Thursday, April 2, 2009

Breaking the Vicious Cycle- A Book Review and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

A cure for Celiacs? This book instantly caught my attention. In almost 2 years of researching and reading everything I can on Celiac's Disease it is the first time I have heard of a cure, everything else described it as chronic.

Elaine Gottschall's experience in studying diseases of the digestive system gives her the expertise to explain to us her findings. She has a Master's degree from the Department of Cell Science at The University of Western Ontario where she spent 4 years studying the effects of sugars on the digestive tract. She went on to publish many works on intestinal health and it's relationship to overall health and behavior. She passed away in 2005 at 84 years of age. Her bio states she "tirelessly pursued her scientific research until her death" This book is not only for Celiac Disease patients but those suffering from Ulcerative Colitis, Chrohn's Disease, Diverticulitis, Cystic Fibrosis, Chronic Diarrhea, and Autism. It is a short read, the first 70 pages explain Elaine's research and ideas while the last 90 pages are dedicated to recipes to help you get started on the diet.

In a nutshell the research presented shows that for various reasons the balance in the intestines and colon is upset and you are not able to digest complex sugars (ie: any grains, potatoes, all sugars except for honey, and dairy products except for homemade yogurt). These cannot pass through into your bloodstream at a cellular level and stay in your intestine becoming food for the "bad" bacteria that live there. The bacteria overpopulate and in response your body creates mucus to protect itself from their toxins, which starts the "vicious cycle" spoken of in the title.

You eat more, the bacteria populate more (creating toxins), and you create more mucus which keeps you from absorbing all nutrients, while the toxic waste of the bacteria spreads throughout your body, which makes you sick. The solution presented in this book is to eliminate all complex sugar chains from your diet for 1-2 years, thus starving the "bad" bacteria as well as replenishing the good bacteria through Elaine's own recipe of homemade yogurt, restoring balance and curing your disease. She calls this diet The Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

I tried the diet for 2 days and did feel improvement in my overall health and energy. I am considering committing to it for 2 months and possibly even 1 year. Knowing how important it is to follow this diet "fanantically" and being on such a restrictive diet already I am taking a little time to decide. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who thinks they have ill health due to their digestion. It is very informative even if you are not interested in starting the diet.

Here is part one of the SCD

Here is part two of the SCD

Here is part three of the SCD

No comments:

Post a Comment