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Specific Carbohydrate Diet Interview: Carol

November 8, 2007
image 1
(photo: 10/2007)

Name: Carol
Location: Canada
Age: 76
Time on SCD: since December 2000

What experience led you to the SCD?
In the late 1990s, I had pneumonia for the first time and was prescribed an antibiotic. Shortly afterward, I had a nasal polyp removed and my doctor prescribed prednisone. The combination of pneumonia, prednisone, and my age crashed my immune system.

Whenever I ate, I had terrible pain in my upper GI system, similar to an ulcer. I felt bloated and began having cramping. I could no longer tolerate eggs, dairy or nuts. Eventually, I reached the point where I doubled over with stomach pain.

And I've had an irritable bowel. That factored into it too.

What did your doctors say?
As a follow-up to the pneumonia, I was slated for standard allergy tests. In addition, a naturopath put me on an exclusion diet which allowed rice and rye bread.

I piled on the rice like you wouldn't believe. That led to more bloating and pain. Everything got worse and worse.

How did you hear about the SCD?
In the past—I had struggled with some weight lost issues. (Over several years I lost 86 pounds, reaching a weight in the 130s.) I still keep up with a diet support group and one person mentioned the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
How long did it take from when you starting feeling sick to when you started the SCD?
I fell sick in March 2000 and by December of that year I began the SCD.

The biggest difference is that within one week, I could eat without the upper GI pain. Also, I wasn't feeling bloated after eating.

Did you start with the introductory diet?
Yes, I did start with the introductory diet.

Within two weeks I was tolerating the permitted dairy, eggs, and nuts.

I started feeling much better after that.

Generally nuts are not added to the diet for several months after symptoms have cleared.
That's true, especially for people with IBD. However, I never had diarrhea. I have celiac disease and after my illness I have latex allergy as well as a strong reaction to many smells, sometimes classified as multiple-chemical sensitivity.

I don't react well to grain. Sometimes I can eat things with sugar but if I eat grain my nose gets very stuffy right away and I feel a bit dizzy.

I don't expect to be cured in the traditional sense of introducing all foods back to my diet. But with SCD I can maintain my health.

I also participate in an SCD e-mail list and help update


How did you become involved with the e-mail list?
Part of it comes from my friendship with Elaine Gottschall. We met when I attended an SCD Potluck in the Southern Ontario region several years ago. I was excited by what Elaine was doing and we developed a growing relationship.
Tell me more about the e-mail list.
I have a straight from the hip approach. Sometimes people write that they don't like my approach. But I do the best that I can.

For seven years I have been supporting SCD groups. I feel like I'm making an important contribution to society. I am helping myself and I'm sharing something that is helpful to people.

Each morning I sit at my desk at the computer by 6am. I have a passion for doing this. I might spend six hours a day doing this. It's my job and I'm there.

From the responses I've seen, you've helped many people through your participation in e-mail groups. Do you have any advice for people thinking about trying the diet?
Many people are afraid that the diet is too restrictive. But I really love the food. The ingredients are good. There are no additives. Most basic recipes are simple but wonderful.

SCD to me is about all the foods I CAN have, not the few I can't.

It seems to me that there is everything to gain and nothing to lose by giving such a healthy and nutritious diet at least a one month trial.

What advice would you give to someone using it for autism?
Autism is a complex puzzle. But more and more we're seeing that dietary intervention is a big piece of the puzzle because of that gut-brain connection.

To get started I would tell someone to read the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book and to also read

Other than diet, what other routines do you follow to keep yourself in good health?
Exercise. I walk the dog for at least one hour per day.

Another thing I love about the SCD is the popularity in our area of organic markets and locally grown food. We just found a new market near a quarry. We have a ritual where every Saturday we walk our dogs--and then go to the market to buy our food.

Thank you again for your time.
It's been a pleasure.
If you are interested in sharing your experiences, please contact us.