[Much of] "This
file is a compilation of Testimonials that I have gathered over
the past several months from people who have tried or are trying
the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Also, I asked for and received a
group of letters that were written to Elaine herself from other
people on her diet. The intention of this compilation is to "spread
the word" on the diet and let people know that there might be an
alternative to Surgery and/or Medication. -- Deborah A. Dowd"
I was so happy to hear how well you are doing on the diet and that
you want to help spread the word. Thank you for calling and offering
support for this long crusade that my husband and I have carried
on. I kept copying letters until I got tired. There have been hundreds
of others who have written and hundreds who have called to report
the good news but have not written although I have asked them to
do so. In addition, it is most probable that only one in one hundred
will even contact me. We have sold 115,000 books and people keep
passing books around. In addition, doctors are using it (mainly
holistic, chiropractors, and naturopaths) and some have copied parts
of the book and distributed same to patients. So all in all, I imagine
there must be at least 50,000 people who are leading more normal
lives after the diet has helped. We have seen that it has not budged
the powers-to-be so all we can do is keep plugging on. So many medical
doctors have used the diet on their wives, children, and themselves.
Many have recovered but yet they do not tell their patients. I have
other articles written by people who have gotten so angry that they
have accused Crohn's and Colitis as waging some kind of conspiracy.
One woman is a novelist and while reviewing a book, injected a condemnation
of the Crohn's and Colitis Assoc. She is being punished by the paper
as she has had no reviews offered to her since. I have not included
articles such as these as they can make you very angry and that
will not accomplish anything. What you intend to do sounds much
more positive. Keep in touch and keep getting better.
Sorry if I say
this too often but the diet has been wonderful for me. Yes, the
diet has helped tremendously. I leave out fructose, lactose and
gluten. I don't wake up in the night any more, bleeding has almost
stopped, and everything is MUCH better for this UC sufferer. I'm
determined to get well. Taking a healthy large dose of liquid calcium
seemed to help and I'm trying a dried Aloe Vera capsule.
diet is VERY IMPORTANT. M.M.
The book is
about a specific carbohydrate diet. Basically, you can't eat grains,
potatoes, processed sugars and a list of other things. Beef, chicken,
pork, fish, nuts, and most veggies and fruits are OK. I very skeptical
about these diets, but after 4 months I can say that my CD symptoms
have improved. It is definitely worth a try. I found the book at
the bookstore in a local mall.
If you've tried
the Gottschall diet from her book BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE, I'd
love to hear from you. I've have followed this diet for Crohn's
disease and IBS, and I have found that it makes a significant difference
in some of my symptoms. It doesn't work for everyone, but the diet
is a reasonable one and quite balanced. You need to give it a good
3 week try to see if it works. It really has helped with my cramping,
spasms and frequency of "D" . . . when I stick to it! C.S.
person wrote the following message in Alt.Support Crohn's-Colitis
Hi all: I have
not only been on this diet and had great results, but I have also
been in contact with Elaine Gottschall. She is open to answering
any questions you might have. You can write or FAX her with your
questions. Here are the numbers: address: Elaine Gottschall R.R.
#1 Kirkton ONTARIO NOK 1KO FAX: 519-229-6969 She also wrote an article
for the newsletter I edited, "I.B.Details." To see a copy of it,
look to the web page where excerpts from back issues of "I.B.Details"
are made available. Here are some helpful hints I've learned along
the way. Instead of the dry curd cottage cheese, use FARMER'S CHEESE
readily available in stores. Also, make almond flour using a food
processor. The flour is used for breads, muffins, and cookies. Also,
if her version of making yogurt is too labor intensive for you (it
was for me!), use a regular yogurt maker. However, be sure to "cook"
it for 24 hours, not the time recommended on the package. Hope this
helps some of you. -C.S.
person sent me this eMail in response to mine.]
HI Deb: It's
funny you should write to me today as I just got a call from Elaine
Gottschall herself this morning! She lives in Canada now and I think
she is in her 70's. Anyway, I facilitate an IBD support group in
San Diego and she may come down to give a talk. She also has written
articles for the newsletter that I produced . . . a newsletter written
for and by people who have Crohn's and UC. I'd be happy to share
what I've learned with you. I'm the Member Rep for the Crohn's/Colitis
Bulletin Board on the PRODIGY network. Many folks there have also
had good luck. I'm so glad it's worked for you!
I have been on
the Gottschall diet for more than 7 months. All my symptoms have disappeared
except the gas. After only 3 - 4 months you will see this diet working.
While your husband's diarrhea is active you should stay away from
nuts, raw fruits and veggies and avoid a lot of honey. You have to
stick to the diet for 1.5 -2 years. Here is testimony from the net
that this diet works. GOOD LUCK.
P.S. Try the cheese & nut bread recipe, it's not sweet.
I heard about
your book from a sister-in-law who has Ulcerative Colitis. Unfortunately
she found the book after her colon was removed. Two of my husband's
cousins also have Colitis. I started T. on the diet in November
and the improvement has been very noticeable. She has been free
of diarrhea for one month and only experienced discomfort once,
which may not have been CD related. I hope this answers you questions
about her diagnosis. Thank you for your persistence in telling people
about the diet. It really made a difference.
Our son P. was
diagnosed with Crohn's disease in April 1993, near the end of his
senior year in high school. He was put on sulfasalazine. However,
after two months he continued having diarrhea, pain, weight loss,
and weakness. We were then lucky enough to receive information from
a friend about the book "Food and the Gut Reaction" by Elaine Gottschall,
B.A., M.Sc. The book details a dietary program that has helped many
people in combating Crohn's. The dietary program is informed in
part by Mrs. Gottschall's two decades of research and teaching in
Cell Sciences, Anatomy, and Human Biology.
P. started the
diet in June 1993. Within one week, he exhibited more energy. In
three weeks he had neither diarrhea nor pain. He has now been off
all medication for nine months and feels great.
We noticed in
reading "Profiles in Research" that there is no mention of research
on dietary or holistic approaches to managing Crohn's. Is CCFA doing
or supporting any such research? In particular, has CCFA investigated
the diet proposed by Mrs. Gottschall? Her updated book, "Breaking
the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet," has just been
released from the publisher and is now available.
We have contributed
regularly to CCFA and our local Indiana chapter since our son's
diagnosis and we applaud all your efforts. We look forward to hearing
Your book has been a tremendous help for my daughter. After starting
your diet 14 months ago, she has stayed symptom free. The diet has
also helped a number of other people with various digestive problems
whom I have seen in my practice.
I recently heard
of a French doctor who is conducting interesting clinical research.
For example he has found that certain old-fashioned grains which
have not been genetically manipulated (such as sarrasin and epautre)
do not cause Crohn's reactions.
I would like
to order three copies of your new book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle"
for which I will pay you with a US$ check. Again thank you for your
same person sent me the following eMail ]
I forwarded your E-mail to my daughter so she can give you first
hand information. The diet has made a great difference in her life.
She follows it strictly but uses a great deal of creativity. Originally
her gastro-nterologist, aware of "alternative approaches," suggested
I am a non-PhD
psychologist who specializes in psychosomatic difficulties. I have
found Elaine's theoretical concepts about Crohn's and diet most
helpful. However, not all cases of Crohn's are the same. My daughter
went on the diet the second year after her symptoms had started.
At this point she had not been given the full range of classical
medical treatments and this I believe made a positive difference.
who has suffered from years of "on and off" ulcerative colitis became
worse while he was on a three month test of the diet. I am not sure
if he followed the diet as strictly as his sister and it seemed
that the high cheese protein was not good for him. He now follows
a modified type of the diet which allows some of cereals.
I will include
a copy my some of my ideas about CD/UC that I wrote a few years
ago. I believe the heavy use of antibiotics, frozen foods and ice
cold drinks assist intestinal breakdown and the "running wild" of
the immunity system.
<< Crohn's disease
is a wicked, gnawing horror to anyone living with it. It is an illness
that attacks the basic beliefs and knowledge of modern allopathic
medicine which treat it as a digestive problem rather than the sign
of an immunity problem. My theory is that the kidney, spleen and
liver become overloaded and can no longer do their job. As a result,
the gut becomes a highly selective excretion organ instead of an
absorption organ. This is a reaction, or wisdom, of the body that
keeps us alive and functioning. Unfortunately medicine in the U.S.
and in Europe (Belgium has the highest per capita rate of Crohn's
in the world) cannot view CD as an immune problem because this becomes
an attack of the basic belief that organ systems, to a great degree,
function independently). In Europe the traditional treatment is
not any better. However, homeopaths, acupuncturists, and naturopaths
are better trained and can keep people from surgery. My daughter,
who lives in Reston, VA, improved incredibly by using the a diet
(the Haas Specific Carbohydrate Diet). The diet was suggested by
a NY nutritionist. Basically, the diet eliminates anything that
can produces toxins which trigger the immunity system.>>
Good luck in
passing the word to those who can be helped, especially as one sees
how the ignorant and greedy medical system butchers innocent people's
[Handwritten is the following note on the letter: "Celiac, said
she was dying on gluten-free diet"]
Elaine Gottschall, I
am writing to thank you for writing the book "Breaking the Vicious
Cycle" and for speaking with my husband on the phone. I have been
following the diet for four months and am starting to live a normal
life again. After 3 years of problems, it is a huge relief to find
some help. Until I read your book there seemed to be no hope and
my sickness was becoming worse. The medical profession offered me
nothing. Thank you for taking the time to write the book and to
share your knowledge with me. I am grateful! I wish you all the
best. Sincerely, J.P.
I hope that it's all right for me to call you Elaine. I feel as though
I know you -- perhaps because we have a common aim in life: to help
our children and others' children who have IBD. Thank you for sending
me a copy of your book even though I did not send enough money! It's
easy to see that you're not interested in money--you're more interested
in helping others! Patrick has been trying some of the recipes, and
the cramps in his stomach are gone. Over the weekend he went to the
toilet only twice and he can "pass wind' now without anything happening!!!
He has been studying the book and his wife, Y., has been doing a bit
of cooking. His whole attitude to life has changed. Instead of saying,
"I'm 28 years old and I'm finished!" he now smiles more and doesn't
bite my nose off when asked a question! I'm enclosing 10 dollars to
compensate for your bother. I hope to keep in touch with you and give
a progress report every so often! I also know that I can turn to you
when I need advice. I really have been praying that my son could be
made well and I think the Lord is answering my prayers -- He always
does, you know! May God bless you!
Yours faithfully, J.W.
Dear Ms. Gottschall,
I was sick with diagnosed ulcerative colitis over seven years ago.
For over five years, I suffered from severe pains, cramps, chronic
diarrhea and severe bleeding. Over four years of treatment by medical
doctor and a period of hospitalization provided no relief for my problem.
My son saw your interview on the Dini Petty Show, so I ordered your
book and started your (specific carbohydrate) diet on March 1, 1991.
Within six months I felt much better. There was no bleeding, less
gas and relief of severe stomach and bowel pain. Now, a year and a
half later, I am continuing the diet and feeling much better. I recommended
your book to others I know with this problem. I wish I could let more
people know how helpful this book has been in getting me back to health
and a full life. I would be interested in forming or joining a support
group in my area for people working to regain health through your
diet. Thank you for giving back my life.
With many thanks, H.B
Thank you for the discussion we had this evening. I am a 67 year old
male and was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in the spring of 1994.
I was fortunate enough to see the Getting Healthy TV program in the
fall of 1994 and purchased your book as soon as I could locate a copy.
I started the diet on October 18, 1994 and now I am completely free
of any symptoms. Initially, I thought it would be difficult to stay
on the diet when I went out to eat, but I have always been able to
find things on the menu or have the restaurant accommodate me. (For
example, substituting potatoes or rice for more vegetables.) I purchased
additional copies of "Breaking The Vicious Cycle." I sent one to a
friend in the Netherlands and gave another copy to my gastroenterologist.
The gastroenterologist kept making excuses for not reading the book
until I said I wouldn't keep my next appointment until he read the
book. After looking at the book, he said "the diet can't do any harm."
After the original diagnosis the doctor prescribed ASACOL. I am now
down to 3 400mg tablets a day, which, as you stated, the doctor probably
believes is responsible for the remission. Once again, thanks for
the helpful comments.
Sincerely, G. L. M.
Check out Gottschall's
"Food and the Gut Reaction". I had suffered from Crohn's for seven
years and have now followed this diet for two months. It has made
an incredible difference in my symptoms. She [Elaine Gottschall] is
not the only person who claims people with Crohn's develop food intolerance.
Much research has been done in Cambridge, England. In particular,
for the past 15 years, Dr. John Hunter has used diet as a means of
controlling Crohn's disease with an extremely high success rate for
people with Crohn's in the small intestine. (It is more difficult
to control the disease if it is located in the colon or large intestine.)
DO NOT listen to the medical opinion that Crohn's disease and food
are not related. Diet does not work for everyone, but it sure as hell
is easier to try adjusting your eating habits then letting the disease
continue. Controlling the symptoms with medication never allows the
intestines to heal.
Dear Ms. Gottschall,
Please accept my apology for not enclosing the correct amount of
money for your book -- my mind certainly wasn't in the right place.
I am so pleased to have your book and have experienced tremendous
relief from the severe cramps due to gas. I have had diverticulitis
for seven years and the bowel movements had become increasingly
frequent and severe. The doctors here ran tests--barium X-rays,
flexible scope, etc.; gave me various medications; and told me,
"be sure to take bran!" I have walked with almost unbearable pain.
Now for the first time I have a wonderful release! I am so excited
that I can hardly wait to tell my doctor how great I feel. I tell
all my friends that this great diet works miracles! Enclosed you
will find a cheque for the money. I certainly will be in touch if
there are any questions. Thank you sincerely, E.F.
Dear Mrs Gottschall,
I would like to order three books of "Breaking the Vicious Cycle."
The unit price is $21.88, and three dollars less for each additional
book, so I am sending you $60.00. Last August, I wrote to you to
order one book and you sent me two (the second one was the first
edition). I gave the second book to a friend. The diet immediately
benefited both of us. I am absolutely convinced that you are right.
I am a chemist and I was amazed by all the scientific arguments.
I have problems finding "dry curd cottage cheese"; nobody in my
neighborhood has heard of it.. I wish to help other people discover
the benefits of this remarkable diet.
With all my best regards, D.P.
Dear Ms. Gottschall,
I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 1968. Since then I've had two operations
and eight other hospitalizations because of this disease. Recently,
I was hospitalized again and told I'd need another operation in
the future. A "narrowing" of a portion of my intestines was also
discovered. I have read and reread your wonderful book. I am now
in my third week of your diet and can't believe the difference in
my life. No pain or discomfort, less bloating, no nausea and no
more hours on the "royal throne."
this diet, will the "narrowing" disappear? Completely? Will this
narrowing ever widen without surgery?
**I can't find
dry curd. I live in Central New Jersey. I've unsuccessfully called
eleven establishments. The dairy managers have never heard of dry
curd. When told that Beatrice has it in Canada -- they all called
said -- No! Not here in the States!
I WILL DRIVE
INTO NEW YORK for the dry curd. PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET IT.
PLEASE. Thank you so much for your terrific book and for taking
the time to answer my questions.
Take care and
P.S. I haven't
eaten a salad in thirty (30) years. IT WAS DELICIOUS! (Of course
I used oil and vinegar)
Dear Ms. Gottschall:
I wrote to you earlier this year and received a warm letter in return.
To freshen your memory, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 1982
and since then have had six surgeries. I have only four feet of each
intestine remaining. Earlier this year I was placed on a temporary
feeding tube and faced the possibility of a permanent one. Instead,
I decided to try your diet. I started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet
on September 1, 1994. I have never felt better in my life. At last
my weight is up and stable. I have no pain and I can exercise again.
I feel like a new person. My twin sister is also on the diet. I have
told everyone who will listen about your diet and your book. I recently
ordered the new edition of your book as well. I am enclosing a letter
I wrote to a columnist regarding a letter she received from a reader.
I want to tell the WHOLE WORLD about the diet. If I can experience
these results then ANYONE can. The only individuals who do not support
my diet are the gastroenterologists who would rather treat me with
steroids and chemotherapy. Don't get me wrong, when I need a doctor,
I'll go. But for now, I am sticking religiously to my diet. I can't
thank you enough. In case you missed them, I have also enclosed several
articles from The Saturday Evening Post.
Thank you again, C.K.
Subject: Gottschall Diet
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 95 05:41:56 GMT
Hi, Just one minor point. I believe the book says if the diet is
going to be effective, the person will show significant improvement
in the first month. I'm acquainted with about a dozen people who
have been using the diet for various lengths of time, all with positive
results. Many of the group are symptom free. However, the length
of time takes to get rid of the symptoms is highly individual. It
depends a lot 1) on how well you follow the diet (and it can be
*tough*), 2) how bad/extensive the disease is when you start it--for
those who are nearly obstructed, she [Elaine] says it may be too
late to avoid surgery. With all the people I personally know, the
diarrhea, inflammation and cramps have stopped somewhere between
three weeks and four months. Also, after being on the diet for 4-6
months, a person usually has a brief relapse lasting from 3 to 7
Whatever you decide Good Luck, T.
This letter is from C. S. of Saskatchewan. I phoned into the CBC
Radio Show on October 13, 1995 when you were a guest in Regina.
You asked if I would write to you. I often felt like I should write
and thank you for your book Food and the Gut Reaction. It was a
great help in overcoming ulcerative colitis but sometimes I feel
shy about writing letters. By the way, I was pleased to win your
book in the draw that day.
your book, Food and the Gut Reaction, to many other people who heard
about my success and phoned me to ask what I did to solve my problem.
I have heard back from some people saying that they are much improved.
I am absolutely convinced that if anyone doesn't have a lot of improvement
it's because he or she hasn't followed your suggestions closely
enough. It is very difficult for some people to change their eating
habits and stick to a rigid diet.
I suppose that
I should give you a little history of my own experience. In the
late 80's I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. The doctor said
that they rate the seriousness of ulcerative colitis on a scale
of 1-5 and I was a 4. The pills he gave me did not help. I'm not
sure of the spelling but I believe they were Asacal and Sulfasalizine.
I was told by the doctor (specialist) that I could eat anything
but I doubted his advice. I read everything I could get my hands
on about my condition. One day when I went to see the specialist,
I brought a whole page of questions about diet and nutrition. When
I started asking these questions, he became very defensive and said
that people who wrote these books were illiterate. That day I left
his office, flushed his pills down the toilet, and went on my own
diet. I had some success but then I read your book Food and the
Gut Reaction. In one week on the SCD I was improving. The second
week I was much better and by the third week I knew ! There was
no turning back.
My only problem
was that I was eating a lot of raw fruit. In the fall of 1989 I
had a setback. I was really confused. The blood showed up again,
so my family doctor sent me to a different specialist. I was desperate
so I agreed to let him put me on steroids. (By the way, my own family
doctor has been quite supportive of my experimenting with the diet--
he admitted he couldn't help much with diet for colitis but said
if what I was doing was working to keep doing it). Finally, a good
friend of mine was in a health food store in Calgary and picked
up an article that was written by a Doctor Delmar Gibbons who had
colitis himself. He also wrote a book called The Self Help Way to
Treat Colitis and Other IBS Conditions.He
said that too much fructose was not good for people with colitis.
As a result, I cut all fruit out of my diet and in one week I was
getting better again. I was still on your diet and I went to the
specialist and asked if he would take me off the steroids!
but helped me ease off them anyway. The last day I left his office,
he said to me, "You will be back in six months." That was 5 years
ago. By religiously sticking to your diet and not eating too much
raw fruit, I managed to gain 30 lbs in two years. Getting back the
weight I had lost made me feel like a new man.
I feel I am
a good example of someone who has often had poor advice from doctors
and decided to go out and take responsibility for my own health.
It has taken a few years to educate myself to the point where I
feel as though I have some control over my health. Maybe I had a
few things going for me to start with. I have never been a drinker
or smoker. I don't consider myself religious, but I think that I'm
a very spiritual person who was lucky to have had parents who set
a pretty good example for me to follow. With the experience that
I've gone through, I feel that there is a real need for a place
like a Health Center where people can go to get proper information
about diet and nutrition and some guidance to help them live a healthier
life style. When I am at the grocery store, I cannot help notice
what people have in their shopping carts. No wonder we have an epidemic
of people with gastro-intestinal problems. I notice the number of
obese people. Men (with their big stomachs),! women (with their
big behinds) and kids overweight and out of shape. People are getting
sick and going to doctors. They are not always getting good information
and ending up in hospitals. It is breaking our Medicare system and
no one seems to be getting at the root of the problem. By the teaching
of prevention of illness through proper diet and lifestyle, many
such cases would be avoided.
Here comes my
big plan: I am hoping to walk the length of Saskatchewan, from north
to south (approx. 800 miles). I would walk with 3 other 30 year
olds as a team. No one has ever done this before. There are no roads
for the first 90 miles so we would have to start in March when the
lakes and rivers are still frozen. We would have to be accompanied
by a snowmobile train for a few days. I think the entire trek would
take approximately 40 days. Hopefully we will get enough sponsors
to raise enough funds to start some kind of a health center. So.
MAYBE. SOMEDAY. MAYBE. The projected trek would take place in spring
of '97 or '98.
subject a little: I am sending you a gift copy of my own book on
Stackwall Construction, as well as a pamphlet on our Bed and Breakfast
in Costa Rica. My wife J. and I are half owners of the property.
Our partners have a business in Vanscoy, so Jackie and I spend four
months in Costa Rica operating the Bed & Breakfast (usually from
Dec. 1-April 1). While in Saskatchewan, we live on a small farm
(160 acres). My brother farms our land. We also have four acres
of Saskatoon berries (organically grown) where J. and I spend a
lot of time. Love, C
Thank you for your letter of April 27 in response to mine of April
17, 1995. This past Saturday I purchased your new book "Breaking
the Vicious Cycle" from Barnes and Noble in Massapequa, Long Island,
New York, The clerks in the store told me was in great demand. I
gave the book to my daughter who has had intestinal trouble for
ten years. Prior to giving her this new book, I gave her a copy
of your Food and the Gut Reaction. She followed your advice for
just one week and she felt a hundred percent better. Her problem
had ceased. She plans to follow your advice for a long time to come
to make sure she stays well. Thank you for this wonderful miracle.
Deborah A. Dowd
was diagnosed in September 1986 when emergency surgery revealed
what two years of tests (and incredible pain, mental stress and
weight loss) did not: a mass of Crohn's tissue. The doctors removed
the diseased sections and gave me a temporary illeostomy. In December
1986, my intestine was reconnected and I experienced no symptoms
for almost a year. During that time, I participated in several community
activities, worked full time as a postal carrier (walking an eleven
mile route carrying a thirty pound mail sack), and enjoyed life
without illness or even thinking about illness.
In July 1987,
symptoms began again. By October, I was forced to quit my physical
job and in December began a desk job. By February, my symptoms were
bad enough to put me in the hospital. There I spent a week being
fed an elemental diet via NG tube. This time they knew what was
wrong and didn't waste telling me I was anorexic or just a "nervous
type." I felt better almost immediately from the elemental diet
treatment. A few weeks later I became pregnant which put me in what
I considered remission--no pain, only diarrhea. I became pregnant
a second time before symptoms returned. After my second pregnancy,
when my son was nearly one year old, I began to have problems again.
I coped with it experimenting with different foods. I found some
success by following a low fat diet and avoiding popcorn, nuts and
beans. Although I wasn't symptom free, I could live with it. I became
pregnant a third time and symptoms slowed again. After my youngest
child was a year old, my health! spiraled downward faster and harder
than ever before. Once a week, I had severe flare which lasted twenty
four hours and from which it took me another twenty four hours to
"recover." Also, I began finding blood in my stool, something new
and scary to deal with! I couldn't seem to find anything safe to
eat--EVERYTHING seemed to cause problems.
For six months,
I waited for a specialist to assess how bad my Crohn's had become.
I had never been on any medication for Crohn's. I hadn't even SEEN
a gastroenterologist since my elemental diet treatment in Feb 1988!
While I waiting for my appointment and continuing to get worse,
I got online. In September 1995, I read someone's e-mail saying
she was CURED of Crohn's by going on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
My interest was aroused!! She recommended reading "Breaking the
Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet" by Elaine Gottschall
which I immediately ordered.
When I received
the book and read the diet, I thought, "No way. Many of the things
she says are safe to eat have caused me problems in the past." However,
with the encouragement of another person on the diet, and still
waiting to be seen by a specialist, I committed myself to follow
the diet strictly for one month, the recommended length of time
to see if the diet will help. Within a week, I noticed definite
positive changes. My abdomen felt weird after eating. Then I realized
that I was waiting for the usual digestion pains to come and THEY
DIDN'T! By the end of the month, I was symptom-free.
After the first
month I cheated a couple times and experience four days price of
pain, bloating, and diarrhea. I have now been on the diet for over
three months and I am in it for the "long haul." Even though I know
that I could cheat and then use the diet to feel better, it isn't
worth it. I'm shooting for the long term goal of being able to eat
as I choose. In her book, Mrs. Gottschall says that after two years
on the diet, a Crohn's Patient can challenge the "illegal" foods
one at a time. If they give no problems, they may be eaten in moderation
Besides a lessening
of the Crohn's symptoms, I've experienced other benefits while on
this diet. Since no lactose is allowed, my sinuses have completely
cleared. Before that I always thought my nose kept dripping due
to allergies! In addition, the strength and stamina I have now are
comparable to the year immediately following my surgery in 1986.
I no longer have to rest after grocery shopping so that I can bring
the bags from the car to the house. I can DO so many things now
that before were UNTHINKABLE.
It is truly an incredible feeling!! I'm still waiting to see the
specialist (my appointment is next month!) but within the last few
weeks my family doctor has prescribed azulfidine to help keep me
in remission. While I don't think it's necessary, I'm taking the
tablets as a compromise. He talked to a gastroenterologist about
my symptoms from four months ago and together they felt I should
go on steroids--without even examining me! In my opinion, the "maintenance
dose" of Azulfidine is much safer. As many people have already learned,
most doctors don't believe that diet and Crohn's have much to do
with each other!
BTW, I don't
get any money from this book or diet. In fact, I'm spending A LOT
of money online telling everyone about it!! (Too much!!) I just
can't believe that more people don't know about this diet! I wrote
to the CCFA (Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America) asking them
if they have reviewed the diet at all. Their reply was that while
they are aware of the diet, they have not studied it. Oh well.
The book probably
can be found at the library. That way, you could try it for a month
without spending any money, if you want. (If not, any library or
bookstore can order it with the ISBN#) The basic premise of the
diet is to avoid all lactose, all refined sugar and all grains.
It is tough, but the book gives helpful alternative recipes.
I am interested
in hearing from other people who have tried the diet, both good
and bad results. I have been compiling testimonials on the diet
to share with others. If anyone has any questions about the diet,
or my experience, or would like to share their experience feel free
to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org (Deborah A. Dowd).
Thanks for "listening."
I hope your search for health is a rewarding one!
Take care, Deb
Subject: Gotschall diet
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 22:04:42 -0500 (EST)
Hi, I'm responding to your note on the Gottschall diet. I've been
using it for about 4 months with reasonable success. When I started
the diet I had instant success for about 2 weeks. Then I started
to get diarrhea 2 or 3 times a week and couldn't figure out the
cause. But I stuck fastidiously to the diet and have slowly improved.
Twice now I've managed to go nearly two weeks without problems.
However, I still get diarrhea for no apparent reason. I read that
as the undesirable bacteria in the gut die they release toxins.
Perhaps this could explain the diarrhea.
To: Ish Narula 72053,3212
I am on the diet. I had Crohn's diagnosed about 10 years ago and
have had 3 surgeries since, the most recent 3 years ago. I experienced
varying amounts of pain (sometimes severe) and had diarrhea almost
all the time. I've been on prednisone, sulfa, 6-MP, Flagyl, and
a host of other meds at one time or another.
I've been on
the diet almost 3 months now. I'm hoping it will cure me of this
dreaded dis-ease. At 3 weeks, the diarrhea stopped and has not returned.
At about 8 weeks the pain started to noticeably lessen. Three months
ago I was in constant pain. Today, pain is the exception. While
the it is not gone, it is significantly reduced in intensity and
frequency. And, I continue to improve.
Elaine is a
wonderful woman. I've talked to her on the phone several times.
She is home in the evening and is happy to discuss any specific
I would check with your doctor before changing anything in your
lifestyle. However, in my experience, MDs are not interested in
cures for Crohn's. My GI doctor simply stated "There is no scientific
evidence that this diet will help." Of course, he didn't know any
details about the diet and showed no interest in looking at the
book I had brought. However, he is right. There is no "scientific"
evidence this will work. But then, I don't particularly care about
scientific evidence--my interest is selfish. I simply want something
that will cure me of Crohn's and I believe this will do it!
By all means,
stay on the meds your doctor has prescribed. As the diet begins
to cure you, work with your doctor to reduce and eliminate the meds.
I've discussed this diet with several nutritionists and they also
don't seem interested. But there is at least one doctor in New York
that will support you in this effort. There might be others.
I am currently
involved in an IBD support group that is corresponding via CIS E-MAIL.
There are about a dozen people in the group and 4 or 5 are currently
on the diet. You are welcome to join us--just let me know.
a favor and try the diet for 30 days. After that, you can re-evaluate
your options and make a decision. Personally, I will remember this
year and this diet as the time when I found the cure. Maybe the
doctors don't believe it and of course there are other skeptics,
but that's their problem not mine. For most people, it becomes a
journey where you will return to health.
Let us know
what you decide.
From: Kevin Arnold 71340,3002
To: Ish Narula 72053,3212
>> My only concern right now is will I lose any weight after starting
on this diet?>>
Hello Ish, Actually, I did. However, I needed to. I am 5'8" and
started out at nearly 195 lbs. When I started the diet, I lost several
pounds a week. Worried, I called and asked Elaine about it. From
her experience she finds that people with chronic diarrhea are often
overweight. She has also observed that with her diet, overweight
people tend to lose and underweight people tend to gain. For the
last month my weight has stabilized at 175 pounds which is closer
to what I should weigh.
my pulse and blood pressure both dropped by nearly 25%. I'm not
sure if this was a result of the diet, the weight loss, or both.
My resting pulse is about 65 and my blood pressure is 95/60.
I talk to Elaine
regularly, the last time being earlier this week. She doesn't have
any modifications to her diet or suggestions, but she has written
an updated version of her book. It contains a couple of extra chapters
and additional recipes. It is titled "Breaking the Vicious Cycle"
and is ISBN # 0-9692768-1-8. Although I don't have the book, I understand
it can be purchased through Walden Books, B. Dalton Books, Borders
Books, and Barnes & Noble. Regards, Kevin
From: Kevin Arnold 71340,3002
To: Ish Narula 72053,3212
Hello Ish, I assume you have the book. The phone number listed in
the back as the address of the publisher is actually Elaine's home
number. I'd suggest calling her to discuss the specifics. She is
home in the evening and I'm sure she would love to talk to you.
I've called her several times. Be aware, she talks very fast. Get
ready to write quickly or even record the conversation. She will
give you a wealth of info in a very short time.
As I understand
it, a relapse is normal. After close to three months on the diet,
I had a significant relapse which lasted about 2 weeks. Are you
following the diet very strictly? I understand that even a little
bit of cheating can potentially cause trouble. Strictly speaking,
NOTHING processed may be eaten. ONLY those things specifically mentioned
in the book should be consumed. It can be tough. Nothing out of
a can or jar. Nothing made in a factory. It is also important to
eat a variety of foods and pay close attention to the spiritual
and emotional aspects of your life. I know this may sound silly,
but after 10 years of searching, this is the one that is going to
cure me of this dis-ease.
I am doing very
well with no Crohn's symptoms and I hope to continue. Also, I recommend
that you discuss the situation and the diet with your personal physician.
Unfortunately, he will probably dismiss the diet without a second
thought. I spent many years in self-diagnosis and I know how tough
it is. On the other hand, I think I did a much better job with my
body than my MD was capable of.
I have been
using the Gottschall Diet to help control UC since Oct.94. There
is a specific BLAND diet listed in her book, but it's totally different
from what is normally considered bland. When I have a flair, I resort
back to that diet and it helps ease the problems. About a year ago
I had was having severe problems and was put on Rowasa to help calm
the bleeding and D. I couldn't use the enemas. As soon as they were
administered, it felt as though like I'd been jabbed with an ice
the diet, I have responded better to ALL medications. I had to use
Rowasa again just a couple of weeks ago, and this time I only had
a problem on the second night. After that, there was no pain when
using the medication. Hope this info is helpful. J.T.
person wrote the following message, Found at Newsgroups: alt.support.crohns-colitis]
24 Jan 1996 00:42:25 GMT]
Ulcerative Colitis, and was not having luck with any meds before
starting the Gottschall diet in Oct. 94. Currently, I am nearly
symptom free. I watch what I eat and take Asacol, Bentyl, and Rowasa.
I have two or three trips to the bathroom in the morning and then
I'm fine for the day. Two years ago, I was going at least once an
hour. Hope this info is helpful. Good luck and good health. Thanx.
My husband was
on the diet for 6 months and it didn't work for him. At first it
seem to help but then when he wound up in the hospital with his
worst flare up ever. After that, we decided it wasn't for him. Good
luck, maybe it will work for you. Just because it didn't work for
us, doesn't mean it won't work. We stuck to it religiously but to
Dear Mrs. Gottschall,
You may not remember me but I started your diet six months ago (May
1, 1995) and spoke to you several times. At that time, you graciously
faxed me an interesting article regarding my spondylitis.
In these past
six months, I've had three minor bleeds of short duration in these
past 6 months which in itself has been a minor miracle. I've been
feeling great and last Friday I had my yearly colonoscopy. I expected
good news but was startled by my gastroenterologist's report: Aside
from scar tissue (I don't think "scar" was the term he used, but
that was the implication), my colon currently looks like that of
a healthy 18 year old. In fact I'm 49 years old and after a long
history of GI problems I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at
the age of 41.
I had no intention
of even trying the diet when I first read it--it was the opposite
of the diet suggested by my Doctor. I truly believed it would put
me in the hospital. However, by a stroke of divine intervention
( I am not a religious person), as I fearfully put your book down,
I received a phone call from a cousin who knew someone with Crohn's.
This person had recently gone on a "gluten" free diet. I immediately
called this stranger and listened to a tale of miraculous remission.
Sadly, it was
sadly your daughter's illness that inspired you to write this book.
But I believe it has been a bright light of information and a source
of hope to scores of others, like myself, who have been seeking
relief from and knowledge of this debilitating disease. Thank you
from the bottom of my heart.
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 19:10:08 GMT
I had an extremely GOOD experience with homeopathic medicine, particularly
with a certain diet I discovered in a book called "Food and the
Gut Reaction." I had been extremely ill with Crohn's for five years
and was at the end of my rope. The pain was constant and my hair
began falling out from malnourishment. While visiting my grandmother
in Canada, my mom came across the Food and the Gut Reaction book.
Within one month on the diet my pain was gone. In another three
months, all my symptoms disappeared. I followed the diet for a year
and a half. I now eat what I want and have been Crohn's "free" for
about two years. If this diet helped me, it can help anybody. I've
referred several other people to the book and they've all had great
results. Although the diet is very strict and tough to stick with,
it is definitely worth it.
It forbids grains,
most dairy products, and sugar. The author clearly explains the
details of the diet as well as the scientific basis behind it. My
doctor basically told me it was bullshit, but he can't explain why
it was so effective for me and for others. It sure can't hurt to
try it. It's a lot less damaging to your body then all those steroids.
Subject: Causes of Crohn's disease
Date: 3 Feb 1995 16:31:00 GMT
Hope for those of you who suffer and are looking for solutions!
Here is the testimony on my son's battle with Crohn's. This testimony
was part of a letter I wrote to Elaine Gottschall, the author of
the book entitled "Food and Your Gut Reaction." The book is now
reprinted under a new title, "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" (Kirkton
Press, Kirkton, Ontario, Canada).
letter to Elaine Gottschall :"P. was born on September 6, 1976.
For the first 15 years his life was active and fulfilled.. Other
than hay fever in the early summer months, P. had been relatively
healthy. But in the Fall of 1991 we noticed a drastic change in
his eating habits, energy level, motivation, and weight. His condition
became worse every day and although repeated visits to P.'s pediatrician
yielded no results, we persisted. In the spring of 1992, we obtained
a referral to a specialist.
In May 1992,
P. was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and referred to a relatively
new gastroenterologist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
As his condition deteriorated, P. was given medications such as
Mesasal, Asacol, and prednisone. Prescribed to relieve the inflammation,
these drugs generated other side effects. The only dietary recommendations
were to stay away from high fiber type foods such as broccoli, carrots,
cauliflower, nuts, etc. At this point, we talked to a number of
people about Crohn's disease and read as many articles as we could
find. All were very pessimistic, recommending to learn to accept
that this disease is for life and that there is no known cure other
than drugs and occasional surgery. The future did not look promising
for P. We were all very discouraged.
continued to deteriorate through the fall of 1992. In December 1992
P.'s new gastroenterologist, informed us that P.'s condition was
critical. His body was not responding to the drugs and upon our
return from our Christmas holidays, we would have to seriously consider
one of two options for P.: adopting an elemental diet regime (via
feeding tube) or surgery. We were all shocked and distraught by
learning of P.'s condition, my sister-in-law, who has a keen interest
in preventive medicine, began researching Crohn's disease. She discovered
a number of articles and publications including the book "Food and
the Gut Reaction." She believed the diet was worth considering and
we had nothing to lose. P.'s condition was at its worse but the
testimonies in the book gave us some motivation and hope of a potential
recovery for P.'s suffering.
P., my wife
and I all read the book. Although we carefully followed the recommendations
in the book, for the next three weeks P. still suffered episodes
of intestinal pain. But our patience and persistence paid off. P.'s
pain started to dissipate and his condition improved dramatically
over the next few weeks.
Our son has
now been on the diet for two years and we are happy to report that
his gastroenterologist confirmed that there is no sign of the disease
in his system. He has gained weight and grown approximately six
inches. He is extremely active-- playing tennis and hockey, cycling,
going to school, and holding down a part time job. He has applied
for university next fall. He has always been interested in nature
and science and aspires for a career in biotechnology.
We want to share
our experience with others and I am presently attempting to establish
links with newsgroups on the Internet. Over the past two year, we
have promoted your book and the diet through friends, relatives
and co-workers. There seems to be a person in everybody's life who
is afflicted with this "problem."
#: 293302 S1/General Discussion
Thank you for your e-mail. I am always impressed when I see a loved
one involved in the health of someone with this disease. My husband
has been very beneficial to me. I can not tell you how much he has
done to keep the mood up.
diet itself has granted health to a great many people, a good inner
sense of self is vital. Keep up the good work.
the diet, you need to purchase a book, it was written by Elaine
Gottschall, a woman in Canada. Her four year old daughter was very
sick at one time so she took her to a doctor that was recommended
to her. He put her on this diet and in a year or two she was well.
She has never experienced any other symptoms and is now in her forties
with a house full of kids! This diet had such a profound affect
on her daughter that Elaine has dedicated her life to research and
helping others. Another gentleman who is a member of our discussion
group has been cured for 17 years.
doesn't work for everyone, there have been so many positive results
that I feel the need to offer it whenever and wherever I can. There
is no MAGIC CURE of course. I have been on this diet myself for
a month now, along with a couple other members in our discussion
group. We support each other in this endeavor. So far I have had
a good response. The cramping and flatulence are gone and my BM's
are down to 3-4 a day as opposed to 7-9 a day.
I don't get
paid for offering this diet to others, I just know how much EVERYONE
would like to be well. Most MD's do not recognize this diet as valid,
and give a cold reception to the idea that the answers for some
can be so simple. By the way, after your wife achieves health again
she can start to eat some of the other foods again, in moderation.
It's nice to know that once we establish wellness we can eat the
yummy foods, although I plan to go very easy on the stuff that has
no real food value. I found the diet to be reasonable and not bad
Here's the book
info, the name of the book is "Food & The Gut Reaction", by Elaine
Gottschall, Kirkton Press. If you can not find it at your neighborhood
bookstore have them order it for you from the Baker & Taylor warehouse.
Please let me
know if you or your wife would like to join our Crohn's Discussion
Group. Not everyone in the group is on the diet, but we all either
have Crohn's or have loved ones who do. Keep in touch! The Very
Best Of Luck To You, C
person wrote this letter to Elaine]
Feb. 7, 1995
Dear Elaine, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your book
"Breaking the Vicious Cycle." The diet outlined in the book has
helped me so much. I have Crohn's Disease which caused me to experience
pain and constant diarrhea for 21 years before I started the diet.
After a few weeks on the diet I noticed a change. The pain slowly
disappeared. A few months later the diarrhea began to disappear,
and now after 6 months I have normal bowel movements most of the
time and NO pain or cramping whatsoever. No medication or surgery
has EVER given me this kind of healing!
For the first
time I can look forward to the future, a future that does not include
endless doctor visits, medical tests, and dangerous medications
that do not help. Before starting the diet I had been on prednisone
for 3 years. As a result my adrenal glands shut down, and when the
prednisone dose was lowered, the symptoms would return. This cycle
went on and on. The residual diet my doctors put me on did not help.
As a result of your diet I was able to taper off the prednisone
without a flare up of symptoms.
who has been endlessly patient through all of this is enthusiastic
too. He can see the sparkle in my eye, the color in my cheeks, and
the ready smile on my face, He too, has a new vision of our future,
as he has a healthy wife he never knew before. Instead of holding
my hand through the days I couldn't get out of bed or hearing my
cries from the bathroom, he is happily planning a hiking vacation
this summer! Something that I could never do before, as I always
needed to be near a bathroom.
I know is also on the diet and now can manage his kids' hockey and
baseball games and return to University, while holding down a full
time job! He now has an opportunity to move on with his life. His
five children are seeing a happy father they never knew.
who just started the diet spoke of the possibility of being able
to golf now. It won't make his handicap any better but he can play
the whole game without worrying about getting to the bathroom in
time! Thanks again for writing the book and for your countless consultations,
I owe you a debt of gratitude that I may not be able to repay in
You gave me
back my life. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for
I have had ulcerative colitis for over twenty years, proctitis actually.
Just the last 7 inches of My colon were diseased. Late 94 I had
a scope done and it showed the usual 7 inches. About two months
ago, a flare up I had been having for about 2 years started to get
much worse. I was running to the toilet many times and I had the
blood and such. I went to a new GI and had a scope done and found
that the colitis had spread to the entire colon and that I now had
severe colitis. What a shock that was. I was started on steroids,
Imuran and increased Asacol. Nothing was helping. One night about
a week after the scope, I felt that I had better get to the hospital.
I went and was admitted right away. I had a blood infection and
had to be rushed to another hospital after three days. I was in
so much pain I wanted it to stop or die. I have had two kids and
always thought childbirth was painful, but this was much worse.
At Rochester hospital I developed a fistula and was having bowel
movements through my vagina. (I'm sorry, I know this is gross).
After a blood transfusion I was rushed into surgery. I now have
an illeostomy. I do not know how long it will take to get used to
having this. I get depressed at times and strange as it sounds I
grieve for my lost colon. A very nice thing is I no longer have
to run to the toilet all day and night. I eat what everyone else
eats. I only have to cook my fruits and vegetables. The main problem
is self image. With the fistula and ostomy intimacy is difficult
but I know with time this will work out. When I had the surgery,
the doctor left two inches of my rectum in case it would heal and
one day I could have the reconnection surgery. It still feels like
I have to have bowel movements and the doctor says this will happen
until the rectum heals. I followed the SCD diet for many months
and although it seemed to help for a short time I quickly got worse.
I know that we all want to heal from these damn diseases but I just
want to encourage everyone to please be careful! I almost died from
the perforation of my bowel. I was never very sick, just had the
proctitis for so long. Keep doctor visits and watch your symptoms
carefully. If the diet does not work for you, DO NOT FEEL GUILTY
!! I sure did. I am very glad that the diet helps so many people.
Very, very glad that some people are healing. I just do not want
anyone to get sicker or worse because they waited to seek medical
care or stopped medicines. I know this is a long note. I wish everyone
well! If anyone else on the list has an ostomy or anyone had a fistula
like what I have please e-mail me directly as I am no longer on
the SCD list.
Take Care Everyone and (early) Happy Holidays!
Anna (New York)