Is Diet Enough to Fix Digestive Problems?

Imagine it’s January 22, 1930 and you’re part of the excavation crew digging the foundation of the Empire State Building – the planned 102 story skyscraper designed to be the world’s tallest building.

You’re part of the crew and the engineers come up and say, “The investors need to cut costs, so we’re no longer building the foundation 55 feet below ground.  Instead, we’re going to use a slab of concrete and see how it goes. We’ll save money and it’s a whole lot easier.”

No foundation underneath a giant skyscraper? Just to save money?

You Won’t Catch Me in a 102 Story Skyscraper Without a Foundation

Fast forward to 2013, where we’ve had the pleasure of being part of Dr. Kalish’s Functional Medicine Mentorship for the last 5 months. We’ve learned a TON about Functional Medicine in that time… but without question, the best part about the training is the weekly calls. Every Tuesday afternoon we join a call with Functional Medicine Practitioners from all over the world – places like the UK, Australia, The Bahamas, The U.S., and Canada.

Each of us presents our toughest cases (anonymously of course) for Dr. Kalish to review the test results and provide recommendations for each case. It’s fascinating because he’s personally treated over 8,000 patients and reviewed over 15,000 test results. Sometimes, the other practitioners on the call even share similar experiences with similar patients over the years. How does it get better than that?

Is Leaky Gut Making You Sicker?


These weekly calls make me so grateful for the readers we have the privilege of working with. 

Whether through private coaching, our book, or people reading free material on the blog, our readers are extremely dedicated to using a real food diet to get healthy. They’re dedicated to finding the custom version of the diet that works for them. Not many of the practitioners we know have that privilege.

You see, some of the incredibly sick patients from all over the world we’re hearing about on these calls are struggling simply to remove gluten from their diet. I know it’s not easy, but what’s sad is their choice is stalling the treatment and they’re not getting better because of it. Why is this? They don’t have a foundation.

A real food diet is the foundation of any good treatment plan. Without it, you’ve got a skyscraper that’s ready to collapse every time the wind blows. That’s why I’m amazed by our readers and their dedication to eating real food… because they have the foundation to get healthy that most don’t.

But is Diet Enough to Fix Digestive Problems?

If you’re reading this, you most likely work hard to find a custom real food diet that works for you. You probably know eating gluten-free isn’t enough. The truth is: some of you probably got substantially better simply by changing your diet.

Like our friend Don, who got med-free in 3 weeks after changing his diet, or Mitch, who turned around a drug-resistant flare in 1.5 weeks after changing his the diet. But there are also people who don’t get better on diet alone.

I know because I’m one of them. The diet stopped my diarrhea in 7 days, which was a miracle, but there were a TON of other problems that took years to fix. There are people like me who do everything right with diet, but they still get frustrated when they find themselves stuck and diet isn’t working as well as they’d hoped.

Like our friend Rick, who stopped a flare… but then got stuck

Rick is someone who saw wonderful results in the first week, but he isn’t a glowing success story just yet.  Here’s what he sent us in early 2012:

Hey guys,

I’ve been in a really terrible flare for about 4 months now, and no medicine has substantially helped (including remicade and prednisone). I got your eBook and started the diet about 3 days ago. I’m about to go into phase 1 foods.

I’m writing you because I’ve gotten AMAZING results after the first day. I went from going 15 times to 6, and I’ve gone 6 the last three days, and there is much less blood. No treatment, medicine or natural, has given me any improvement close to this dramatic. The question is, is this totally unheard of? I’m also concerned that this might be a blip on the radar or something, but obviously I’m very pleased with the results so far. But yeah, is it very atypical to see dramatic results so quickly?


And a few months later, he sent us this update:

I was basically stuck on 40mg of prednisone and had recently stopped taking remicade, and though I was going to the bathroom 15 times a day, the real problem was daily fevers and nightly night sweats, not to mention horrible muscle problems and terrible acne from prolonged prednisone use. You think dating is hard when you have to go to the bathroom all the time? Ha. Try horrible acne, including boils and possibly carbuncles, all over my face and body 🙂

For me, the real breakthrough with food was my ability to fend of fevers and night sweats only through diet, which enabled me to get completely off prednisone (it’s about a month now). I look and feel *much* healthier now, though I still can get a fever sometimes if I have a particularly illegal (and large) meal, though I’ve noticed even these fevers seem to be less common now. The prednisone never seemed to help anyway… it just gave me an addiction essentially.

Finding the long-term role of diet in my health is still an on-going process, but in the very least I was able to conquer the worst of my health problems through diet alone. I’m still having to go to the bathroom about ten times a day on average, but honestly it’s way better than it used to be. I’m about to go see the doctor tomorrow and he’s going to ask me to try Humira, but I’m not sure I want to put myself at risk for not just cancer, but more importantly strange depressed-immune-system related health problems. I don’t think I’ve exhausted the diet angle yet, and having to go to the bathroom ten times a day is really not so bad compared to feeling weak all day every day and not being able to do the things I want. You’d be surprised how much of a normal life I can live right now, plus a good day (5 or 6 times to the bathroom in a day, very little blood) is still completely achievable by diet, so I can force a good day if I need it.

Anyway, thanks for the information you provide, it’s been a real boon in my recovery process.


Rick created dramatic improvement in his health. He’s backing off meds and reducing his digestive symptoms almost 50%. Granted, he’s not where he wants to be yet… but he’s got the foundation in place to build something amazing.

He’s got the foundation to reverse a serious and complex digestive disease. Just like the Empire State Building takes a massive 55 foot deep foundation to safely support it, so too does a guy like Rick trying to get healthy. He’s got some more work to do, but he’s much farther than one of those tough cases on our weekly calls that can’t stop eating pizza.

Diet is the Foundation You Need to Fix Your Digestive Problem

Diet is the beginning of a healing process and it gives you the foundation to get better. So, the answer is yes: diet is the first step. But some only get 80% better on diet alone. Others will find themselves 20% better and feeling dejected. Yet, it’s the first and most important step to restoring your health.

That’s why I’m so grateful for the people that read our material, because they know diet is the foundation. They know it’s the most important step to getting healthy. And they know what it takes to find their custom diet.

If you haven’t built your foundation yet, I highly recommend you take the first step and order a copy of our book. It’s a digital download product and you can literally order it right now and be reading it in the next 5 minutes. Let us help you find a custom real food diet that works for you…

–> Click here to start building your foundation

In good health,


P.S. – Did a real food diet like SCD or Paleo improve your digestive symptoms? Share your experience in the comments below.


Jordan Reasoner

About Jordan Reasoner

Jordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet 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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12 thoughts on “Is Diet Enough to Fix Digestive Problems?

  1. Avatar

    hi guys!

    Ive been on the diet now for almost 8 months, its helped me maintain a normal life again, yipppee!
    Now within the past few months i randomly will have a little Blood here and there sometimes 2 days in a row and sometimes not for a week and i now have Mucous everyday?! My Doctor has told me though my blood tests indicate zero inflammation? Any thoguhts as to what could be happening?! I feel fine I just have mucous every single day in almost every bowel and it worries me?
    THanks 🙂

  2. Avatar

    Eva, you might want to consider having your thyroid checked. I’m a celiac who was down to 85lbs, but it also turned out that I had hashimotos which can filp between hypo to hyper thyroidism. If you have your thyroid checked make sure they check for anitbodies because your TSH test can be in the normal range. If they only check for TSH which is what happened in my case the docs won’t take your symptoms seriously and you can suffer for years. Check websites on-line to see if you might have any other symptoms that might point to a thyroid disorder?
    good luck to you!

  3. Avatar

    What would you recommend to someone on a sugar starch free diet whose weight is dipping dangerously under 98 pounds? What can they eat to stop losing weight?
    Thanks for any suggestions

  4. Avatar
    Chrisann Joson says:

    Hi, Guys!

    Day 6 on the diet and I’m feeling great! The bloating and very stinky smell is gone but D still persists. I believe I’ve found the culprit. I’ve been following the diet to a T, but haven’t wanted to eliminate coffee! I’m encouraged by the progress I’m making so I had a talk with myself last night and decided that if I’m making a committment to do everything else, I owe it to myself to go ‘all in’. So today is Day 1 coffee-free. It’s not even that I need the caffeine, I just enjoy the smell, flavor & warmth. I substituted 1 cup of green tea this morning. Which brings me to a question, since I’m just beginning phase 1, are there any other liquids besides water and grape juice that are ok?
    I’ve recently started blogging about my journey with Crohn’s and have joined some support groups on Facebook to spread the word about your website, book and podcasts. I’m stunned about how very sick people are! Your work is so important – thank you so much!!

  5. Avatar
    Alisha Fullman says:

    Hello, I have been looking over your plans for a few months trying to decide if I should invest. I tried the SCD diet and found some minor improvements but had new problems on the diet. I have asthma that seems to be triggered by salycilates. I am allergic to coconut, oatmeal, soy and am a celiac. I am currently trying an elimination diet and have found an amine reaction as well as a fructose malabsorption problem. I have different symptoms with each problem and they are obvious. I react badly to probiotics due to the amines they create. When looking at the information on your site it seems as if the foods I would be guided to eat on your plan would possibly cause me life threatening breathing symptoms or trigger my autoimmune system. Would you recommend any of your books or guides? Thanks, Alisha (P.S. I am mostly eating rice, and potatoes at the moment and I react to most other foods.)

    • Steven Wright

      @Alisha – Well we don’t want to trigger any life threatening problems that’s for sure. When some reports as many food reactions as you it’s extremely common for them to have GI infections and Hormonal dysregulation. Without finding and fixing these root causes all your diet tweaking is going to be in vain. Our program might be great for you but only if you are ready to take on all the underlying issues. In your case they should probably done concurrently.

  6. Avatar

    Hey Guys,

    I’ve been on SCD for about 2 weeks now. I started because I have horrible constipation. I havn’t seen much improvement at all over the last two weeks.

    Do you have any advice for people with constipation who aren’t seeing immediate results?



    • Avatar

      Hi Jude,

      I have constipation-prone IBD too (I say IBD b/c we’re not sure if I have Crohn’s or UC…but that’s another story).

      2 things that really help me stay regular are:

      1) daily exercise (not over-the-top-pound-myself-into-the-ground exercise but I try to walk to work most days–about 4 miles round trip; I sprinkle in a yoga DVD here and there; run occasionally on weekends for up to an hour. An hour is now my limit–seems if I do more than that I get worn down)…if I go 3-4 days without it–then I stop pooping.

      2) making time to go! I know that sounds funny but now I eat my breakfast and sit around reading, relaxing until I go. If I “eat and run” I’m sure to not go that day. Somedays it takes 15 minutes, some days it takes 45+ minutes…I’ve had to adjust my morning routine so that I’m eating at least 60 minutes before I need to head out the door to allow the time for things to get moving…

      this is what seems to work for me (don’t get me wrong, I still have days that i don’t go at all but it’s maybe every 14-20 days that I miss now)–hope this might be of some help to you!

      (IBD X 4 years; SCD for almost 3 years; feeling “100%” for the past 12-14 months; following the guys for about 10 months–love the reinforcement, positive ideas, and support–Thanks! 🙂

    • Avatar

      Contrast showers have been VERY effective for me. No more constipation.

      Here’s how to do it – Shower everyday and alternate hot water (3 minutes) with cold water (30 seconds) three times or more. Always finish with cold water. I know, it doesn’t look like a pleasant thing to do but it’s not THAT hard, you’ll end up liking it 🙂

      If you do this (and follow the SCD), I’m pretty confident your constipation will be gone in less than a week.

      Google “contrast showers” to read a few thousand testimonials…

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