of you celiacs get tested for it. I am a follower of Jaqui Karr and she says don’t do a biopsy.. I have lost weight steadily over the past 18 months.

    Currently I am having my doctors office fill out a insurance form to get the celiac genetic test. But, I am confused about that as well. It seems it can only rule it in. I have already had that, I think, from blood tests 3-4 yrs ago.

    I had some alleles for celiac but at the time no clinical symptoms to back it up. UGH!! So FRUSTRATING!

    I am having die-off symptoms right now from starting GAPS the intro part. Just eating boiled meat and carrots w garlic and salt-a little 1/2 tsp sauerkraut juice mixed in. Small amt of raw honey w butter last night. Some chamomile tea yesterday and today. Yesterday, I drank a few glasses of Pacific organic bone broth w collagen powder. I cut that out today. Lots of water.

    This afternoon I took 2 specially formulated enzymes for kidney support from a new chiro dr. i saw a couple times last month. It stopped the hot flashes.

    Appreciate any advice or comment, feeling weak and afraid.

    • Avatar

      Hi Beth – I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this hard time with your health. All of us at SCD Lifestyle have been there and we know how it is to feel weak and afraid.

      Whether or not you have Celiac disease – Steve and Jordan don’t recommend you eat gluten or other grains. Their research shows these foods are inherently harmful to the gut. You know your body best and know when you feel best, and what you’re eating at that time!

      I hope you’re feeling a lot better soon – let us know if we can support you in any way.

  69. Avatar

    Hello! I just purchased BTVC and am confused by some of the rules of the “intro diet.” What is avoided in the intro diet that is added later? Also, the book mentions trying homemade coconut or almond milk after 3 months, why is that? Is there a resource for how/when certain foods should be reintroduced on the SCD? Thank you for all that you do!!

  70. Avatar

    Hi Jordan, I am very interested in your story. I was diagnosed with Celiacs in my early 20’s and struggle daily with diet and digestion. I am almost 26 and my husband and I are thinking of having children. I worry almost daily that I could have an underline cancer or something worse than the initial disease and fear going to the doctors for finding anymore more. I want to be a healthy, happy person who has a full life ahead of them. For the most part I eat a Gluten Free Diet, but am known to cheat a little if we are out to eat. Until recently I have almost ignored the long term effects, which may have me in worse shape than I thought. But like you, I got the live Gluten Free and you will be fine from the doctors. My diagnosis was only to be “moderately allergic”
    I have added a Probiotic to my vitamin regimen, but still suffer from bloating, constipation, irritability and the most scary abdominal pain. I feel I may be below the “surviving” but am ready to “THRIVE”.

    • Avatar

      Hi Tanesha – we’re so glad you reached out to us!

      Just going gluten free is not enough if you’re still having symptoms and have damage from years of eating gluten as a Celiac.

      The good news is that you can get better.

      We’re here to support you along the way! Never hesitate to reach out to us at support@scdlifestlye.com for advice 🙂

  71. Avatar

    So I am new to the site and have ulcerative colitis (left sided). So I’ve been on SCD for about 3 weeks now and I can’t eat anything besides broth, meat, and eggs. I have tried to introduce a ripe banana and within an hour or two, I get bloody diarrhea. I have tried squash and I get the same result. My energy level is completely depleted and I am still diuretic every morning. I made SCD yogurt and thought that was the culprit so I cut it out (even though I never had a problem when I ate it). This is day 2 of cutting out the dairy. I am at a loss and quite frustrated at this point. Obviously losing weight because of the D and don’t know what other foods to try. I am eating about 10 eggs a day with varieties of meat (chicken, ground beef predominately). Any help would be appreciated.

  72. Avatar

    I’m still trying to get an understanding for this diet, so far, I’ve seen (but most importantly, felt) good results from it. I’m a little confused about salad dressings, though. On the original site, it said vinegar was illegal, but when I look-up SCD recipes, people are using vinegar (balsamic, apples cider…). So, how do I find out if this is SCD legal/illegal? Thanks!

  73. Avatar

    Hi. Found your informative website tonight. Thank you.

    I’m 59 female and always had no GI problems. Quit red meat and pork in 1974 and basically follow a healthy low fat clean diet and very little dairy. Recently after starting curcumin supplements, I developed what my MD says is IBD and not uncommon in older adults (based on my symptom report, but not the curcumin since he is not open to that).

    Initial symptoms were gas, bloating and constipation then tarry small stools and close to diarrhea at times.

    I’ve seen some improvement with Benefiber which he recommended, but seems constipation bouts occur after quinoa. Some say its good, your site says to avoid. High fiber grains are supposedly good, but even my traditional MD says to avoid most of them now.

    Any feedback especially about curcumin? I took it to for its anti-inflammatory effects.


    • Avatar

      Hi Brandon – most spice powders and blends have added ingredients and anti-caking agents that are illegal and can cause reactions.

      Blending your own spice mixtures of self-ground spices is a great option! We do recommend waiting until you’re a little farther into the diet to begin adding spices, as some people can be sensitive to them (wait until you’re feeling good, introducing foods, and have symptoms have improved). When you do add them, add spices one at a time and follow the three-day rule (introduce them like you would any other new food!) Once all the sites in a blend have been successfully introduced, you can use the blend 🙂

      Hope this helps!

  74. Avatar

    Doctors in the UK are rubbish. I suffer with chronic back pain, chronic constipation, pains in all joints, chronic back pain, total loss of libido, depression, insomnia….the list is endless. I have private medical insurance and my doctors have exhausted all possibilities. I’ve been seen by many doctors, endicronologists and urologists but to no avail. I’ve had MRI scans on my pituitary gland, brain, spine, neck and they still can’t find nothing. Thyroid, hormones, cortisol levels, minerals, testosterone and countless other checks have been performed but to no avail. So the idiots have diagnosed me with yes you guessed it Fibromyalgia. A useless tag for patients they can’t help. I’ve tried all sorts of diets but nothing seems to work. The only thing that helps is very high strain probiotics like VSL3, Rosea Rhodiola, liquid Sam-E, sublingual DHEA, sublingual vitamin D, vitamin B complex, liquid ionic zinc, liquid ionic magnesium. To be honest the list of supplements I need to function is endless. If anyone on here can help me it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading this post.

    • Avatar

      Hi Tony, thanks for reaching out to us. I’m so sorry you’re struggling still after trying so many different things.

      It sounds like you’re on the right track, but could use some personalized support.

      Our recommended practitioners can help people all over the world. You can learn more about them here: https://healthygut.com/practitioners/

      I hope this information helps you.

  75. Avatar

    Bone broth seems to cause heart burn and stomach distress. I found one reference after much research that said the glucosamine in the broth may be feeding the bacteria in the small intestine. I don’t get heart burn with any other food. Does anybody know about this as I would like to continue healthy bone broth.

    • Avatar

      Hi Norm, thanks for asking. Some people (especially those with SIBO) may react to the GAGs in bone broth (glycosaminoglycans) as they can feed bacteria. Dr. Allison Siebecker discusses this in her SIBO Masterclass for our Solving Leaky Gut program. For those with severe SIBO, it may be a wise idea to wait to add in bone broth until SIBO is treated. Dr. Siebecker has a lot of suggestions for SIBO at her website siboinfo.com

      You can also check out this article: https://healthygut.com/2014/01/everything-you-need-to-know-about-sibo-small-intestinal-bacterial-overgrowth/

      You can also learn about how to access her Masterclass by visiting solvingleakygut.com

      If you have any more questions about this, please let us know.You can always email us at support@scdlifestyle.com

      We believe bone broth is an incredible healing tool for the majority of people – but we also don’t recommend you eat anything that makes you feel bad.

      • Avatar

        Thanks Mariel. Strange that the gags affect sibo more than simple sugars etc. Interstingly, I take 500 mg of glucosamine 3 x daily for yrs and have never had heartburn although I suffer from continual bloating. However, if I take gluco contents out of capsule and consume with food, instant heartburn. The capsule bypasses small intestine and goes right to large bowel so no doubt there is bacteria in the small intestine. So it appears that I have sibo on top of candida which is probably common.

        Anyway, I did want to mention that I have made my own sauerkraut and yogurt which I eat everyday. I think that the sauerkraut probably has helped keep the heartburn away although I suffer from many of the other symptoms.

        I would do the diets if I were much younger or suffering much worse.

        I am in constant huge belly bloat that I have come to accept as just being there. I probably had sibo for many yrs but never knew it til bone broth.

  76. Avatar

    The scd diet has helped me so much for the last two years — then I ate a cup of chia last month that was only soaked 1:1 in coconut milk (there was no marking on the bag about how chia inflate to 27 times their size). It made a thick bar that I thought was convinced from all the press would be healthy. I could barely eat for the next three days, and I can’t get my digestion back to where it was a month later. I am still bloated (though getting better every day), soft pencil stools and incomplete evacuation, feel full. I have no pain but I was in such a good place and didn’t know that chia was illegal and that it needed to be taken in a very small quantity and left to expand so much. It took at least a week to get the residue off the pot, and I’m afraid I have that stuff in me, too.
    Has anyone had this experience and what can I do to move things along and get back on track? I’m terrified that I have created a blockage and the doctor dismisses me and just says, Get a colonoscopy, which I feel would set me back even more as the prep is illegal.

    • Avatar

      Hi MaryAnn, thanks so much for reaching out. I’m sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with chia 🙁 That sounds like it was very scary. We recommend you follow the intro diet for a few days until your symptoms clear up, drink plenty of water and get a lot of rest. The only way to know how you react to a food is to test to it out, and unfortunately this sometimes results in bad reactions and flare-ups. It sounds like you’re improving every day, and that’s great! If your symptoms worsen or if you’re getting worse, we recommend you go back to your doctor right away!

      I hope this helps and that you’re feeling much better soon.

  77. Avatar

    Hi, I’m having issues with the SCD diet and I’m looking at the 4 reasons I can be having issues. I have two questions:

    Fruits and the possibility of FM: Steve refers to eating minimal fruits when he did the intro diet. What constitutes minimal fruits per day? one serving; two per day?

    What are the most offensive fruits to eat? eg: bananas, etc? Thanks, Adrienne

    • Avatar

      Hi Adrienne, thanks for commenting. Everyone is unique in how much and what types of fruit they can tolerate, and the only way to find out is through self-experimentation. We recommend you start with one serving of a cooked, peeled, pureed fruit like pears or apples. Slowly increase the servicing size as you gauge for a reaction. Increase up to 1.5 cups over three days, beginning with 1/2 cup the first day. If you on’t have a reaction to the increased amount over three days, you can try introducing another new fruit. The phasing charts in the free quick start guide (http://scdlifestylebook.com/free.php?_ga=1.264708239.180204042.1433519852?_ga=1.264708239.180204042.1433519852) will help you decide what to introduce next – we recommend you follow the intro diet as closely as possible!

  78. Avatar

    I’m going into week 3 on the SCD program. I’m in phase I, but I am learning about what I can and cannot eat because I get indigestion (only symptom I have since starting, but did not have previously). I am learning to love my pureed veggies, and the homemade pear sauce with a bit of cinnamon is absolutely delicious! It all takes time to prepare and think ahead, but so far I feel so much better with my intestines. Can’t say that I have been experiencing any IBS symptoms now, and I really like that! I used to suffer with constipation and would take extra magnesium, but I don’t take the magnesium any longer.

    Wish I had started sooner, but at least I started now. It’s not too easy to ease into, but since eating Paleo for a year, it makes it much easier. Thanks you guys!

  79. Avatar

    I have been doing FODMAP diet as recommended by a dietition but I am not really finding much relief. a few years ago I tried SCD when I was really very unwell but was so unwell that I found it hard to follow and eating was something I wasn’t interested in at the time. any pointers on how I can do this diet for someone who is time poor and how to avoid eating foods that is easy to grab then trying to prepare meals. what do others do.

    • Avatar

      Hi Anne, thanks so much for commenting. The best place to start with SCD is our free quick start guide, which you can download here: https://healthygut.com/scd-quick-start-guide/ From there, we recommend our eBook. It’s full of first-hand advice from Steve and Jordan on how to prep food, plan ahead, and transition to SCD easily. You can learn more about the eBook here:http://scdlifestylebook.com SCD does take time and planning at first, but the book includes a lot of tips on how to cut down on time preparing foods and even tips for traveling.

  80. Avatar

    I have one question regarding decaf coffee. If you buy organic water processed, would that be ok? Thanks for helping me walk down my journey.

    • Avatar

      Hi Adrienne, decaf coffee is illegal on SCD because of additives added when the coffee is decaffeinated. Regular coffee and tea (unflavored) are allowed from day 1! I hope this information helps 🙂

  81. Avatar

    Hi, I’m just about to start the SCD into diet. Can I use bone broth instead of chicken?


  82. Avatar

    I have two questions. 1. I’m about to begin the intro. diet and have ordered your book. However, your introductory pages don’t mention if you can drink tea or not during the intro phase and the various phases. I drink lots of liquids aside from water and would like some suggestions. 2. How soon after you eat something that’s not right for you would you feel poorly? I’ve been eating honey as a sweetener in my tea for the last few weeks but only recently developed terrible headaches and I’m not sure what it is. Thanks for your help. Adrienne

  83. Avatar

    I’m confused by some of the instructions in your book. For example, you list the fruits and vegetables for each phase in lighter to darker colors to signify which foods are lower in phenols. For Phase 1 you have the summer squash as the lowest. Then for your sample week 1 diet you introduce butternut squash first, which is higher in phenols. You also mention we should concentrate on the vegetables first, adding fruits last. Yet the very first food on Phase 1 you added since the Intro Diet was pear sauce, a fruit. Then you add apple sauce before another vegetable, spinach, finally zucchini. You skipped the lowest phenol vegetable and you are adding fruits before vegetables. I’m trying to understand your process but then your sample menus don’t follow your own instructions. I understand this is meant to be a guideline, but the very first 5 new items don’t follow your rules at all. This is a very complicated process and I was hoping for better direction from you since you are charging for it and constantly recommending I buy more of your information. Can someone please explain this to me?

    • Avatar

      Hey Kathy, thanks for taking the time to comment. Summer squash isn’t always available year-round, so butternut squash is another good, low-phenol substitute, and thats why we use it in the meal plans. Some people focus too much on adding fruit and neglect vegetables. We recommend you balance adding in fruits and vegetables. Since there are no fruits in the intro phase, it’s okay to add pear sauce as the first food in Phase 1. If you would rather add a different food, like summer squash if its available or butternut squash as your first introduction, the phase charts give you the flexibility to do that. You don’t necessarily have to introduce all the vegetables in a phase before introducing fruits. I hope this information helps to clarify things, Kathy! Anytime you have questions about the program, please email us at support@scdlifestyle.com and we would be happy to answer them for you 🙂

  84. Avatar

    Hi, do other experience nausea? I started the intro a week ago Sunday and am feeling better finally. I started taking SCD Compliant probiotics a few days ago and got a good multivitamin with no excipients. But I do have nausea it seems every other day. At least the indigestion has gone away without grape juice. I’m getting the hang of this and so hope it works for me. I’ve lost 8.5 pounds in a week, so that’s a good thing cause I want to lose 20 pounds total.
    Also, I got me a yogurt maker and was going to make some SCD yogurt, but I’m not sure if I have to wait for a while or not. And my son makes sauerkraft, and I read I can start out with one tablespoon, but again, I’m not sure when I can start to try it. The whole reason I finally started this program is because I tried drinking Kefer for all the good probiotics, but my intestines were at WAR. I think this is really doing the trick, and really, really appreciate all the help!! So Mariel, thank you again, in advance 🙂

  85. Avatar


    I’ve been struggling with my CD for 10 years now (I’m 25 years old now) and I’m having a constant battle with my doctor about my narrowing/stricture in my large intestine. Every time I talk to him about seeing a dietitian about it he laughs at me. His only solution is to remove almost 50% of my large intestine. I have read about the procedure and the large amount of complications scares me. I cry myself to sleep and some mornings I just want to stay in bed and dissolve when I think about me having this condition and not being able to live a normal life and be a good mom who isn’t in bed or running to the toilette 1000 times a day.

    MY QUESTION is: is there a possibility that the amount of scars and swelling in my intestine can reduce by going on the SCD?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

  86. Avatar

    Hi, so I started the intro diet on Sunday. Last night (Monday) I had awful indigestion, which I rarely ever have. So today I will eat smaller meals and more of them to see if it helps. And I must be a late starter because only today I am nauseous and my insides are not very happy with me right now and I’m half way through day 3. If this is the case, does that mean the die-off will take longer and I should feel better after day 4 or 5? Gee, I hope so!

  87. Avatar
    Bobbi Miller says:

    Besides grape juice and water, in the intro diet, what else can we drink? Any weak coffee or tea? Peppermint tea?

  88. Avatar
    Bobbi Miller says:

    Why isn’t melatonin allowed? How will I sleep? I’ve been using it for years, along with Ativan. I’ve never been a sleeper and plan to start this program on Sunday.

    • Avatar

      Hi Bobbi. The most common reason a supplement like melatonin is illegal is because of binding and filling ingredients used in manufacturing the supplement. If you’re taking a supplement that you feel is beneficial to your health, you can continue to use it. Just be aware that if you’re not progressing as you would like, it may be a problem. If you follow this link you can learn more (and where to buy melatonin without any fillers that can be a problem for SCD): http://www.pecanbread.com/p/tanya/melatonin.html

  89. Avatar

    Not down with this at all. I mean, yea, tubers and grains can effect people differently. If you’re pre-diabetic, not so good, if you’re a bodybuilder, you’d better eat up or you’ll collapse. But, the difference between foods of the same category? Garbanzo vs navy? Not going for it. I can’t think of a single worse thing to eat than dairy. But “SCD” yogurt? Meat gets a bad rap too, but to think that it’s OK not to mention it should be limited, but oh wait, I guess if it’s grass fed?!? you won’t get any potential disease. No offense but it just makes me giggle.

    • Avatar

      Hey Rayca – thanks for your comment. You voice a lot of common concerns about SCD. SCD is based on the idea that we digest different carbs based on their chemical structure. On SCD, you are only allowed to eat monosaccharide carbs and thats why some beans are allowed and others aren’t. SCD-legal diary isn’t just what you can buy in the grocery store- SCD-legal yogurt is homemade and slowly fermented to eliminate nearly all of the milk sugar and create an easily-digested, probiotic-rich food. Finally, we believe that the nutrition found in animal products is crucial for good health, and meat is the foundation of the diet. If you don’t understand the science behind the rules, they can seem arbitrary, but they’re based on lots of research and the success of thousands of people following the diet.

  90. Avatar

    how can I do this diet while maintaining high brain and physical output of my work?.. I am paleo for many years (gluten free), but still need some carbs to sustain my energy (and just fruit or maybe beans don’t do the trick, they leave me craving for more)

    • Avatar

      Hi Evelyn, thanks for reaching out to us. In the early into-diet phase, most of your carbs will come from cooked and pureed veggies like carrots. Later on you can add in more fruit, beans, and more vegetables (especially legal root vegetables) to get quick energy. You also should know that you should never go hungry on the SCD diet, and you should eat as much and as often as you need to of legal foods. This podcast, around the 9 minute mark – dresses your question as well: https://healthygut.com/2011/04/the-top-5-scd-myths-busted-podcast-20/

  91. Avatar

    I have been diagnosed with chrones in the stomach as well as the intestines. I used to have colitis.
    Recently i have the symptoms of CVS. Most people have never heard of that. You can look it up here :


    My question is – Everyone is telling me to stay away from raw fruit and veg, yet you encourage it ! Please explain.
    Thank you

    • Avatar

      Hi Ben! I’m sorry you’re going through a hard time with Chrohn’s and CVS. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet does allow a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, but especially in the early stages, they are cooked. This is because cooked foods are much easier to digest. Once you have healed some you can reintroduce raw foods. Our eBook coaches you through exactly how to prepare SCD-legal fruits and vegetables, and how and when to introduce new and raw foods. If you’ve already seen the free quick start guide, its the best next step: http://scdlifestylebook.com

  92. Avatar

    Hi, I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS in 2009. I tried the standard interferon drugs but they made me too sick to function, so I have been going the natural route since 2011 and have been doing pretty well. I am on a very restrictive diet (primarily paleo – no gluten, dairy, no sugar or processed foods and very little gluten free grains) – now, due to a blood test, my ND says I can’t eat potatoes (including sweet), so if I restrict the food I consume any more, I will only be eating squash! But I’m still missing something as my digestion really sucks to put it bluntly – gas, bloating, burping, pain, stomach ulcers – no matter what I eat – I have tried digestive enzymes, Betaine Hydrochloride with Pepsin, probiotics – they all make my digestion worse. Anything with L-glutamine (including bone broth) gives me an instant throbbing headache. So my question is, is there anything else that can be done with SCD? Thanks!

  93. Avatar

    In reading about the scd, I think it makes a lot of sense, but I have a couple of concerns. I am fairly certain I have a candida infection in my stomach right now, and if I were to follow the foods to avoid list from the scd diet and candida diet I would basically be eating no carbs (which is not healthy) as I could have no grains based on the scd, and no fruits/beans etc. based on candida diet. What should I do, focus on candida first to get it cleared up and then focus here afterward? candida supposedly can clear up after several months, but obviously I’m stuck with celiac for life. I’m at a loss, but I’m so tired and confused. Any advice?

  94. Avatar

    I have been looking at the information and it seems like this might help me but most of the information seems to be talking to celiacs who still have stomach problems. I am celiac but weirdly never had stomach issues (which is why I was misdiagnosed for over a decade) and still don’t. No constipation and no diarrhea. However, going gluten free caused a 30 pound weight gain and that was NOT from processed gf food. I can not lose weight no matter now ‘healthy’ I eat, basically I am the same if I go weeks and weeks with a ‘perfect’ diet or weeks and weeks eating junk. It just does not budge. I also have horrible bloating on top of the weight that comes and goes in my stomach and hands and feet. I also still struggle with fatigue and depression, although nowhere close to where I was before going gf.

    Basically I’m asking if this will still work for me with my problems.

  95. Avatar

    My name is Cindi and I’ve been a life long sufferer of IBS. Due to ‘healthy’ eating (nothing processed, GF, all local, natural, organic foods) I manage my symptoms. They are not nearly as bad as most of the cases I read here, but they are bad enough for me. I have days my belly gets so hard and bloats up like a balloon – like I’m 4 months pregnant (I usually walk around with the top button of my pants open anyway), If I’m lucky I have a stool every other day, I’m tired-tired-tired despite 9 hrs of sleep, only natural foods and regular exercise and I get severe cramps a few times a month (it used to be daily). I’ve tried Paleo, The Whole 30, The Plan, Atkins – you name it, but although most work for a short period, on the long run my problems come back with a vengeance. I knew about SCD – but I’ve never tried it because looking at the food, I get very nervous. I am not a lover of chicken soup, meat in the morning, pureed vegetables and jelly … all the staples it seems on SCD. It reminds me of a diet I had in the 70s when I was a kid and I’m not looking forward to go back, but I’ve come to a point in my life I need to give it a go and tomorrow is (SC)D-day …. Chicken soup and pureed carrots are in the fridge, today I’m going to make the beef patties and the gelatin (any tips on portioning the gelatin? how many servings does 1 batch make?) and since I react to egg yolks, I’ll get my egg whites ready to go. I try to be excited, but I’m just dreading it right now … I pray the SCD is going to help me on the long run and I’m sure I’ll be checking in for support every now and then.

    • Avatar

      Hi Cindi – thanks for reaching out! Support is one of the most important aspects of being successful on the SCD Diet, and we can provide that! If you haven’t already, check out the SCD Facebook group for more support. Remember that the intro diet only lasts a few days and soon you will be eating a wide variety of foods (and feeling much better!). Don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments, on Facebook, or at support@scdlifestyle.com.
      The gelatin is meant to be a healing snack in between the main staple foods and there is no quantity limit on it.

  96. Avatar
    Christine Overberg says:

    I would like to cancel my SCD Lifestyle package and master classes, etc.
    I was just billed the second part .
    I absolutely have not had time to even look at the information and will not have time,
    so I would just like to stop at this point and have my money back.
    Can you help me with this? What more info do you need?
    My last invoice # 14605 May 27.
    thank you
    Christine Overberg
    972 239-1148 home/office phone

  97. Avatar

    Where do you get your carbohydrate in this diet?? I’m super skinny and I work out 4 times a week which makes me feel really tired if I don’t get enough calories. I can’t live without rice and quinoa! If I follow this diet I have to stop working out and will lose A LOT OF weight which would make me look like an anorexic ( I already look like one! I’m 187cm and weigh only 67kg !).

  98. Avatar

    I have been diagnosed with Ulcerated Pan Colitis, IBS and food allergies. It seems like my food allergies/sensitivities list is increasing. I don’t know what to do. I eat a lot of bread and rice. When I eat veggies and fruit I have many BMs which then cause rear issues and gas. I also have problems eating beans. I don’t know what to do. If I don’t eat rice my BM’S are very loose and frequent. Doctors recommend medicine (which cause me major, major problems). Does it take a while for your body to get used to eating fruits and veggies? I have been living like this for (4) years now. I am at the end of my rope and I do not know what to do. Also, when my gut has issues my emotional state is in a bad state, I cry have negative thoughts and I also lose my temper in one second. I am so desperate. Will this diet help? What should I expect to happen and how long will it take before I see any improvement? I may have a leaky gut what do I do for this? Any assistance anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated.

  99. Avatar

    I have bunch of questions: (1) What are specific SCD Diet options for Lacto-Vegetarian ( No meat, Eggs, sea food etc. ) persons to make sure one gets enough of protein, fiber and vitamins from SCD diet? (2) There is a general note on “spices” on SCD diet as being legal. But what about specific speices like, Turmeric powder, Cumin seeds, Fenugreek seeds, Coriander seeds , coriander powder, Mustard seeds. These spices are freely used in Indian dishes and considered very healthy. (3) Lastly, Moong (Mung) beans are illegal and Mung dal ( split mung) is legal? Why? Both are considered as most healthy food for vegetarians and is a very good source of protein. If could answer each of these questions, it will be very useful for me and many others like me who are of Indian origin and are strict vegetarians. Thank you!

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    question, im taking metformin, levothyroxine, vitamin D and vitamin C are these safe for me to take ?

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      Hi Suzanne, this really depends upon many factors. We always suggest taking the more natural approach first before turning to medications. It is important you continue to take what your doctor has prescribed and it would also be a good idea to look inot other approaches for your situation. We suggest by addressing your diet and you can read more about the SCD diet here: https://healthygut.com/about-the-scd-diet/

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    Angie Carlton says:

    I have been reading your stories all morning and they sound a lot like my life. I have had a IBS-D issues for about 8 years now, 6 with no diagnosis. I still have yet to find any good doctors in my area that have any knowledge base on this disease or really how to treat it. I am at my wits end. It is not uncommon for me to go 3-6 days without eating any solid foods. I have been hospitalized more times than I care to remember. I have been given steroid injections and medication, but nothing has helped. I also have Bi-Polar Disorder, and yes I am up and down with the disease, not much middle ground for me. I know that my mental health effects my body’ health, and my stress levels run really high. I also have a husband that believes this is all in my head. Although my stomach swells to a point I look pregnant all the time! I kind of stumbled onto this site by accident. After reading many stories here, I feel there is hope. I going to try this diet, as I have nothing to lose at this point. I am a bit worried, however, as I am a picky person unfortunately, and if I don’t like the taste of something, I get physically sick. I have noticed several foods on the list that I know I do not like and cannot eat. Any advise for a picky pallet and sensitive stomach when dealing with foods that are exactly good to me? Thank you in advance for any and all advise.

    • Avatar

      Hi Angie, thanks for reaching out. One of our main goals for reach of those who do the SCD diet is to understand that it is all about building a custom diet that works for you. Wit that being said, for the intro diet you can substitute zucchini for the carrots if this suits you better. Secondly, you may also consider some functional medicine testing as it sounds like you could have some underlying issues that need to be addressed as well. If you are in need of one, you can go here: https://healthygut.com/practitioners/ You can also email us at support@scdlifestyle.com if you need further assistance.

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    I have gastroparesis which is delayed stomach emptying/poor motility. I developed it after having my gallbladder removed. I’ve always had IBS symptoms and have tried other diets and removing dairy and gluten from my diet. The recommended diet for gastroparesis is low fiber, low fat – crackers, milkshakes and jello are recommended. Of course I eat as healthy as I can but often have to resort to toast and such and really have to limit vegetables and proteins as they are harder to digest. Have you had any clients with gastroparesis and have they been able to handle the diet? I plan on starting in two weeks. Additionally I have been diagnosed with chronic Lyme which makes things worse.


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    I was diagnosed with S.I.B.O. (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) by my Naturopath doctor after a breath test specific to detecting methane in the breath. I was put on a FODMAP diet which is more specific than even the SCD/Gaps diet. I find it incredibly hard to find any recipes that have all ingredients I can eat. Most have at least 1 or 2 ingredients I cannot have. I cannot eat cauliflower, more than 3 broccoli florets, 10 string beans, no legumes or beans whatsoever, no onions or garlic, nothing fermented… and the list goes on. I have found that Paleo recipes are the easiest to tweak to fit my diet, but the searching is exhausting! I also have to feed my husband and 2 kids and make them a separate meal. Do you have any leads or links to sites that are specific to the strict fodmap diet? I have been on it over six months and at that point I started to go off diet a little. Then a bit more, and for a couple of weeks I was ok, but it caught up to me and caused my symptoms to return. I also suffer from constipation and have my whole life so most of these SCD diets are for the opposite problem making it very confusing to figure out what to do. Any help would be appreciated!

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    So many of the vegetables and fruits you allow on SCD contain FODMAPs. The principle of SCD sounds good but the FODMAPS would kill me. I already eat paleo/low-carb/low-histamine/low-FODMAP so I’m not sure what, if anything, SCD would add to that combination. The good news is that my symptoms are pretty well controlled with what I’m doing, but my gut doesn’t seem to be actually healing. I can’t add anything back in without consequences.

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    I have been reading up on SCD. Yogurt needs to be fermented for 24 hours? Can I not just buy organic real goats milk yogurt and add lactase to make sure I am not going to have any undesirable effects from the lactose?

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    HI, I thought the benefits of fresh ground flax seed 1-2 Tbsp per day were supposed to be great for you, but if I understand correctly this list says “NO” to flax seed. Any thoughts on Flax seed?

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      Hi Robbie, thanks for reaching out. Some can tolerate flax and some cannot. We suggest omitting anything that has the potential of altering gut function in the beginning, and you can then test it out on your own as you begin to heal.

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    Hi all-

    I’m posting because you seem to have a lot of experience in dealing with the symptoms I’m dealing with. I’ve mostly been told by everyone that I just have IBS, but the symptoms I have are so non-stop and debilitating that I can’t deal with it anymore. I know I need to make a change in my diet, but I HATE cooking and I am so bad at it and I’m concerned I’m not going to follow it right. I’m in my early twenties, single, and want to be able to date freely and go out with friends and eat out like other normal 20 year-olds. Is this still possible? Or am I stuck to salads or homemade cooking every night? I don’t know how you guys give up bread 🙁

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    Marybelle Beigh says:

    Hi! I’ve suffered from an initial Ischemic Colitis attack about 3 years ago, and since then there are certain foods that trigger colitis attacks – severe bloating, gas, cramping, and diarrhea/soft stool… corn, garlic, and hot peppers seem to be the primary instigators.
    … also have wheat, milk, soy, alcohol, and sugar intolerances causing a variety of GI, sinus, and skin problems… would like to try this SCD plan… am curious about why the hot peppers and garlic are such severe problems. Please advise… Thanks

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      Hi Marybelle, any time you have an impaired gut you are going to find food sensitivities. You will see that after being on the SCD diet, your gut will begin to heal and these sensitivities will decrease.

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    So why are fruits allowed but table sugar isn’t? Fruits contain glucose (absorbed to the bloodstream right away), fructose and sucrose (need to be metabolized first). Table sugar is simply sucrose. What’s the difference?

    Is dextrose (pure glucose) allowed?

    • Avatar

      Hi, thanks for reaching out! This is from the breaking the viciou cycle website, which explains it nicely:

      ” The simpler the structure of the carbohydrate, the more easily the body digests and absorbs it. Monosaccharides (single molecules of glucose, fructose, or galactose) require no splitting by digestive enzymes in order to be absorbed by the body. These are the sugars we rely on in the diet. They include those found in fruits, honey, some vegetables, and in yoghurt.

      Double sugar molecules (disaccharides: lactose, sucrose, maltose and isomaltose) and starches (polysaccharides) are primarily avoided on the diet. Some starches have been shown to be tolerated, particularly those in the legume family (dried beans, lentils and split peas only). However, they must be soaked for 10-12 hours prior to cooking, and the water discarded since it will contain other sugars which are indigestible, but which are removed in the soaking process. Small amounts of legumes may only be added to the diet after about three months. The starches in all grains, corn, and potatoes must be strictly avoided. Corn syrup is also excluded since it contains a mixture of ‘short-chain’ starches.

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    I was diagnosed with non specific colitis or mild proctitis almost 6 years back. I was in ling remission but had some flare ups in between when i had spicy food or milk products. Lately i am having severe diarrhea and blood in mucus almost 3 times a day. I have noticed that it started since i started having milk and dark chocolates. Even measacol tablets and not or great help. I have read on some post that we should never stop taking the tablets even in remission since the inflammation still exists in the lower tissues and is possible to go in remission forever if you allow the intestines to heal permanently.

    • Avatar

      Hi Darryl, it is our hope that you can eventually get off of these medications by healing the root of the problem. Inflammation only still exists if you are feeding it, or causing it. Milk and sugar will certainly cause more inflammation in the body, so it makes sense that it caused your symptoms to return. We suggest staying on the diet and also incorporating supplements to your plan: https://healthygut.com/recommended-products/ Also, please consult with your physician about any changes or alterations to your medication.

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    I’ve been reading more about fiber causing constipation and it seems the same thought process is expressed here as well. So I’m curious as to why so many high fiber foods are on the list?

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      Hi Yvonne, thanks for reaching out! It is not so much that high fiber foods cause the constipation as it is they may contribute to the issue that is already there due to other things like dysbiosis, gut infection, etc. Each person on the SCD diet must figure out what works for them and we call this building our own safe food zone. If you know those foods don’t sit well with you, then you can avoid them or simply eat them is small amounts infrequently.

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    Hi Jordan and Steve

    I recently started the SCD diet and was wondering when I can introduce caffeine in my diet. Is it after all the phases or can it be introduced earlier? There is no mention of caffeine in the book, I found on the website that weak coffee may be consumed, I would like to know when in the diet that would be.

    If anyone else could let me know it would be greatly appreciated.

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    I have been recovering from leaky gut for over a year now. I had the ALCAT food sensitivity test done and would like to know your opinion on food sensitivity tests. It has been accurate in that when I have tried to reintroduce moderate inflammatory foods, I get inflammation and digestive issues. I eat Paleo, take digestive enzymes and probiotics. Thank you so much for all you do…you both are inspirations to me

    • Avatar

      Hi Christi, great question! There is not a gold standard for food sensitivity testing and it is just as effective to start an elimination type diet and let your body decide what it can and can’t handle. We suggest a diet like the SCD diet or Leaky gut diet to help you remove all allergenic foods and then retest foods one by one. You can read more about the Leaky gut diet here: solvingleakygut.com

  114. Avatar


    This site is a mine of information, and I’ve learnt a lot about SCD here, a big ‘Thank you’ to you guys. I thought I’d post as a lot of people here have IBD, but you don’t have so many people who are in the ‘grey area’. I’ve suffered from irritable bowel syndrome for years which led to inflammation in my spine, shoulders and hip areas. The pain was awful and the doctors were scratching their heads; in fact they suggested it was all in mine! Until I saw an excellent osteopath who told me it was coming from my stomach. As I had a hunch it was the case I’d already started eliminating foods. To my surprise I was following the SCD diet, only I kept making mistakes and couldn’t work out why (fresh bananas not black spotted etc). This site has helped me to understand why it works. Again Thank you!!

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    Is Stevia allowed on this diet? I need to avoid sugar, as it was killing me, and replaced the Welches Grape juice with Goji Berri Powder (1 tlb) and added a few drops of dark stevia and then mixed it in the gelatin. I hope these are legal! Please let me know ASAP Thanks!!:)

  116. Avatar

    Hi Jordan, saw your interview on well.org – great info! I was diagnosed with celiac disease about 15 years ago and after listening to the interviews from you and the other experts I finally understand what’s going on! I’m just curious – why are legumes excluded from the diet? Some of the items in the excluded list I am assuming are safe – maybe I shouldn’t be? Is it detailed somewhere on the site? Thanks !

    • Avatar

      Hi Tina, thanks for reaching out! YOu can find a complete list of what is legal and illegal here: breakingtheviciouscycle.info Legumes contain hard to digest starches that can feed unwanted bacteria with in the gut, furthering the process of dysbiosis.

  117. Avatar
    Randy Schwartz says:

    Sorbitol is not SCD legal. Apples are SCD legal. Apples have Sorbitol in them. What gives??

    • Avatar

      Hi Randy, thanks for reaching out! “Sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol are all sugar alcohols and are not SCD™ legal. They fall under the category of indigestible carbs and sugars, and so allow companies to label things ‘sugar free’, even though they are providing nutrition to the bacteria that live in your digestive tract.” (From the Breaking the vicious cycle website)

  118. Avatar

    HI there,
    I am really interested in this and looking at the book to understand more about “tweeting” for each individual. my question is this. i have developed Interstitial Cystitis along side IBS like symptoms when i eat grains / sugar (having already been gluten free for 14 years). so i’m on a much more restricted diet than what is outlined as i react to a plethora of foods that are ok on this diet (i.e. some veg, nearly all fruit, most dairy etc). can you go through the stages and see healing on a more paired down basis, as needed for individual sensitivities? i would like to heal my stomach, in hope that the bladder may follow…

      • Avatar

        Thanks, can you tweak right form the intro stage? some of those foods are off what i can tolerate list, but obviously i need to eat 😉 does the book give alternatives?

        • Avatar

          Hi Kristina, thanks for reaching out! You can try zucchini instead of carrots, beef instead of chicken, and you do not have to consume the grape juice, as the gelatin can be eaten plain.

  119. Avatar


    I was on SCD about 8 years ago after my Dr. suggested I have my colon removed. The 9 months I was on it were the best I’ve felt since I was 15 (and I kept my colon). I felt so good I began “cheating.” I was dating and I felt that it was hard to explain to my boyfriend. Fast forward 8 years, marriage to boyfriend, grad school, job I commute to, baby, home ownership, and many junk food binges… I’m feeling pretty bad again. I’ve tried to get back on SCD several times over the years but can’t seem to stick to it. I think I’ve become addicted to sugar. I’m about to try again. I’ve been off all meds for about 5 years and I don’t want to have to get back on them (they don’t do me much good). Any advice for sugar addicts or people who are starting again?

  120. Avatar

    Hi, this my first foray into the world of gut-healing diets. I have severe hormonal issues and my doctor suggested the GAPS diet because several other patients had great success balancing their hormonal (and other) issues with it. While researching GAPS, I ran across the SCD. Obviously both of them work to heal the gut, but I’m trying to understand the difference between the two…or if one would be better than the other. Any thoughts or suggestions. Thanks!

    • Avatar

      Hi Tracee, thanks for reaching out. Great question and both approaches are wonderful! The fact that you are already eating this way tells me that you have the dedication and ability to fix your health.

      This program is different because we believe diet to be only one piece of healing your gut and fixing your problems. In addition to a great diet, you need proven high quality supplements, simple but effective lifestyle habits, and elimination of any hidden root causes that are keeping you sick.

      This course is different because it’s put together under one program with easy steps for you to incorporate into your daily life. If you were only asking about the diet portion, our Solving Leaky Gut Rebuild diet is actually built upon Paleo Autoimmune and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet principles… with some key tweaks. In other words, we believe our Rebuild diet to be more effective than Paleo Autoimmune or SCD for acute symptom relief of people suffering from leaky gut. By combining these diets in a short rebuild phase we are seeing the fastest turn around in health in the 5 years since we started helping people with their diets.

      After the short intro phase we graduate you up to the Solving Leaky Gut Living Diet which allows you to create a completely custom diet that works for you, including any and all foods that you can properly digest and make sense for your lifestyle.

  121. Avatar

    Hello, I am 25 weeks pregnant and last week was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I would really like to manage the symptoms naturally. I was told to be careful changing my diet to quickly because of detoxing and that could be harmful to the baby. Any advice on what I should do? I have the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book and would really like to do the SCD but I am so nervous about how all of this is going to effect baby.

    • Avatar

      Hi Christina, thanks for reaching out. We do not know exactly how the detoxing process affects pregnant and nursing mothers, so we do suggest taking any dietary changes very slow and waiting to do the full SCD diet until you have had the baby and done nursing.

    • Avatar

      Hi Simon, thanks for reaching out! This is from breaking the vicious cycle website: http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/knowledge_base/detail/honey/

      “Elaine writes: Honey is legal because, as the book states, it contains only single sugars (monosaccharides) which do not need microvilli enzymes (see diagrams on pages 22 and 23) in order for the two sugars of which it is composed to be absorbed into your bloodstream. The two sugars are already in the absorbable form. However, sucrose and lactose, etc. need action of the microvilli enzymes and in people with IBD and other illnesses, research shows that these enzymes are not active.”

  122. Avatar

    Hello Steve and Jordan
    I notice that I start having difficult breathing after eating most of the time and that make me think stomach and lung or food and breathing relates to each other. Do you think SCDiet will correct this problem? Any experience ? Thanks

  123. Avatar

    Just found this site and was amazed at it. This is the way I have been eating for about two years now and did not know there was a name or a website for it. The only difference is I cannot eat green leafy veggies, no turnip greens, kale, spinach, etc. I can eat hard cheese and butter, but no milk or soft cheese or sour cream. And white potatoes do not seem to have any effect on me whatsoever. I usually will have one a week, one rice serving a week, one sweet potato a week, the rest of the time it’s mostly meat, veggies and fruit. I haven’t had bread in over two years, but I do make a mean biscuit with almond flour.

    I am going to recommend this site to several of my friends who have gastroparesis. One in particular has lost a lot of weight and cannot eat. Maybe this will be what she needs.

    Thank you for this site. It is good to know I’m not the only one out here eating this “strange” diet (as I have been told).

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    I’ve been eating paleo/primal for a couple of years now, and had flu/bronchitis back in March, which led to antibiotics, which led to my GI system suddenly being sensitive to just about everything, so I’m trying the SCD diet to see if that will help correct it. I’m on day 3 of the intro phase, and my only symptom seems to be a headache every day (possibly a combination of the die off and caffeine withdrawal). I assume I shouldn’t take ibuprofen or anything, correct? Is there anything else I can do for the headaches? Could it be the lack of fat in the intro phase?

    • Avatar

      Hi Cate, thanks for reaching out. We do encourage you to continue on the diet while trying not to take any NSAIDS, as they could make your GI symptoms worse. Perhaps some essential oils, plenty of water and rest will help your headaches, as well as natural creams such as icy hot or arnica.

  125. Avatar

    About to start this diet after xmas .I am wondering what do you use instead of the beef in the intro part of the diet.I am a vegetarian eat fish and chicken .
    Love so advice thanks heaps.

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    Hi, I have been suffering from fibromyalgia for 15 years and been in excruciating pain ever since. Im also HLA-B27+. Ive tried every treatment in the book. Now my new endocrinologist is thinking I could have leaky gut syndrome. I will be sending a urine sample to Denmark on Friday 18 Des for hyperpermeability test. Any similar cases with a good outcome?

    • Avatar

      Hi Elmarie, thank you for reaching out! Inflammation is the basis of all disease, and this can manifest it’s self as many symptoms including pain. We have seen many people with chronic pain experience relief from simply healing their gut and decreasing systemic inflammation.

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    Hi, My 10 year old daughter has SIBO with constipation. She has already been treated with Rifaximin. She has been on the FODMAP diet for a month and has another breath test in 3 days. If she is put on another round of antibiotics should I wait to do the intro diet for SCD? I’m not sure if we are supposed to draw out the bacteria during antibiotic treatment. Also, is it still recommended for people with SIBO to have homemade yogurt? I’m not sure if she should have additional bacteria introduced to her system although she is currently on probiotics and miralax daily. The last question I have is her gi doc wants to put her on Celexa to help with abdominal pain, but I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with that. Any and all advice is welcome. I really appreciate everything you put on the web – I can’t begin to tell you how helpful it has been!!!

    • Avatar

      Hi Lisa, thank you for reaching out! First off, antibiotics are known to kill not only harmful bacteria, but the good ones as well. It will not hurt to heal the gut during this time and reinoculate the gut with healthy bacteria, but it can only help. We suggest giving your gut some time to heal before introducing the yogurt and simply see how your body reacts to it and decide based upon the outcome. It is our goal for our followers to be medication free, although sometimes this may not be possible for each person and their unique situation. It is best to have a conversation with your doctor about this and discuss the options available.

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    If symptom free, is it wiser to try to start adding rice or corn to diet? This would allow me to use rice flour or corn meal.

    • Avatar

      Hi Patricia, thank you for reaching out! We do not really suggest either corn or rice, as both are inflammatory and hard on the digestive tract. However, if you are going to choose to reintroduce one, go ahead and start with rice and see how you do.

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    Hi there!

    Thanks so much for this amazing website and all the resources.

    I have downloaded book and am planning to begin SCD diet right after Xmas.

    I was diagnosed with Crohn’s last year and while I do have a stricture & inflammation I have been pretty asymptomatic. I have loose stools and occasional diarrhea but that is all. Most days I only have 1 bowel movement.

    So here is my question- In doing the SCD diet how will I know when I am improving?
    Will it just be measured by my stools?

    Hope this question makes sense. My GI wants to put me on medication and I want to make every effort to heal w/o medication.


  130. Avatar

    I’m 40 years old, and for the past few months I’ve been experiencing digestive issues bloating,constipation and hard stool. I have a bowel movement every two days, but sometimes I don’t get complete relief. My symptoms seem to occur after my food. I also exercise 5 days a week. I’m in the best shape of my life, but I hate feeling like this. I am diabetic and taking metformin, aspirin and perindopril. 5 years back they diagnosis as h pylory infection and treated. Now they did colonoscopy, everything normal in the result. They prescribed some antibiotics. Still I have the same problem of bloating and pain.

    • Avatar

      Hi Shanavas, thank you for reaching out! We suggest getting on a multi faceted approach to attack this issue. Our Solving leaky gut Program can do just that and we encourage you to take a look at it, as it has a program just for constipation as well. link:Solvingleakygut.com

  131. Avatar

    Jordan and Steve
    I want to begin by saying that you have a great website
    I have been on the diet for 4 weeks now. Cooked really well and mixed in Vitamix, I am stuck on carrot and chicken and olive oil – tried the lamb but on the third and fourth day had diarrhea. Banana even cooked – no good- Forget about honey no good. Not sure whether the diet is for me or not. I have strictures (2 severe and 1 moderate) and perhaps this is one of the problem. Started LDN a couple of days ago- I know Jordan used LDN for a year.
    I begin to get discouraged, fearing that nothing will work.
    Could you give me any advice?
    Does that happen when people get stuck at the introduction stage?
    Which food do you think I can almost safely introduce next?
    When will LDN expect to take effect?

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    Thank you for all the helpful information. I am having trouble finding the dry curd cottage cheese. Do you have any suggestions. My Whole Foods and other grocery stores do not carry. Someone suggested famers cheese but I noticed that it has sugar in it. Would you agree that the farmers cheese would not be on the SCD?
    Thank you

    • Avatar

      Hi Tammy, thank you for reaching out! The only dairy we suggest while on the SCD diet is the home made yogurt. From here, you can test out other forms of dairy and see how you do with them, but dry curds are not necessary to the SCD diet.

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    My son was diagnosed with uc in 2010, he was highly allergic to Asacol and Pentasa, his GI was pressuring us to have surgery, instead we started him on scd diet, it was a slow process but he gradually got better and has now been in remission for 19mnths until two weeks ago when for no reason he started a severe flare and this time the intro diet didnt work, his inflamation levels was 52, he is in a lot of pain. His GP started him on Prednisone on Monday with not much effect. Has anyone else had this experience on the scd diet and what advise does any one have. He is in his final year at school and hopes to go to university next year. It is so dissapointing after him being well for so long, we dread having to go back to his GI as he never agreed with the diet, he is also on ldn but no other meds.

    • Avatar

      Hi Barbara, thank you for reaching out! We have seen this happen to other’s and while it may not be able to be explained fully, it is best to get back on the SCD diet and calm the inflammation. If he did stray from his custom safe food zone, it is best he sticks close to this as well as his body may not be able to handle anything else.

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    Hi there, and thanks for the useful website!
    The reason why I have started praticing the SCD (or else, a GAPS-ish one), is 5 months ago I got very annoying Tinnitus, accompanied by anxiety and waking up at 3am at night. At first I though I got these due to my pregnancies and breastfeeding my kids (for a total of the last 6 years) – being quite thin, I thought I am exhausted and mineral-vitamin-depleted. However, on noticing I also had some gut issues (bloating at night, frequent diarrhea, frequent urinating, etc), it dawned on me that the underlying problem is in my guts. Now, my question is: focusing mainly on proteins , am I not risking losing too much weight? I have lost 2-3 kilos already for the last one month. I am eating lots of free-roaming chick broths and soups, eggs (one or two a day), beef broths, chicken meat, an apple and a pear a day, some lettuce with some soaked almonds in it every day, brown rice and some kinoa, boiled carrot and celery and pumpkin. More or less , this is my diet. As supps I take digestive enxymes, vitamin B complex, GABA and Spirulina. Oh, I also drink lots of green and ginger teas. I eat some sesame, olive and pumpkin seed oils. My protein cravings have been down by this one month, but I still feel protein hunger at times. What may this be due to? My sleep is much better though! One month of good sleep has been fantastic for me! Twice for the last month though, I did get some anxiety attacks (short-lived) and some Tinnitus, esp. round Full Moon. Anyways, could you advise whether my broth and protein diet will make me lose too much weight , or it will be fine? thank you in advance! P.S. I was given too many antibiotics as a child, which made me have bad teeth as early as I was 3. At the minute I have 12 root canals and very bad teeth. I have removed all amalgam and nickel crowns and am retreating my teeth. As far as I remember, I have suffered fatigue all my life. I also get rapid heart beat, which started in my 20-s. (now I am 36). This is why I suspect a serious Candida overgrowth in my intestines , and possibly some parasites 🙁

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      Hi Deli, thank you for reaching out! It is hard to say, as many factors can go into weight loss. We suggest finding a diet that works for you and where calories are not restricted, as calories provide energy that is needed to heal.

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    I have a two question.
    1.dose scd diet work to asian?? (Im korean. crohn’ s disease)
    2. when starts scd yogurt after scd intro? (im have not diarrhea)

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      HI Rosaline, thank you for reaching out. We have had great success with this diet for all types people. Secondly, many will start the yogurt when there symptoms begin to subside and they feel they can test out a new food.

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    Thanks for all you advise and help here!
    I’ve started the scd intro diet since yesterday (after years of weakness, sickness and heavy dysbiose in my gut) I woke up feeling weak and nauseous as expected but what worries me is that I have very low blood sugar (52) Is this a normal reaction and can this be dangerous? I have never had any known blood sugar problems in the past.
    Thanks a lot for any help/advise!!

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      Hi Rika, thank you for reaching out! While your body is going through many changes, the goal is certainly not to be hypoglycemic. Remember that calories are not restricted on the diet, so please eat as much as you need to. Secondly, we suggest you are in contact with a practitioner, as this is always a good idea. And lastly, try consuming some of the grape gelatin to help raise the blood sugar.

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    I just listened to the information from Dr. O’Bryan about supplements you need along with the diet to solve leaky gut. One of them is colostrum – is it bovine colostrum? If so, how can you take it and be dairy free too? Especially if you tested with a strong sensitivity to dairy?

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      Hi Stephanie, thank you for reaching out! Here is what DR. Tom has to say regarding this topic:

      “That’s a really good question. And the answer is maybe. A clinical decision
      has to be made, all right Mrs. Patient, you’ve got a lot of information here, the test show us all
      these elevated antibodies or other markers of inflammation. We want to calm it all down. Nothing calms down the genes of information faster than colostrum. We were designed to respond to colostrum. So this is a judgment call because we also see you have a dairy sensitivity, but I’m going to recommend that we make a clinical decision here that for two months you’re going to take the colostrum and the PRP sprays. Because we want to turn on the genes, we want to activate the genes for less inflammation more healthy vibrant genetic function. So if we can take these products and you don’t have a reaction to them at all except it keeps your antibodies elevated to dairy, you know, you’ve had elevated antibodies to dairy probably, we’ve just discovered it, but you might of had them for years already so a couple more months isn’t going to matter. And if we can turn on the genes for healthier function I’d much prefer doing that. Now, if you start to take the colostrum and you have a reaction, a little gut pain, a little bloating, a little diarrhea, just stop and say okay we tried but we can’t do it. Or you do the PRPs sprays if you have any type of those reactions, just stop. But if you don’t have a noticeable reaction for a couple of months, clinically I found that it helps with the long-term healing so much more to use these products, for a limited length of time. Once again you don’t want to take things that you’re allergic to or that your immune system is fighting. But clinically it helps in the big picture as long as you don’t have any reactions to taking them to take them for one month to two months.”

      • Avatar

        Thanks – but what are the PRPs sprays? And is there a particular brand or type of colostrum you would recommend?

        • Avatar

          Hi Stephanie, thanks for reaching out! We recommend the Numedica brand and PRP is also a form of the bovine colostrum that helps support the immune among many other benefits.

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    Every time I try to go on this diet I get so weak and shaky. I have issues with low blood sugar. When I eat my standard diet (which includes soda 🙁 I feel fine (as far as blood sugar goes) . As soon as I cut out all sugars and soda then I deal with symptoms. The only allowed sweetner is honey and I seem to get allergy response to honey (stuffy nose). Any suggestions?

    • Avatar

      Hi Rhonda, thank you for reaching out! Your body is probably going through a sugar with drawl and this is where the grape gelatin can be helpful. We urger you to continue on the diet, as your body is working hard to adapt to stable glucose level.

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    I enjoyed you Steve on Wellness Family Summit. You mentioned about Betaine HCL and that you had a huge article on your site but I can’t find it. Can you please send me the link? Thank you!

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    Hi! I am following a paleo diet right now but want to possibly switch to SCD after more research and feeling some of the changes out after doing this for about 30 days..
    Question for all you fine folks is….about 7 years ago I eliminated beef and pork from my diet after my doc said my IBS was flaring up, and doing an elimination I thought these two were triggers. Now I think there were so many things causing havoc there is no way I could have made an actual elimination decision properly back then.
    Before I reintroduce beef (grass fed) back I want to provide my body with some digestive enzymes. Any recommendations? I have been so heavy on grains and rice for so many years I feel like I need to give my gut some healthy oomph.
    Thanks !!

  141. Avatar
    Rebecca Umeseaka says:

    Hello my name is Rebecca,
    I have been having increased gut issues for nearly a year and stomach problems most of my life. I have constant cramping, gas and bloating after eating and trouble swallowing because my neck is being constricted and I am constantly choked with mucus in my throat. Moreover, I avoid dairy and gluten and take digestive enzymes with meals, but I am still struggling with all grains and have a hard time digesting meats and forced to eat soft foods due to a trouble swallowing. I am supposed to get a video swallow test from my G.I doctor but I am scared about that.

    Need help to get started on this diet, don’t want to do unnecessary tests, if I can help it! Thanks!

  142. Avatar

    I had a stool test and bacteria and parasites found in my intestines.
    I have no pain. Only loose stools.
    My doctor changed my hormone pills and put me on your diet and now is feeding me an immune boost through IV. Since all of this I feel fatigued ,weak ,dizzy lack of energy ,hard to sleep., not focused .Is this normal to have these side effects .? She also took me off of all of my super foods and natural immune boosting products that was keeping my energy up.
    What’s your thoughts on all this.

    • Avatar

      Hi Lynne, thank you for reaching out! First off, we suggest finding a practitioner that you trust yoru health with. Secondly, an anti-inflammatory diet like paleo, SCD, or GAPS is a must in order for you to heal. You can read more about the SCD diet here: scdlifestyle.com Lastly, you will need to attack the root causes (parasites, bacteria) of your symptoms. IF you are in need of a practitioner, please go here: https://healthygut.com/practitioners/

  143. Avatar

    After surgery involving the large bowel and being diagnosed with SIBO, I was given this diet. I went on antibiotics for two weeks, was retested and SIBO still there. I had already lost 12 lbs before going on the diet. On this diet I lost another 14 lbs. I called a SIBO doctor specialist in Oregon and asked about this because her website said for those who are too thin or lose too much weight the diet needs to be modified – but it didn’t say how. I asked the person who fields calls and questions at their office. She said in these cases, the doctor will add in white rice to help with weight gain. Anyone else have a similar experience with SIBO and weight loss.

  144. Avatar
    Laura Hernandez says:

    Hello- I know for sure I have leaky gut and I need to start GAPS or SCD soon. I just recently had some allergy testing done with my Dr. and it turns out I’m allergic to wheat, gluten, eggs, dairy, almonds, and pineapple. Would it be best for me to do SCD since GAPS allows almonds, dairy, and eggs in the intro phases? Obviously I need to heal before I can eat those items so maybe SCD would be better?

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    This may seem like a ridiculous question … how do you know when your leaky gut is healed? I realize that many people have significant symptoms and can ascertain an appreciable difference when they begin to get better. I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, but have not had a history of gut problems. I did an allergy elimination diet previously and could tell zero difference when I reintroduced foods, but, my blood testing indicates that I am produce significant antibodies to dairy and eggs. I’m alright with being on the diet, but is there a lab test that can tell me when my gut permeability has improved? Thank you.

    • Avatar

      HI Michele, thank you for reaching out! You are correct in that the best way to tell is by listening to your body. You might consider writing down how you feel each day in a journal if you feel like “listening to your body” is too vague for you.

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    Oh and lots of pastured pork lard/bacon grease, good quality olive oil, ghee made from Kerry Gold butter, palm kernel oil (to replace the coconut they can’t have), and all the fat/grease we can get from the meats we eat and our 24 hour bone broth .

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    My four little ones (18 months – 6 years) and I are dealing with many food sensitivities, which cause severe eczema and, in my case, sores in the mouth/headaches. We’ve been on GAPS intro, and a combination of other diets for about a year and a half. We recently had some specific food sensitivity testing done for each of us. Their results came back that they are very sensitive to nuts of every kind and coconut. We’ve had such a hard time with healing diets b/c we always seem to show a sensitivity to the allowed foods, which results in increased symptoms. I feel that I am not able to feed them enough for their growing bodies when taking out nuts from such an already restrictive diet like SCD. Do you have any suggestions for me? Right now we are eating no processed foods, lots of fresh/frozen/dried veggies and fruits, a small amount of 24 hour raw-milk yogurt, pastured/grass-fed meats, kombucha with a small amount of organic juice (no extra ingredients), small amounts of honey and pure maple syrup occasionally, and many supplements (including slippery elm, gelatin, l-glutamine, probiotics), but also rice/corn/potatoes to fill them up a bit. I’d love to drop the rice/corn/potatoes, but don’t know how to do that without any nuts/coconut in their diet. They are already so thin from all our dieting and SO hungry all the time. I feel like I feed them constantly, but it never satisfies. 🙁 Any suggestions would be welcome.

    • Avatar

      Hi Ashley, thank you for reaching out! I am sorry to hear you and your children are struggling. It is definitely hard to put kids on restrictive diets due to their ever growing bodies and need for calories and nutrients. You might consider a practitioner, as there may be some underlying condition causing these intolerance’s. Secondly, our solving leaky gut program would be suitable for all of you and will address a leaky gut, which may also be present. You can read more on this program here: http://www.fixmygutnow.com and the practitioners page here: https://healthygut.com/practitioners/

  148. Avatar

    I have read that buckwheat is a fruit. Not a grain. Why is it on the not allowed list? what digestive enzymes and hcl/benatine do u recomend

  149. Avatar

    Can SCD diet have influence on menstruation cycle?
    I´ve been following SCD for past 2 months /Intro diet included, now I´m slowly transiting to Phase 2/. Since I started the diet, I don´t have menstruation /it has nothing to do with pregnancy or loosing weight/. Before it used to be regular. What shall I do to get my hormones back to normal?
    Thank you for quick reply!

  150. Avatar

    Hi Guys

    Bought the book and started the SDC diet 8 days ago, first 2 days were fine on the Intro but then things have not improved at all, extended the intro to 5 days and started the Phase 1 on day 6, basically had “die off” symptoms for 8 days now and constipation for 4, any suggestions.


  151. Avatar

    I was reading the list of banned foods. I found quinoa is considered bad for us. Why? Quinoa is considered a super food because It contains higher nutrients. I am from Peru, and our ancestors “Indian used to eat a lot of quinoa and they were very strong and almost never get sick until Spanish people brought the flu and other diseases.

    • Avatar

      Hi Alexa,

      Thanks for reaching out! All grains and pseudo-grains are to be taken out as they contribute to inflammation among other things. While some may not contain gluten, they still contain similar proteins that lead to an increased release of zonulin which leads to and perpetuates increased gut permeability. After much healing has occurred, certain grains may be returned if properly prepared WAPF style. It is our goal for anyone who goes on the SCD, to graduate to a paleo diet and bring in safe starches.

  152. Avatar

    Hi there,

    Could you please help me with the following:

    How do I maintain or gain weight on SCD?

    I am an athlete and have experienced on the one hand great benefit from the diet and on the other a massive drop in muscle mass and weight.

    Please help me.


  153. Avatar

    Hi there,

    Quick couple questions:

    What do you think of Brown Rice Protein Powder?

    Could this potentially be included after a few of months spent on a strict SCD diet?

    Also, I am desperately trying to avoid losing more weight and seem to only manage to do so via increasing my consumption of pumpkins and squashes: can you please recommend anything else for athletes?

    Thank you very much for you time and valued advice

    • Avatar

      Hi Mat, Please see other post for weigh gain article. Our goal for you is that you find the right diet that fits your needs. You may be able to tolerate some brown rice protein just fine after you have had some time to heal. Others, however, may not do so well with rice. Go ahead and test this product out and do the best you can to find a high quality source.

  154. Avatar

    Jordan and Steve, I have multiple autoimmune diseases and my paternal grandmother had Celiac Disease. About 3 years ago I stopped seeing my Lupus doctor and went on a 14 day water fast. After the fast I was weak and attempted a Vegan Diet which just made me feel worse. I tried veggie burgers and ended up with a rash over my trunk area. I did a 30 day Ejuva Cleanse that included parasite and candida cleanses. After my water fast I felt like it aged me drastically and I’ve been trying to regain my health ever since. I’m worried the water fast triggered something inside me and now my thyroid is out of balance or possibly having an autoimmune response. I currently don’t have medical insurance so getting diagnosed or having labs done will have to wait until I have the money. I’ve tried really hard to go gluten free and my biggest problem or craving seems to be sugar. Before I started my Ejuva Cleanse I had rashes all over my face, arms, hands, back and my scalp. The rashes on my arms and hands are gone and my face is mostly clear and my legs are 70% clearer. My question to you both is my scalp is very itchy and burns. It’s so bad I feel like I’m going nuts sometimes. Can you suggest anything that can help my scalp improve or what might be causing it? I plan on doing the SCD diet ASAP! I don’t really have too many digestive issues other than occasional constipation. Most of my symptoms seems to be skin related with inflammation that strikes randomly in my hands and joints. Thank you!

    • Avatar

      Hi Amy,

      Sorry to hear that you’re struggling right now, but thank you for stopping by to share this with us!

      Many people don’t have overt GI symptoms, but have other symptoms like those you describe. There is a strong connection between the gut and skin, and as the research is proving that just because you don’t have GI symptoms doesn’t mean that dysbiosis isn’t strong. We suggest starting SCD as soon as possible and giving it at least 30 days to see how you feel.

      • Avatar

        Thank you Brent! I will start the SCD next week when I get paid. I assume the meat should be grass fed, antibiotic free, and use organic produce. I’ve already been making beef bone broth in my crock pot, slow cooking for 36 hours. I requested the SCD guide which will help me get started, but if I buy the book can it be downloaded to my computer?

        • Avatar

          You’re welcome Amy! If you can get grass-fed meats and organic produce, then that would be ideal. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Keep the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen in mind.

          As for the book, yes you can access it through our members portal anytime on any device with internet access as well as download it to your computer.

  155. Avatar

    My daughter had her gallbladder removed 4 years ago when she was 19 and has been suffering ever since with diarrhea and stomach pain. Has there been any success with anyone who lost their gallbladder and have tried the SCD?

  156. Avatar

    Is honey allowed for people who have SIBO? I see that it is allowed on the SCD diet but honey is a combination of sucrose and fructose and is absorbed in the small bowel just the same as table sugar. Doesn’t honey add ‘fuel’ to the bacterial and fungal overgrowth in the small intestine? Can anyone give me a clear and definitive answer to this? I have been following the SCD diet for two years religiously and my symptoms have returned worse than before. I am not certain that diet is the way to control SIBO.

  157. Avatar
    Tamara Summers says:

    Hello I have a question. I have crohns disease. I do not eat any fruits or veggies the only ones I do eat are potatoes and sweet potatoes onions (cooked). I do want to try this diet as I have heard great things in helping other crohns patients obtain remission thru this diet
    But will it be effective of I am basically only eating the allowes meats? I am just very scared to try to eat veggies and friut due to the extreme pain I was caused when first diagnosed. I have not comsumed any fruit or veggies even juices since 2005. I am just to scared to go thru the pain to even see if I can handle any of them, so I just completely stopped. Basically I live on meat and breads and pastas and potatoes. I also dont eat alot of dairy but do use butter and some cheeses only latose free
    milk every . Even most rhings I eat I still get pain but Its bearable pain.