Steve’s SCD Healing Journal: Week 5 – Finally a Breakthrough!

by Steven Wright

Steve Wright, Co-Founder of SCD Lifestyle, has finally broken down and started his path to intestinal healing. After many years of undiagnosed digestive warfare in his body, this series of weekly posts will take you through his experiences, thoughts, and struggles on the SCD diet. Check back and follow his progress:

Week 5 Summary

I’m very excited to say I made a major breakthrough in my healing process this last week. Towards the end of the week ,I finally stopped having intermittent bowel movements and I’m happy to report that I have had one movement a day for the last 5 days! So, what caused my slight constipation breakthrough? As far as I can tell, two major factors seem to have caused it. The first being that I upped my SCD legal goat yogurt intake to a cup a day and the second is that I started to supplement with Betaine HCL.

Mental and Body Changes

Mentally, I didn’t notice too many changes this week. I did feel a bit run down during the middle part of the week but I’m attributing that to a general lack of sleep as I had a couple of late nights. In order to compensate for some daytime sleepiness, I did consume a cup of black coffee on three different days without any digestive regressions. Going forward, I’m going to continue to try and strive to avoid coffee (it tastes so good once it hits your lips!). The big breakthrough of the week was in my bowel movements. For the last four weeks, I’ve been only averaging one movement about every 3 days and the movements were not very good quality – usually a 1 or a 7 on the Bristol Stool Chart. The last half of this week, however, I started having one movement a day and at first is was a 2 or 3. But by the weekend I was starting to have 4s daily!

Fitness Goals

This week, I made a renewed effort to keep my calories under 1500 per day. I weighed in down another 3 pounds and I’m also down about ½” on my waist. I’m looking to lose about another inch to inch and half on my waist, which should correlate to approximately another 10 pounds of scale weight lost.  My goal is to try and complete this in the next 3 weeks. I will continue to track and update everyone. I’ve continued my 4 weightlifting sessions a week, however I’ve stopped doing any cardio for now. This is mostly because this week I’ve started wearing my Vibram Five Finger shoes while working out and I want to give my feet time to adjust before I start any type of walking or running again.

Diet Details

This was a week of many changes for my diet. I added several new foods and supplements. In hindsight, I probably added a bit too many variables at once to be completely certain what has caused this great improvement in my digestive tract. However, I feel very certain that it can be boiled down to upping the amount of good bacteria I was taking in and using Betaine HCL. I was already eating about a cup of yogurt a day starting on Monday and continued this throughout the week. It wasn’t until I gradually built up my dosage on the Betaine HCL around Wednesday that I actually started to see the magic happening (had my first quality BM – a 3 that day). I started the Betaine HCL on Tuesday at one 300mg pill before each meal; I continued to up the dosage daily until Wednesday at 3 pills a meal. I decided to continue upping the dosage on Thursday to try and reach my upper limit for HCL intake but stopped at 1200mg (4pills) a meal for now (why push a good thing).

I’m now fully progressing into Phase 2 of the diet. I added pineapple and asparagus this week with good results. I decided that going forward, for new foods I try, I will to continue to puree them the first time I eat them but after I know that they do not cause me any problems I’m going to stop pureeing them. (I need whole food texture!) After eating pureed fruits and vegetables for a month, it was an amazing gift when I consumed some un-pureed foods!

The other new supplements I added this week were 4 grams of Omega 3’s from fish oil and 10,000 IU of vitamin D a day. By adding these, I could have potentially negated my ability to understand the effects of the Betaine HCL. I don’t believe this to be the case because I started using them on Monday (and have supplemented with them in the past) and it wasn’t until Wednesday that I observed the changes in my BMs. This to me shows a clear correlation with higher Betaine HCL dosages and better digestion. I truly believe that from a digestive standpoint the Betaine HCL was the breakthrough ticket for me.

One Line Thoughts On The SCD Diet

    • Every person who is experiencing digestive issues should check their stomach acid pH levels to verify that they are making enough acid to properly digest food
    • Being able to chew food is underrated!
    • I don’t need cardio to lose fat mass
    • Everyone doing the SCD diet should use the Bristol Stool Chart to track their changes. I believe we should use it like a report card without guidelines to properly measure our progress we are left to our interpretations, which can lead us astray
    • Unless you get plenty of sunlight every day, most people probably are deficient in vitamin D
    • If you’re experiencing ankle or foot pain, you owe it to yourself to check out the latest research on barefoot running

 

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About the author

Steven Wright Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris April 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Hey, what company would you recommend ordering HCL from?

Reply

Steven Wright April 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Hi Chris,

I would recommend the following brands:
NOW
Freeda
Vitamin World
Thorne Research

They all have SCD legal versions that I’ve used. Always get Betaine HCL w Pepsin if possible.

Reply

Martin June 21, 2011 at 1:45 am

The Betaine HCL from twinlab with Pepsin appears SCD legal? contains Gelatin , Cellulose , Medium Chain Triglycerides , Stearic Acid , Silica. look OK?

Reply

Vibeke May 14, 2012 at 6:03 am

I have made a acid PH level test (those ones you pee on), but I don’t understand what it means. It is showing 7,4 (dark blue green, the end of the scale). Does that mean that I have low stomach acid or that I have high stomach acid? I am considering trying Betaine HCL w Pepsin.

Best wishes to you Steven for a great iniative.

Reply

Carla Hill March 17, 2017 at 11:23 pm

How do you check stomach acid, safely?

Reply

Lori Jo Berg March 19, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Hi Carla – here is how we recommend checking for low HCL levels: http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/3-tests-for-low-stomach-acid/

Reply

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