One of my favorite questions we get (and have been getting for years) basically comes down to this: “When am I going to get better?”
I love this question. Mostly because when I was sick 7 years ago I spent endless hours trolling Google trying to find the answer myself. So I’m going to share some of the writing I’ve done about this before… because I could reply back with any number of cliché inspirational sayings we have, like:
- “It took a long time to get sick and it takes a long time to get better”
- “This healing process is a marathon, not a sprint – you’re doing great!”
- “Everyone has a custom diet that works for them… you just have to keep testing until you find yours”
Each of these reassuring clichés is completely true, but what I love about it is: it means you’ve already taken action and started changing your diet/supplements/etc. You’ve already accomplished the most difficult part of taking control of your health by overcoming thoughts in your head like “What if it doesn’t work for me?” or “I don’t have time to cook all this food.”
Starting the diet is not only the first step, but it’s the most important one. And it usually means you’re finally on the way to unlocking your body’s natural ability to heal.
So, When Will You Get Better?
One more cliché response for you: “it depends…”
Have you ever heard that no two snowflakes are exactly alike?
It’s fascinating. My 6-year old has a book about it that we read together. No two snowflakes have ever been found to be the same. They do all have commonalities. For example, most have six sides and there are three common shape categories that 99% fall into (if you were wondering it’s needle-like shapes, columnar shapes, or irregular shapes).
But in the end, they are all unique, just like your diet.
Here’s the bottom line: This diet works … we’ve seen it work over and over again with thousands of people over the last three years.
But no two versions are exactly the same, just like the snowflakes. And the analogy continues: there are common types (like the tough case or mild case versions)… but each will be subtly different in the end.
Your past lifestyle choices, genetics, and current lifestyle choices are all unique to you, and each has an impact on how you’re going to heal.
It doesn’t stop with food either. Typically, the diet only goes so far – supplement and lifestyle changes help solve the complete puzzle. So, there’s a lot of factors that play a role in this process.
For Example, Let Me Show You These 3 Case Studies:
Case Study 1: Crohn’s Colitis and Diarrhea
Nick* has been on Prednisone ever since he was diagnosed with Crohn’s Colitis 2 years ago. He averaged at least 10 BMs a day. He was exhausted and the blood was getting worse.
A few years before, he tried following full SCD for a few weeks and didn’t see any improvement, so he gave up. His doctor was pushing for Humira, which motivated him to give SCD one last try.
He started SCD by properly doing the intro diet for 3 days and then tried adding in new foods. Everything he tried made his diarrhea worse and it seemed like this diet was making him sicker! After two weeks of horrible D, he knew a flare was coming fast. The first tweak he made was to start taking digestive enzymes and within two days his stools started to take better form and the urgency was less.
Next, he was frustrated because his stools were still mushy and 4-5 times a day. He decided to test dairy-free because he saw an article that it was one of our “four horsemen.” Four days after eating dairy-free, his BMs were down to 2-3 soft stools a day… HUGE improvement for him. Not only that, but during his 2nd month of SCD his energy doubled and he finally slept through the night without waking up to go to the bathroom. The next six months were gradual improvement…
*Name changed to protect identity
Case Study 2: Constipation and Bloating
Joanna* has been sick many times during her lifetime, she’s taken many antibiotics and always seemed to have irregular bowel habits. Most days she used laxatives/enemas to get by, especially when the bloating got unbearable.
She’s tried several other natural diets and supplements without any improvement. She finally decided to try SCD for 30 days.
She did the intro diet for 4 days and didn’t have a BM the whole time. As she introduced new foods on the 5th day, she was feeling really discouraged that the diet wasn’t going to work like all the others. She read a post we did on Constipation and decided to start eating more coconut oil and made a batch of sauerkraut. When the sauerkraut was ready, her BMs started to be more regular every other day and things stayed that way through her 30-day anniversary.
It was nice, but she was still frustrated. Her acid reflux, frequent burping, and stomach gurgling made her think more about trying Betaine HCL and she did the HCL Challenge. The challenge made her feel so much better she knew it was the right tweak to test next. Over the next 7 days, HCL improved her BMs to one solid movement every day for the first time in her life… and she never looked back, but stayed on SCD for the next year.
*Name changed to protect identity
Case Study 3: Celiac Disease and Malnutrition
Sue* struggled with undiagnosed Celiac disease for many years, she alternated between horrible diarrhea and mild constipation. It was very frustrating for her and she’d been to many doctors over the years. They could never figure out why she was malnourished and had elevated liver enzymes.
She tried their recommendations to take more fiber and it didn’t help her stomach pain and even made her diarrhea worse most days. She followed a strict, gluten-free diet for 3 years without an improvement in her symptoms.
7 days after she started SCD, her diarrhea stopped completely. But after that it seemed like once a week she would have diarrhea really bad and it never seemed like it was triggered by a food. Her blood tests still showed many nutrient deficiencies. After hearing my story, she tried digestive enzymes and within 2 days her stools seemed more well-formed and her energy levels improved. But she still had diarrhea randomly once or twice a week. It seemed like she was stuck and afraid to introduce new foods.
As it turned out, she was an overworked, stressed-out mom with a history of depression. She also just moved to a new city and the stress from the move was pushing her to the edge. She decided to try our 7-day stress challenge and take stress management seriously, just like taking a pill or making a diet tweak. After two weeks of doing a few minutes a day of deep breathing and yoga – she started to notice she felt “more alive.” And after 30 days of taking her stress seriously, she finally realized the random diarrhea was gone and she was starting to try new foods. She finally felt like her life was turning around, but had her ups and downs over the next nine months.
*Name changed to protect identity
Each of them had to make different tweaks. Some couldn’t tolerate foods that others could. And in the end, each solution was unique, but the formula to get there was the same:
They properly started the diet, discovered their “food safe zone,” made the right supplement tweaks, and used lifestyle changes to help them heal. But each one had different results over different time periods.
So, Here’s What to Expect as You Heal:
Starting this diet isn’t the easiest choice, but reclaiming your life is, so it’s worth it in the end. Expect that this journey isn’t going to be the same as anyone else and understand that it doesn’t mean it’s not working for you or that you can’t follow our guidelines.
Use these case studies as a reminder to ask questions and always listen to your body. It’s giving you subtle clues all the time about what to do next. It’s also giving you signs about how well you’re healing.
Here’s what you can expect as you re-engineer your health:
Expect to customize…
Expect to tweak…
Expect to have ups and downs…
Expect to feel better over time…
And most importantly: you can expect to save a lot of frustration by finding out whether you’re a “Tough Case” or a “Mild Case.”
So, Are You a “Tough Case” or a “Mild Case”?
If you don’t know whether you’re a “Tough Case” or a “Mild Case” – it’s really important for you to take this quiz right now.
The process of creating our own custom diets and then helping tens of thousands of others do the same thing taught us a very important lesson…
While we are all snowflakes, most people typically fall into two distinct groups for customizing their diet: “Tough Case” or “Mild Case.”
You’re either one or the other and it will dictate exactly how you should create your custom diet and get better. That’s good and bad…
It’s good because we’ve had the fortune to figure this out and test it with many other people like you. It’s bad because you’ll likely be faced with several hard decisions once you know more about what it takes to get your health back.
So, we’ve created a quiz to help you figure out which group you belong to.
DISCLAIMER: This quiz isn’t intended to diagnose your problems nor does it provide a comprehensive health analysis. Only your Doctor can do that.
But these questions were born out of working with thousands of digestive cases and helping people troubleshoot their custom diets. It’s a compilation of the signs and symptoms we’ve found tending to indicate which path you should take to heal your gut…
The “Tough Case”/”Mild Case” Quiz
Here’s how it works: Read each of the following questions and simply answer Yes or No
- In the past 7 days, have you observed any blood in the toilet? (yes/no)
- Did you have more than 6 bowel movements yesterday? (yes/no)
- Have you ever been prescribed any of the following drugs (Imuran, Humira, Remicade, or any other TNF-alpha inhibitors) (yes/no)
- Are you considered a “non-responder” to any drug treatments for digestive disease (for example: Bentyl, Prednisone, Sulfasalazine, Mesalamine, etc.)? (yes/no)
- Have you had surgery to remove any portion of your upper or lower intestines? (yes/no)
- Do you experience any food allergies or food intolerances? (yes/no)
- Has it been more than 3 days since your last bowel movement? (yes/no)
- Do you regularly use enemas to initiate a bowel movement (yes/no)
- Do you use any kind of over-the-counter laxatives on a weekly or daily basis in order to go to the bathroom? (yes/no)
- Do you suffer from high levels of anxiety or depression? (yes/no)
- Do you consider yourself to have moderate to bad acne or other skin issues (i.e. eczema, rashes)? (yes/no)
- Are you or have you attempted SCD, Paleo, GAPS, GFCF or another alternative healing diet and been disappointed with the results? (yes/no)
- Does this statement describe you…“Despite trying several treatment options (natural or drug), nothing seems to change my symptoms”? (yes/no)
- Have you experienced unexplainable weight loss and can’t put it back on, or have you struggled to lose weight no matter what you’ve tried? (yes/no)
Okay, now it’s time to be honest… how many yes’s did you have? If it was 2 or more than that indicates you’re a “Tough Case.” It’s that simple… no exceptions.
What to Do Once You Have Your Results…
“Tough Cases” are unlikely to respond to a generic real food diet, even full SCD. While the “Tough Case” group might sound dark and gloomy, it’s actually not. What it really means is we know many of the trigger foods that “Tough Cases” can’t tolerate and they need to follow a different protocol with more customization than a “Mild Case” does.
“Mild Cases” can typically tolerate more food… but that can be a dangerous pitfall.
So, what do you do with these results?
In both instances, we’ve created specific meal plans based on what worked and didn’t work for both groups of people.
And you can test them out for the next 30 days here: http://scdlifestyle.com/meal-plans/
If they don’t work for you or if you’re not happy for any reason, just send us an email and we’ll be happy to refund your money 🙂
In good health,