Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Ulcerative colitis: diagnosis and management

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 10 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:340

Rapid Response:

Re: Re: management of ulcerative colitis should be patient-centred

In recent years, whenever I have come across someone with an
intestinal disorder, I have suggested to them to try the specific
carbohydrate diet to help alleviate the signs and symptoms of their
ailment. Elaine Gottschall, who passed away last September, explained the
SCD or specific carbohydrate diet in her book, "Breaking the Vicious Cycle
Intestinal Health Through Diet". It is a diet which can help people
diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, celiac
disease, cystic fibrosis, and chronic diarrhea.

The specific carbohydrate diet is not the easiest diet to follow
because it means doing without most grains and starches, complex sugars,
etc., also a lot of additives and preservatives that are found in many
common foods. However, if one is persistent and resourceful, the diet is
manageable. A few years ago, I followed the SCD diet faithfully for a
year, and found that I no longer experienced the chronic diarrhea which
had plagued me for several years. The nice thing was, that I needed no GP
nor medication to help me achieve this, only a change in diet.

If any readers here are interested in learning more about the SCD
diet, information can also be found at: . Elaine Gottschall spent the
latter decades of her life as a biochemist, studying how food affects the
gut. She spent the last few years of her life presenting at conferences,
so others could learn about the benefits of the SCD diet, the diet which
helped cure one of her own daughters of ulcerative colitis when she was
facing major surgery several decades ago as an eight-year-old. Elaine's
daughter, Judy, recovered after spending a couple of years on the SCD diet
and did not need to undergo the surgery that had been suggested for her.

Before beginning a regimen of medications for intestinal problems, I
would recommend trying the Specific Carbohydrate Diet first, as following
the diet may help alleviate various intestinal woes on its own. However,
following the SCD diet may take some "intestinal fortitude" in its own
right, as it is not an easy diet to follow when other family members are
not ready to try it out.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

20 August 2006
Aasa H. Reidak
Elementary teacher
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2K2