The Cult of SCD

In an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of her Crohn’s, Mojo is currently on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). When you say that she is on a diet – especially one that prohibits breads, rice, pasta and complex sugars – people automatically think that she is trying to lose weight. According to the developer of the diet and hundreds of dedicated followers around the world, SCD can relieve the symptoms or even cure a number of intestinal ailments and even autism. In order to follow the diet you need to buy a book, which contains a load of rules, and when you want to eat something you have to keep flicking through the book – “It says on page 98 that it is legal but page 23 says that if it contains sweetener it is illegal!”

Some of SCD’s rules are justified and others not. the diet is extremely frustrating, this is exacerbated when the message is very clear that you should not question the diet, simply blindly follow it. For an intelligent and inquisitive person such as Mojo this is very difficult to accept. In some ways SCD is like a religion with its zealots who preach a message of unquestioning devotion and faith in the diet on the news groups, message boards and blogs. I have started calling the book – Breaking the Vicious Cycle – the bible.

This is now the second attempt at following the diet and with some further research it appears that there are a number of similar diets with varying emphasis and slightly varying lists of legal/illegal foods.

There is no doubt that being on SCD has made a difference to Mojo’s condition, but my feeling is that SCD and similar diets work because they are a kind of elimination diet and rely on introducing new foods from a very narrow base, not because you eat a yoghurt with or without a certain bacteria in it.


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