Keeping a Food/Health Journal (Happy New Year!)

If you are thinking of using the SCD diet, please follow the advice of keeping a detailed journal, recording food eaten, BM's, and pain.

If you've suffered from IBD for any length of time, "What to Eat" can be quite confusing. Or it's not confusing at all and you eat nearly everything because nothing seems to make a difference--never feeling completely sick and never feeling quite healthy . . .

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Professor Peter GibsonOrg. Unit: Department of Medicine, Box Hill Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Email:

Title: Director of Gastroenterology for Eastern Health Phone: +61 3 989 50369 Dept: Medicine, Box Hill Hospital

FODMAPS, science for the SCD

(thank you to the anonymous person who clued me in to FODMAPS)

The specific carbohydrate diet focuses on consuming digestible carbohydrates--not low carbs or south beach carbs or zone carbs or be-in-bathing-suit-shape-7-day carbs*.

As is often repeated in "SCD world", the reason is to starve out harmful bacteria which is happily feeding away on undigested carbs sitting in the gut.

Previous food studies for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis have focused on digestability of fat or lactose or other solitary, easy to test dietary factors. Fairly recently, doctors in the Gastroenterology department of Monash University in Australia have focused on the role of "highly fermentable but poorly digested" carbohydrates--the type of carbohydrates avoided on the SCD.

In a medical journal article, Professor Peter Gibson and Susan Shepherd termed these carbohydrates FODMAPS--Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides And Polyols. (And you thought "SCD" wasn't easy to remember:) The authors note that the Western diet has significantly increased its intake of these poorly digested carbs, or FODMAPS:

Changes Observed Details
Spectrum of sugars consumed Sucrose less, lactose stable, fructose increased
(fourfold in 10-year-old children, nearly 20% in population)
Location of food intake Increase in away-from-home food (fast food outlets or restaurants); >35% food consumed away from home
Pattern of eating Nearly 50% increase in proportion of energy from snacks compared with meals across all age groups
Food selection Increase in salty snacks, pizza, sweetened beverages doubled in 20 years; increase in consumption of pasta, cakes, breads, cereals, high fruit products
Use of caloric sweeteners Increase, particularly in beverages

What does this mean?

specfic carbohydrate diet will move into the mainstream.

Recent research is moving far past the "latest IBD knowledge of 2002".

Here are some recent highlights.

    - Intestinal flora effects intestinal permeability

    - Intestinal permeability is a predisposing factor to Crohn's disease (and uclerative colitis)

Elaine Gottschall's specific carbohydrate diet has a two-pronged approach to alleviating intestinal distress:


Pre-Christmas Post: New Baby!

Amy, who started the SCD early this year to help with Crohn's disease, gave birth to a healthy baby girl yesterday:)Congratulations!

(This picture is courtesy of Amy's mother Beth, who has contributed many posts (and recipes) this year.)

Article on Celiac Disease and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Yesterday, published an article by Carol Frilegh titled "The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is an Excellent Gluten-Free Diet Option".

If Carol's article makes you curious about Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas, who created the original 'specific carbohydrate diet', check for local university libraries which may carry his book "Management of Celiac Disease."

On a side note, researchers studying the "fecal flora" [bacteria in the poo as opposed to the gut] of those with digestive disorders found a surprising similarity between those with Crohn's disease and celiac.

The overlap between CD [Crohn's disease] and celiac disease, however, is unexpected and it is for future investigations to clarify whether these 2 diseases share a common pathogenesis or whether the inflammation of the small intestine is responsible for similarities in the fecal findings

source: "Active Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Can Be Specifically Diagnosed and Monitored Based on the Biostructure of the Fecal Flora"
authors: Alexander Swidsinski, MD, Vera Loening-Baucke, MD, Mario Vaneechoutte, MD, and Yvonne Doerffel, MD

Specific Carbohydrate Diet Interview: Marilyn Alm

Marilyn Alm started using the specific carbohydrate diet in 2001 for IBS and is a frequent contributor to the SCD listserv. She has brought her inventive New Orleans cooking skills to the SCD--including helping mothers create recipes for hard-to-feed children with autism.

In the conversation below she talks about some of her SCD experiences, including staying on the diet during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

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Jan 2008 article: gut bacteria, ibd, ibs, fibromyalgia, etc, etc

Journal: Current Opinion in Gastroenterology
Issue: January 2008; 24(1):11-6. PMID: 18043226
Article: Alterations in intestinal microbial flora and human disease

The January 2008 article in a prominent medical journal focuses on the role of "gut flora in human disease." Below, I've attempted to summarize/describe parts of the article relating to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS):

The article starts off with an introduction which reads:

Our intestinal microbial flora includes a variety of microorganisms, predominantly bacteria, which colonize the gut of all living organisms. Colonization of the gut begins at birth with the first exposure to the flora of the birth canal. Shortly after birth, hundreds of species of bacteria and archaea establish themselves in the human gastrointestinal tract [1,2]. For decades the importance in human health of gut microbes, commonly referred to as commensal flora, despite advanced knowledge of the microbial world, has been underappreciated. [italics added]

The summary of the article reads: We focus on the example of an abnormal expansion of gut microbial flora into the small bowel or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and discuss the effects of bacterial overgrowth on the human host in acute pancreatitis, bacterial gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, hepatic encephalopathy, and fibromyalgia and burn injury. The identification of the underlying role of altered commensal gut microbiota in these and other human diseases could lead to novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies that would improve clinical outcome.

34 New Recipes Added!!!