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A Little Poisoning Along the Road to ME/CFS
Looking at my symptoms, many of which are far less these days and some are gone, it would be easy to figure that I'd just been dealing with some heavy-duty menopausal issues.
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(SCD) Specific Carbohydrate Diet anyone?

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by tamrakat, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. tamrakat

    tamrakat tamrakat

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    I started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) a few weeks ago. My pain level in my joints has gone down and I'm sleeping better. My nervous system feels more relaxed. Has anyone else tried this diet? Is it helpful?
     
  2. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    Where are you getting your information for this diet from? Is there a good source? I looked into it, but it sounded so complex and strict. I'm still curious about it.

    By the way, tamrakat, welcome to the forums. (I like your signature design.)
     
    aimossy likes this.
  3. leaves

    leaves Senior Member

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    I've done it. Helped me at the time. not sure why, pathogenic bacteria maybe ? Maybe I should consider going back to it Do watch your intake of nuts and especially almonds because of oxalates
     
  4. tamrakat

    tamrakat tamrakat

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    Probably the book he recommended was "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gottschall. That explains how the diet heals the body. I just finished reading it and I have to say, I'm impressed and cautiously hopeful. I've jumped on so many bandwagons and been disapointed that I've become somewhat pessimistic. Still, I have to admitt, I haven't had this little pain in a long time. The book has lots of recipes and even a gourmet section. Much of it I can't do at this point, if ever, because I'm diary intolerant and have oral thrush, so that leaves out milk and honey. But they say after about six months you can try eating homemade yogurt a little at a time and see how you react to it. It does sound labor intensive, but I'm really fed up with being sick, so I'm going to give it a good try and see what happens. I bought another book called, "Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet" that looks really good. It looks like over the years a lot of people who've been on the diet have contributed a lot of recipes on the internet. Also, I've found that the main website for the diet is called pecanbread.com. Are we allowed to give other websites here? I think it would be really helpful to find some people online to do this diet with so we can support each other. Anyone interested?
     
  5. tamrakat

    tamrakat tamrakat

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    Probably the book he recommended was "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gottschall. That explains how the diet heals the body. I just finished reading it and I have to say, I'm impressed and cautiously hopeful. I've jumped on so many bandwagons and been disapointed that I've become somewhat pessimistic. Still, I have to admitt, I haven't had this little pain in a long time. The book has lots of recipes and even a gourmet section. Much of it I can't do at this point, if ever, because I'm diary intolerant and have oral thrush, so that leaves out milk and honey. But they say after about six months you can try eating homemade yogurt a little at a time and see how you react to it. It does sound labor intensive, but I'm really fed up with being sick, so I'm going to give it a good try and see what happens. I bought another book called, "Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet" that looks really good. It looks like over the years a lot of people who've been on the diet have contributed a lot of recipes on the internet. Also, I've found that the main website for the diet is called pecanbread.com. Are we allowed to give other websites here? I think it would be really helpful to find some people online to do this diet with so we can support each other. Anyone interested?
     
  6. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    SCD helps protect against, and lower oxalates?

    Hi Leaves,

    I know this is an ancient thread, but after hearing about the SCD for years...I'm starting to consider it. Not sure if I can handle all the cooking/finding the ingredients, etc., but need to at least look into it more. I've definitely been eating a LOT of the carbs they suggest are "bad" (like oatmeal, rice, etc.).

    Anyway, I found this link this morning that claims the SCD plan helps to lower oxalate "values", but that it's not a good idea to do both at the same time. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it looks like they explain why...

    http://microbialinfluence.com/1oxscd.html
     
  7. anne_likes_red

    anne_likes_red Senior Member

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    There are very helpful people in the SCD community - they'll hook you up with suppliers, recipes etc. :)

    I've done SCD since 2005, then Gaps (which is SCD plus a few extras - more difficult) since 2009.
    Parents have often noted that their children tolerate previously troublesome foods and food groups better when they avoid grains and certain carbohydrates. My son who doesn't have health problems, except that he was dairy intolerant since 4 months old, has been able to eat dairy every day without any problems since 3 weeks into GAPS.

    Children in particular often respond very quickly. Here's a link to a video I posted on my fb page last month...

    http://sahmville.blogspot.com/2011/02/autism-improvement-on-video.html

    She'd previously been doing Feingold for her son to try and avoid salicylates.
    In my years as part of biomed communities (for autism spectrum disorders mainly - they've always been leaders in dietary approaches) I've seen many parents change from going after certain chemicals to take a "gut ecology" approach and find success that way. Probiotics are a part of it and I personally think the probiotic recommendations in some of these diets are outdated (most especially in the SCD, for ME/CFS at least).

    ETA, for me the biggest improvements were with inflammation, and with brain fog. But I didn't respond as quickly or as fully as most children I've seen have improvement. I think we have additional problems...likely because we have often been sick for so much longer. IMO Kenny de M and others are on the right track. :)


     
    Wayne likes this.
  8. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    It's funny that this topic comes up now because I started SCD three days ago in an attempt to lower LPS. Current status:

    1) Fatigue increased, energy is really low (maybe because the body has to get used to a lower carb intake and has to adjust)
    2) Allergies seem to improve. I eat certain foods and have no problems with them although I had problems with them a week ago, when I ate rice and noodles to them
    3) You get much calmer, excitatory neurotoxicity decreased
    4) Concentration and sleep improved
    5) Skin improved

    danny: The diet is really easy. You get the protein and fat from eggs, meat, fish, avocado and you get the carbs from vegetables and fruits (only ripe fruits but don't overdo it in the first week). You are also allowed to eat honey in order to keep glucose up.
     
    Wayne likes this.
  9. lucy

    lucy Senior Member

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    I was doing a similar diet - it was anti-inflammatory diet, resulting set of products are similar, but maybe anti-inflammatory diet is stricter.
    Anyway, it was a great benefit to me, except that I started too sudden and too strict a diet - I suppose I cut too much of carbs initially, so I had to reintroduce some back in order not to feel so weak (maybe I got ketonic).

    The benefits were that I stopped having fever with it and could simply get the fever back if I ate some gluten, although I am not allergic. Now I tolerate gluten easier, but I stay away from it. Some sources say it takes at least 6 months for gut villi to get better. I have now reintroduced occasional rice and potatoes hoping to gain some weight.

    When the body cleans up, one can test reactions by reintroducing things. I found out that my guts get messed up if I eat legumes. They slow down everything so badly, give cramps and constipation.

    I got the impression that such "clean" nutrition closes the blood brain barrier thus making the brain fog to go away.

    I agree with Waverunner, it is an easy diet. In the beginning it looks hard to quit so many things, but it took only a week or so to change the way of thinking and planning/shopping habits. My bf reaction was very positive - the more meat the better! Another unplanned positive result was that it took less time to prepare the food. As for the meat, it appears pork is more inflammatory than beef or turkey. I was using the inflammatory indices from the website http://nutritiondata.self.com/

    Imho, gluten/starch low diet (and there are many different names and diets, where the essence the same - low gluten/starch) is the only thing that seems to have helped many CFS patients (for example supplements/antivirals are much more questionable, more difficult to get, correct me if I am wrong). So in terms of logic (whatever foggy it might be), it seems rational to try it, while other therapies involve more risk and more doubts. On the other hand we do not hear much about ppl who maybe got much worse after cutting carbs. It does not mean that it did not happen, just that there is no much data about it.
     
    Wayne likes this.
  10. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Very interesting...!

    Wow. Thanks Anne. Those videos were quite impressive -- she should put them on youtube to help convince some of the many skeptics out there.

    I believe Rich Van K's hypothesis, that CFS/ME is an autism-spectrum disorder (in the same family), at least in a large subgroup of patients. I could kind of strangely relate to that little kid -- I get kind of 'giddy' at times, and certainly anxious and irritable, and can't find the right words (especially lately!) to express myself.

    Very wired at times, and then very, very, very tired and sore, achey, and SKINNY. !!!

    I took a look at the GAPS website, and their 'intro diet' -- you're right, that looks like it's definitely 'more difficult'. I'm curious why you decided to switch from SCD to GAPS?

    Very interesting re how the mother was trying the Feingold plan with not much success. I do remember seeing their list of "low salicylate foods", and it seemed to focus more on artificial flavors and colors, instead of spices, foods, etc.. But still interesting!

    I read yesterday about the SCD's "approved" probiotics, and it does seem to be a very narrow recommendation -- which seems to conflict with (shoot, can't remember the doc's name) the bifidus probiotic that he recommended specifically for CFS patients. Having said that, there are definitely strains that some react to, and others don't. I used to do well with Custom Probiotics, and also Three-lac -- (my anxiety dropped big time with that and also "No-Fenol" back in 2003, until I ran out of $), but now can't seem to tolerate either, since the methylation fiasco back in November. I haven't tried the Custom Probiotics again, so not sure about that.

    MANY THANKS!

    Dan
     
    Wayne likes this.
  11. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Wow. That's quite a difference in just three days! Very impressive. :)

    One of the many issues I've had during the past year is (in addition to muscle loss) is skin issues -- I'm drying up. Seems like I've aged 10-15 years in one year...not a pretty picture. So that's encouraging to hear you're noticing a difference. And of course the "much calmer" part is very good to hear too.

    I'm a little worried about the high-fat content of the 'diet'. If I eat "too much" fat -- which isn't much, but I'm trying to increase it -- I get these awful RLS feelings in my legs, and also sometimes some heart palps, but mainly that overall uncomfortable feeling. Perhaps I need to start a low-dose fish oil supp, which I stopped about 1 1/2 years ago. Been eating fish once a week however. This 'fat' issue may actually resolve however if I would stop eating OATMEAL and RICE every day!???

    Waverunner, can I ask how long you've been sick, and also, are you on the thin side or are you trying to lose weight? Also, what kind of things were you eating before you started the SCD?

    Thanks so much!

    Dan
     
  12. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Hi Lucy,

    Not sure if this helps, but ayurvedic medicine considers beans to be very drying -- thus constipating -- so they always recommend eating them with decent amounts of oil or butter fat. Also, honey is supposed to also be helpful for constipation.

    Another related possibility, is that is closes up a possible leaky gut, and improves the balance of bacteria, so that neurotransmitter function in the gut is re-established. ??? I have no idea, but haven't some said that 70% of our immune system is in our gut, along with 90% of serotonin receptors?

    Right now it seems overwhelming to me, but then again, what doesn't? :) But anyway, it's nice to hear from you and Wave that it's easier than one thinks.

    I am one of those who, at least in the past, has done very poorly on 'low-carb' plans. I tried the Zone thing back in 2000 or so, and lost about 10 pounds on an already thin frame, so I stopped that within 3 months or so. It also made me more anxious, more tense, BUT...didn't include calming things like honey...and DID include perhaps some of these 'problem' carbs.

    Thanks Lucy. :)
     
  13. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    I just had a quick look at the main internet sites of SCD (because I hadn't heard of it before) and it looks very similar to the Paleo diet (except for the Curd cheese).

    I was 100% well for 3 months on the Paleo diet in late 2005 (except for my prolapsed discs & soft tissies injuries which are nothing to do with CFS/FM).

    I never seem to last more than 3 months if I'm on it 100%. At the 3 month point, I always seem to crave something sweet.

    Earlier this year I was tested for coeliac disease (because the gastroenterologist didn't do the actual blood test in Feb 2004) & tested negative, but the high gluten intake I had to do for the 6 weeks prior to the blood test exacerbated my pain & symptoms enormously. I felt extremely lethargic, kept falling asleep & some of my IBS symptoms returned.

    I felt very negative & angry on that high gluten diet. I felt obsessive. My joints ached. My moods see-sawed dramatically. I felt sort of hyped up all the time. I slept even worse than usual. I couldn't be bothered doing anything much (although I did force myself to do some walking, but didn't 'enjoy' it as much).

    I've had a low gluten/low dairy diet for some 20+ years. Since the coeliac test, I've gone back to low gluten/low dairy & have once again improved. I have had some sort of tummy bug thing recently when I was very unwell for about 3-4 days but got over it really quickly.

    I have been extra tired lately & had trouble getting to sleep, but then I've been walking 3-5 hours every other day & spending way too much time on the computer editing photos. I believe all this time on the computer is making my brain too wired up to sleep, so the last few days I've have reduced my time on the computer in the evenings. My sleep has started to improve again.

    I wish I could stick to dairy/gluten free forever, but I am WEAK-willed when it comes to some things.

    So in general, I suppose I've followed the SCD to some extent. You need to change your diet slowly to avoid flare-ups of symptoms & like all things in life - Moderation & Balance in everything is the key.

    I generally stick to meat, salmon, eggs, fruit, vegetables & nuts (mostly organic).

    The exception is breakfast where usually I have a gluten free rice cereal with rice milk, psyllium husks, freshly ground flaxseeds, ground pumpkin seeds, walnuts & banana (for the potassium). A couple of days per week I might have a vegetable & egg breakfast for a change.

    I would suggest that on the SCD (or the Paleo Diet which I follow about 95%) one needs to watch your acid/akaline balance very closely. It's easy to tip to far towards acid foods which are highly inflammatory.

    I would also suggest instead of wasting energy on 'recipes' & buying lots of ingredients (I can't afford all the foods I used to eat when working full-time), just stick to the basic foods steamed, roasted or cooked in a non-stick pan.

    I have dozens of recipe books & never use them now - I'd rather spend my energy outdoors if the weather is ok.

    I would barely do the 15 mins walk home from work 13 months ago, yesterday I was out slow walking for over 5 hours - big difference. It DID take quitting full-time work & very slowly working up to many hours walking though.

    I'm never symptom or pain free, but my quality of life & mental state has improved substantially .

    It goes down immediately if I have some of my favourite rye bread (I'm weak) or too much acid food.
     
    Wayne likes this.
  14. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    USA.Earth
    This brings back memories. Particularly I remember those strange bean pancakes on the SCD. Yummm :Q

    So, just want to add to the conversation a plug for the 'Body Ecology Diet' (BED) which I found about 6 years ago and still am using successfully. Also, my whole family is first stage Feingold only, we never saw benefit enough from avoiding all salycilates, but try to not over-do exposure. But stage one is very important, I think. Particularly if you have P450 liver problems (cytochrome issues), like we do.

    So, starting about 10 years ago, I went through Atkins, which is pretty paleo, but lost weight and while there was this initial burst of feeling better, my energy levels went down fast. Not enough fuel in a form a CFS person could absorb. Eventually I found SCD and became convinced this was 'the answer' and went deeply into it. Tried all the recipes, became adept at those bean pancakes. But eventually this was also a bust, just not enough energy from that food still.. Maybe for someone with specific digestive trouble and not CFS that might work, but I don't see how it can help in the long term, at lest not for the average CFS patient.

    Then came BED, wow, that was wonderful, to find some carbs I could tolerate again, finally some energy. Still using BED, six years later, and still on stage one Feingold. I made the fermented cabbage for years for BED, but have gotten lazy and don't seem to need that as much anymore. Also I'm now on a multi-B12 protocol and that seems to have helped digestion as well, but I still stick with the ancient grains as they have no gluten, high protein, and aminos as well as complex carbs (Amaranth, Quinoa, Millet, wild or long-grain rice), and a little oat and corn sometimes, and the general recommendations of BED. The Quinoa is the most amazing, it has protein, and is actually alkalanizing, I usually feel better after eating something made from it. You can just boil the ancient grains also, if you don't have energy to bake something with them. I use stevia or applesauce (unsweetened) and make sheet cookies, cakes, etc. with the ancient grain flours. It's nice to have those again.

    The book is well worth buying, probably can be found used very cheaply as it is several years old now.
     
    Wayne likes this.
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Sounded interesting :) so i had to look up what it was.

    Im on a very similar diet low carb diet but I also cant have things like honey, fruit restricted to a small piece per day due to its carb content, carb veg restricted eg no carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, corn etc. I have a piece of bread every few days and only can have one glass of milk per day.

    My breakfast will consist of usually 2 boiled eggs (if i want to be quick) or if Im hungier .. mince, capsicum, onion, mushroom, garlic/pepper/salt/spices all fried up together. Then I have 10 nuts (my daily nut quota) for snack before lunch.

    I didnt know it till recently why I didnt do so well with carbs such as breads, too much milk etc. but it turned out I had an insulin problem. Since Ive highly restricted carbs, some of my symptoms are gone or eased up some.
     
  16. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Hi Kurt -- Which grain of the ones you listed is the one that basically tastes like dirt? :) (Or is that buckwheat, the one you didn't list!?) Thanks for the info -- I had tried quinoa, and millet (and buckwheat and amaranth) a few years ago -- and don't know why I stopped, but will consider them again. Also used the cultured cabbage, but didn't have the BED starter stuff...so thanks for that too!

    Taniaaust -- there's a great book called "The Glycemic Revolution" that helps one figure out how different carbs -- in combination with proteins and/or fats affect blood sugar/insulin levels. :)
     
  17. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Trying the Body Ecology...

    Well...

    I had quinoa, but no amaranth or millet, so I bought those a couple days ago. Still paying the price for the trip (argh), as I had to take 2 buses, and just walking in the (huge) store, was almost too much.

    Then comes the soaking and the cooking! Plus bought some Vegi-Delite and Raw Saurkraut (both are types of cultured cabbage) and added some to some chopped up cabbage, and again, thought I would die just standing there for 15 minutes during the preparation.

    But I didn't. I hope this will start making a difference in a few weeks, but am open to trying the SCD and/or the GAPS, (at least the bone broth/soup stock -- as I have no idea if I'm really 'amine' intolerant)...just wish I had help in the cooking/baking/preparing/shopping/walking department. :)

    d.

    p.s. I remember...it's the buckwheat that tastes like dirt. The amaranth isn't too far behind... :)
     
  18. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    danny: Skinny and I ate lots of carbs from noodles and rice. Ill since 12 years.
     
  19. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Hey Waverunner -- what kind of things are you eating now? And did you gradually transition to the SCD or take the plunge? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     
  20. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    dannybex: I took the plunge. Eggs, avocado, cooked vegetables, meat, olive oil, sometimes honey in low amounts or fruit.
     

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