Parents have had to fight doctors long enough about the merits of SCD. Good thing more research is coming out confirming that yes, indeed, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is not doing harm. And in fact it is helping many with inflammatory bowel disease.
Here’s the latest study to support SCD.
And in celebration of that new study, today’s heartwarming story is about Ulcerative Colitis and a Mom’s inner journey as she tries to do anything to help, fix and support her youngest son.
I’m so happy for Luciano (far right) and appreciative of Carol for sharing one of the most inspiring and true life success stories.
Our ebook is the go-to execution manual for SCD. Hope you have a copy.
I recently published a children’s book titled Luciano and His Sunshine Boots. It’s a true story about my youngest son who purchased yellow puddle-stomping boots and called them his “Sunshine Boots.” It’s a heartwarming story about hope, healing, and happiness.
Sunshine Boots, for us, represents many of the hurdles we’ve had to overcome on our journey dealing with a chronic illness. Luciano was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at a very young age. He is the youngest of my four sons and the only one who has health challenges. When he was diagnosed, I found myself sitting in the doctor’s office trying to form an answer to the question, “Are you emotionally ready to have a chronically ill child?” This question is painfully difficult to answer. Today, far too many of us find ourselves faced with this very question.
Can Anyone Ever Be Emotionally Prepared to Handle Chronic Illness?
Everything in my being wanted to make my sick son well. I wanted to make his pain go away and to help him. He was severely anemic, often doubled over in pain, and running to the bathroom 20 times a day with bloody diarrhea. The doctor prescribed prednisone, a powerful anti-inflammatory drug, and nightly steroid enemas to try to get the flare under control. I found myself asking the questions: “What if the bad side effects from the drugs occur?” “Are these drugs doing more harm than good?” “Can this really be helping the situation?” and “Will we have to be doing this for the rest of our lives?”
I simply believed there had to be another way. We have no history of this disease on either side of our families. Metaphorically speaking, I had to put on my Sunshine Boots and wade through the voices of both of Luciano’s Uncle and Grandfather, who were pharmacists, asking me why I wasn’t okay with accepting his sickness and giving him these wonderful (scientifically researched and approved) FDA drugs? And then there was Luciano’s doctor telling me there are 900 diets that claim to be the one. In other words, good luck with finding a diet that works. You have a better chance of winning the lottery!
It just so happened that in the first month of Luciano’s diagnosis that two people told me about the SCD diet on the same day. I listened and sought out all the information I could on the diet. Twelve years ago there wasn’t a lot of information about the SCD diet available. I purchased the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle and read it a couple of times. I learned the legal and illegal foods and constantly referred to that list. I decided that I would stand steadfast, in my decision to try the diet and be fanatical about eating only the legal foods. I purchased almond flour and dry curd cheese and vitamins and set out to try a whole new way of eating and cooking.
I Had No Positive Feedback from Luciano’s Doctor…
Or anyone else I knew in the medical profession (or Luciano’s father). I had to deal with the fear of stepping outside of the box. Honestly, I thought, “I’m either going to kill my child or make him better.” I was more than scared and yet I was hopeful, because the diet made sense to me. I decided to go with my gut feeling and move forward.
Luciano was anemic and on the SCD diet taking iron supplements is illegal. My doctor informed me that there was no way that I would ever be able to reverse his anemia without taking iron supplements. In my efforts to pay strict attention to the rules of the diet, I didn’t listen to the doctor and I dove in immediately and followed the diet. I did pay attention to iron rich foods and tried my best to feed my son these foods.
Every Day I Had to Battle the Demons of Fear
“What if this diet doesn’t work and my son’s symptoms become worse?” I had to weigh what made sense to me and pat that down with my mother’s heart to help my son. I rolled up my sleeves, put my Sunshine Boots on and stood steadfast with the plan. I had to learn a whole new way of cooking and eating (as did the rest of my family). At this time, Luciano’s brothers were all in their teens and playing club sports. I had to make many adjustments to feed them and Luciano.
I started the beginning part of the diet by making the chicken soup recipe, said to cure diarrhea. Miraculously, it worked and has worked every time we’ve had to use it. After two months on the diet, I took Luciano to the doctor and he was no longer anemic and his blood work was totally normal! At that point I became a believer. Since the diet states that you need to stay on it for 2 years past the last flare we did exactly that and stayed on the diet for 5 years, fanatically. In that time, Luciano had a couple more flares, but they were very short-lived. He never took Prednisone again and after about age 12…
He Made the Choice Not to Take Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Other than eating healthier foods than his peers, Luciano leads a normal childhood playing sports and enjoying the things he loves. At almost 19 he’s 6’2” and ended up being taller than all his brothers. He’s still thin, but he is healthy. While today he’s not “fanatical” about the diet, he still eats mostly SCD legal foods. Two of his favorites are kale and beets.
In so many ways our journey was much more uncharted than it would be if we started the diet today. I would tell you the SCD diet changed all of our lives for the better. We’ve all had our eyes opened to the taste and benefits of eating wonderful whole foods. We all love to cook. We don’t crave sugars and starches that people who eat the typical American diet of processed foods crave. To this day I make my own yogurt. I also choose to cook and grow most of my own food. Having trained myself to read the ingredients of everything, I find it difficult to purchase most grocery store food. Thankfully, there are more organic and nutritional stores and options out there today.
I recently was informed of the SCD Lifestyle website from my oldest son. He chooses to embrace the SCD diet even though he has no digestive ailments and never has. He told me to check out the website because, he said, “They have taken what you learned to the next level.”
I Already Feel like I Won the Lottery in Finding the SCD Diet…
But this website makes me feel like I won again! It’s an excellent resource and tool for anyone considering trying the diet or seeking help for digestive health issues. I certainly wish it existed when we started the diet. I applaud them for making this beneficial information easy to understand and available. I encourage you to educate yourself, use this great resource and ultimately find hope and healing through the SCD diet.
If you want to read more of our story or get a copy of Luciano and His Sunshine Boots, please visit sunshineboots.com.
Please check out Carol’s book, especially if you have children. And in the meantime keep working on customizing the diet to work for you, which is the #1 thing that everyone does who’s successful.
Did this inspire you? Do you want to pay it forward? If so, send your success story to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. – Since we published this story, Carol emailed us and let us know the story behind the story of her book has been published in a magazine.