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SCD Symposium in Seattle

March 17, 2014

It has been about 6 weeks since this symposium took place at Seattle Children’s Hospital on Friday, January 24, 2014. Although we can be accused of being tardy, we are still figuring out what an event like this means for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet community at a larger scale.

The event was hosted by Dr. David Suskind, MD, who is an attending physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He was published in the January 2014 issue of Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and nutrition (see 9/24/2013 blog entry) with the results of an SCD study he conducted.

Back in October 2013, we had heard some murmurings that there might be a one-day symposium hosted at Seattle Children’s, and we agreed to fly out to the west coast once this was finalized.

After a busy end of year spent in Mumbai, India, for 3 weeks (and being SCD-safe the whole time there), we barely recovered from our jet lag and boarded another flight, this time heading in the opposite direction towards the Northwest. Once we passed through security with our food travel bag FULL of SCD-safe meals and snacks - we were able to sit back and relax on the flight.

The next morning, we drove through downtown into the neighborhood of Seattle that is home to UofW. The space we entered into at Seattle Children’s Hospital was bright and cheery, with stories and images lining the corridors. The symposium was hosted in a large conference room, with space for about 50+ persons around an open “U” configuration.

The room was filled with a mix of medical professionals (MDs, nurses, and others) along with SCD practitioners and/or authors. The room buzzed with anticipation. Dr. Suskind began the symposium by sharing the results from his SCD study, which was followed by a few other presenters. I had a chance to present an overview/history of the SCD from the mid-1900's till present, outlining the work of Dr. Haas, Elaine Gottschall, and to where we are today.

We were served a delicious SCD lunch (with dessert as well!) prepared locally. Towards the late afternoon, there was a chance to have an “open discussion”, sort of like a brainstorming session, where everyone had a chance to float ideas on how SCD could be propelled forward through further research and collaboration.

The best part about being at this one-day event was connecting with others in this varied and diverse community that is often only accessed online (through forums, chats, email, etc). To be there together with others who understand the SCD – its benefits, its challenges, and ultimately, its ability to make one better – was reassuring and incredibly exciting at the same time.

We hope that this next chapter of communicating together as a larger group of practitioners, will allows us to take the Specific Carbohydrate Diet into the limelight: more investigative research studies and other platforms it needs to secure its’ spot as a standard treatment for UC, IBD, and Crohn's.

image 1 Dr. Suskind (at far right) with other SCD symposium attendees (R. Prasad at back in white collared shirt :)