Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet
Foreword by Raquel Nieves, M.D.
My name is Raquel Nieves, I am a pediatrician, and I have Crohn's disease.
My symptoms began in high school and progressed for years until I dropped
down to 82 pounds, suffering from daily fevers, severe abdominal pain, fatigue,
and anemia. Subsequent standard medications provided little relief and caused
many side effects.
I came across Elaine Gottschall's book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, which
detailed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)™, while in medical school in 2001.
The diet completely gave me my life back. It worked beyond my imagination
and within a month, I significantly improved. Within a few months, I was
completely off of all medications.
Meanwhile, excited and completely surprised over how well the SCD worked,
I told my doctor about it. Unfortunately, the idea of a diet was met with
a lot of resistance. He told me that I was making a mistake, and that it
wasn't the diet that had helped me improve, but that it was just spontaneous
remission. Knowing that Crohn's is a relapsing and remitting disease,
he said my symptoms would return if I did not take the medications they
were recommending. Because I was in the medical field, I was devastated
that my colleagues did not believe or even want to consider dietary therapy.
This skepticism is what led me, along with Roger Jackson, M.D., to publish
a medical paper entitled Specific Carbohydrate Diet in the Treatment of
Inflammatory Bowel Disease in 2004. The paper discussed our Internet survey
of 51 people who suffered from either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis—84
percent of whom were in remission since beginning the SCD. Of these, 61 percent
were off all of their medications.
Being a doctor, I still do not understand why an alternative therapy such as a
healthy diet is so threatening. Despite this trend, some doctors have begun to
understand the relevance of the SCD and are investigating it, although funding
has been difficult. Because this diet has helped me so immensely—and I know that
I would not be a doctor today if I didn't adhere to it—I feel it is my duty to
continue to advocate and press the medical community to at least investigate it
My hope for this diet in the future is that it becomes one of the first-line
treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If research proves it to be
effective, it should be offered as a treatment option, either alone or in
conjunction with medications.
The best model I can compare this to would be in the case with diabetes.
Research has shown how effective diet can be in managing diabetes. Doctors
recommend and teach dietary modification to all of their diabetic patients.
In addition, diet is used in conjunction with other standard medications
unless diet alone controls the disorder. My hope is that one day the SCD
will play this type of role in the treatment of IBD. The challenge to this
diet, however, is that it requires strict adherence to be effective. Thankfully,
Raman Prasad's creative recipes provide tasty meals that make the diet much
easier to follow. They are culturally diverse, easy to make, and delicious.
Those of us on the SCD appreciate Raman Prasad and all of his efforts to restore
health, well-being, and hope to all those suffering from IBD and similar diseases.
© Fair Winds Press and Author