Customer Reviews: Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet
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on July 5, 2000
With a great deal of skeptisizm, I read this book over five years ago. Ulcerative colitis was bleeding me to death, not that I had a life much worth living at the time. My world revolved around pain and I could be no further than 30 seconds from a bathroom. Ms. Gottschall, her book, and the diet completely vanquished all my symptoms of UC, saved my life and restored my intestinal health. I've just finished reading the reveiws of Courtney Lewis and a reader from Conneticut, who were both put off by the amount of work involved in maintaining this diet. Perhaps their symptoms were not as crippling as mine. Perhaps they have success with medication and have no problem with staying on it for the rest of their lives. I wish them well and hope they do not eventually require the surgery that many of us with this disease must face. I am concerned however, that their reveiws might prevent even one person from reading the book, which is why I am writing about my own experience. After 6 months on this diet I went for my yearly colonoscopy and my doctor declared my colon to appear "like that of a healthy 18 year old's". I have been off of all medication for over 4 years. I currently facilitate a listserver of almost 400 participents, most of who are on the diet. If anyone is interested in joining it, write me at
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on February 26, 2000
I have been on this regimen for three years. During this time I have been drug and symptom free. A year and half ago I posted the following review, which is even more dramatic proof now: After a year and a half on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I finally followed my gastroenterologist's request to get a colonoscopy. After all, it had been over four years since the last time anyone had given me any sort of exam of the gut, and 18 years with Crohns. My doc said "We got all the way to the cecum. No evidence at all of Crohns. No scars. No inflammation. Nothing. You look completely normal."
This dietary modification is far better than a drug-induced remission for me because even in past drug-induced 'remissions' my past exams have showed indication of disease. Now there are no drugs, no side effects. I believe this diet is a superior way to bring on a controlled remission.
This book guides the patient through the process of understanding their illness, describing the research that contributed to creating the diet, how to start the diet, what foods can be added and when. The book also contains valuable a list of links to "SCDiet" resources and online support groups that are available over the Internet.
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on July 6, 2005
2 years ago, I was suffering from nightly fevers, night sweats, diarrhea 5-8 times a day, pain and cramping, and would black out every time I stood up and had to rest when walking to the back yard. I was taking the highest dose of Colozal possible, and had lost 30 pounds in one month. I decided to start Remicade, which stopped the diarrhea for a week, and then I would regress. 3 rounds of Remicade were providing relief for 7-10 days after each one, and my doctor was suggesting 6 MP or Imuran, even though I had had a near-fatal reaction to it many years ago.

I decided to try the SCDiet again, which I had tried 8 years before with great results, but hadn't continued when I became pregnant, and had misplaced the book in a move. When I began the diet this time, my fevers stopped in a day! I continued to take Remicade, and followed the diet, though I suffered continuous ups and downs for the first 6 months, and my diet was very limited, since I couldn't tolerate most fruits, most vegetables, the nut flour, or the yogurt for the first 3 months.

I gained back the 30 pounds in a few months, despite the rocky progress, my anemia slowly corrected itself, and I started having energy again for the first time in years. I continued on the Remicade, though by now, I was able to stretch my infusions out to 8 weeks, then 10, but still would relapse towards the last weeks.

A year into the diet, I found out that I had a stricture in my descending colon and sigmoid colon that was the size of a pencil. In July, 2004 I had surgery to remove the stricture, and continued on with SCD in the hospital and afterwards. Recovery was fairly easy, and the doctors were amazed at my speedy progress. I discontinued Remicade, since it was unnecessary with the stricture gone.

It is now one year after surgery, and 2 years on the diet. I had a colonoscopy a month ago, and my GI found very, very slight inflammation in the rectum and secum, and all of the biopsies were normal. I haven't had Remicade since the surgery, and am continuing on a very low dose of sulfasalazine, which I plan to discontinue in a year. I weigh the most I have weighed in over 17 years of this disease, my bloodwork is all normal for the first time in 17 years, and my skin and hair are healthy. Many people have wondered if I am pregnant, because I look so "radiant."

Hopefully, in 2 more years, my follow up colonoscopy will be all clear, and I will have weaned from my last medication. I am just saddened that I didn't stick with the diet 8 years ago, because I probably would not have had to have surgery, or 17 years ago, when I was first diagnosed at 16. There are so many things I lost because of this disease; a year abroad at a very prostigious art school, a modeling contract, a normal college experience, besides many, many years of blood, fever and sickness.

Some doctors are beginning to recommend this diet. It is becoming the treatment of choice in the autism community. This diet includes high strength pro-biotics in the form of homemade yogurt; there is more and more evidence that bacteria are playing a large role in these diseases, so the premise of the diet makes sense. I was spending $500 a month on supplements, and was still very sick; when I began this diet, I found that every one of them had some kind of starch or sugar; I now spend $7 a month on vitamins/fish oil. For a decade, I have known that certain foods I ate made me ill; it was so freeing to finally know what to eat, and my food choices are huge compared to what I tolerated in the past. I now can drink wine for the first time in 10 years, and coffee, and tea, and the many baked goods allowed on this diet are delicious. I feel like a teenager again, though this time, I am not sick. Everyone who comes to my house comments on the incredible food my family eats.

It is a crime that no one will do a double-blind study on this diet, and the general advice is, "there is no medical evidence" to justify it. Well, do the study then! Find the medical evidence! In the meantime, there is nothing to lose in trying it. It is healthy, and prevents many other diseases by eating whole, homemade foods. There is no danger in eating this way, except that you will be required to cook - a lot- and it may mean a significant lifestyle change if you are used to eating out, or rely on pre-made, packaged products. I just wish I found it many, many years ago. I wonder who I would have become if I had not suffered such extreme illness for half of my life. To have control again over my body; to know what to eat and that I am progressing! What a miracle.

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on January 16, 2002
How can I find words to describe the miracle that is this diet? Following it has given me back my son in a way I never dreamed possible. Elaine's diet has cured my son's autism and his three year struggle with GI troubles.
My son Colin, age 4 ½ , has struggled with GI troubles since 11 months old. He had the ROTAvirus, chronic diarrhea, and was constantly on steroids (for asthma) and antibiotics (for ear and lung infections). By age two-and-a-half he was having night terrors every night. By age three, he was labeled "failure to thrive" due to his low weight and height. He was also diagnosed as having developmental delays (Pervasive Development Disorder, ie Autism). He was behind in speech and motor skills...he banged his head and stopped looking at me. My son slipped away from me!
Everyone had answers for us...the mainstream doctors (neurologists) wanted to give him drugs. The GI doctors thought Colin had "autistic" diarrhea and wouldn't help us. They wouldn't even do a colonoscopy on a child who had struggled with a GI disorder for years.
The alternative doctors told us to cut out gluten and milk and use high dosages of vitamins. Stopping gluten stopped his night terrors--but his chronic diarrhea and delays continued. In fact, as I became a "gluten-free" cook and branched out to new starches, Colin's symptoms got worse.
When my son was labeled as having "high functioning autism" at age 3 1/2, God told me to "put Colin first." So I quit my job to save my son. I decided that instead of listening to "experts" in autism, I would listen to my son. I knew he had the answers inside him so I studied him.
I always knew Colin had a problem with food. His bizarre food cravings as a toddler-milk, cheese, and bread-had been replaced with a craving for gluten free waffles, potatoes, and basically all starches and complex sugars. Some said he was allergic to these foods. But, I knew it was impossible for him to have 30+ allergies. I also knew if food was the problem-somehow it was the answer too.
I concluded that my son was not autistic, but instead a boy with celiac disease or some other GI disorder. Then, thanks to a former co-worker, who was a Celiac not cured by gluten-free living, I found Elaine's book.
Within months on Elaine's diet, my son's stools were normal for the first time in his life! Then, he started doing complex pretend play, looking at us, and advancing in ALL AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT. He played with toys appropriately. He voiced his wants, needs, and questions. Oh-the glorious why questions! He started asking me questions about God, about life, about the seasons...and about why his tummy had always been sick. His teachers were amazed. Our family was amazed. We know this diet saved him. We watched it happen before our eyes. No drugs. No expensive behavioral therapies. Just diet.
I say don't give up. When Colin couldn't digest the fruits and veggies, we cooked them. When he couldn't eat the almond flour-we gave him squash and banana for carbs until he was ready for the nut flours. We didn't do the yoghurt described in the book at first-as Colin gets asthma when he drinks milk. Then, we started using goat's milk yoghurt instead so he could get the good bacteria he needed to heal. If you truly want to get well, there is always a way. But you have to have faith and be patient.
Today, my son is the picture of health. He has gained 8 pounds and five inches in less than a year! He has a healthy glow. He has normal bowel movements. He has a wonderful appetite too. And now-he has caught up in almost all areas. He has friends! Next year he will be going to a regular preschool. Some doctors and others ask us now if we have "switched" children.
All this through food.
The other day I told my son that I was going to help a friend of his start this diet. I was explaining about the yoghurt, almond flour, etc. He said, "Mom, thank you," and threw his arms around me. I said, "For what?"
"For me Mom. Thank you for me. Thank you for making my tummy better."
Even Colin knows the power of this diet.
God bless Elaine for fighting for us all and for helping me save my son!
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on June 24, 2005
I picked up this book 3 years ago. I had also bought a LOT of other books - this book had what I considered to be the "hardest" diet to follow. It required me to change my life. I had racked up 20,000 in medical debt, had been hospitalized several times, had fistula drained, was on prednisone, asacol, flagyl, cipro. My wife was a wreck worrying over me while I wasted away.

I finally had an attack that put me in the hospital for a week. It was all the incentive I needed. At the time I started, I was 5'6", 97 pounds, and could barely scrap together the energy to stand for 15 minutes. The first two weeks were the hardest, but I went from diarrhea 8 to 10 times a day down to 2 or 3. A month in, perhaps once or twice. Two months in - diarrhea had stopped. Three months in - no more meds. Six months in - felt better than I had before college(eight years prior), my weight was back to 135 pounds. I'm now three years in. I had a colonoscopy three months ago - all the massive damage to my large and small intestine were 98% gone - only minor scarring remains.

God willing, in another three I'll have completely cured this "incurable" disease. Your results will be better than mine, give the book a try. By word of mouth alone, three friends have turned their problems around too.
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on September 28, 2003
A year ago and two weeks ago, I was admitted to the ER with an acute case of Crohn's colitis. I weighed 90 lbs., was running multiple fevers in excess of 104 degrees F, had diarrhea to the tune of 32x/day, had lost two pints of blood and could barely walk.

After eleven days in the hospital, they gave me a choice: I could stay and receive more aggressive drug therapies (the 60mg of IV prednisone they had me on wasn't making a dent); or I could go home and "see what happened".

I went home. The next day, I talked my friend through Whole Foods on his cell phone, making him read me every label on the items I needed to begin the Specific Carbohydrate Diet as outlined by Elaine Gottschall in her book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle. With the last of my strength, I made the soup and some homemade gelatin that form the mainstay of the 2-5 day "starter diet". And each subsequent day, I built on the little ground I had already gained until two weeks later, I was able to go to my doctor without lining my pockets with weights to cover the weight loss.

Within one month, I was able to do my laundry by myself again. Within three months, I was able to get back to work. Within five months, I was off all of my medications.

In the past year, I have had one flare, brought on by hormonal birth control. I went on all my meds again, but this time I was able to wean myself off of them in a mere four weeks--I was now that healthy.

I fought my doctor all the way on this diet. Even with proof of my healing in the form of loss of symptoms, weight normalization and a clean colonoscopy (no pun intended), he, like many practioners of Western medicine, refuse to believe that diet has anything to do with illness or health.

The diet is simple in theory, if somewhat difficult in practice. The idea behind it is to exclude the foods that disease-creating bacteria feed on in the gut so that these bacteria die off and allow the gut to heal itself.

Unfortunately for those of us accustomed to the Standard American Diet (or S.A.D.) of highly processed, starchy and sugary foods, this means an exclusion of all di- and polysaccharides: in other words, no refined sugar and no starch of any kind. No pasta, no bread, no chocolate, no potatoes, no sugar. And that includes "hidden" sugar that shows up in virtually all processed foods, even if it's not listed on the label. Bye-bye, convenience foods. So long, thank-you-drive-thru. The list of unacceptable foods is daunting and seems unmanageable at first (and eating out remains a challenge), but it gets easier with time.

So now, a year later, I still can't eat raw fruit with abandon but I can travel and not get sick. I haven't had bread or pasta or any other "illegal" but I can work, socialize and sleep through the night. My world of acceptable restaurants has shrunk even as my ability to be out and about with seemingly boundless energy has increased.

I've accomplished things I never dreamed I could twelve months ago. I've helped friends, acquaintances and total strangers find this diet and changed their lives, too. (If you have ulcerative colitis or Crohn's and write me, I'll most likely help you, too.) I've learned patience (oh, boy, have I learned patience) and as a result, am more tolerant of quirks in myself and others. This diet didn't just give me back my life; it gave me a totally new one, richer than I ever could have imagined.

So when people tell me how hard it must be to be on this diet with all of its restrictions, I smile and think to myself, "What restrictions?"

I've never been freer in my life.
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on July 15, 2004
I should have written this review years ago, but I guess it's not too late. Here's my experience:
After months of suffering GI problems, I was finally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in the fall of 1996. The specialist wanted to put me on a couple of pharmaceuticals, but I wasn't interested in taking such toxic drugs, so I declined the pills but agreed to use Cortenema. But my condition continued to worsen and I developed other strange symptoms.
Researching on the internet, I found out about several alternative treatments and some recommended books. I bought three books including "Breaking the Vicious Cycle." In the end, I decided to go with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and started on it in early December of 1996. When I started, I weighed 90 lbs., was extremely weak and could barely get out of bed. Amazingly, after only about three days on the diet, most of my major symptoms disappeared, and the rest went away within two to three weeks. In short, the SCD pulled me back from pain, suffering, a state of wasting away, and feeling that I was just slowly dying.
I lost some more weight at the beginning of the diet, but I continued to stick to the diet, and as my GI tract slowly healed, I began to gain back the weight and energy. By May 1997 I was back all the way. During follow ups, my doctor was surprised that I was doing so well without any medication, but he wasn't interested in hearing about the diet I was following <sigh>. Today, years since I first started, I look and feel just fine. The only times that I've had a relapse is when I have "cheated" by ingesting something that is forbidden on the diet. I have learned much in all these years and been in contact with others on this diet. It works, as long as it is followed to the letter. And contrary to what some reviewers have written here, this diet is not about what you should eat, but about *what not to eat* in order to get well. There's plenty of choice for all types of foods, for a well balanced and healthy diet.
I have given this book five stars just because the SCD diet is such a life-saver. But I have to be honest -- as far as books go, this one could have used a good editor to help with the writing style and organization of the book. And the recipes in the book are not quite ready for primetime (thank goodness for all the SCD websites and support groups on the net!). These are minor quibbles, but such things bother me. Other than that, I recommend this book and the diet to everyone who suffers from any type of digestive disorder. You have nothing to lose -- you can even read the book at the library.
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on October 3, 2009
December 20, 2009

My daughter was diagnosed with severe Crohn's Disease two years ago - all over the place, including in the stomach, which is apparently rare. Her doctor said, "It was a very impressive scope and we will have a very, very long association." She has followed this diet strictly (no drugs) for just over a year and a few days ago, she had her last ever appointment at the clinic. It's usual to do a follow-up colonoscopy after a year but in her case, her doctor felt it would be unnecessary. Since starting the diet, her blood work has been consistently high-normal and she has gained dramatically in height and weight. She is a tall, strong, glowingly healthy girl among little ghost children.

The hardest thing about starting my daughter on this diet was fighting her doctor over it. Despite knowing nothing about the diet, he seemed to think there was something not quite healthy about it. That is the second reason I rewrote my review. I disagree with the comment by the reviewer, Galina Kotlyar, about saturated fats. My understanding is that saturated fats such as coconut oil are positively good for you and good for the heart. Being a medium-chain fatty acid,coconut oil is more easily digested than most fats so if you can't handle fat, consider this one. Since I read about its anti-inflammatory properties and learned how nutritious it was (it's even been used in IVs), I make sure daughter has heaps of (extra virgin)coconut oil. Also, having read Allan and Lutz's book, Life Without Bread, I learned that the whole 'fat and cholesterol are bad for you' mind-set is wrong. They say the body runs more efficiently on fats than carbs. In fact, Lutz says that without the addition of fat, he found the bowel won't heal. Lutz has clinical experience of treating and curing thousands of patients of various diseases. Re. the SCD, Gottschall says the diet is highly nutritious depending on your choice of foods. I have found that to be the case. You don't even need to eat much cheese (dairy free is an option) or have any fruit juice - just have the fruit. The Crohn's Colitis Foundation of America says on its Website that the diet itself (SCD) "is not particularly unbalanced." I find that comment a little disingenuous since the diet essentially removes complex carbs that, for most of our evolutionary history, we never ate anyway.

You'll find J. Seidman's review in the two-star section. He recommends Wolfgang Lutz's book, Life Without Bread, for sufferers of Crohn's. It would be a good idea to get Lutz's book too. See which one is the best fit for you - do one diet or the other. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Lutz's work here prior to Mr Seidman. Wolfgang Lutz is a highly-respected Austrian physician who has had great success treating cases of Crohn's and ulcerative colitis with a low-carb diet. He discusses pediatric cases in his book. I don't actually see Lutz's diet and the SCD as in opposition to each other; the principle is fundamentally the same: carbs are causing the problem, so they are restricted. The premise of the SCD is that microbes feed on undigested carbs and so if only simple carbs are ingested, absorption is quicker and microbes are starved out. I find this theory not only plausible but likely considering the large study linking high consumption of processed sugar and Crohn's Disease. The SCD is not a low-carb diet; it is exactly what it says it is: it allows only specific carbs, ie. completely cuts out complex carbs such as cereal grains, rice, potatoes, table sugar, high-lactose dairy. There is also the addition of a super-strength probiotic in the form of homemade yogurt, which may be of particular benefit to sufferers of ulcerative colitis. It is NOT difficult to eat high-carb on this diet. My daughter's carb intake is very high - I have taken pains to prove that to her doctor this past year because he seemed to be unhappy about a low-carb diet for a child (After reading Lutz's book,I now realize that the low-carb prejudice is illogical and just plain wrong) but that is not to say that I recommend such a high carb intake as my daughter's. Begin with caution and 'listen to your gut.' Just because something is allowed on the diet doesn't mean you should consume large quantities of it or have it at all. Some people, for example, may be sensitive to the nightshade family which includes tomatoes and capsicum, both of which are allowed on the diet. It may take more than one attempt at the diet for you to be successful. I've persuaded my elder daughter (who has ulcerative colitis) to give it another try because she has begun to experience joint pains, whereas previously her symptoms were well controlled by Mesalazine.

Re. the strictness of the SCD, I believe that is because it was developed by the pediatrician, Dr. Sidney Haas, to treat Celiac disease not cured by a gluten-free diet, where even small amounts of gluten can be detrimental. I'm not sure about the soy restriction but there's a reference in the back of the book that relates to Celiac disease. A sizeable number of Crohn's patients also have Celiac disease. Even among Crohn's sufferers who don't also have Celiac disease, studies have shown elevated antibodies to gliadin (a protein found in wheat). Research now puts the incidence of Celiac disease as around 1 in 100 and gluten sensitivity also estimated to be very common. Get yourself or your child tested for infections or sensitivities but if you still end up not knowing the cause of your disease, the SCD approach (starving out 'bad' bacteria and overwhelming with 'good') is a sensible one, particularly if you need it to work fast.

My daughter was started on steroids when first diagnosed. The stricture quickly got far worse and I knew she'd need surgery. Only problem was the doctor couldn't get her off steroids -- every time the dose was lowered she had agonizing pain. I hit on an elemental diet (synthetic and in liquid form) I imported it from the US and it worked so fast (within 24 hours) it caused a real stir at the hospital and she quickly came off steroids. She continued drinking this stuff for the best part of a year and the disease retreated to a 7cm section of the terminal ileum, which was resectioned. This type of diet is not a good long-term option because there's a high rate of regression once stopped. I started my daughter on the SCD in hospital. This monstrous disease was back two weeks after surgery (I've read it can be back in as little time as a week) but the symptoms were less severe. She kept going slowly on the diet and the last symptom -mild diarrhea - disappeared a couple of months later.

September 2010, update: My elder daughter's UC had progressed and the mesalazine enemas and tablets were no longer effective. 6MP was prescribed but I wanted to give dietary therapy one more chance. I started her on the SCD (her third attempt) but this time I made sure she did the intro diet for longer (Refer to pecanbread website) and stuck to it very strictly. The bleeding stopped altogether within three days. She lost weight at the start of the diet and had some ups and downs. Three months in and she's gained all the weight back and then some. She seems much happier and more energetic. She was reluctant to do the diet but admits that the food is incredible.
March 2012, update: My younger daughter spent 18 months on the SCD. She's been back on a 'regular' diet since July 2010(She keeps the carbs down as much as possible.) Over 3 years now of perfect health (no meds), black belt in Karate, training 3 X weekly. Her doctor said he was not going to take any credit for her recovery but he was also there to learn. My elder daughter had 5 months remission on the SCD, glowing health and even her acne disappeared along with her joint pains.She couldn't stick to it, though, and had a major flare. I then started her on Lutz's low-carb diet and, although results weren't so dramatic as on the SCD, bleeding became intermittent after a couple of weeks. She wasn't able to stick to the low-carb diet either and, despite being on Imuran, has now been diagnosed with very severe left side colitis. She's back on the SCD (her choice) and already after 1 week there's been an improvement.
Nov. 2013 Update. My elder daughter (aged 18) almost died. She was admitted to hospital with re-feeding syndrome, albumin level of 20, EN all over her legs, so she could barely walk, weight had dropped to 37 kilos and the cardiac team was called out 3 times because her heart rate was so high. A scope showed a hideously swollen colon. She had BMs all day and night and every time screamed that she wished she was dead. We had recently changed doctors and she was one of the sickest patients he'd ever treated. Her previous doctor blamed the diet for her sudden weight loss. I think fear and panic cause you to lose your sense of logic -- she had actually gained 6 kilos on the SCD but suddenly lost it -- but we didn't know at that time about the re-feeding syndrome (she had been deviating from the diet for a while and eating less and less and the Imuran her doctor believed was working wasn't). Even so, I cursed myself for ever messing around with diets and not putting her on Infliximab sooner. She didn't have the maturity to stick to any diet. Massive doses of Infliximab gave a brief window of slightly reduced inflammation and surgery, which was very, very close, was held off. She followed the nutritionist's advice as to her diet and continued out of hospital but only gained about a kilo or so. Back in hospital again 8 weeks later and the scope showed inflammation was still at the very worst level. Surgery was held off again(just) but she was discharged at 37 kilos and going to the toilet just as much during the day. She agreed to give the SCD one more try and this time combine it with Lutz, although not as low as 72 grams carbs. I thought things were too bad for any diet to get a grip but I was wrong. By the 6th day I knew she was going into remission. She began the diet exactly a year ago and has gained 15 kilos, all symptoms have disappeared and a calprotectin test came back normal.Her doctor is very interested in the diet and has discussed it with his colleagues. If it hadn't been for his saying over and over, 'fat and protein' I'd never have had the confidence to try again. My daughter does stick to the diet rigidly now but occasionally has food with cacao powder now she's fully healed because she can't give up chocolate completely. The clincher has been breaking her carb addiction altogether, including fruit.I don't know how my younger daughter got away with such a high carb intake. I certainly wouldn't encourage it now. She's still doing great, though. Both my children had highly aggressive, life-threatening disease which did not respond to conventional medicine. Both are now entirely normal.

I think it's important to deal with IBD in childhood because there's abundant evidence children respond well to dietary therapy and there's a chance they can go back to a 'less restrictive' diet and remain in remission. It's a shame children are not asked to do difficult things any more. The SCD apart, surely for Crohn's patients (with small bowel involvement) it's worth considering combining a six or eight-week elemental diet with Imuran (or 6MP), rather than the usual protocol of steroids first then kicking into Imuran. The elemental diet will cover the time it takes for the Imuran to start working and, unlike steroids, promotes full healing of the entire digestive tract, which could give a longer remission and without steroid side effects. Dietary therapy doesn't mean giving up on conventional therapy.

My daughter owes her health and possibly her life not only to the work of Dr. Sydney Haas and Elaine Gottschall but also to the reviewers here, complete strangers, who took the time and trouble to tell their stories. I am so grateful.

I also recommend Life without Bread by Christian B. Allan, PHD.and Wolfgang Lutz, MD; The Gluten Connection by Dr. Shari Lieberman; The Second Brain by Michael D. Gershon MD; Dangerous Grains by James Braly, M.D., and Ron Hoggan, M.A.; Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon; Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride; Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price.
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on November 25, 2001
Do you suffer from a Gastrointestinal(GI) disorder(Crohn's, Ulcertative Colitis, Celiac, Diverticulitis,IBS, IBD, etc...)? Do you suffer with any of the following symptoms on a daily basis: rectal bleeding, diahrrea, constipations, urgency, abdominal pain, etc..., and do you have to scout out every restroom every time you leave your house?
I urge everyone out there experiencing GI problems to read this book and give this diet a try.  I developed Ulcerative Colitis symptoms at age 34(in 1994) and by 1998 my condition had deteriorated to the point where my Doctor was recommending surgery(Colectomy).  At this point I found the book "Breaking The Vicious Cycle". The Author offers a dietary approach to the treatment of GI disorders, backed up with scientific research and analysis, and presented in terms that the layman can understand. The diet is nutritious, well-balanced and highly specific as to the types of sugars and starches allowed. A recipe section and the means to communicate with others following the diet(via email and the web) are also included.
Faced with the prospect of a lifetime of medications and/or surgery I decided to give the diet a try first(why wouldn't one try something so simple when faced with something so drastic?). I was able to avoid the immediate threat of surgery, and eventually eliminate all symptoms and reliance on medications(including prednisone and asacol).  Today I am completely symptom-free and continue with the diet.
Brian Hicks (...)
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on August 11, 1999
My husband was diagnosed with an extremely severe case of colitis then Crohn's disease. All that his doctors were doing were prescribing higher and higher doses of drugs (sulfasalazine, prednisone, etc) which were making him sick and caused him to drop pounds daily. Then we heard about Elaine Gottschall's book. It has literally been a life saver!!! The author provides both an explanation for the diet and a simple guide of "do eat" and "don't eat" foods in list form. My husband felt like he had his symptoms under control within two days! He was able to stop taking his medications with no complications. At last, no more stomachaches. After two years of being on this diet, my husband has shown remarkable improvement after follow up tests. However, don't expect your doctors to support this diet, they don't want to give up their hold on prescribing expensive prescription drugs! Even more unbelievable, the specialists we've seen are completely ignorant of this book! Incredible. This diet is completely natural and relatively easy to follow, especially considering the alternatives! Buy this book for yourself or for your loved one who suffers from this disease. It can change lives. We cannot thank Elaine Gottschall enough.
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