A Diet For Crohn’s Disease
Many Crohn’s sufferers have found relief and a break in symptoms by following a program called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The diet is based on the theory that there is a distinct link between the mind and the gut, and also that the digestive tract is a central system in the body that affects us in many other areas.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was started by a woman named Elaine Gottschall, after her daughter became ill with ulcerative colitis as a child. Through lots of study and using the process of elimination, Elaine came up with a system that eliminates processed sugars, starches, and virtually all other complex carbohydrates from the diet.
Thus the Specific Carbohydrate Diet – or SCD, was born.
Over the years Elaine compiled her studies into the effects of these particular types of foods on the human body into a book called Breaking The Vicious Cycle. It describes how those suffering from not only Inflamatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, but also others battling a number of other ailments including autism and celiac disease, can benefit from following the diet.
Whether it is some break in the evolutionary chain, or a weakness in the immune systems of certain individuals, Elaine believes that some peoples’ bodies are not able to digest complex carbohydrates, which are called disaccharides and polysaccharides.
These products must first be broken down into simple sugars by the body before being absorbed into the intestinal wall. In individuals who do not as easilly digest these materials, they sit in the gut for longer periods of time than are normal, feeding harmful bacteria, which then reproduce in larger quantities than normal.
Harmful bacteria flourishing in the gut then may cause any number of symptoms, ranging from the inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease to the psychological (read: emotional) disconnect present in those with autism.
Due to the diet being a remedy which allows patients to achieve freedom from the symptoms of their diseases, to date there have been no scientific studies conducted to prove that the diet actually works; its popularity is based solely on word of mouth and the overwhelming number of individuals and their families who claim to have gotten relief from its use.
The medical community has largely dismissed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet as an unproven and ineffective solution, equating it to a fad or a flash in the pan, and because the medical system in the United States is fueled by private enterprise which seeks to line its pocket with the proceeds from the sale of medicinal drugs, this trend is likely to continue.