Crohn’s Disease Is a Life Changer… But So Is SCD

Shock and awe, followed by waves of inspiration…

That’s the series of emotions that I experienced reading the story below. It’s something I feel each time I read about someone who’s overcoming their health challenges.

The following story was written by Cristin. She put a ton of effort into it, so I published it in its entirety. It’s a heroic story of a busy mom who said no to drugs and yes to health – a woman who endured lots of complications, fired plenty of doctors, and yet offers great advice to those of us who are fighting for our health.

[Enter Cristin]

To understand why my journey with the SCD diet started, you have to go back to the beginning and how one night changed everything.

“Who has time for this?” Yep, that’s what I thought on the drive to the emergency that Saturday evening in December 2011. Earlier in the afternoon, I told my husband I was going to rest for a bit, as the pain in my lower abdomen was a little worse, I felt feverish, and I was “pretty sure I had the flu or something.” If only…..

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While I curled up in a ball on the bed, I called to my husband, asking him to Google “appendicitis.” He read me some things and knew I was serious when I replied, “You better call my doctor.” After a brief phone call, we made arrangements for a close friend to stay with our two-year old and eight-month old, thinking this would be a quick removal of the appendix and back to life as normal in a couple days.

We Could Not Have Been More Wrong

This was the beginning of what would become our new normal.

Fast forward twenty months to today and the controversy of that December night is still fresh in my mind, but not as consuming as it was back when I was told, “You have Crohn’s Disease.” You see, beside the five days of increasing abdominal pain, I was healthy, no symptoms of Crohn’s, super active, a runner, no diarrhea, no pain.

It didn’t make sense… unless you go back to that night and what happened at the ER…

Our local hospital has a reputation for being less than qualified to take care of the injured or sick, but we thought an appendix was pretty routine so we would be okay going there. Wrong. The short version is that the on-call surgeon would not come in to evaluate me after blood tests indicated, and a CT scan showed, a ruptured appendix. We were told I would be put on antibiotics and morphine until morning when the surgeon would come in to check my progress. Thanks to the help and knowledge of friends in the medical profession, we decided I needed to be transferred to another hospital about an hour away. We had no idea the ER doctor and nurses would make it so difficult for a transfer to occur.

To say it was a nightmare is an understatement

Finally, after five days of increasing pain and ten hours after entering the first ER, I was on the operating table having my ruptured appendix removed. When I left the hospital a day later with my antibiotics in hand, I was ready to heal and move on from what had happened. Unfortunately, that was not going to happen; at least not yet.

I was able to enjoy Christmas with my family with some pain and a feeling of, “not quite right,” but I was ok. I assumed that was normal after surgery, right? A few days after Christmas, my “not quite right feeling” began to get worse, much worse. Finally, on New Year’s Eve, I told my husband it was time to take me back to the ER. And this is where the story gets good…

That afternoon, they changed my antibiotics and sent me on my way. Great, I thought, another week of meds and this will be over. Not so much. I ended up back in the hospital for a week of IV antibiotics, followed by a week home, only to return again for another stay and IV antibiotics, followed by two weeks of IV antibiotics that my husband administered at home.

As long as I was on the IV, I was clinically doing well…

But as soon as I went to oral antibiotics my body couldn’t fight the infection inside me.

Finally, seven CT scans over a seven-week period of time later, I was going in for another surgery so they could, “clean out the infection.”  During the surgery, the doctors ended up performing an oophorectomy , as well as putting a stent in my damaged kidney; all from the infection. How in the world did a ruptured appendix turn into this? If that surgeon had gotten off his couch, would I be experiencing this?

Three weeks after my surgery, I was feeling pretty well and started coaching track again. Throughout the spring season, I had some twinges of pain, but nothing terrible. And then, it started. At the end of March, I could not put anything in my mouth – not food, not drink, not gum, nothing – without a horrible pain above my belly button. So I stopped eating. I lost thirty pounds and I was starving.

Finally, a colonoscopy was ordered

And that’s when I heard those words, “You have Crohn’s Disease.”

Of course, I was in denial. ‘I had no symptoms. I had just had two “kinda” major surgeries. This was just pain from the healing. There were reasons for the pain, and Crohn’s Disease was not one of them.’

I was given a prescription and told to start taking it so I would feel better in a week or two. I had a million questions, but I’ll just say it, the doctor was a cocky jerk. My favorite was when I asked him how he knew it was Crohn’s and he responded with, “I’ve done this for thirty years. If I say it’s Crohn’s, it’s Crohn’s.” Sure. Ok, but can you please be a little more specific and discuss this disease with me???

He did not have time for my questions about the disease

Nor did he have time for questions about the medications, or the long-term plan, and he made sure I realized that his time was more valuable than my concerns. This was the last time I would be seeing this doctor. I did not start the medications and I found a new doctor, this time at the Cleveland Clinic.

The new doctor wanted another colonoscopy, because “the one he did was lazy and sloppy.” While waiting for that appointment, I started reading anything and everything I could about Crohn’s Disease and slowly started to eat again because the pain was gone after the colonoscopy. Just as quickly as the pain arrived, it darted away completely. I was still in denial, especially since I did not have any pain, but I was going to be ready this time to ask questions and find a way to treat this disease without these rotten medications.

I must have atrocious doctor luck…

Because when I went back to discuss the results of my colonoscopy and the plan for treatment, she told me, “There is no doubt you have severe Crohn’s Disease. You will need to pick one of these four medications.” When I asked her about treating the disease naturally she responded with a firm, “You will take one of these medications or you will be back here within a month on the operating table so I can remove your colon.” How about that for bedside manner? As I continued to ask questions, she finally stopped me, informing me I was only scheduled for a thirty-minute appointment, and she had other patients waiting. I looked at my husband as we walked out of her office and stated, “I’m finding a new doctor and I am not taking her drugs.”  “I know,” he said.

And our journey with SCD began…

That August, I started cold-turkey. Well, I had a friend bring a large strawberry malt over as a parting gift to myself, and the next day I started.

It. Was. Hard.

There was so much to think about, to plan for, to organize, to prepare, but I was in and, in my competitive mind, I was going to win. The most difficult part for me was that I never had any “trigger” foods. Literally one day, one bite, I had pain and couldn’t eat, but I never had the classic “Crohn’s” symptoms. How would I ever know if this SCD diet was working? It didn’t matter to me, I wasn’t going to slip up, I wasn’t going to sneak a bite here or there, I was going to beat this disease naturally.

In September, I saw my newest doctor for the first time. He reviewed all my medical records starting with the appendectomy and was convinced from the colonoscopies that it was Crohn’s Disease with “significant damage.”

He recommended TNF blocking medications…

But felt comfortable waiting to start them since I was clinically in remission. I liked this doctor! Not because I was told what I wanted to hear, but because he was patient. He listened. He understood my concerns, even if he didn’t agree with them. He respected my feelings. He was very clear on what he felt should be the proper protocol for someone with my level of disease; he wasn’t going to tell me what I wanted to hear, but he was willing to work with me and see where things would go, as long as I understood the risks.

I had no pain, I was eating, I was maintaining weight, I was running, other than adhering to this diet, my life was pretty normal. He gave me four months until a follow-up appointment. More than once he told me he wouldn’t say that what I was doing was the reason I was in remission, but he wouldn’t say it wasn’t the reason either.

“I’m a medicine doctor. I prescribe medicine.”

I didn’t realize it at the time, but he thought I would be back before the four months was up. I wasn’t…

I don’t like the SCD diet. Honestly, who would? In my opinion, it’s brutal mentally, but all I could think about was staying off those medicines. On a run one day, a friend asked me about a commercial he saw and wanted to know if that was one of the medications the doctor wanted me to go on. When I told him yes, he responded, “No wonder you’re willing to eat like this. Is there anything good about that drug?”

January arrived and I returned for my appointment. Other than one little spot of discomfort in my lower abdomen (scar tissue from the second surgery?), I was doing well.  A colonoscopy was scheduled for June, a year after my first one, to see what was going on inside me. I was sent on my way after another informative and patient visit with my doctor. Have I mentioned I really like him, his willingness to listen, to explain, and to take the time I need to feel comfortable with what we are doing to my body?

Slowly, I started to add non-SCD foods to my diet

However, I follow a strict all natural diet, eating only whole foods. If I eat something that is non-SCD and feel anything (gas, bloating, a twinge of pain) I eliminate it immediately and go 100% SCD until things feel normal again.

I would say I am 80% SCD – 20% whole foods and doing very well; however,  my June colonoscopy was not as promising as I had hoped. The damage had not gotten any worse, but it had not gotten any better. Was it because I wasn’t adhering to a strict SCD diet anymore or was there so much damage that I could not repair it? I thought for sure my doctor would want me to go on the TNF medications, but after two long phone conversations with him, it was decided that I would continue doing what I was doing and see what happens.

See what happens because he feels that with or without medication a resection is “inevitable” due to the damage and risk of a blockage at some point, but since I have clinically been in remission for a year with no outward signs of the disease, he is comfortable with waiting. It is a gamble; I thought about caving and going on the medications mainly so I could eat whatever I wanted and enjoy a beer again, but after my second conversation with my doctor, I was fired up to beat this disease naturally. If the question was not if, but when would I need a resection? Why risk the side effects of the medications, if I was doing well without them?

The million dollar question is…

Did I always have Crohn’s Disease and was asymptematic my whole life, or did that ER doctor’s decision to stay home, prolonging the removal of my ruptured appendix, in turn change the course of my health and my life? Did the weeks of strong antibiotics cause this disease or was it always there and I didn’t know it? It’s a question we will never know the answer to and I am finally getting to the point that the answer doesn’t really matter.

It’s no longer, “Why me?” but, “Why not me?”

I’m strong enough to do this. I have an amazing, supportive husband who tries my crazy SCD recipes and although he misses the ease of eating “crap food” he is willing to continue this SCD journey because it works. Because his wife is getting well. And because, even though this is not the normal we knew sixteen months ago, it’s the normal we know now.

I know how to go to a cookout, or a family gathering, or a meeting and work my way around food. I got over the judging eye of others who thought I was just being a “health nut.” I know how to cook for my family and myself, meshing all of our dietary needs. My husband claims, “You ruined me.” Because when he does have processed food it no longer satisfies his taste buds the way it once did. SCD is our normal now.

To those thinking about starting SCD, I say this – what do you have to lose?

At worst, you are going to have to work a little; ok, a lot, harder at planning and preparing food, but you can do it. It is possible. Healing is possible. SCD is not some quick and easy fix or a pill to pop to mask your symptoms. It’s a new way of life. And you can do it, as long as you remember what it was like to be miserable each day so that you can keep the wrong foods from entering your body. That memory and thinking about “the green light” (the light that would come on after my second surgery so I could push the morphine button) has made this change a little easier. I don’t EVER want to feel that way again, and I don’t want to put my family through another battle for my health.

Plan a day at a time. Live a day at a time. Breathe.

You can’t look too far ahead because you’ll go crazy, but you can look down the road and know that you are giving yourself the chance to be healthy again for a long time. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s not going to be that hard either. You have to take control of your health and with a disease that seems to always be in control, I like being able to feel in control of my body again. SCD gave me back control of my body, my life. Surround yourself with positive people who may not understand what you are doing with your diet, but support it. Put yourself in an environment that allows you the best opportunity to continue to live. There is nothing you can’t do, as long as you believe you can. Crohn’s Disease doesn’t get that.

Sometimes, when I am running I think about making a commercial for SCD the way they make commercials for the TNF medications. The majority of the drug commercial involves listing all the complications and possible side effects of the drug. They are scary commercials camouflaged with calming music and happy faces.

What would I list for side effects of SCD? Feel good again, eat again, don’t map out the bathrooms when you leave the house, have energy, look like a healthy person again, have regular poops again, be you again just a little different. And the best part is, you wouldn’t have to camouflage the side effects.

Crohn’s Disease is a life changer. But so is the SCD Diet. Which one are you going to let change your life?


[Enter Steve]

I just want to thank Cristin for being so open and honest with the world about her story. It takes a ton of heart to get this intimate and I admire her for that. I also admire all of you out there who are fighting in silence – keep up the good fight.

If you’d like to get started on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, our book is a step-by-step guide to help you take control of your symptoms with food. For more information about our book, click here:


P.S. – If Cristin’s story inspired you, please leave a comment for her here.

Steven Wright

About Steven Wright

Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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51 thoughts on “Crohn’s Disease Is a Life Changer… But So Is SCD

  1. Avatar
    Valene Marshall says:

    cristen , what a journey with your body , I admire you for the tenasity and courage to stand up for what you believe would not make you well with more doctor prescribed meds . I believe you no doubt got the infection in your blood stream which resulted in your intestinal wall being damaged . I am not a doctor, but our gut is very delicate tissue , I believe this because of food poisoning that I got and being prior on PPI s for a upper stomach attacks , years , that I was doctoring it turned out I was actually lacking acid not over acid . It’s been a battle for 8 years to turn me around with stomach and a intestinal attack at the end , the final blow . As so many my life went upside down but like you I took control and though the PPI s and the the pain left in my stomach same time , the intestinal attack brought another problem. Now under a natuapath dr .
    As Conventional was all about antibiotics , I turned to the SCD diet and natural antibiotics combined . So far there has been a huge change . But weather people who have SIBO can overcome takes adherence .
    Thank you for a story that most of us pray that we would never go through . Bless you , thank you for the encouragement !!! . Valene Marshall

  2. Avatar

    Hi Kristen . I read your story and I am really impressed . My 25 year old son has severe Crohns Disease .Had to have immediate bowel resection surgery because his small was about to burst . He is totally disabled because of this horrible disease . He was on Remicade infusions , chemo and a few other drugs . He lost his insurance at the end of August . He is now three infusions behind . ( every eight weeks ) He is in horrible pain all the time . When he got sick he weighed 185 . After surgery and several weeks in the hospital , he walked out of there weighing only 129 pounds . During the Thanksgiving holidays he has been to the emergency room three times . Thanks to Crohns Disease he now has Fistulas on his kidneys . I have tried everything to find help for him but nothing so far . Thank you for sharing your story . I am very interested in your diet and want to start my son on it . Again , thank you so much .

  3. Avatar

    My story is similar to yours but I’ve just begun my scd diet. I just wanted to know if you’ve recently done a colonoscopy and whether or not there was an improvement. Also are you taking any medication for the crohn’s now?

  4. Avatar

    Cristin, I relate to your story. Although I don’t have chrones I did have 3 botched surgeries part of my intestinal track has been removed and partial colon. Now I have scare tissue and adhesions that lead to horrendous left side abdominal pain. Believe or not after 8 years of this my GI doctor recommended SCD (I think we were both at our wits end). I just began after yet another ER visit! So let me tell you it’s between Jordan and Steve…you have been a huge help.

  5. Avatar

    Great story. Thank you. Do you have any leads on finding a doctor who would be open to SCD as opposed to the strong meds, particularly in the Boston area? This is for a family member, who is, so far, doing very well symptomatically on SCD after a couple of months (actually noticed a big difference within a week or so.) Thanks. Any tips on finding such a GE would help!

  6. Avatar

    Thanks for sharing your story! I too had a ruptured appendix, that I couldn’t quite recover from. Eventually every bite of food that went in my mouth, caused horrendous pain and after several visits back and forth to various Dr’s, I received my Crohn’s diagnosis. I was on Pentasa (and later Asacol) and also prednisone for a while. Eventually I weaned myself from the medication and changed my diet, eliminating the trigger foods. Today I’m pretty much symptom free, other than a bad day here and there.

    I think the key is to stay away from the foods that you know you shouldn’t have, eliminate as much stress as you can from your life, and try to get in at least a bit of exercise every day.

  7. Avatar

    Day 295 and counting! For anyone interested in started SCD (elimination diet), don’t do it 2 days before Thanksgiving–allow yourself that indulgence. If you think it’s hard to do the Intro Phase on any given day, try doing it during Thanksgiving while eating with your entire family. Ugh.
    I have a similar story. Great health into my 40’s and then kablam. The docs assumed it was an appendicitis (that had walled over and formed an abscess) and medicated me for that. After 2 months of deteriorating health, an ileocecectomy was performed, followed by the Crohn’s diagnosis from the pathologists. I’m happy to be drug-free and am okay with my dietary restrictions. I look forward to one day figuring out the root cause and a real cure.
    (The thing that scares me is hearing about friends and family all over the country that are encountering gut issues after decades of a healthy life. What is going on??)
    When people hear about the diet and its phases, the response I get most of the time is, “I could NEVER do that.” To those people I say, “Yes, you CAN!!” You just have to make the decision. Will it suck? Yeah. Will you have days when you’re screaming at pasta, saying, “You can’t control me! You’re just a noodle!” Perhaps. Will you want to stuff your face with bread and muffins so badly that you have to leave the house? If you’re lucky, no. But you CAN do it. It’s possible. And I cheer anyone who’s willing to do it!

    • Avatar

      Hi Stacey,
      Your question “What is going on?” rang a bell with me. I have done tons of research myself into Monsanto’s role in all of this and this is what I came up with.
      The pesticides that are used on GMO plants contain an endocrine disruptor known as glyphcate. It works by exploding the digestive system of the bugs that eat it.
      It is EVERYWHERE, and there is some consensus that it is doing the same thing to us….only on a larger, slower scale.
      Hope this helps.

  8. Avatar

    Hi Cristin-
    I sit here reading this with tears streaming down my face. I am going in for a Colonoscopy on the 25th and just have a “feeling” that what I am dealing with is Chron’s (have had problems for 3 yrs). I have 4 kids and everything I have read has left me hopeless and depressed. You are the first person who has given me hope.
    Thank you so much!!

  9. Avatar

    Cristin, thank you so much. My story is a bit long, but Part of me is screaming to tell it. Rather than list it all out, I’ll give the highlights. I’ve been dealing with ‘just above the belly button pain’ for about a year. It was really bad last year – had an ‘attack’ if you will, went to the ER, saw a surgeon, a Gastroenterologist, and had an endoscopy done. The Endoscopy showed inflamed stomach and stomach polyps but nothing else really, and no explanation for the pain. I was told I have stomach spasms and dismissed with a prescription. I didn’t like the med. the side affects were bad, and the pain seemed to subside. I frequently described it as like being hit in the stomach with a baseball bat, and walked hunched over after I ate certain foods. It finally eased up – the pain didn’t go away 100%, but It wasn’t really always noticeable. I always felt ‘bruised’ there though. Sore when it was bumped by my 5 yr old, etc. Fast forward to this year, I had a miscarriage about 5-6 weeks ago, and had to have surgery, then was prescribed ibuprofen and pain meds. After a week, my stomach, abdomen was a mess (I won’t give all the details, but it was pretty severe) This time it wasn’t just after certain foods, it was after EVERY food. without going into all the details – I dealt with it for about 3 weeks and it started to get better, I went to the ER, and they only did blood work. I saw my Primary care doc, who said ‘Ulcer’. I saw a NEW Gastro, who felt my abdomen and said part of where I was very sensitive was my ‘descending colon’ (everyone dismisses the above the belly button pain). AND he prescribed an anti-spasmodic that has a side affect of “reducing ones ability to sweat to cool body temps” – so working out heavily- which I was trying to get back into, was going to be out of my grasp. He also hedged on the idea of a colonoscopy, but still I haven’t had one. I landed on the SCD sites – and am doing the intro now, in a last ditch attempt to ‘fix’ this on my own. THEN I READ YOUR STORY. Surgery, then above the belly pain intense after every meal… I’m beginning to wonder. I don’t have diarrhea (as a rule – sure every once in awhile)- so this never occurred to me. I haven’t gotten to the point where I have lost a ton of weight yet, not eating for 6-8 hours at a stretch sounds more comforting to me, when the pain is present, than eating and making it worse. It woudln’t surprise me that a few months in this state – or even one month, if it continued to get worse, could have me there. I am beginning to think I should demand a colonoscopy – I am afraid of what will happen on either side of it. Either something is found and it’s bad, or nothing is found and I have no answers again. 🙁 Thank you for sharing your story – it’s helping me to push forward and ask for the Colonscopy – if they will agree to do it.

  10. Avatar

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I found the SCD diet for my daughter with moderate crohns and she is feeling so much better. I look forward to seeing her continue to walk in health and it’s wonderful that she can be part of this group and find the support she needs to continue!

  11. Avatar

    Christin, your words “Plan a day at a time. Live one day at a time. Breathe” brought tears to my eyes. I had an ileocolectomy surgery (with complications) two months ago and have been waiting to gain some weight back before starting the diet. The stakes are pretty high for me and I get frozen with fear at times. Thank you for the inspiration just when I need it most. Much health and wellness to all!

  12. Avatar

    I was given the same warning when my I informed my physician I would be going the SCD route rather than the meds: I got a long and thorough description of the pain, suffering, and surgeries I would endure. That was 5-1/2 years ago, and now my blood values are normal, and I lead a normal life.

    While Elaine was absolutely correct in her diet, I have personally found that a low-carb variation is much better: I consume a lot of fat and protein. I also consume copious amounts of SCD-type yogurt- probably a gallon of milk gets turned into yogurt every week.

    I wish Elaine were still alive so I could thank her for what she’s done for me.

  13. Avatar

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am always so glad to hear how people are doing without medicine. I have been taking Asacol for Ulcerative Colitis for 4 years now. I don’t want to be on the med and worry about side effects. I have read positive claims of going off and horror stories. I do eat natural and have recently gone to SCD as well. I’m just so afraid to be that sick again since I am a self-employed single mother of four!

  14. Avatar

    Christin, What a story to share with everyone! Thank you for inspiring and encouraging
    people with Crohn’s and UC. I especially liked” Plan a Day at a Time, Live a Day at a Time, Breathe”. Sums it all up nicely.
    As a mom to a teen with UC, our lives are changed forever. It overwhelms us too- one day at a time and breathe– I would like to add ” try to laugh”.
    Because sometimes we have to laugh with ourselves about these problems to lighten the load.

    Thanks again Cristin–so glad you are doing better!

    • Avatar

      Oh yes, you have to laugh! My husband and I are much like a Seinfeld episode, especially when discussing poop, gas, and colonoscopy preps! A day at a time is all we need to heal….keep pressin’ on!

  15. Avatar

    Thanks so much for sharing your story Christin. You are a very brave lady to have gone through what you’ve gone through and, even though I have a different digestive problem (doctors don’t seem to know the answer) you have greatly encouraged me to take try this diet. Thank you!

    • Avatar

      Brenda, I truly believe it can’t hurt to try this diet. What is there to lose? It is certainly less risky than the medications (in my opinion). Best of luck to you and know that you can do it!!

  16. Avatar
    Michelle Brearley says:

    my son has autism and SCD works its changed my son from a angry boy to a happy boy who enjoys life again, I also know how so much better myself and my husband feel on this diet. there is a lot of cooking involved but well worth the effort. The soup is a very important part of the diet for healing.

  17. Avatar

    Had I read this story from any other person, I would have admired Cristin’s courage, dedication and amazing ability to stay positive thru an ordeal that would have crushed most people’s spirit. However, I have to admit, none of this story surprises me because I have known Cristin all my life, you see, she is my sister and truly the most amazing person I have ever met. I know God chose Cristin to fight this fight because he knew she would be the best fighter and therefore chose her as the example he wanted us all to learn from. So sis, stay strong and keep refusing to listen to any naysayers. Remember, this life is just a test, the reward for your efforts comes later. You say you are lucky to have your family support you, but they are lucky to have a wife and mom that fights as hard as you do. You set an amazing example for your children and they will realize someday how lucky they are to have you as your mom. I already know how lucky I am to have you as my sister. I am so proud of you and admire your courage. You are truly an inspiration to me. I love you.

    • Avatar

      You are one of the reasons I can continue to do this, brother! Thank you for your love and support! And I am so glad you have started juicing and enjoying the benefits of dietary changes!! Keep shinin’! Love you!

  18. Avatar
    Rene Schleicher says:

    My son is now 16 and was diagnosed with Crohn’s last August at age 15. He, like the author did not have the “typical” Chron’s symptoms such as diarrhea. He suffered all spring and summer with stomach aches and not wanting to eat because it hurt. After losing over 30 pounds in short time, and he was not yet mature and supposed to be growing, his pediatrician was quick to order tests including sending us to a pediatric gastro. After a colonoscopy and endoscopy the diagnosis of Crohn’s was confirmed. We were given a box of Ensure (all sugar), prescription medications and send out the door after a meeting with a nutritionalist. She indicated that since Matt’s Crohn’s was caught early and there were not real trigger foods for him that he should just continue his diet as is and maybe stay away from corn and popcorn. That was it! I was furious as I had been doing a TON of online research suspecting it was Crohn’s. After reading hours upon hours on websites and message boards it seemed like the people having the most success controlling their symptoms were doing it by diet alone or with supplements. SCD was the diet that kept coming up. We went head first into the diet and my son’s symptoms literally went away overnight. I think he are lucky he had such a quick response. A few months after starting the SCD diet and getting a Crohns diagnosis, we were finally able to get an appointment at CHOP with the head of pediatric gastro. After listening to us tell him how we started SCD and did not take the meds but that he was symptom free, the doctor ordered a blood test and gave us a new prescription. It was like he did not hear a word we were saying. My son was so mad. When the blood test came back it showed his CRP level had gone from 4.7 (at diagnosis) to .07. We had PROOF that SCD was working!!

    A year later, my 16 year old son is committed to the diet and has not only gained all his weight back but has continued to gain. He is doing amazing in school and is playing a high school sport and has many colleges recruiting him to play. Following an SCD diet was really overwhelming at first. I carried around my cell phone to all the grocery stores for a few months. Now it’s like second nature for him and the family. So this month we are 1 year into a Crohns diagnosis and 1 year on SCD and I can honestly say I have a very very healthy 16 year old and could not be happy. SCD changed our lives.

    • Avatar

      Hello Rene, glad to hear that your son is doing good on SCD diet alone. My daughter was just diagnosed with Chrons and doctor gave so many medications. The doc says once the inflammation is gone, she has to be on immunity suppressants for life. Is your son doing great with SCD diet alone?

  19. Avatar

    Great article. I, too, was asymptomatic until a routine colonoscopy. I didn’t want to go on medication so I decided to try SCD. It has been a year and I am doing great. The doctor wants to do another colonoscopy but I hesitate because I think it is so hard on a body. The diet does take more work and planning than normal but I love the food and for the first time in my life, I don’t have any urges for candy and junk food. It is very healthy.

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      Linda, keep it up! It’s amazing to realize how “addicted” our bodies were to bad food. The food industry adds so much to food to make your body physically crave it, that when you finally don’t crave it, you realize what your taste buds were missing! Best of luck to you!

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      Linda, I was wondering, did you do the Intro diet? If so, how long did you do each stage to the SCD? How do you know how each food is affecting you if you are asymptomatic? I have the same issue and just finished Intro. Don’t know how long to stay on stage 1. Months, weeks or days? I just don’t know if this Diet is any good for us asymptomatic people. How do you know how the diet is doing for you?


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    I think Christin’s story is inspirational, I’ve been diagnosed with UC for 16 years and it has gradually gotten worse over the last 4 yrs, until last December I couldn’t eat. I found SCD on the Internet and also bought your books and I haven’t looked back since. The hospital told me they’d have to remove my colon so when I feel when that’s not an option you have to deal with the disease your own why.
    SCD is the best thing I’ve done and I hope more people get to hear about the positive stories like Christin.

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    I am also in remission from Crohn’s after being told I needed to take IV infusions of Remicaid or I was going to need blood transfusions because I was so anemic. I followed a different anti-yeast diet given to me by my chiropractor, but the idea is very similar to SCD. I am almost symptom free and not at all anemic after several months on the diet. Now we are going to try SCD for my son recently diagnosed with ASD. Hearing that others have had success with this diet and that my results are not a “coincidence” as so many think gives me some hope that SCD will work for my son too.

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      I wish doctors would realize it is not a coincidence! As more and more of us continue to lobby for our own health and bodies, I believe more doctors’ eyes will open. Best of luck to you and your son!

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    Michelle Rose-Daniel says:

    Thanks soooo much for sharing your story. There are lots of inspirational stories out there but this one hits particularly close to home because you are a runner. Diagnosed with celiac’s disease less than two years ago, it seems that my dietary issues go way beyond gluten. I started SCD about three weeks ago but the gut issues are much more complicated than that so today’s dietary control is an amalgamation of SCD and Autoimmune Paleo Diet. The SCD yogurt has been a beacon in the night. I’m a runner. My gut and autoimmune system have reduced my quality of life in so many ways. However, like you, I’m not yet willing to drop out of the race.

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      Michelle, thank you for your line, “I’m not ready to drop out of the race.” That is perfect! As a runner, you know that everything in life is easier to handle when you approach it like you do your training. Healing and good health is possible! Long may you run….

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    Kristin what a story. You are so brave and I know what you mean about the doctors.
    I had one that in the middle of talking got up and ended the conversation because I wanted to be more specific about alternative methods. They actually take it as an insult. I have been on the SCD for 2 years and I am not on any meds but I am becoming sensitive to certain things. I think maybe too much fruit and or baked almond goods so I have to look into that. Wishing you continued success and I wish you had a blog to give us tips about your foods etc.

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      MJP, maybe I’ll start a blog! In the meantime, I find many of my recipes online and I now adjust recipes to fit into the SCD guidelines. They actually end up tasting better because they are made with real food/spices instead of processed junk that no one should be putting in their bodies. Best if luck to you!

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    my million dollar question says:

    Like Cristin, I have also a million dollar question, albeit a different one.
    I have pcos and endometriosis (and some facial hairs and acne) which both severely impair my fertility.
    In the past years I did: went wheat free, went gluten free and strictly adhered to the diet, eliminated processed meats and pork, massively cut down sugar and carbs, went dairy free, added healthy fats to my diet. I’m transitioning to home made skin care, soaps and cleaning products.
    Every step in this process had helped. However I do not suffer from any digestive issues (only when I was a baby). I have always had a strong immune system.
    My question is: would the SCD diet help me? Could I just skip the early stages since digestive issues are not a concern?
    Shall I completely go grain free (I eat quinoa, small amounts of buckwheat and occasionally rice/potatoes)? Shall I also remove pulses?
    I ask these questions because it would be quite difficult and stressful for me to adhere to a very restrictive diet which might not be the right one for me.
    PS: I cannot afford the consulting fee, sorry!

    • Steven Wright

      You might want to just start with Paleo because you don’t have any overt digestive issues. Your health compliments suggest you have disrupted hormones and while diet will support proper hormone health I don’t believe it can repair broken ones. I would save up for advanced testing.

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    What a great story and thank you for sharing. Today is my 40th day of fanatical adherence…Elaine’s 2 words that has been a game changer for me. It is a very simple concept to follow, not easy, but doable. I think back to my “green light” moment, in ER on my 28th wedding anniversary with an IBS flare. I never want to feel like that again and your story had great timing for me to continue forward, fight the good fight and secure optimal health for myself. P.S. enjoy those 2 children as they grow up fast!!!

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