Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Preview!

Hi everyone, I wanted to provide the first couple of pages of the introduction to our book: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back.  A journey through life, ulcerative colitis, and the specific carbohydrate diet.  Hope you enjoy.  Available at:

Take care,
~Me, Myself, and UC~
Looking back upon my life before ulcerative colitis (UC), it seems
like such a simple time. Most day’s, thoughts of medications, food
ingredients, and restroom locations were simply absent from my mind. I
took these things for granted back then, and used them when I wanted and
how I best saw fit. My body was working like it should and I was enjoying all
it could give me with little thought of things going wrong. Like most people,
I had the beautiful luxury of feeling like major illness would not intrude on
my life; like somehow I would be exempt from its cold and firm grasp. I was
healthy, young, and able-bodied. What could possibly happen to me?
Most of the time, people who are not sick cannot fully grasp the
realities that disease throws at the sufferer. You end up eating, breathing, and
thinking about the disease 24/7. Worse yet, as an inflammatory bowel
disease (IBD) sufferer you are reminded of your condition multiple times a
day as it stares back at you from the toilet. There is no need to seek the
confirmation from a doctor that you are sick—you already know it. It
whispers to you during the night while you are bleeding, sweating, and
cramping on the toilet. It shouts at you when you catch a glimpse of the
gaunt figure standing in front of the mirror. And finally, it laughs at you
when you are in public, and have to run and hide, seeking refuge within the
confines of restroom walls.
Along with many others, I have decided to try and end this
nightmare by way of diet and lifestyle modifications, in particular by
following the Specific Carbohydrate DietTM or SCDTM. This is a form of
healing from the inside out, if you will. Is it hard? Yes. Did the SCD work
for me and countless others? Yes. What is holding you back from giving it a
shot? Only yourself.

~Choices and Actions~
When you or someone you love is diagnosed with an IBD, two
questions arise: What is the disease and what can I do about it? Some
theories suggest the cause could be pathogenic organisms, an abnormal
immune response, or an antigen/bacterial overgrowth. The basic fact is no
one really knows the root cause of IBD or how to fully cure it. This leaves
the patient and the medical profession with the task of not curing the disease,
but managing it.
Since there is no cure for IBD, management choices may include one
or more of the following options. The first option usually involves
medications like steroids, anti-inflammatory meds, or immune suppressors.
This is usually the first thing your doctor will insist you do, and what I chose
to do initially. During my experience and meetings with fellow people who
suffer from IBD disorders like Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, there
seem to be those who find good results with medication, and others, like
myself, who do not. For me, the medications would work for a while and
then gradually lose effectiveness, forcing me to seek other options and
treatments. Even if you do start the SCD diet, many people find that they
need to have the aid of medications to begin the healing process.
The second option people tend to follow is to take the disease and
treatment into their own hands, and try to manage, cure or control their
condition through diet, supplements or other lifestyle changes. I chose to
follow this route and to pursue a better quality of life by following the
Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Created by the work of Dr. Sydney Hass and
Elaine Gottshall, and later publicized in the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle,
Gottshall brings to light the relief that diet modifications can have on
disorders such as: Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, autism,
and IBS along with many others. In a nutshell, the theory behind the diet is
that by eliminating lactose, grains, sugar, and starchy vegetables (along with
other specific foods) you are able to control and manage the bad bacteria that
is wreaking havoc on your digestive system; essentially starving that bacteria.
Her book details the science behind the diet, as well as how to get
started, and is a must read for anyone considering it. There are also many
resources on the Web for “legal/illegal” foods while following the SCD, as
well as advice from others who have made the diet a way of life. Yes, the diet
is hard to follow, but in my opinion it is nothing compared to living a life
with a disease like UC or Crohns. I have talked to many people who have an
IBD or know someone who does about my experience. Some give the SCD
a try and achieve renewed health. Some give it a try and give up. Others
simply can’t commit to the lifestyle change that is needed to succeed. In the
end it’s all up to you.

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