Specific Carbohydrate Diet or probiotics? My new doctor advised me to do one or the other, not both. He said that while he does have patients who swear by the SC Diet, it’s a “religion” and therefore you must stick to it “religiously.” I bought the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle which discusses the diet, including the “legal” and “illegal” foods, and provides some helpful recipes. In short – I’m going to do my best to incorporate as much of this diet lifestyle as I can, but I can’t fully convert. I’m being honest; for one, I hate to cook. I do it because I have to, and on occasion I do get inspired to create a culinary masterpiece. It’s not that I’m bad at it, I’m actually pretty darn good when I apply myself. It’s just that 9 times out of 10 I find cooking boring, and I also don’t have the time to dedicate to doing things like making my own yogurt (because in the diet you can’t use store-bought plain yogurt, even the “pure” stuff). And, some of the things on the Illegal List I simply cannot part with. No chocolate?! I’m not a chocaholic – if they at least permitted the really dark chocolate that would have been fine – but they don’t allow ANY chocolate. Not even cocoa powder, not even the beautifully bitter 90% dark stuff. Nothing. Sorry, but as Peanuts creator Charles Schultz said: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
The alternative is taking a powerful probiotic. I was prescribed VSL#3 which is one of the most powerful probiotics on the market (read all the details here). This particular type uses 8 strands of live bacteria which colonize the gut in 20 days and begin to promote healing and, when consumed daily, a continuously healthy gut environment. Translation: no more flares. I was told that it’s not clear whether the body’s autoimmune response creates the imbalance of bad bacteria in the gut that triggers a flare, or if a sudden overpopulation of the bad bacteria stimulates the body’s autoimmune response, resulting in a flare. Either way, eliminate the bad bacteria and the body either doesn’t need to flare in the first place, or it heals and remains healed.
I’ve got 13 more days to go, but already I think I’m feeling a difference. I had the initial minor bloating, which is apparently a positive sign because it’s evidence of “changing intestinal microflora.” Woohoo! I’ll post my official review once this has had a chance to work. So, in closing, if you’re not sold on the insanely restrictive diet alternative to meds, consider adopting probiotics. There are billions out there who need a good home.