Will the SCD Diet Work For You? Here’s How to Find Out…

Will the SCD Diet Work For You?

If you’re like me, you’ve read a hundred SCD Success stories and websites about how to figure out if the diet will work for you before you try it. And they all say things like:

“If you follow strict adherence and never cheat it will work for you… ”

“If you eat the yogurt you will finally see the results you were looking for… ”

“If you don’t see any results in 30 days it probably isn’t going to work for you… ”

Man, I remember when I first read all this stuff. I thought to myself, “Cool! Now all I have to do is eat SCD Legal and I will find out if this is my magic pill. Now I’ll just give it a shot for 30 days and I will know for sure if I can cure my disease or if I will be chained to my toilet forever…”

Well, there was just ONE SMALL problem…

We all have different bodies that are damaged a little differently and the SCD Diet requires a bit of tweaking for each person to get it just right…

Is Leaky Gut Making You Sicker?


And that’s why I’m going to give YOU the 100% fool-proof way to make sure no matter what the SCD works for you…

Here it is:

When You Start the Diet… Know You’re Going to Have to Use Trial and Error to Get it Right FOR YOUR BODY.

Yes, that’s it.

I know that this sounds a little too simple, but don’t leave just yet.

Say I walk into a new clothing store, and I have never been there but I really like one of their shirts. I pick it up and say, “This looks about right, I think I will take this one.”

If I actually try it on and it fits, then I GOT IT RIGHT. But I don’t know that until I take it back to the dressing room and try on one or two different sizes to see how they fit, and then I can confidently take it home to impress my wife.

Say I like the shirt and it seems to fit perfect, but it’s 100% cotton…

Do I really know that that’s the right size? What if it shrinks?

If I pull out the tag and it says it’s been pre-shrunk then I know that I GOT IT RIGHT, and IT’S GOING IN MY BAG!

Say I’m a single guy out on the scene desperate to find a wife and settle down. I know that I want to find a wife and settle down, but I need to meet the right woman. (Minor detail right?)

If I fall head over heals for the first woman I meet that is sheer luck, but if I end up dating a few girls and find out I don’t want to marry them, then one day I walk into a book store and fall madly in love with a woman in the non-fiction section, then I know that I GOT IT RIGHT (see a pattern here).

It takes some trial and error to get things right in life because everyone is just a little bit different.

In a Nutshell, the Point I Am Trying to Make Is:

  • Stop looking for excuses that the diet isn’t going to work for you, like “I can’t digest fats” (there’s ways to fix that).
  • Stop thinking about GIVING UP before you give the diet some time to work (2 weeks isn’t enough time… it took years to get this sick).
  • Stop worrying about LOSING WEIGHT when you should just be concentrating on being able to get your body some nutrients it is desperate for (then you can get the weight back).
  • Start EXPERIMENTING with the diet, and watch to see how your body acts. If you poop a little less the next day and feel ok, assume that YOU GOT IT RIGHT and keep going.
  • Give the diet 30 days to give it time to do what it does best… heal.

Of course, once you know how to tell if the SCD Diet is going to work for you, that’s when the whole outlook on life changes. That’s the point you need to understand what it takes to get results on this diet, completely heal your gut, and finally take control of your health.

And that’s a whole other story.

If you want literally HUNDREDS of pages of ways to make sure this diet works for you, then I highly recommend downloading a copy of my eBook, “How to Start the SCD Diet in 24 Hours and Survive the First 90 Days and Beyond.”

It will give you a COMPLETE guide for starting the SCD Diet and making sure it works for you, more quickly and easily than you ever imagined.

==> Learn More About The SCD Lifestyle eBook Here


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 HealthyGut.com 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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99 thoughts on “Will the SCD Diet Work For You? Here’s How to Find Out…

  1. Avatar

    I have begun and I expect it will help. But I have one burning question. Isn’t meat hard to digest? And isn’t sugar bad for me when I’m this sick (grape juice)? Okay, that’s 2 questions. Mostly I want to know about the meat. Thanks!

    • Avatar

      Hi Renee, great questions:) Meat can be hard to digest if we don’t have adequate HCL (stomach acid) and if we don’t chew our food well. We also want to purchase high quality meats like local grass fed red meat and free range chicken. The grape juice is included to help fight sugar withdrawls and provides a tasty snack during the INTRO diet. IT is a very small amount and we don’t recommend eating a ton of it at once. IF you’d like, you can substitute lemon or lime juice as well or consume it plain.

  2. Avatar

    Hi there , just started the scd diet , phase 1 now underway , I’m fortunate enough to not suffer like some poor people in previous posts , I’ve had awful reflux for about 7 months had good times but solid all day everyday reflux for 3 months refuse to take ppi as I’m sure they caused the issue , started with mild indigestion , I am going to stick to this till the end , I just wanted some advice on supplementing , I use a digestive enzyme a probiotic and hcl with pepsin , I’m a 27 yr old fit male working on a building site all day I eat at regular times and try to let my food digest for at least 45 mins also is scd the right diet for my issue , heartburn and a bit of throat and stomach gurgling are my only symptoms and ppis never rid me of my burn

    Thanks guys so good to have such a useful site to look at when times get rough

  3. Avatar

    I should also add that I don’t have much gastrointestinal issues besides gas and bloating if I eat carbs (which doesn’t happen much anymore because I can’t tolerate them). I also know I have adrenal fatigue and am being treated for it, but this issue with carbs is becoming very problematic for me. Any input would be most helpful.

  4. Avatar


    I apologize in advance if this is a bit long. I have been struggling with various health issues and I’m trying to figure out the best course of action to heal my body. Everything started when I started drinking a lot of kombucha, after a few months, I started feeling weak, tired, and shaky, and eventually I got insomnia, heart palpitations ,anxiety, and muscles ticks. Eventually I became very sensitive to sugar, carbs, alcohol, and now fermented foods like aged cheeses or coconut water kefir. I am so sensitive to starches that it makes me want to cry. The other night i ate a couple spoonfuls of hummus and later that night I felt like I had the worlds worst hangover (headache, nauseous, couldn’t move).

    ive been seeing a chiropractor for nutrition and she suggested the SCD diet because of my issues with carbs. Would this diet be helpful for someone like me? Because I know honey, bananas and grape juice are in the beginning and i don’t know if I could tolerate any of those. Thank you in advance.

    • Avatar

      Hi Tayla – first, I’m so sorry you’re experiencing these kind of symptoms.

      While we aren’t doctors and can’t make any promises, we’ve seen many people with similar symtpoms heal following the SCD protocol.

      The diet does include foods like bananas and honey and grape juice in the itnro phase, but we encourage you to ksip these foods if you’re concerned about them. None of them are integral and we advocate a customized verison of the diet that will work for you.

      The best place to start if with the free quick start guide: https://healthygut.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

      From there, the eBook walks you step-by-step through everything (buying kitchen tools, prepping the food, portions, progressing through the phases and more).

      Here’s a link to our book: http://scdlifestylebook.com/

      If you ever have questions about making substitutions or need support along your journey, we’re always here for you at support@scdlifestyle.com

  5. Avatar

    Hi everyone,
    I need some help! Not sure what is going. In 2011 came back from a vacation in the keys with diarrhea. Walk in clinic prescribed antibiotic metronidazole. Made my diarrhea worse and tore up my inside from face to my butt. ER and colonoscopy, doc said uc. A summer of prednisone and asacol. I quit meds on my own, no meds since. Stress in college, 1-2 weeks of diarrhea my fresh yr. and same soph yr. I eat good 80/20 time. Now, in week 8 of diarrhea but down to 1-2 a day. New gi doc says without any exam, yep! CU for the rest of your life, accept it. Here’s your meds. and schedule colonoscopy. She says diet has nothing to do with any of this. I’ve cut out gluten and lactose. Increased my supplements. Feel good, physically active, etc. not sure if doing the scd lifestyle full bore is for me because I don’t really know if I have uc but I just adopt a couple more suggestions as part of my lifestyle to stay healthy. Looking for help on what and where to turn.

  6. Avatar

    Hi folks, I am so excited about using the SCD plan but I have a big question. I am a vegetarian who does not eat meat, fish or eggs…are there any substitutes for these items? Can I still use the plan for such things as constipation and bloating of the stomach without consuming meat, fish or eggs? Many thanks!

  7. Avatar

    I’m not sure if anyone has already asked but I just received the free guide to start the SCD diet and noticed eggs are used everyday. My system can not tolerate eggs. Is there a better alternative or do I just have to eat more chicken soup and carrots? Also I notice apple cider is okay does that mean apple juice is too? Also I am in the process of trying to heal my gallbladder (I have gallstones) and was wondering if I should wait to start the diet once my gallbladder is better able to tolerate fats or would it be okay to start right away? Any help would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    • Avatar

      Hi Tiffany, thanks for reaching out! You do not have to consume the eggs if you know they are intolerable at this point. Go ahead and consume more of the other foods that sit well with you. Secondly, the only juice we recommend is a very small amount in the intro diet to make the grape gelatin. Lastly, many can not tolerate fats with an impaired digestive tract and thus we take this into consideration in the SCD diet, especially in the beginning.

  8. Avatar

    HI i am suffering from IBS. I have made a lot of changes in my diet since the last 30 days. I have gone Gluten,Diary, Sugar, soy,corn free. I am a vegetarian. I eat only brown rice and Finger millet only because anything else i eat causes me to run to the loo. The vegetables i eat are onion,tomato,beans ,carrot. I am also unable to eat any legumes. I am very frustrated with my situation. I am feeling very tired and very low on energy so much so i am unable to do my regular work. I have also started taking supplements- i take L-Glutamine 1 in the morning and 1 post lunch on an empty stomach. I also take Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic 1 in the morning and 1 at bed time. I am loosing hope that i can actually get better. Please can you help me.

    • Avatar

      HI Savatri, thank you for reaching out today! We suggest getting on a gut healing program such as the SCD diet, GAPS. or our Solving Leaky gut program, as it sounds like you are suffering form many food intolerance and hence, poor gut function. The supplements are great, but you will need to attack the root of the problem first so the supplements can be utilized to their full potential.

  9. Avatar

    Hi Steven & Jordan
    I was diagnosed with UC just over a year ago and have spent most of the last 9 months on steroids, tried Azathioprine but it gave me pancreatitis – I’ve now been off the steroids for 2 weeks – on the SCD diet for just over 3 weeks and for the first time am symptom free – it’s amazing! Just a quick question – can I have Marmite on the diet – I can’t really find the info anywhere online – not sure if you get this product in the US but it’s a yeast extract that has lots of B vitamins and folic acid in – thought it would help with flavouring soups n sauces, as well as spreading on bread (SCD bread of course!), it’s huge in the UK. Thanks so much

  10. Avatar
    carole dardin says:

    my problem is hiatal hernia and acid reflux…im controlling everything fine meaning what i eat with no prescrips maybe a tums now and then. the head of my bed is raised with cement blocks lol…no eating before bed all of those things..but…ill sleep fine but after im up for about fifteen mins or so i get an upset stomach…why is this happening and what shud i do…i rather try to prevent this..so i have crackers or tums which may or may not work…can u help please?? thnx

  11. Avatar

    I am close to 54 year old female. I have been chronically ill since I was about 6 years old, starting then with tummy aches, 8 I lost my sense of balance, 12 I had my first episode of temp blindness and at 20 in 1980 I removed refined foods (flours and sugars), got rather healthy, danced my slender body throught the 80’s until 88 when I was preggie and the ‘whole healthy grain’ campaign was in full swing. I started with a bit here and there by ’94 at 33 yrs old I was suddenly paralyzed on my left side … IV and oral steroids, nsaids, opiates, uppers, shots, blah blah myriad of diagnoses .. MS, ibs, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, (I cant rmember them all) ending up with starting testing on early onset alzheimers. 4 years ago I woke up paralyzed again, Immediately removed gluten/all grains and within a month I went from $30k/yr of pharmaceuticals for over a decade to ZERO. .. I eat very little on the do not eat list … I am confused with the SCD … Do I remove coffee too or just the 4 horsemen (which I only eat of those … eggs, macadamias, grass fed butter, yams and tomatoes)? I have gained 30 pounds in the past 4 years, mapped my blood sugars and they go up when I fast to about 100 and come down to around 80 after I eat my protein/fat and salad. … I am unable to walk or exercise much (major body weakness prolly from the 20 year in/out of the wheelchair). I can’t seem to be able to build any stamina. I am a wreck and need some major help.

    • Avatar

      Hi CJ,

      Sorry to hear that you’re having such a difficult time and have had to go through so much with your health. We suggest that people treat everything (to a certain extent of course) as a test. In most cases, people are able to tolerate all regular coffees right away, but we suggest making sure that you’re not experiencing symptoms when you try it.

  12. Avatar

    Hi Steven and Jordan,
    I was on antibiotics for 9 mo. for acne about a year ago. In that time frame (about 6 mo. ago) I started eating Paleo. I have had loose stools ever since. I cant figure out if I cant digest the fats or what. My stool goes from supper loose to small formed pieces on and off. I go 1-2 times a day. I don’t have stomach pain, just occasional tiny twinge here or there. I have minimal gas too, but the loose stool freaks me out. Its like “pudding”. Sorry so descriptive. What also scares me is that I have to eat 2800+ calories a day to not loose weight. I was tested at the doctors for parasites and it came back negative. I am hungry every 2 hours and eat a lot of food. I have been cutting things out to see if things are causing inflammation, but its hard to do when I have to eat so many calories. Currently I only eat, chicken, eggs, nuts, healthy oils, fruit (raw) ad veggies (cooked) and quinoa. No sugar, gluten, starches, soy, dairy, etc. Nothing processed! I did have a test just recently come up with a slightly elevated Igm (36.2) for H. Pylori and inflammation. My estrogen is low and am on a hormone to try and up it. Could that be part of it? Should I try SCD? I am at loss. I just downloaded your free e-book but I will loose so much weight. Please help!!!

  13. Avatar

    Hi all I just discovered this site. I was diagnosed with SIBO 12 Days ago and just finished a course of $900.00 antibiotics and don’t feel or sense any difference in my symptoms. Screw the doctors and their pharmaceuticals I am going to try this SC diet and I am going to ingest 1 oz each of raw ginger and turmeric into my diet. I will check in after being on the diet for a week.

  14. Avatar

    How are you sposed to do this diet if you have a huge histamine intolerance and you are intolerant to all the stage 1 and 2 foods such as carrots, spinach, and zucchini butternut squash etc…

      • Avatar

        Hi April and Justin. Thanks for commenting!

        SCD is a customizable plan. We recommend you substitute for foods you know you’re intolerant of. These are some common substitutions:

        Carrots > Zucchini
        Carrots > Squash
        Carrots > Cucumbers
        Chicken Broth > Beef Broth
        Gelatin and Grape Juice > Skip it

        Also, you can get by without the apples and pears and even squash. Essentially, you may take anything on the allowed list of phase 1 vegetables and substitute it if necessary.

        Also, a DAO enzyme is great for histamine intolerance and we suggest a supplement called Daosin by the brand Swanson.

        Many times, there is a root cause of this and we would also suggest some functional medicine testing as well if this does not improve for you. Check out this video for more info on that: https://healthygut.com/2012/11/episode-4-food-allergy-vs-food-intolerance-showdown/

        If you are in need of a practitioner, you can go here: https://healthygut.com/practitioners/

  15. Avatar

    I am in a bit of a different place than what I am reading about. I started out with severe candida and allergies….50+!!! No gluten, no casein, no eggs or soy and no nuts. I have 6 kiddoes, 3 of whom are autistic and they are all like this…to a lesser degree.
    I make lots of coconut nut milk kefir, water kefir and most of our veggies are fermented. We tried sourdough(gluten free) and it was fine for a while, but soon it got to where we were bothered by that. We are low sugar, and what little we do use is usually coconut sugar. The only grain we eat is oatmeal that is fermented in kefir. I have been on nystatin, grapefruit seed extract, candex and candiase until a mold outbreak in the house rendered me allergic to aspergilis and black mold so badly that even things made and then cleared sent me into a mild anaphalaxis episode. We got the house issue fixed. But we are still sick and I often feel so fatigued that it feels as if I will pass out. My stomach hurts pretty bad most of the time, and I have enough gas to solve the oil crisis!!! Oddly enough my poop is in the good area of stool size and shape and the color is good… We are not new to this journey….have been fighting it for over 10 years… We have tried enzymes, but most of them are grown on aspergilis niger mold and that is out for us now.

  16. Avatar
    melinda shondeff says:

    Hi Steven, I have heard a lot about many bowel dysfunctions, however, my 24 yr old daughter was recently diagnosed with idiopathic gastroparesis. Are you familiar with this disorder? I have not heard it mentioned on any of your sites. After several trips to the emergency room, 3 gastro specialist and really no good treatment available we are so frustrated. Any help or suggestions you can give us would be so greatly appreciated.
    Thank you’
    Melinda Shondeff

  17. Avatar

    If you do not have the severe symptoms of diarrhea but have a positive breath test do you have to do the into diet or can you skip to just avoided foods on the restrictive list?

  18. Avatar

    Just started the Intro today. My am feeling a little nauseated, but I will take it over the usual burning and pain I normally have (still there, but it is less – maybe I just mentally feel better because I know I am helping myself!) . I am hoping this means it is working:)
    I like that I don’t have to think about it – just do it! We will see how it goes!! I am shooting for four days of this before I move to Phase 1.

  19. Avatar
    Lindsay mecham says:

    Hi guys. I am one week into scd diet and introduced the butternut squash with no issues. Added the pears last night and am definitely reacting to them. My question is do I stop them and just go on for 4 days and add in the next vegetable? And so forth and if I react just don’t eat them ever again!

  20. Avatar


    Hope you’ll answer my question, because I’m at a loss! I’ve followed the Paleo Auto Immune Protocol for 45 days now and my belly has never been this calm, yay! But my candida is still there and itching. Do you think it would be a good idea to integrate SCD in the PAIP? And if so, should I do the 2-5 days intro or can I skip that? Also, I’m using a lot of healing foods the intro doesn’t mention, like cod liver oil/butter oil, probiotics, water kefir, L-glutamine, bone broth, liver, coconut, ginger, garlic and other spices. If I should do the intro, can I keep using those? I’d love to hear from you!

    The Netherlands

  21. Avatar

    Hey guys – just wanted to say thanks for all of this info. My 10 year old daughter has been struggling with chronic diarrhea for years and when traditional tests showed nothing, I was told it was nerves (but knew it was more). She then tested positive for SIBO over and over and I knew I had to do something “unconventional” to try and help her live the fun and carefree life every 10 year old deserves. We are gearing up to start the SCD diet and I have to admit, I’m feeling as overwhelmed as I am hopeful. With crazy kid schedules and work and likf busier than ever, I’m nervous that I’ll drop the ball. A lot of planning. Even more cooking. Not things were are generally used to doing a lot of in our busy, family lifestyle. But I know it’s time. Wish me luck! And thanks again. Relying on all of this info to get me started!

  22. Avatar

    Hi, I have just now found your site and am wondering if you can help? I have multiple food an environmental sensitivities, am Salicylate sensitive, have really stuffy nose although really dry,no mucous,and a nasal polyp that bleeds often, especially after alcohol or other foods on the Salicylate list.I don’t have bowel problems as such, although have read that more than 12 food sensitivities would mean leaky gut, candida has been a problem over the years,What do you think? Regards Beth

  23. Avatar

    I’m plunging into SCD. The idea of getting my life back – I like it. I’m pretty self-disciplined so, well, maybe I can do this. I like the fact that there’s a community of people out there who are facing this. I haven’t read every comment here – maybe someone has mentioned this – I contracted c. difficile colitis (“c. diff”) from a course of antibiotics that I took in December for a minor surgical procedure. I finally have gotten rid of that (supposedly; I’ve been tested twice; inaccurate tests are common with c. diff; if you have it, and a test shows you’ve licked it, get re-tested just to be sure). My gut is still distended and inflamed. Lost a bunch of weight. I need help a lot. I feel hearted by (a) Elaine’s wonderful work and (b) how you guys have expanded upon her approach. By the way, I LOVE how Elaine took on the how medical establishment 50 years ago when such things were just not done. No one has heard of her (except we few) but she’s a significant historical figure I think.

  24. Avatar

    I just bought the books and I am excited to start, will it work for someone that is bloated all the time and constipated also has a impossible time losing weight? Also is coffee allowed on the intro of the diet? Or in any part of the diet?

  25. Avatar

    I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in my thirties, but I vividly remember having a very painful and bloody flare up in my mid twenties. Since being diagnosed, I have faithfully had colonoscopies every 2-3 years; however, it wasn’t until this past November that I requested and finally got my medical records. This March, I read them for the first time, and I realized how serious my condition is; however, my condition has always been classified at “mild to moderate”. After hearing about so many cases, I realize this is true. I tried the SCD soon after reading my records, and felt immediate relief. I truly believe that I have been suffering with this disease for so long that I’d come to view frequent bowel movements as “normal”. Anyway, I’ve been on the diet for almost two weeks now, and I feel much better. I’ve had a couple of “cheats” with diet drinks once a week, and today I overdid it and got diarrhea. So, yes, the SCD does really work!

  26. Avatar

    Hey, I’ve been suffering for three days after trying oats…may not be the best time to make any major decisions, but I believe this is really the right way to heal my wheat-intolant gut. I have a very important question, I live in Albania…not the Western world. Do you think I will be able to do this in Albania without access to those amazing supermarkets and healthfood stores? Need to know before I consider buying anything.
    In His Grip,

  27. Avatar
    simon petkovic says:


    in 1998 after severe cramping i was taken to emergency and upon having tests done my illeocecal valve,appendix,part of my small intestine and a part of my large intestine were removed due to being badly inflamed.they never gave me a diagnosis of what i was suffering from-the doctor said probably colitis but we’re not sure.i have since tried many different diets (medications were never an option)none of which have worked to a point to keep me in remission for longer periods of time.i have recently given up all grains,starches and sugars with some improvements.i would like help with advice on how to stop this diarrhea that’s following me around like a bad smell and won’t leave me alone.also-i have a very sore and ulcerated rectal area-possibly connected to my diarrhea.

  28. Avatar

    Hi Jordan & Steve, want to thank you for all the resources I’ve found on your site and for making everything so clear and accessible.
    I am not new to all this. I fell ill in the 1980’s and completely baffled UK medicine. I suggested Coeliac Disease but was almost laughed at. Luckily a young, forward-thinking GP listened and suggested I try “this diet – it seems odd but it might just cure you.” He copied pages from a UK medical journal for me and it was, of course, the Stone Age diet. A very strict version of it. And he was right, it did cure me. Or, as we now know, kept me symptom free.
    I just wanted to say to anyone who doubts this may not work; be sure – it will. This is the best diet to begin with. I moved myself on by trial and error to what is now known as the Paleo diet. It didn’t have a name then, I just worked what suited me. It’s probably the best diet for most people on the planet. I was desperate and would have done anything to feel better but I know it’s hard if you just feel a little unwell and see you have to “give up” so many things. But you need to do it. You have to have confidence in yourself that you can. You must offer no excuses to yourself or others and you must give it time. I agree if it seems OK after 30 days (minimum amount of time, I think) then do it for 60. And more, if necessary.
    The benefits are unbelievable. For a start, I stopped having to spend my life in the bathroom. I stopped feeling constantly nauseous. I stopped being so exhausted that I had to crawl upstairs on my hands and knees to bed at night (honestly!) My skin and colour improved beyond all recognition. My energy levels returned. I stopped having bout after bout of ‘flu-like symptoms. And for the first time in over a year, I was able to stop worrying about myself.
    I still don’t have a medical diagnosis, although my GP’s understand I’m sensitive to foods and respect that. I do my own research and take good care of myself. I’m here now because I realise I’ve fallen into the trap of becoming over-reliant on “gluten-free” goods, have gained weight and have had a few problems. I know what I need to do but I wanted to see what information was around now. We all need to keep learning. In the 1980’s there was no internet. Your information came from your doctor and your library. There was just me, clutching my photocopied diet! We are so lucky to have all this now and I just wanted to acknowledge all the time and energy that must have gone into creating this site and to reassure all those starting out on this journey – you can do it!

  29. Avatar
    Julie Anderson says:

    Jordan and/or Steve,
    I just found your website yesterday, and I am hopeful this lifestyle will work for me as well. I have a bunch of autoimmune (and other) issues that I have suffered with for the last 12 years or more (Hashimotos, Insulin Resistance, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, IBS, and maybe a Cortisol issue or Cushings…..EEEKK!). Anyway, the main issues are basically chronic fatigue, chronic pain, and poorly working digestive system. I have been eating GF and DF for two years; and although I noticed marked improvement at first, I’ve gradually experienced a return of the digestive symptoms—and it’s not a stretch to say I might feel as bad as before. Your SCD Lifestyle makes sense to me and I want to try it pronto! I just have one question before I start: What about medications? I take Metformin (Insulin Resistance), Meloxicam (Pain), ThyroMedica supplement (Hashimotos), Pantaprozole (GERD and esophogeal pain/spasms), Tri-Nessa (Endometriosis), and Spironolactone (chronic water retension).
    I should tell you that I am 40, eat healthy/fresh (as far I know how), walk 2-3 miles a day (mandatory, or symptoms get worse), and I look healthy. But I feel AWFUL! I suffer from chronic anxiety and some depression also when the pain and fatigue are the worst. I do not like meds, I am actually very chemically sensitive. I have tried lots of things that the Dr.’s advised, but most have created even more uncomfortable side-effects. The medications I listed above feel like they are essential–what’s keeping me alive and functioning at all. But I know that fewer or no meds is more ideal. What meds are not “legal” or advised on the SCD Lifestyle? I am not opposed to weaning off of them to improve my health…..but I am very nervous about it, and would love some input! THANKS!!
    I love your site by the way, like your “real-ness” and approachability…..and I like how you detail every step, and offer that great FREE guide to get started the right way. That’s SO helpful to a sick person who’s head aches, and who has no energy, and for whom every decision seems like a crisis currently! I like your positive attitudes, encouragement, and medically/scientifically sound feedback. THANKS for what you offer!
    🙂 Julie

    • Steven Wright

      @Julie – Thanks for stopping by I’m glad you like the site. You can still use SCD and our guidelines to create a custom diet that will work for you. Even though the meds might contain trace amounts of illegals they should not impact your overall progress. However it sounds like you likely have some hormone dysregulation and possibly some GI infections. So while SCD and a custom diet will be a foundation of healing I think you’ll need even more advanced testing to get the kind of health you are looking for.

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    It’s funny, when I started SCD about 67 days ago I thought it would b hard to eat a diet even more limited than the paleo one I had been eating for 10 months, but then I saw how much tweaking I have to do yet and am now fruit free and low fodmaps and nightshade and nut free as well and that changes my perspective…now the idea of “just” doing SCD and having access to all Scd options sounds heavenly, ha! All in due time I suppose. 🙂

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    Hi Jordan.

    This is my story. I grew up in a VERY traditional Italian family which in terms of food means pasta, pizza (Homemade) etc. I remember that as a child (I gave a stool sample as a young boy which isn’t normal) that I always had stomach issues whether it was bouts of diarrhea or vomiting with the accompanying gas, bloating, belching whenever I ate pasta or any type of grain-based foods. For most of my life I’ve had stomach problems and I’m tired of it and I’m HELLBENT on getting it taken care of now.

    One day my wifes cousin told me about Crossfit so I was interested in what he was saying because he started talking about this was of eating (Lifestyle) called Paleo. I started researching and doing TONS of reading on the diet and I gave it a try. I have now been eating Paleo (Ancestral) for almost 4 years with much success. I’ve removed ALL Gluten containing grains, Soy, Beans, Veggie Oils (Pro-Inflammatory) however, I’m still struggling with my digestion. I can eat something and burp it up for hours! It’s SOOO DAMN FRUSTRATING!

    About 3 months ago I started eating fermented Cabbage/Carrots along with Digestive enzymes but the diarrhea continues? I also took a probiotic for a little while as well and if my memory serves me correct, I had some success with the probiotic. I’ve never been checked for food sensitivities or allergies so that’s on deck and I also started reading about FODMAPS and I’m beginning to think that that’s my problem(s) along with SIBO and Leaky Gut! What info can you tell me about this particular diet because I’m willing to try ANYTHING and will ABSOLUTELY remove ANY FOODS from my diet to see what works and what doesnt? HELPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!

    Thanks and I look forward to your response!

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    I have a 15 year old celiac daughter. (positive blood test and biopsy) She was a tremendous endurance athlete (triathlon and cross-country skiing). Then her results faded slightly, then they went off a cliff. She developed a stutter, headaches, couldn’t sleep, irritability, problems at school, etc etc. Her ferritin was down to 9 and then after a good max dose supplement for 2 months it dropped further to 7. Doctors said just rest, but we got her iron injections and sent her for a celiac test. She has now been on her gluten free diet for 3 months, but her iron is dipping faster than ever. (it was at 47 at the start of the gf diet.

    Fortunately/unfortunately, the iron shots temporarily solved all her significant symptoms. Unfortunately, she showed an allergic reaction (or infusion reaction) after 6 weeks of shots/IV. Consequently she can never have iron injections again. So after that she felt great. This makes it difficult to tell if any diet is working or not working. Unfortunately, her ferritin is now down to 35 after being on the gf diet and seems to be dropping quicker than ever. She will be anemic again soon at this rate and her performance certainly won’t be up to par even if we can stop the iron drops.

    So we are, as of today, slowing down all the grains (and working toward a complete cessation of grains). We are also starting a course of human strain probiotics and looking at prebiotic consumption. After that I will take a closer look at the SCD and hopefully it will help. She is already taking magnesium (levels were on the low side of ok), D (levels were low, but thankfully are now well into normal) Zinc (still v. low) and iron (a good heme iron supplement – proferrin)

    Hopefully all of this will help her. If you have any other ideas for fighting the low iron/zinc combo, I would appreciate them.

    Thanks for the info.

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    I am doing a candida cleanse and see alot of similarities. I also have GERD and on 4 prilosecs a day. Can this diet be used for the candida also? does your book go over supplements also?

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    I am just beginning the journey with SCD and have great hopes for better health.
    I am 56 and have chronic constipation I also have MS. My ileocecal valve tends to get stuck closed so I think this diet should help. Here’s my concerns: I am sensitive to fructose, lactose, sorbitol, inulin, mannitol & FODMAPS. I made the soup today and ate a bowl full of cooked carrots last night because I was hungry and didn’t want to eat my usual gluten free toast. My grand-daughter age 4 has the same diagnosis and upon talking with her mom (my daughter) she mentioned that carrots are high in fructose. I’m feeling overwhelmed with what to eat. With the MS injections I give myself 3 times a week I usually feel like I have the flu any way. I have also been doing a parasite cleanse, colon cleanse, candida cleanse, viral cleanse, kidney cleanse & Lung cleanse. I’m trying to do all I can to improve my health. Any suggestions?

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    I have been on SCD for several months, but just realized the importance of the intro diet and so have started over this week. Being on the diet, I enjoyed the breads and baked goods using almond flour. I don’t see any mention of this in anything I have read. When can almond flour products be added to the diet?

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    Is it worth trying the SCD if you already have a major histamine intolerance? So much of the diet is based around high histamine (and salicyate) foods. If I eat things like fish or eggs I end up really quite unwell at the moment. Welcome any thoughts..

    • Steven Wright
      Steven Wright says:

      @ Carolyn – We’ve seen plenty with histamine problems do very well on SCD. Did you download our phasing charts? You’ll see they are color coded based on salicyate content, so for you just stick with the low level foods and worry less about each phase. Also look into a histone supplement. You probably have really bad leaky gut and something like digestive enzymes will likely help.

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    I recently purchased a masticating juicer. Have you had any good experiences with juicing? And would three days on a spinach, celery and carrot juice be an affective alternative to the Intro diet?

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    Hi Jordan, I want to start the diet in a week. I am on day 3 right now of an elemental diet using absorb plus shakes. I have UC (been in a flare since Aug 2011) and feel like I have tried everything to cure it – david klein vegan diet (did it for 3 months and it did not work, just made me SUPER skinny), tried the SCD for 3 days (it made my symptoms much worse) but I think I need to do it without the 4 horseman as you say. Anyways, I havent eaten meat in a while and I feel like when I ate the burger meat on the SCD a couple months ago it made my D worse (bloody). Can I do the intro without beef? Can I just do chicken/turkey/fish? Or what meats do you suggest that are easiest on the digestive system? I plan to buy your book and 90 day meal plan ASAP too once I start the diet.
    Thanks so much for your help! Its nice to have some support while going through a tough time.

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    JordanMy 18 yo son was recently diagnosed with uc about 3 mos ago He was placed on asacol and apparently the one pt who is allergic to the medicine and developed bronchitis and pericarditis fron its use he is in a college dorm without means of cooking soooooooo how can he manage this diet plan while he is in school Thanks I really need this diet to work for him so he can avoid some of those other meds used for uc treatment
    Thanks Mike

    • Jordan Reasoner
      Jordan Reasoner says:

      Hi Michael – that’s a good question.

      I’ve worked with a few clients that were in college and we got by after some work. One had to move into an apartment on campus with their own kitchen. Another had her mother make food with her on weekends back home and then she bought a nice mini-fridge to store it in all week.

      I’ve never had luck trying to make the cafeteria food work (sorry). In some cases, it depends on if he’s close or not, but weekend batches of food making for the week ahead seemed to work the best and have the least impact on the children in school…

      Hope that helps,


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    Years ago when i did scd diet for the first time, someone advised me to stick to it strictly for two years and be patient. i did it and about towards end of 2 years i noticed improvements. I would like to encourage those beginning the diet to be patient. This SCD diet has helped me a lot – which no other diet had helped.

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    My son (age 19) was diagnosed with UC 6 months ago and we have tried evertyhing to get him into remisiion and off Prednisone. About 6 weeeks ago started the SCD diet, but went in too fast at stage 5 and nothing happened. I bought your book, the course, etc. and ten days ago he went on the intro diet. Still no success. Is it possible that this diet just doesn’t work for some people?

    • Jordan Reasoner
      Jordan Reasoner says:

      Hi Lori – thanks for the great question.

      It could be possible that the diet just doesn’t work for some people. But in our experience it does work for most everyone, it’s just that everyone has a custom version of that diet that works for them. The trick is making a few tweaks and finding the right version for your son.

      After you started over, what happened? Did he avoid the four horsemen (https://healthygut.com/2011/03/what-to-do-when-the-scd-diet-isnt-working/) or try digestive enzymes?

      Shoot us an email and we can work together on what tweaks to try next. You’re doing awesome, don’t give up hope!


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    How come my daughter would crave whole oranges (peel and all) and eat about 3-4 of them in one sitting after starting the SCD diet? She was about 4 or 5 years old then, is now 10. Oh, she also has autism.

    • Steven Wright
      Steven Wright says:

      @ Beverly – It could be many things, what I know for sure is the specific carbohydrate diet didn’t “cause” anything bad to happen. Instead what is probably happening is that because SCD diet is usually a much lower carbohydrate diet than most are used to eating, she is probably having sugar cravings. I doubt without further testing anyone could tell you the exact cause, you probably would want to get a micronutrient test done by spectracell and also a SIBO 3hr breath test by commonwealth labs. SCD usually over time reveals other health problems because it removes the toxins of our normal diets and starts healing the gut.

      Has she been on SCD the whole time?

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    Libby Doubler says:

    Let me just say this–you guys rock! I haven’t been as sick as some of these fine people, however had raging psoriasis along with digestive trouble. I followed yours and Elaine’s suggestions and have seen so much improvement in just a little over a month. Can’t wait to get to Phase 3, but if I take it slow it’ll be worth it I’m sure. You’ve made it so easy and clear–thank you. Oh, BTW, cucumbers can be seeded even easier if you slice in half lengthwise and then just use a regular eating spoon to scoop out the seeds. A couple of scrapes is all it usually takes. (I have seeded everything for years). Looking forward to webcast.



    • Jordan Reasoner
      Jordan Reasoner says:

      @ Libby – thanks for the tip! We will have to add that in next time we update the book. It does work much faster.

      Glad to hear you’re feeling so good, keep working hard and take control of you health!


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    So I’m in the opposite boat of Anna. I’m starting the diet while I’m in a HUGE flare and I’ve already lost 20 lbs (that I could NOT afford to lose) from the D alone. I’ve been pretty strict, although I started the intro diet with SCD yogurt, DCCC, and some eggs (but limited after). I did 5 days on the intro before moving into Phase 1. I did pear sauce first, then really ripe bananas in a SCD yogurt smoothie, then butternut squash. Going to try apples today/tomorrow, and maybe spinach by the end of the week.

    Anyway, my problem is that my symptoms are so severe (still lots of cramping, gas, D, and blood) that I’m not sure what’s working and what’s not. The frequency seems to have improved (although it’s worse some days than others), and I do feel better overall, but I’m still not sure what to take as a ‘success’ and move on with the diet. So far nothing has made it as bad as it was two weeks ago when I was hospitalized, so I’m taking that as a good sign.

    I would love your input – I’m so confused!!! I’m definitely sticking with it, but just want some encouragement that I’m on the right track. Thanks!

    • Jordan Reasoner
      Jordan Reasoner says:

      Hey Audra,

      Great job starting the diet, you rock! If you’re in that wicked of a flare and coming off of it, the first thing I would do is completely avoid the four horsemen of SCD (read more here: https://healthygut.com/2011/03/what-to-do-when-the-scd-diet-isnt-working/). Especially the yogurt, egg, and DCCC. They seem to trigger UC and crohn’s the worst in the beginning – so my advice would be: if you’re not feeling awesome yet – try life without the four horsement for 4-days and see how you feel. My guess is much better… then try each one again by itself to pinpoint which ones you need to avoid.

      Stay in touch and let us know how you’re doing.


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    Can’t say I am in total agreement with Janine who says: “So many things are verboten by SCD™.”

    I am assuming she means typically the foods so many nutritionists are currently advising against. If SCD eliminates starch and sugar, it allows fruits, nuts, honey, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, oils and most of these can be combined into some pretty great recipes, simple or complicated ones.

    I seem to be symptom free after ten years on the diet and have taken very few restricted foods back even though I can now have them without consequence. I advise your readers to look at the glass and plate more than half full. Strict does not have to mean restrictive.

    Life’s challenges are well met with imagination, determination, creativity and positive attitude. I made SCD a game and for me it is a game I am winning or may have already won.

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    Jordan, I know what you mean. I’m actually a pretty healthy eater. While I don’t eat donuts, I do eat plenty of illegal things, which is bad for me, even though it might be good for other people. I have also been known to indulge in a piece of pie or some nice chocolate or froyo from time to time.

    I’m about 97% sure I’m going to try at least 30 days and see what happens (I’ve already removed all grains, starches, and sweets), though I’m generally the kind of person who goes the whole distance. Knowing this is what makes me feel tired and a bit angry, because I know it’s a complete lifestyle change and I haven’t totally accepted that yet. I guess the way I should look at it is the colitis has already altered my life whether I wanted it to or not, only for the negative, so even if it means changing it even more, at least it will hopefully be for the positive.

    I really want to believe that this is going to work, because it makes perfect sense to me, but I’m skeptical at the same time. Seems like for every “I’m cured with no meds” scenario, there are 9 or 10 “The diet helps, but I still take meds” or “The diet helps, but I still take meds, and I still have flare-ups or end up in the hospital” or “The diet only helps me up to a certain point, and now I’m stuck” scenarios. That part is scary to me.

    • Jordan Reasoner
      Jordan Reasoner says:

      Great insights… that is really cool that you have already eliminated grains, starches, and sugars. That is a huge step believe it or not… some people do really well when they ease into the lifestyle and “practice” for a while. It really helps the change to be less of a shock sometimes.

      My thoughts are give it 30 days… if you become one of those people that only gets 80% of the way there on the diet alone, there are so many things we can help you with at that point to get you the rest of the 20%, don’t even worry about that right now. Steve and I both hit some snags at that 80% that we have had to figure out on our own… if you get stuck there just let us know… until then, give it the 30 days and see where you are at.

      The worst that could happen is that you feel the same way you do now, the best thing that could happen is that you feel twice as good or better than you do now… let’s just see where you end up. Stay in touch and keep us updated, let us know what else you might be afraid of or are thinking about before you get started… it’s so important to talk through those things before you give it 100%.


    • Jordan Reasoner
      Jordan Reasoner says:

      Janine that is so cool! Thanks for thinking of us, we are really flattered. That article was awesome, I think it will help a lot of people, great job putting it together. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you in the future,

      In good health,

  47. Avatar

    This picture is kind of how I feel. I’ve never actually been sick or had any of the horrible pain and cramping that a lot of people have. I lived in a bliss of ignorance until I discovered that the disease (colitis) could evolve and become harder to control, even on meds. Now I’m petrified that I’m some kind of ticking time bomb. I know that this would be a good time to start the diet, but if it doesn’t work, then the thing I’ll have to lose is hope. At least by not trying it, then I could still cling to hope that the diet is an option. Weird, I know. Another thing is it would be hard for me to know if it were actually working because I have so few symptoms (go knock on some wood for me). So what I’m left with is going in blind and seeing if it gets rid of the inflammation because at the very least I would want to do as much as I can to reduce my risk of cancer. But what if it doesn’t? I’ll have spent the last year (my next colonoscopy is next summer) making myself crazy eating a certain way wondering if it’s doing any good. Anyway, those are the thoughts rambling around in my head right now. It’s actually given me quite a bit of anxiety.

    • Jordan Reasoner
      Jordan Reasoner says:

      Anna, thank you for sharing, it really means a lot and helps many other people thinking the same things. I hear something very similiar quite often and I went through some of those same thoughts myself… I mean if it doesn’t work then what? Are we hopelessly left to die from this unfair genetic expression?

      It all comes down to what your primary goals in life are. If you don’t have much in the way of pain and suffering right now, that can make it tough when that sugary doughnut is so delicious. But if your goal is living as long as you can and enjoying that life as much as possible till the end… then you can think how much better that will be than eating that doughnut. Do you want colon cancer down the road or not? There is quite a bit of research, and I will gather some here for another post soon, that points to inflammation as one of the drivers of cancer growth… digestive disease’s are all causative of inflammation. The only way to reduce inflammation is to eliminate the inflammatory lifestyle of grains/starches/sugars.

      I have no doubt in my mind that the diet “works” to reduce inflammation. Think about our ancestors that ate a paleo diet of meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts. They showed no signs of inflammation and lived lives free of heart disease, digestive disease, and cancer… it’s been proven over and over. What it really comes down to is in that fleeting moment of decision… do you chose instant gratification or life extension… every single cell in your body is made up of a collection of everything you have ever put in your mouth. If you really think about that it’s pretty powerful.

      I hope that rambling helped in some way, if not let me know what your thoughts are now and we can keep talking. I look forward to hearing from you.

      In good health,


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