The Gut Health Recovery Quiz: Is Your Treatment Wrong?

by Steven Wright

Have you heard that everyone heals at a different speed?

Or maybe you’ve heard us say, “Everyone has a custom version of SCD that works and you’re just a few tweaks away from finding yours.”

Don’t get too excited, I’m not going to present any contradictory theories, because I say these things to people every day. Instead, I’m presenting a framework that we’ve been working on to help you understand what to expect and how to see the fastest results healing your gut.

We’ve noticed there’s a few patterns that are the same. Recognizing these patterns early will allow you to avoid a bunch of trial and error mistakes like we, and many of the people we’ve worked with, made. Instead, we hope this quiz will give you a head start towards being pain-free as fast as possible.

Fast Pain Relief Starts Here

There’s some debate on whether the SCD works for everyone.  Even Elaine Gottschall said “only about 90% of people will be helped” however, Jordan and I think that’s a misinterpretation… as long as you believe that the things you put in your body (like food, drink, and thoughts) have a direct impact on how you heal, then you can’t deny that eating a better diet will benefit your health.

Instead, I think what Elaine noticed in the digestion community is that there is an immense range of individuality in our diseases, our medical history, our age, our genetics, epigenetics and our environment. Science is proving all of these add up to your current health and it turns out most of us need more than just diet change to get the kind of health transformations we want.

I think that statement from Elaine was the best way she could explain the results people were reporting. Her research told her that the SCD would help everyone who tried it. However, some of us need much more than just diet changes to get back to some level of normal health.

We’ve had the unique position for over 2 years now to hear from and intimately help 1000’s of people, and this what we’ve found:

Jumping head first into the full Specific Carbohydrate Diet isn’t for everyone, in fact, it turns out that taking this approach can cause many people to fail.

This Trend is Common in the SCD, GAPS, and Paleo Communities

It’s not acceptable to us that people were failing and we wanted to understand why, so we started spending more time in other natural diet communities learning and growing our knowledge. While checking them out and interacting in them, we noticed the same patterns we see in SCD.

We thought the answer was in the scientific literature, but it wasn’t spelled out there either. However, after looking at these cases from various thought paradigms, we started to see that everyone has a custom diet… a custom version of SCD that works for them at that moment in time. It’s not so much that this diet (or the others above) is right or wrong as it is about adapting what you eat to your current state of health.

For example, some people on SCD can’t eat dairy, eggs, or almond flour – while others do just fine eating all three. Others have problems with nightshades or too much fruit. Each person is a little different and they change over time. We see this with people who are able to return to eating egg, dairy or nuts after being unable to handle them in the beginning.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet provides a framework to operate within, but it needs to be individualized for your body, history, and environment. The goal should be to match the foods you’re eating to the state of health you’re at, and continue to evolve and expand your diet as you heal.

We went through the process of creating our custom diet and we’ve helped thousands of others do the same thing. This customization process has taught us a very important lesson…

People Typically Fall Into One of Two Distinct Groups: “Tough Case” or “Mild Case”

You’re either one or the other and it will dictate exactly how you should create your custom diet and get better. That’s good and bad…

It’s good because we’ve had the good fortune to figure this out and test it with many other people like you. It’s bad because you’ll likely be faced with several hard decisions once you know more about what it takes to get your health back.

But there’s more good news: we’ve created a quiz to help you figure out which group you belong to. These questions were born out of working with thousands of digestive cases and helping people troubleshoot their custom diets. It’s a compilation of the signs and symptoms we’ve found tend to indicate which path you should take to heal your gut…

The Tough Case/Mild Case quiz…

Read each of the following questions and simply answer Yes or No

  1. In the past 7 days, have you observed any blood in the toilet? (yes/no)
  2. Did you have more than 6 bowel movements yesterday? (yes/no)
  3. Have you ever been prescribed any of the following drugs (Imuran, Humira, Remicade, or any other TNF-alpha inhibitors)? (yes/no)
  4. Are you considered a “non-responder” to any drug treatments for digestive disease (for example: Bentyl, Prednisone, Sulfasalazine, Mesalamine, etc., )? (yes/no)
  5. Have you had surgery to remove any portion of your upper or lower intestines? (yes/no)
  6. Do you experience any food allergies or food intolerances? (yes/no)
  7. Has it been more than 3 days since your last bowel movement? (yes/no)
  8. Do you regularly use enemas to initiate a bowel movement (yes/no)
  9. Do you use any kind of over-the-counter laxatives on a weekly or daily basis in order to go to the bathroom? (yes/no)
  10. Do you suffer from high levels of anxiety or depression? (yes/no)
  11. Do you consider yourself to have moderate to bad acne or other skin issues (i.e. eczema, rashes)? (yes/no)
  12. Are you or have you attempted SCD, Paleo, GAPS, GFCF, or another alternative healing diet and been disappointed with the results? (yes/no)
  13. Does this statement describe you…“Despite trying several treatment options (natural or drug), nothing seems to change my symptoms”? (yes/no)
  14. Have you experienced unexplainable weight loss and can’t put it back on, or have you struggled to lose weight no matter what you’ve tried? (yes/no)

Okay, now it’s time to be honest… how many yeses did you have?  If it was 2 or more then that indicates you’re a tough case.  It’s that simple… no exceptions.

I’m a Tough Case, Now What?

If you’re a tough case, the questions reveal that your current health situation is complex and it’s likely you have a combination of problems.  The quiz screens for problems like: full-blown leaky gut, high inflammation, gut dysbiosis (bacterial, yeast, or parasite), immune system dysregulation or autoimmunity, intestinal damage, and hormonal imbalances. You might be suffering from any number of these conditions and the quiz helps identify that.

The fact that prior treatments haven’t succeeded in controlling your symptoms is a strong indicator that you have multiple problems contributing to your current condition regardless of what you’re clinical diagnosis is. The combination of these indicates that you need a more thorough and customized healing protocol than the regular “sick” person that makes natural diet changes to help their digestion. Many Tough Cases start full SCD , GAPS, or Paleo and still struggle with their debilitating symptoms and give up. Here’s a couple examples of Tough Cases:

Tough Case Example 1:

John* has been on and off Prednisone and Asacol ever since he was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 2 years ago. He’s currently on Imuran but most days he goes to the bathroom at least 8 times. Lucky for him, there’s hardly ever any blood, but his acne is still as bad as ever, which drives him nuts. Overall, he feels lethargic and depressed. He tried following full SCD 6 months ago and didn’t see an improvement, so he gave up and went back to eating his old diet. His doctor is concerned and is recommending he start Humira, which is driving him to find other solutions to his problems.

Tough Case Example 2:

Sue* has been sick many times during her lifetime, taken lots of antibiotics and always seemed to have irregular bowel habits. She has eczema that seems to come and go just like her unstable bowel movements. She has a cupboard full of laxatives and enemas and tries not to use them but once she starts feeling bloated she can’t help it. She’s done a lot of hard work to take responsibility for her health including trying several natural diets, cleanses, and health food store supplements. She seems to slowly be getting better, but is left wondering if this is all even worth it.

Both of these are examples of Tough Cases that are unlikely to quickly respond to a generic natural diet and supplement change, even full SCD. Hopefully you’re starting to see how the questions in the quiz help identify the complex and subtle combination of problems you might have.

While the “Tough Case” group might sound dark and gloomy, it’s actually not. What it really means is we know how to stop your pain extremely fast! Typically it takes a few supplements and a custom introductory SCD protocol. Then, once you’re in a pain-free food safe zone… we can focus on rebuilding your health by expanding your diet and addressing additional needs.

The bottom line is: you need to follow a different protocol with more customization than a mild case does.

I’m a Mild Case, What Does That Mean?

A Mild Case means you answered yes to less than two of the questions above. You can be grateful that your digestive pains are likely stoppable in a shorter period of time. Like we said, our first objective for you is to adopt new behaviors that will relieve your pain and address the common root causes of digestion trouble.

You’re likely dealing with mild leaky gut, mild inflammation, an overactive immune system, and some degree of gut dysbiosis (either bacterial, fungal, or parasite in nature). Many Mild Cases start full SCD, GAPS, or Paleo and see immediate improvement in all their symptoms. Here are some more examples:

Mild Case Example 1:

Deb* has struggled with IBS for many years, she seems to alternate between diarrhea and constipation. It’s very frustrating for her and she’s been to the doctor several times. She’s taken their recommendations of more fiber and saw some improvements in consistency but it doesn’t help her with the bloated stomach and random gut pains. She even had a Celiac blood test, which came back negative. Other than being a normal stressed-out mom who has good and bad days, she hasn’t ever thought of herself as depressed.

Mild Case Example 2:

Chris* lives a highly active life and the high stress corporate lifestyle. From time to time he gets awful stomach pains, gas, and sometimes diarrhea. It’s starting to happen more frequently and about once a week he has a bad day. He knows he can’t tolerate dairy. In fact, he hasn’t eaten it in years. Overall, he eats what he believes to be a very healthy low-fat diet based on what he’s read in mainstream health magazines. Every time he goes to the doctor they tell him not to worry, there isn’t much he can do about his random gut pains. He’s starting to become more concerned because last week he missed his flag football game and guys night out because he was stuck on the toilet.     

In both of these Mild Case examples, these people will likely respond very quickly to the full SCD or Paleo diet. If this sounds anything like your situation don’t think you can just stop there. You’ll still need to add some supplements and adopt other healthy behaviors like managing your stress, but when it comes to your food choices, a highly nutritious low-toxin diet will really help.

Which case are you?

Tell us how you scored in the comments and what you thought of the questions. We’d love your feedback on our ideas!



DISCLAIMER: This quiz isn’t intended to diagnose your problems nor does it provide a comprehensive health analysis. Only your Doctor can do that :-)

*Names changed to protect identities

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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 to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Works

{ 174 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine March 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I would really like to try the SCD, but I am scared to because I would consider myself an ‘extremely tough case’. I am only 28, but there seems to be so much wrong with me I feel like I’m falling apart.

To give details, I cannot drink bone broth. My neurons are shot and I have a lot of problems with free glutamates (have avoided MSG for years because of this). Recently I tried making some bone broth and drank it every day. But every day I drank it I could not sleep a wink. I tried it for a week and I am not kidding. I didn’t sleep for a week. I finally clued in and stopped drinking it and I slept that night.

I am also extremely intolerant to eggs. Even eating a trace of them gives me itching, scaling skin on my face. I cannot do dairy either as I am severely intolerant to casein. The only dairy food I can handle is pastured ghee (butter gives me constipation).

I am also phenol/thiol sensitive due to leaky gut which makes most fruits and vegetables off limits.

On top of all this, I had an ulcer recently but also found out about the same time frame that I have been suffering from low stomach acid for years. The problem is that now that I have an ulcer, I cannot supplement with stomach acid to fix that problem! And without my food being fully digested, my leaky gut will have a hard time healing and my food intolerances will persist.

I am at my wits end. I just do not know what to do. Most herbal remedies are off-limits due to high phenol content or they are simply too harsh for my body. Just for the record, I am not in the slightest overweight and have a tendency for underweight. A few years ago I was relatively healthy (except for skin issues), and within the last 3 months has spiraled downhill rapidly. I cannot even exercise due to feeling extremely weak and just overall bad when I try. I used to be quite fit and loved exercising.


Steven Wright March 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm

@ Christine – I think many of us in this community can relate to some or most of your problems. Your not alone, you are a tough case and do need the guidance of a talented group of health professionals. In the meantime, it sounds like you must be eating darn close to SCD based on all your intolerances. I would suggest you eat SCD or Paleo Autoimmune and tailor to your custom problems like we show you on the blog and in our books.


Gustoso March 26, 2012 at 12:42 am

I’d suggest trying L.glutamine to help heal the gut lining. It’s usually well tolerated. It’s one of the nutrients found in bone broth. Can you have sauerkraut?


Linda December 16, 2014 at 8:22 am

Also Slippery Elm powder works wonders, 1 teaspoon in half a glass of water before each meal.


Richard February 24, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Slippery Elm works wonders, but what really helped my leaky gut is Gelatin [Knox or Pure Beef} Mix one tablespoon in a couple of oz. of cold water for about a minute then add some Lemon and coconut oil and hot water to make about 8 oz. I did this morning and night for two months and can now eat Meat and eggs and chicken etc. after many years of not being able to.The Gelatin in the SCD Diet is great too. I eat alot of that too. SCD works for me, I modify it a bit but it works, just keep at it with a positive attitude and , Yes lower the Stress Level … is a killer as we know.


Lori Jo Berg February 25, 2015 at 9:29 pm

Thanks for sharing Richard! Please look for an email from support@scdlifestyle to follow up on your comment!

inge Maumus January 19, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Have you looked into Functional Diagnostic Nutrition? It gets to the bottommost source of issues by looking at homeostatic mechanisms. Real detective work with lab assessments and they deal with this level of complexity with success,. Look up Reed Davis.


Lynn December 19, 2014 at 8:15 am

My 16 year old daughter has many similar symptoms. She has had to miss an entire year of school. While struggling to find food she could tolerate,
we used a pre-digested shake ( It helped deliver nutrient while we figure out getting enough real food she could eat.


Shirley Bullock March 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I answered yes to 3 of those questions. I have been on SCD for 1 year now. Proudly, my husband is too. He is doing it just to lose weight and become more healthy. Since starting the SCD, he has lost almost 50 lbs and been able to come completely off his diabetic meds and cut his BP meds in half. I have Crohn’s disease. My symptoms are much improved. I find that stress is the biggest culprit. I feel like the diet really works. We also have started drinking smoothies with lots of fruit. We only eat meat, vegetables and fruit. I have cheated with Dt. Pepsi only. Other than that, I follow SCD 100%. It can be done!!!! Yes, I can tell that I still have Crohn’s disease. I’ve only had one really bad attack in the last year though, and that was brought on by stress. I see my doctor in a couple weeks for a colonscopy. I am interested to see the results. Wish me blessings!


Steven Wright March 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm

@ Shirley – thanks for the wonderful comment, I’m glad you and your husband are enjoying so many health benefits from SCD… Congrats on taking responsibility for your health!


Lisa March 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I scored a 5. Waiting for my book to come in the mail and planning to start the SCD April 1. Thanks for your books, information, and help so far!


Steven Wright March 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm

@ Lisa – thanks for the feedback on your score! I hope your not talking about our books as they are only ebooks and you should have them within minutes of buying them. Please contact us if you don’t.


Maureen March 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I think I am borderline between mild/tough. Sometimes I get frustrated by how slowly my body is healing and I feel like it takes so long for my body to adjust to new foods. There still seems to be a lot of foods that I try to introduce but which I have to back off on because they cause symptoms. Constipation still causes me some trouble, but I no longer rely on a magnesium supplement to keep me regular. So the bottom line is that I am improving and despite the slow going, I have enough successes that I am happy with my progress.


Steven Wright March 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

@ Maureen – Your a fighter I can tell you that, keep it up and you’ll figure it out. In the meantime did you take the quiz? It will give you a good idea if your mild or tough and that might give you a clue to a breakthrough you can make with your treatments.


Maureen March 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I only had 1 yes, so the quiz would indicate that I am mild. But the fact that it seems to take my body a while to adjust to new foods and that I am not able to easily add new food seem to indicate that my case maybe leans towards tough. I have the added complication that I am dealing with a lot of allergies and asthma which requires me to be on n a lot of illegal meds.


Maree Clark March 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm

I scored 4 yes answers but I knew I was a tough case. I started with active Crohn’s and had stopped using drugs because I knew from the side-effects they were probably doing more harm than healing, keeping me in a vicious cycle! When I first started SCD I was failing badly. My D got way worse for weeks (13 – 15 times a day) until someone in my support group suggested I might have fat malabsorbtion which, in a way, went against the healing fatty foods theory. But I cut back on fatty soups and started HCL + pepsin and along with fermented cabbage juice (I have a dairy allergy) my whole system has begun huge healing. Almost 3 months into SCD and I am eating most meats and well-steamed veggies and even some ripe, raw fruit. It was a really hard start to work out my customization but so worth it. I’m glad I kept at it and am thankful for the support and experiences of others taking this journey!


Steven Wright March 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

@ Maree – Good for you, I love that you shared your inspiring story with us, thank you! Fat malabsorption is sadly very common in tough cases, it is one of the first things a tough case must address on any of the diet changes SCD, GAPS or Paleo.


MJP March 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I am a mild case but even in the beginning the pain was hard to take day in and day out. A lot of fullness and just could not eat. You tend to feel stir crazy after awhile because you want and need to eat but can’t. Then to worry about an obstruction all the time is not fun. The beginning of the SCD Diet was hard for me because my mind was racing on what to do first, what supplements to take and trying to research, research and research. I think I was obsessed with that because I knew I had to learn very quickly to help myself. So I would say in the beginining I was trying SCD but not really. I kept thinking I could cheat off and on. I finally started to feel better and knew that I had to have cooked and precooked food in the house or I would grab a non legal item and cheat. So you have to find time to cook and have stuff ready throughout the week. Also the plain Acidophilus and the homemade yogurt helps me SO MUCH!! I look forward to my yogurt smoothie everynight. I think that is my reward for going through all this. Also I have used other supplements and also on LDN which I am sure is helping. It has no side effects and I feel like my old self again. I actually have days now where my every waking moment is my disease. I thought that would never happen again. You are rght, some people will have to try different things with SCD. Some can have eggs but not the nut flours etc. Some people can tolerate more fruit. Everyone is different but if you mainly stop eating the sugar, grains and dairy I think everyone will benefit. I think the sugar is killing us. But thanks Steve for all your had work and advice. It so is appreciated. Thanks Again


Steven Wright March 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm

@MJP – Thanks for sharing your story. Keep up the hard work and your health will reward you!


Lou March 24, 2012 at 5:00 am

Hi fellas,

I scored 3. Interesting quiz – like to know the science behind each question. I’ve found if difficult to stick strictly to SCD. I’ve been on and off it since June 2011. I’ve never started it properly (so, I’ve possibly not been on SCD). Symptoms appeared December 2009. Specialist can;t decide if I have Crohn’s or UC. When I stick to proteins, some vegies and small amount of fruit (like banana, freshly squeezed orange juice with 50% water, cantaloupe and a few others), HM yoghurt, I do well (3 to 6 BM’s a day). But, I tend to lose weight (too much weight and feel lethargic). Then I go back to bread, noodle and pasta for a few days. Put on a little weight, feel stronger and eventually have between 8 to 14 BM’s a day. Planning and Preparation seems to be the answer to my problem. I’m soon to make Beef Bone Broth – don’t like chicken. (I’m a master at HM yoghurt). Then I’ll start SCD properly and continue. I believe it will work for me. Thanks for all your good work and information. I’ve made changes, which have benefitted me, based on your information. Regards, Lou. (50 year old male).


Steven Wright March 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm

@ Lou – Thanks for posting your results and story. We have a huge section in our book about the weight loss that you and many others report when trying to do SCD. I want to give you the #1 way to prevent it, track your calories for the first 30 days and make sure your eating at least 2500 a day. We show you how in the ebook but you can do it on your own just use a website like


Rich March 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I scored a 3 on this. Diagnosed with Crohns in spring 2010. Within 1 week I was in the emergency room, and then ended up with a 10″ resection. Not as bad as it could have been. post surgery I went on med free SCD, and have been strict with it for the last 2 years. Overall, things have been good with nothing like the pain I experienced before the surgery. I think with SCD, the key word is custom. Pecan Bread outlines an “advanced SCD” which is kind of what I follow. For me, I avoid beans, dairy, and most meat. I’m also big into juicing, and fermented foods.


Steven Wright March 26, 2012 at 6:40 am

@ Rich – You hit it man “Custom Diets” for all! Thanks for lending your experience to the group.


blackbass March 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I am pretty sure Im a mild. The only symptom I know have is blood /oil in stool. I have been taking enzymes and dairy free probiotics. I do SCD 100%! Any advice to get rid of bleeding and oil? Am I eating too much oil/fats? I thought I cut back, but Im stuck. Do I just need more time? I quit dairy and nut flour. I cut back on eggs and fruit, no honey.

I eat 4 eggs/day, one cooked bananna. Could eggs influence bleeding?


Jenny June 6, 2012 at 1:18 am

I scored a 4. My biggest problem is my acne. I can’t handle it anymore! No gut symptoms to speak of.


J's Mom June 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I have an 8yo son who scored a 4. We had great success with full SCD for about 1.5 years when he was 3 years old. I too discovered I had a tough case and was healed by doing SCD with him. Over time, we gradually introduced more foods he wanted to eat because other kids are eating them. We are now back on the healing diet (SCD) due to anxiety and multiple allergies. He also has a rash on his face. He confessed that he was getting sugar laden foods from the trash at school and eating them (this makes me cry). It is so hard for a parent to want the child to be healthy, see the healing that needs to occur and the child not want or be able to comply. Are there any support groups for parents? Is Pecanbread still around?


Steven Wright June 22, 2012 at 9:12 am

@J’s Mom – Thanks for following us and supporting us – we and the community are here for you. Please join us on Facebook for even more support. Yes as far as I know Pecanbread is still around. I know it’s hard on you but you are strong beyond measure!


anne June 22, 2012 at 7:35 am

my goodness I just did this questionaire and I got an 8 I have looked at the diet but find it seems hard to follow and time consuming and I am time poor any ideas on doing this diet would be great.


Steven Wright June 22, 2012 at 8:56 am

@ Anne – It really isn’t hard to follow at all. It’s just different from what you’ve grown up with and experienced so far in this life. That is what our site is all about, empowering you with the resources to do it as fast and easy as possible. I would recommend you hang around here read our posts (there’s over 200+) and when your ready get our book and follow it to the letter. The tough case meal plans would also help you because of your score.


Heather June 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I was surprise to find that I am a tough case because I am able to function fairly well and my pain is minimal. However, I have been constipated basically from birth and it only has gotten worse. I‘ve tried many things over the years, senna, fiber, vitamin C and settled on magnesium for the past 15 years. I have interstitial cystitis, anemia and a bunch of other chronic but tolerable symptoms. I think I’ve learned to just expect less but I’m tired of that. I’ve tried Paleo and FODMAP and both helped some but I’m still constipated and taking magnesium daily. I have read everything I can find on your site and Elaine’s book in the past two weeks. I’m working toward my introductory phase this coming Sunday I but have already changed my diet a lot in the past few weeks. I feel a lot of hope about SCD, it’s hard to quantify but my brain feels lighter in just the first two weeks of removing certain foods and eating recommended ones. Having C instead of D has thrown me off a little because a lot of your instructions say do this if you are still having D but no guidance if you have C. I am wondering whether D and C are interchangeable in your instructions. My goal is to be free of magnesium and any other laxative and to improve absorption and recover from anemia. I’m looking forward to seeing how many of my other chronic symptoms improve. I appreciate all of your guidance and am hoping my success allows me to encourage and support some of my friends who are living with similar conditions. Thank you!


Mike June 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I scored only 1 yes, so I guess I’m a mild case. Truthfully, I’m actually in good health and wouldn’t even consider SCD or GAPS if it wasn’t for my son and wife. My son has some mildly autistic tendencies and has some speech and language difficulties, as well as some food allergies/sensitivities that we simply try and steer clear of. My wife has narcolepsy and scored about 5 or 6 on the above quiz. Although her digestive issues can be annoying and sometimes painful if she eats the wrong thing, she really doesn’t complain too much about that (although I’m sure she’d be happy if it wasn’t an issue). The bigger issue, really, is the Narcolepsy.

I know you guys aren’t experts on that sort of thing, but, over the years, with all the reading I’ve done on GAPS, SCD, natural healing, etc., I’ve come to the conclusion that most every ailment we face in life can probably be helped to some degree through diet. The only question is, to what degree.

My wife’s narcolepsy really keeps her from being able to enjoy life to a significant degree, and I really want to help her with it. I’m just not sure how much SCD or GAPS might help and whether I can even convince her to give it a shot.

Your thoughts?


Janice June 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I scored a 5, I am a tough case. SCD works for 4 or 5 mos and then I tire and begin to cheat. I’m backed into a corner now. The entire colon is inflamed and the doc did 20 biopsies last colonoscopy. No cancer. I am interested in trying again and I believe I will buy your books, I’m not really very tech savy so one day when I’m feeling good, I’ll give it a try. Thank you for your site.


Cynthia June 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I scored a 1. I am following the principles of SCD and hoping to get back on SCD for a period of time. Every time I read a post I feel blessed to have found SCD before I became a 4 or 5 or who knows what because I see that’s where I was headed. I have made some major alterations in things I ate that I thought were healthy and fine based on the diet’s recommendations. My biggest challenge is that I don’t tolerate dairy or wheat and those two are practically in everything. Recently I followed SCD strictly for 17 days. To be honest it is the longest I have every been able to strictly stick with anything like this. My respect goes out to those who follow because they have no choice. Keep it up guys! You are motivating the rest of us!


Samay July 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I have had Elaine Gottschall’s book for a year – but I have never managed to commit 100% to the diet, and so I do not know if it works for me. But I have noticed that my symptoms have been worse lately, and surprise, I have been having about 3 servings of starch a day. My main issue is that I struggle to resist my dark chocolate cravings…In fact, dark choc and coffee are my daily laxatives, without them I am constipated/bloated for days/sick etc. Is this common amongst suffers? I have cut out grains, which was easy because I really wanted to get better, but I simply cannot stop buying/eating chocolate. Also, as an ex-vegetarian, I am having to change my entire lifestyle. With this website though, and the ebooks, I might ease myself back into the diet, to hopefully succeed. About the SCD yoghurt, I do not have a yoghurt maker, but I suppose it is needed for temperature control…and so I will have to find an alternative. Having said that, all the IBS + IBD suffers I know who follow the SCD have it dairy-free. It does result in a very restricted diet though! Good luck to all of you on the SCD, keep sharing your stories, and thank you for this wonderful website.


Steven Wright July 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm

@Samay – thanks for following and supporting us! We are here to help you figure your health out. I totally understand the dark chocolate cravings! Here’s something for you to ponder… what if your body is craving them is correct? What if there is something in the dark chocolate that the body really wants and needs because it might have not gotten enough in the past? Try Magnesium glycinate 400-1000mg a day for 2 months and let me know how your cravings are.


AJ November 22, 2013 at 11:48 pm

I know this is an old post but for someone like me just starting and reading everything you don’t need a yogurt maker. I make yogurt all the time and simply put my jars in my over overnight with the light on. If your oven doesn’t stay warm you can use a cooler with warm water or towels wrapped around the jars. The hardest part of the yogurt is waiting for it to set lol but it’s so worth it in the end to know exactly what is in it and have it more active than store bought sugar laden artificially flavored crap. Also for those missing the cheese in their life you can strain yogurt in a tea towel and make a cream cheese of sorts. You can even flavor it with legal spices for more variety. I also use lightly stained, Greek style yogurt for a sour cream replacement. There are many fermented foods you can make safely at home that will help you on your path to restored health.


rose whalon July 31, 2012 at 11:49 am

what are any vitamins etc… you would recomend for scd diet as most have soy in them.what brand ???? thank you


Moongirl August 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Rose, go to a Vitamin Shoppe for vitamins, not a drugstore. Tons of brands with no soy/wheat/dairy/etc. Or a health food store.


Theresa Romansky August 16, 2012 at 11:40 pm

In retrospect I have had IBS since forever … mainly the constipation variety which acts up whenever there are big changes, travel or lots of stress. Over the years have developed absorption problems and multiple food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances.
Am about a month into the SCD diet and have been rather haphazard about it in some respects – started right off with homemade goat yogurt and my body yearns for it each day. Went overboard with bananas and avacados and now experience mouth rashes when I ingest them and lastly; was taking perhaps too many probiotics per day as the die off made me feel quite nasty… then again maybe it was the salicyates in the fruit?
My question is would the circles under my eyes and the continued stool rating of #2-3 (constipation) suggest that even though I love my goat yogurt and dry cottage cheese curd that they would be contributing factors? I’ve lost 17 pounds and now weigh 106 so I’m very reluctant to cut out these foods in the beginning stages as I cannot eat eggs or chicken. Your thoughts? And thanks ever so much for posting all this excellent information – my stomach applauds you!!!


Jordan Reasoner August 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Hi Theresa, it sounds like you’re doing great!

I would highly recommend that you test removing all dairy products for 4 days and see if that doesn’t improve your symptoms. Your body will let you know very quickly :-)

In good health,



AJ November 22, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Is dark under eye circles sign off dairy intolerance? I’ve had them for years and never knew why.


Carolyn August 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Hello, I have been reading about your diet and would like to know if it is appropriate for someone who struggles with stomach ulcers? I also am very intolerant to anything containing fructose/fructans. I get confused when I read about h. Pylori and SIBO, is h. Pylori a part of SIBO or is it two separate issues? Would the SCD diet cause the h.pylori to die off?


Steven Wright August 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

@Carolyn – They go hand in hand. The h Pylori lowers acid levels and causes damage that can allow the bacteria to overgrow. In many cases they are seen together. Most people only see results when they use a combo of diet changes usually SCD and Mastic Gum or some other protocol to target the Pylori specifically.


Mylène August 31, 2012 at 9:20 am

Hi Jordan and Steve,

First Thank you so much for all you valuable and priceless info. You make it so much easier to understand and follow this new way of life. I have signe my contract with my husband and starting my new healthy lifestyle this Monday. I am a tough case. I scored 5 yes I have had UC Dx since 2007 at the same time I had a cerebral thrombosis blood clot to the brain due to the pill thank God not repercussions from that event except a good life lesson. I have not been in remission for my UC for years trying from mezavant, imurant purinethol, salofalk, and finally remicade. Looking at now Himura which scares me. I have been at the hospital with high dose of cortisone which is now helping the flare but it is a temporary fix. I am also scared to start this diet and fail as I am love my carbs and the restrictions will be hard. But I am motivated. Th Dr is not behind me for this diet thinking it makes no difference and here in Canada its hard to change GI ! He actually wants me to stop working but I love my job and I am a zumba instructor which is my passion ! They are a great source of support and love ! I hope I will make it through and not fail. Your book so far has provided me step by step ways of suceeding and I hope even if I am a tough case I will find a way ! I will be creating a support page for my friends and forum on an app that we use on ipad or iphone called GI monitor. So who ever wants to join more love and support the better !! Ok enough rambling on ! Thank you so much and any advice or comment would be greatly appreciated !! Wish me luck on Monday !! You guys are AMAZING !


Jordan Reasoner August 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Thank you so much Mylene, you’re amazing. I believe in you and I know you can do this. Give it 30-days and you’ll never look back!

Keep us posted on your progress, I can’t wait to share your success story with everyone :-)

In good health,



Myrna Pouyatt August 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Thanks again, the quiz was great. I had 3 yeses, boo, I am a hard case. Everything with me has been borderline. I had scarlet fever when I was six and nearly died, was given double-dose shots of Streptomyosin( not sure about that spelling). Four years later I was in Riley Hospital for children with a “borderline” case of rheumatic fever and again daily shots of penicillin. I have been tired, really tired my whole life. I am 62 years old and the only thing that has helped me is the SCD. My energy level is so improved, but yes I do have to be careful about even the legal foods. Tried tuna tonight, had panic attack about 10 minutes after eating it. I was taught that means toxic reaction. Maybe the tuna had to much mercury in it for me. I buy a really good brand with no vegetable broth, just water and salt. Won’t be eating that again for a while. I do fine with fruits raw or cooked and most vegetables. Turkey, chicken and cod seem to be the only meats I tolerate well. I do get bored with the diet and stop eating, would rather go hungry than eat another piece of chicken or a turkey burger, but love my vegetables. I pretty much live on squashes. Gets boring. Try to force myself to be thankful for what I can eat, but it does get hard sometimes.


Jordan Reasoner September 1, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Thank you for sharing your results Myrna, you’re doing so well!

I can’t wait to hear more about your progress in the next few months, so keep us posted.

Remember, this diet works, you just have to keep testing and tweaking to find the custom version that works for you.

In good health,



Vibeke September 11, 2012 at 2:07 am

I scored a 3. I have been trying to follow the SCD now for 4 months. i see major improvements. I have 1-2 BM a day and they vary from 5-6 on the Bristol Stool chart (I dream about a 4:). I can still have alot of stomach pain and bloating, nausea and feel like there is too much action in my intestines. But generally I feel just so much better, energywise and moodwise. I have had problems putting on weight for my pregnancy (now 4 1/2 months into my pregnancy) but that also seems to be improving. I eat as much meat as I can and vegetables I can tolerate (have FM). A good advise to others suffering from depression and lack of energy, is to try good quality fishoil, zink and folic acid, that really has got me back on track. I hope to see further improvements over the next 2 years. I don’t stick 100% to the diet, but eat boiled new organic potatoes a few times a week and occasionally eat a piece of dark chocolate. I have cut out all grains, and limit my intake of nuts, SCD kefir youghurt and fruit which I am trying to find my tolerances for at the moment.


Steven Wright September 14, 2012 at 11:37 am

@Vibeke – Thanks for the awesome comment! Keep working hard you’re doing a great thing for you and the baby. I would also check into low acid levels ->


Jane September 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Hi, haven’t been able to afford the book but am trying to stick to the diet through the info I get on the site. Will the gut still heal if you cheat occasionally? We are going on holiday and it will be difficult. I am finding not being able to have at least one cup of tea or coffee with milk very hard!


Steven Wright September 26, 2012 at 9:33 am

@Jane – coffee and tea that has nothing added is allowed. You will not heal the gut if you keep eating grains and other not allowed foods. Strict adherence during the recovery is a must. Once your health is good again then you can try illegal foods.


Andrea June 5, 2013 at 6:10 am

Yeah but what if you don’t have a sensitivity to grains? Or dairy? Some are most sensitive to starches over wheat.

That’s what a Cyrex Lab Test is for. So you can be healthy and have some sort of quality of life as well.


Jane September 27, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Thanks Steve, no chance I can have just a drop if lactose free milk is there , or is that pushing it! I have just had to start some antibiotics grr, what can I do to combat the detrimental effects of these? Thanks for your support!


Steven Wright October 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm

@ Jane – Buckwheat is a grain/seed so it is not allowed on SCD. Lactose free milks are usually heavily fortified with sugar and other handmade additives that can increase gut inflammation. If your serious about it you’ll try alternatives like coconut milk.


Jane September 27, 2012 at 11:24 pm

O by the way Elaine Gottschall does not recommend using buck wheat, so should I refrain from that too.
Thanks heaps


Stephanie October 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Thanks for providing so much insight and information! I scored a 7 and knew I would be a severe case. After 4 years of living with gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying) and getting a feeding tube last year to help gain weight, I developed SIBO and several food intolerances. Now I’m trying to customize my own SCD/GAPS protocol to help heal my gut. It’s difficult when food moves through the stomach so slowly but I’m not giving up! Dairy products, beans and most fruits, especially juice, don’t settle with me so SCD made me nervous. Bone broth and sauerkraut juice along with eggs, chicken, and fish are okay as well as a few cooked, low carb veggies and a few blended fruits. Fats only work in small amounts so giving up grains has been a challenge with the weight loss. You’re interview with Dr. Siebecker was amazing (love her!) and gave me hope. I currently run a support group for those of us with SIBO and Gastroparesis, trying to figure out solutions to these challenges and your website has been a great tool for guidance :)


Steven Wright October 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm

@Stephanie – Thanks for the great comment it helps all of us! My thoughts are with you because I can tell you are pouring so much energy into healing yourself. Sounds like your making progress. You might try coconut oil as about 50% of it needs nothing additional to be absorbed in the upper small intestine. Also stomach acid could be a huge issue for you check out some of the articles I’ve done on that.


Stephanie October 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Thanks for the encouragement Steven! I’m experimenting with HCL supplements and appreciate your articles. Wish I knew this years ago when given PPI’s as a solution to GERD. It’s so sad how so many doctors are misinformed, only making the situation worse for patients. Glad I’ve educated myself now. YES, I love coconut oil and use it for most of my cooking and adding fat! Working on increasing it slowly as the GI tract improves.


Verena October 19, 2012 at 7:36 am

Hi guys,

To be honest I’m not sure exactly how to answer the quiz! I have celiac disease, so food allergies, yes, but it’s the main reason for my health issues, not a symptom, so no. I had lactose intolerance already before being diagnosed and it didn’t completely go away, but I’m much less sensitive now than I used to be before starting the gluten free diet. So still, no.

I also used to have really bad clinical depression, even used to be suicidal when I was a teenager, however that was before I even had any digestive symptoms. I didn’t think it was related but since I started the gluten free diet 3 1/2 years ago, all the real depression is completely gone. I feel that if now I have a bad day, then I’m at sea level, while before the gf diet I was at the bottom of the ocean. So yes, but no again. I had more sea-level days recently, because I was still in a flare, but I wouldn’t call it depression at all. Healing my depression was a great wow effect of the gluten free diet for me. If I were depressed I wouldn’t have been able to start the SCD a few days ago. If you’re clinically depressed, you are paralysed and can do nothing to change your situation.

Similarly I used to have an anxiety disorder, but I haven’t had any of that in at least half a year after reducing stress completely. However, of course I get anxious during yet another flare. So, do you mean clinical depression and anxiety disorder, or do you mean feeling low and a bit afraid that it’s never gonna get better? If you mean the latter I would think that it’s not really a good indicator, because having an illness that is regarded as incurable really can get you down at times – and that’s after all why so many people try SCD. If you mean clinical depression and anxiety disorder, then maybe change the question to whether people are taking / have considered taking anti-depressants or betablockers for the anxiety disorder.

My weight has another bit of a question mark. I was feeling great at the beginning of the year, gained 4 pounds and became a bit cocky, started drinking coffee again although I knew that I don’t tolerate it well. Over half a year it slowly put me into this bad flare and since then I’ve lost 6 pounds. However, if I’m not in a flare, I don’t generally lose weight and have no problem holding my weight. I had the same weight (around 50 kg) for the last 10 years, 52 max, 48 min when I was in a flare. So, yes, but no again.

The only almost clear “yes” would be the skin issues. I always had skin problems, but recently it turned from something resembling mild acne to full blown neurodermatitis. Now if I don’t use hypoallergenic shampoo and shower gel I really start to itch like crazy. I also have constant eczema on one of my legs now. However, I think it’s also because I’ve been living in areas where the water was very harsh. Chlorine and very hard water in England – first 2 years on the gluten free diet -, and here in Germany it’s also very hard water. In fact it got only so bad that I needed the hypoallergenic shampoo when I was back in Germany. My husband also has similar skin issues here, which I wouldn’t think is a coincidence. Since we’re renting we can’t put in a filtering system though to confirm that suspicion. So, again yes, but maybe no?

I would say I’m still a mild case, since I’ve already healed tons on the gf diet and through getting rid of lots of stress factors. Now I usually only get flares when I travel or when I get very little sleep. I’m trying the SCD (day 4) to heal a bit more and get my body a bit more resistent to stress flares. I also would like to start exercising again – whenever I tried it over the last 3 years it pushed me right into another flare. Only last year I managed to get quite a bit of biking done without any ill effects. At the same time running was too much though.

By the way, thank you for all your great work here. Your podcasts helped me a lot these last few days! Learning about SCD was a real revelation – here in Europe it seems to be still largely unknown, especially in Germany. The German translation of Elaine’s book is packed with footnotes full of snide remarks of the translator who tries to disprove her work all the time. Makes for a highly schizophrenic reading! Luckily I didn’t need the translation, but I was seriously hesitating before recommending it to my mum, who also wants to start the diet to help with arthritis and post operation inflammation in one of her wrists which she has been struggling with for years. I’m glad I found Elaine’s book and your website! Suddenly all my remaining health issues make a lot more sense to me. Finally I feel like I’m not so alone with my problems anymore and I have some hope again that I might be able to go back to work eventually. So, thanks guys, you’re awesome!


Jordan Reasoner October 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Hi Verena, so glad you found us! Based on the skin problems, depression, anxiety, and Celiac Disease I would bet you definitely have severe leaky gut to heal up… so you’re a “tough case” for sure.

Your history sounds very similar to mine. I struggled with much of the same issues along the way and a GF diet did not help my gut problems, depression, or skin issues.

I think you’ll see quite a benefit from our tough case meal plans if you’d like some more help figuring out what to eat to get that leaky gut handled:

Keep us posted on how you’re doing,



Lauren November 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm

I only answered yes to one of these questions and believe I am a mild case, for sure. The question I answered yes to was the food intolerances and food allergies question. However, the symptoms that I deal with that I’m ultimately aiming to address exist in an amount of severity. I only recently found out about the chemical underlying cause after finding out that my symptoms have a name, Samter’s triad, characterized by asthma, nasal polyps, and aspirin sensitivity, or salicylates, and I’ve had these symptoms for 4 years after appearing seemingly out of nowhere. Before I discovered this chemical sensitivity, I had adopted a gluten-free diet and experimented with dairy-free, soy-free, yeast-free, and sugar-free, usually with minor improvements in overall wellbeing but never relief from sinus symptoms, and I have taken all sorts of inhaled and sprayed corticosteroids to control symptoms that still ultimately failed, as I’m currently setting up for sinus surgery with the worst case of polyps and chronic infection my sinus specialist has ever seen.

My goal is to prevent them from coming back, so I aim to fix my immune system and my digestive tract. In the 6 months that I’ve played with a Paleo diet, I’ve experienced great overall improvement in vitality, digestion, and environmental allergies. What brought me to learning about SCD and GAPS was continued reactions to sudden new food allergies, like almonds, and continued intolerance responses to things like alcohol, as well as the continued issues around worsening polyps. It’s actually quite obvious to me that I likely caused my recent 3 month long polyp overwhelm and infection when I started using high salicylate foods in a strong re-committal to cooking strictly Paleo. In moving forward, I’m faithful in combining a reduced/low salicylate diet with SCD, bone broths, l-glutamine, pro-biotics, and enzymes. But I’m nervous as I haven’t seen a lot of others struggling with my exact issue, so support feels a bit minimal. Have you heard of this condition dealt with via SCD and GAPS before?

I’ve also been told that as I gear up for surgery I don’t have much of a choice but to take an intense antibiotic as my sinus cavities are 100 percent filled with infected fluid and polyps. I have a personal rule at this point about not taking antibiotics unless I am preventing imminent death, but considering the high risk of brain infection if left untreated, I think this counts. I’m mostly concerned about the effects on the gut and the prospect of worsening its permeability. I’m also on 10mg of prednisone a day until surgery which keep my polyps small enough that I can function, and I know prednisone to have an awful effect on gut lining as well. I have read various opinions about alternating antibiotics with probiotics- some that support this measure, and some that tell you to wait until after the antibiotics. What do you guys think? Any specific advice for someone in my position?

Thank you so much for the information you provide on your website, you’ve been an invaluable resource for support!


Jordan Reasoner November 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Hi Lauren, I think SCD will really help with inflammation and leaky gut, but I also think you need to listen to this podcast with Steve and Chris:

In good health,



Duncan Green August 28, 2015 at 9:55 am

Hi Lauren,

I too suffer with Samters and, like you, have tried many variations of diet to try to improve things. One thing worth considering is that the volume of salicylates you consume may not be the primary driver of your inflammation. In my experience reducing sals levels had a fairly minor effect but limiting PUFA omega-6 intake was far more significant.

My own theory on this is that you will never be able to reduce the level of arachidonic acid in your system far enough to damp down the inflammation if your ratio n-6:n-3 fatty acids is skewed. The next logical step is to try to reduce those substances that ‘amplify’ your inflammatory response.

For example, if we theorize that those with Sampters have a x5 multiplier on their inflammatory response then this could potentially be offset to some degree by adjusting the omega ratio downwards in proportion. If you could rebalance n-6:n:3 to a 4:1 ratio then I think it would be more beneficial than limiting sals intake.

Good luck


Laura December 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I just listened to your podcast on SCD, GAPS and Paleo! Wow, that really clarified some stuff for me!! I am listening to the podcast on FODMAPS as well, will finish that tonight. I got home after listening to the first podcast and looked up this quiz. Scored a 7. After listening to the first podcast, it became clear that my cousin knows my body better than me!! lol! She kept telling me that body just doesn’t seem to handle raw food as it makes me so nauseous. I can only do salad once in a while without feeling ill. Of course Paleo/Primal is Kale, Spinach, Asparagus etc etc etc and fats, oh my, I haven’t felt wonderful at all but I persevered because that is what I thought I had to do. I didn’t even consider that I needed to tailor my eating to my body. I have been eating Paleo and just only recently started FODMAPS. But your podcast opened my eyes as did this quiz. I do believe now that SCD is for me. I plan to start on January 2. I know folks would say that if I wanted to heal I need to start now but I know myself and my schedule. I need to focus on healing with little stress. All of my adult kids are coming home with better halves beginning tomorrow till January 2….Paleo I can do for the time being and just deal with the digestive stress until then. You guys have made so much sense! Thank you so much!


Wendy December 25, 2012 at 10:05 am

Hi Steve and Jordan,
I had 6 yeses. I have been battling ulcerative colitis for over 20 years. I have taken tons of prednisone and asacol. I was finally put on Remicade, but that did not work either. The asacol and Remicade together actually gave me pericarditis so I stopped all meds and will be starting the SCD tomorrow. Wish me luck.


Healthyleanfit January 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

5- tough case- no surprise here!


RH January 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Hi I am a mother of two and I have hereditary bowel issues from my mother’s side of the family, aunty with Crohn’s. I scored 1 for the food intolerances and my sons are not good with gluten and dairy, they get constipation quite easily as do I. Recently we have had a problem with worms, not sure if we more susceptible because of our bowels? I am finding it hard to manage the cooking, gets quite busy with two little ones. I also have sensory processing disorder which makes daily living a struggle. I am extremely exhausted all the time, even though I am quite fit from surfing almost every day. Can you please suggest some recipes that don’t require too much time and effort. Also that little ones can eat easily. Mostly breakfast and lunch difficult. Thanks for your time.


Gillian January 11, 2013 at 12:53 am

Hi, I answered a resounding Yes to to anxiety/depression question. There was only one other question which I wasn’t sure whether the answer was Y or N- the one about food intolerances/allergies.
Does this make me a mild or tough case?
All other questions were a definite NO.
ps. Have been on the SCD intro and phase 1 for a month now and symptoms have improved remarkably – THANK YOU!!


Steven Wright January 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm

@Gillian – Maybe is about the best I can do for you. Brain problems are always related to hormonal issues so it’s likely that further testing and tweaking will be even more helpful. Great job so far!


Elise January 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Hi Steve and Jordan,
Thanks for all the great info and wisdom! I scored a 5 on this quiz. I’ve only started following you recently so I have not followed SCD per se, but I’ve been heavily involved in the Paleo community for about 8 months. The first I’d heard of you was on Sean Croxton’s Real Food Summit last year :)

Anyway, I wouldn’t say that I follow any particular “diet.” I read constantly and am always looking at the different lifestyles out there, usually Paleo/Primal-ish and Vegan-ish. Currently I’m trying JJ Virgin’s plan because I’m a firm believer that food intolerance(s) is the cause of my symptoms – mostly acne and gas/bloating. Trouble is, this diet isn’t really working for me!! So I know I still have a ways to go in figuring out my personal body chemistry. I’m going to schedule an appointment with a functional MD and probably order your books as well.

Thanks again! I’m always pushing “alternative” methods/therapies to anyone who listens :)


Jen January 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I scored a 4. I have suffered chronic constipation, bloating, poor sleep all of my 52 years. I had tried everything on the market. Been to numerous doctors. I had one doctor send me off for a Barium enema ( wasn’t that fun) and told me that the results showed that I had too many S bends and a remedy was to have a meter or so of my bowel removed. Glad I didn’t choose that option. In my 40’s I decided to go seek the help of a Naturopath. She put me on a blood type diet, which helped with the extra weight i was carrying but not the constipation. Finally in the last 8 months I have been seeing another Naturopath who has taken my problems by the horns and doing lots of investigations. One of the tests she had me do was a Methane Breath Test which showed the level of bacteria the bowel is producing. There was my problem. I am on a herb which is trying to put life back into my colon and to wake it up. I have only been on the SCD for a couple of weeks and find it a struggle as I have always been a sugar addict and love all my diary products. I would love this diet to be successful so I am trying extremely hard to have some sort of self control. But with the love and support of my family I hope to succeed.


Steven Wright January 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm

@Jen- I love your dedication stick with it! Have you read this post yet ->


Sally January 22, 2013 at 7:10 am

I finally went to a naturopathic doctor to help with IBS that I have been suffering with for years.. She recommended the SCD and also a round of Xiflaxin, after testing to see if I tested positive for the offending bacteria. I quit drinking coffee, have been very strictly doing the SCD diet, and feel 98% better! It is really quit amazing to me. I never thought that I would ever feel ‘normal’. I have been doing a non-strict (cheating with pizza) Paleo diet for years. About a year ago, I started the Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet. Are you familiar with it? It is Paleo but adds in rice and potato….he says that adding these starches in small amounts can help with certain conditions like dry eye syndrome, which I have. Since doing the SCD diet for about a month now, my dry eye symptoms have remained the same, which is slightly improved. What are your thoughts on the PHD? Also….giving up coffee has made a huge difference in my symptoms. Never thought I could do it though…..I have to stop my car from pulling into Dunkins every day!! Thank you guys for all of your support and help in our search for wellness.


Sooz January 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Having Type 1 diabetes and mild Lupus, I strongly suspected Celiac when I started having more serious belly issues late last year. I scored 5 on your test, yet I had already embarked on a gluten-free eating plan and also found I had to go dairy-free. I saw almost immediate results. I didn’t know I was basically eating very similar to SCD. I had already been doing low-ish carb for years, and sometimes Paleo, so the change wasn’t so difficult. Can have soft eggs but not hard, can eat salads without symptoms, and had to tweak other things a little here and there, but it’s working so well! I’m now about 2 months in and unless I get accidentally glutened or unknowingly have dairy (24 hours of symptoms), you wouldn’t believe I’d been so sick at the end of last year! Probably not going to a gastroenterologist anytime soon – not prepared to go back to eating like before and have have symptoms just for a diagnosis, when I already have the remedy! Thank you for all the information you’ve provided!


Cinda Alspaugh February 12, 2013 at 11:48 am

Our 12 year old scored a 4. He’s a tough case. We don’t really have a diagnosis. He has the celiac gene pair and we went gluten free two years ago. GI only did an upper GI with small bowel follow through. After eight weeks we thought we were home free. This past October his severe cramping started again. He’ll get constipated despite daily movements. At first the pediatrician gave him Miralax, but he ended up with 11 days of diarrhea. He’s lost weight and has grown so he’s way too thin. We went paleo and are taking a number of supplements and he hasn’t gotten any relief. We’re waiting on results for food intolerance tests to see if eggs or almonds are an issue. I don’t know if we should see GI next or jump in with SCD first. His health is really effecting our lives.


Steven Wright February 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm

@Cinda – Sorry to hear about your son, it’s likely he has some kind of GI infection parasite/bacteria etc. I’d get some advanced testing done with Biohealth and Metametrix labs. We can help you with that if needed. ->


sophie v andaele February 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm

I had 6 times yes, but yet, my doctor already told me i have a leaky gut. Un fortunately, her in Belgium, regular doctors laugh the term (leaky gut) away, they don’t believe it exists !! Can you imagine ??? I have lupus, hashimoto, Adisson and spasmen.
I really would like to hear more from you , guys , about leakygut ( I take probiatics for two years and my stool is much much better !) and how to combine it with SCD diet.
Un fortunately , being sick costs a lot of money and I’m not able to bye your guide any further, hopefully later on ??
but thanks for the start !
Sophie vandaele
[email protected]


Cindy February 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm

So many people on here seem to have Celiac symptoms. Shouldn’t they get tested??


Kim March 15, 2013 at 8:35 am

I am 42, was diagnosed with Crohn’s when I had a small bowel resection at 30. I believe my Crohn’s was caused by a year on Acutane acne medication at 17 since there is no family history of Crohn’s. My symptoms for 18 years have been occasional constipation that I treat with stool softeners and occasional (1-2 year) blockages that I get through at home with pain meds and patience. I have been on Pentasa, Imuran and Endocort, none of which seemed to help. Since having 2 children (and symtom-free during pregnancy and nursing), now my symptoms are upper stomach pressure, pain and belching, and side discomfort where the sm bowel is inflammed. The upper stomach pain and bloating progresses as the day goes and is worse from 5-8 pm. It subsides at night when I lay down to sleep. The GI Doctor wants to to now try Remacaid and I would much rather change my diet (or do anything else!). I have been on the SCD diet for a week now, following it 100%, and all symptoms have gotten a little worse. Foods on the short-term do not seem to change my symptoms so I have been unable to “know” what bothers me. I’ve gone Gluten and Dairy Free for a year and felt great, but was disappointed when the colonoscopy came back horrible and the Dr yelled at my for not being on my meds. Back on the meds I went, then went off them when I got pregnant for my first baby. Now, 2-years post pregnancies, I am struggling with the pain and knowing what to do next. Help! :/


Tricia Bogan March 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I think I am a tough case. I have Celiac Disease. I started the diet and felt somewhat better. I am on Phase one and haven’t gone to the bathroom in a week. The inflamation seems to be a bit better but still a lot of gas in my stomach that just sits there. I don’t understand what you mean by a custom diet. I am trying to follow your diet but how do I know how to customize it?


Jenn April 16, 2013 at 11:33 am

Listened to your podcast this a.m. and was super excited to take your quiz! Even more excited to see that I didnt have to pay for it :) I started changing my eating habits after I had my son in attempt to get my pre prego body back. I started the program “beyondDiet”. At first I think the hardest thing was changing my eating habits (because I ate out a lot!). But once I got into it I was doing great! I was losing weight and feeling good. Then all of a sudden my stomach was a wreck. Out of no where. I was confused because I, like many, thought that if I am eating this healthy I should not feel this crumby. My energy levels were low and I was having diarrhea several times a day. I was becoming depressed because I couldnt understand how someone eating so healthy could feel worse than when I ate fast food all the time! So i did my research and ended up trying out some supplements. I got a great probiotic and a greens drink to ensure I was getting my proper nutrients. (Did I mention I am breastfeeding the entire time? To a baby with food allergies- dairy, eggs, nuts.) The greens helped with energy but I was still having gut issues. The probiotics seemed to help with the gut issues. I think overall the issue I was having was a reaction to grains. I was eating oatmeal every morning. This wasnt bad, at first. But then one day out of no where my body just gave in a had awful diarrhea for three days straight. I thought maybe I was sick but there were no other symptoms. I felt fine otherwise. After starting a food journal I came to the conclusion that grains were the culprit. I can eat them now occasionally but not without having ick gas. I am still in the process of getting my body right but I have to agree with what you all said… the lifestyle changes we make are not as simple as following the same chart. These have to be personalized to your individual body needs. I am still confused as to why I struggle more now than I did before I started this change. I ended up being a mild case (thank goodness) but even in a mild case you can still feel pretty crumby. None of the docs I see around here have any answers. I am still debating whether or not I need to see a GI specialist. Its easy to get discouraged when your regular physician cant even help.


Cathryn April 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I am a tough case and need help. Diagnosed with celiac in Nov and have been gluten free since; however I still am crippled with stomach pain after eating fruits and some raw veg. I’ve been to a dietician who was zero help and I am still deficient in many vitamins and minerals. I am also still very underweight which tells me im not absorbing much of anything…? My family and I are so tired of me being sick and don’t know what else to do.


janie May 28, 2013 at 8:50 am

you sound like me. i have been gf for 12 years, dairy-free for 3. stopped going to my gastro after 3 years of mostly no help (some worked, then stopped working). Align did do wonders for my gas. my next step is trying scd diet and my next doctor will be a natureopath. also went to dietician, but i felt like she didn’t know much more than i did. i need someone really skilled. i also feel like i have to be really careful eating fruits and veggies. I also feel like rice settles my stomach, but i’m willing to try anything at this point including scd. also you are not on gf diet that long. it takes a while. and you can’t cheat at all. i am also very vitamin-deficient. please let me know of any improvements you have. you were the only post who sounded like me.


Angel April 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm

My name is Angel and I was diagnosed with Chrons disease in 2011. I was able to achieve remission via medication for a year and a half. Since September of last year I have been on a downwards spiral of health with this flare from health. Since the I have been givin Humira ontop of Asacol Imuran and the dreadful prednisone with no luck whatsoever. This past month I decided that I can no longer perform my work duties due to all the urges of going to the bathroom. I have not been able to see a stool in months and when I do go, all you see is blood and mucous. At the beginning of this month, I decided to get the Breaking the vicious cycle book and give the SCD diet a real chance. I started the intro diet and stayed on it for seven days and no luck. I have lost a ton of weight and I am very scared. I need help.


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Dinosore June 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I also scored an unfortunate 5. I have had ulcerative colitis for over 20 years and have just stumbled across scd purely by accident. My healthcare professionals have always assured me that my diet does not affect my U/C. Change is long overdue for me and I am currently reading my first scd book. I’m learning and excited to start.


christina July 3, 2013 at 1:15 am

I have four yes, I guess i’m a tough case. I have been trying to get my weight back on, it is frustrating to look like your dying or don’t eat when you eat all the time.


Steven Wright July 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Well it sounds like your taking the right steps next up get your hormones tested. We can help you gain weight in our consulting program if your looking for more assistance.


Kate July 9, 2013 at 11:59 am

I’m my husband’s “primary care provider” in charge of his diet regimen, cooking and what not. We started the SCD diet two weeks ago and haven’t seen any changes.

“The bottom line is: you need to follow a different protocol with more customization than a mild case does.” So, where do I get this information? In your book? How much information is included on tough cases?


Steven Wright July 10, 2013 at 11:20 am

Yep I’d say start with our eBook and tough case meal plan. Also read this >


Ashley August 8, 2013 at 10:43 am

Hi guys,

I just started the SCD diet and I’m really struggling with eating enough. I have no energy, can barely walk up the stairs and I’m not focusing at work. I have been eating eggs and chicken soup as per Elaine but had to start adding some cooked vegetables and fruit for carbs; I really want to bake but I’m afraid of my fat malabsorption. I can’t tolerate nuts at all or peanut butter, and even avocados and EVOO can set me off. I feel like there really isn’t much left to eat. I actually hate eggs and I don’t like meat so I’m afraid I’ll lose my motivation to do this. Do you know if coconut flour is easier on fat malabsorbers? Easier than peanut or almond at least? Is almond flour as difficult to digest as butters? I don’t need to eat a lot, I just need something I enjoy.

Also, do you know the science behind my enzymes switching to fat digestion? I don’t understand how someone who can’t digest fats is magically going to switch to only digesting fats and proteins. Is this something the body naturally acclimates to?

Thank you so much, I really want this to work for my SIBO and general misery and I’m afraid of getting discouraged too soon!!


Steven Wright August 9, 2013 at 7:48 am

Hey Ashley – great job getting started. Pick up some Klaire labs digestive enzymes or digest gold right away to help with the fat malabsoprtion. Coconut flour seems the easiest. But I’d focus on meats first and keep adding digestive aids like enzymes or HCL as needed.


jacki August 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm



Tasha August 16, 2013 at 11:30 am

I’m a tough case because I rely heavily on magnesium citrate in order to keep bowel movements happening! I’ve always experienced a lot of anxiety & depression in the past, but it’s been better recently. As a child, I had periods of constipation (difficulty going, but I ultimately would not go more than 2 days without a BM) very regularly. I never told anyone because I didn’t realize it was abnormal. After college, I gained some unwanted weight and went Paleo. It helped, but I struggled with what was diagnosed as a candida overgrowth. That went away with a lot of natural supplements, but then I was completely constipated! I could go up to a week without a BM, but with a frequent urge to go. Epsom salts got things moving, but I spent a year trying to find supplements that might help. In the meantime, I was bloated & gassy all the time. I think starches were causing my gut bacteria to go crazy.

I just started the intro SCD this week and I’m amazed. It’s still not perfect, but I’ve been able to have a BM everyday. I still take some magnesium citrate, but I don’t have any gas or bloating like I used it. I’m using digestive enzymes at the start of meals and having ginger or peppermint tea after/between. My seasonal allergies were even better this week, until I had yogurt! I just made a batch of 24-hr yogurt, but it looks like I may have a casein sensitivity so it will have to wait :(. Too bad, because I really love yogurt.


Bj August 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm

This was great information (I thought I was a mild case). Now I realize I am a tough case, with 6 yes answers. My question is, does it matter WHICH questions we answer. I have no energy, bloating, can’t lose weight, gas, I am taking meds for depression and anxiety, I have moderate acne on and off, and I have tried many natural diet treatments which have not worked on these symptoms. So my symptoms seem to be throughout my body, not just the digestive system.


Steven Wright September 3, 2013 at 10:01 am

This is very very common. This is why we started our consulting program to help heal all the body systems that breakdown not just the GI.


Michelle September 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Hi Steve,
My case is that for pretty much of my life I have dealt with chronic constipation. I have, in the past 2 years resorted to using at home distilled water only, enemas, I see a naturpath and 2 1/2 years ago was diagnised with Hashimotos I am taking 88mcg of levethyroxine it is a fairly low dose which is important to me as I really have not been one to need a lot of medications or even want to try medication for things outside of more natural remedies. I am due for my yearly and have emailed my naturaopath about discussing natural thyroid meds at that Febuary but until then for the constipation, I am trying psyllium husk flakes once a day (1tbs. ) and just statred a week ago, I am experiencing some pains, not terrible, just feels like after I have a suppository induced, bowel movement that my colon is sore like after a workout. I am curious if the SCD diet would really work and help with a self motivated BM on a regular basis? I would sure appreciate any input you may have for me.
Sincerely, Michelle


Juliet October 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I answered Yes to 11 of the questions!!!!! Oh my! Is it too late for me? Am I going to end up having colon removed regardless of what I try!!!!!????? Certainly scared now if I wasn’t before! :(


Graham October 22, 2013 at 5:33 am

I scored 6 Steven, not good.
I have had a rash in my groin area for the last 6 years and seen multiple Dr,and been told
on numerous times I have, cut to the chase xyz and so on.
no creams work, been to so many witch doctors and been told that many story.
now 4 years on the rashes have worked its way down my inner legs and around to my back side.
I found a herbal drug called PAREX buy Metagenics, this keeps the rashes away, but i have to keep taking them every day.
I also suffer bloating and mild bleeding from the rectum, only when constipated
can you help me


Diane Garski November 12, 2013 at 11:41 am

Can you explain the difference between Berberine HCL and Betaine HCL. I am now back on Betaine for low stomach acid. By the way does it ever make it where we have enough stomach acid and can quit?
My Dr. recently told me to take Berberine HCL that is why I am asking.


Jean Bettis November 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I scored a 7 on the quiz. I bought and downloaded your book so I am in the process of reading it and plan on trying the SCD diet soon. I have IBS, GERD and SIBO which comes from my gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying). Food sits in my stomach for too long and ferments. Have you worked with anyone who has gastroparesis? Has this diet worked for them? I have a lot of abdominal pain, bloating and gas.


Steven Wright November 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Yes we have Jean. Make sure to go read the articles on Low stomach acid.


at November 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm


I gave myself a score of 4 yes`s:
1. Food intolerances(according to my conventional doctor I don`t have allergies)
2. Anxiety/depression(At times I sertainly get really anxious and depressed)
3. I am on GAPS now, and I am disappointed in the fact that my energy is so low, and I was doing the raw vegan diet for 7 years before that, which ended up failing me, reason why I am on gaps now, but it`s just been really intense to have so little energy, especially when I have eaten so pure for so long, but I guess it doesn`t matter if it is the “wrong” kind of pure..
4. Tried to loose weight

Looking at it now I might also give me the:
5. Moderate acne/skin issues
6. Have tried lots of different supplements and healthy lifestyle choices(don`t drink or smoke, don`t drink coffee or tea(exept herbal tea), have been outside in nature more than 50% of my time the last 2 years and done healing things for the whole being.

I liked the questions.

It made me happy by the fact that I do not do any conventional drugs, I only do nature remedies, and it felt like a confirmation that choosing abstinence from such is a powerful and important think to do for me

It made me happy also the point about anxiety and depression. I watched an awful health documentary a few years ago, that pointed out how litterarily anybody would turn up as depressed and get meds on tests provided to the public, and how the meds would screw people over. I know that there is alot of emotional unbalance, just cause the world is crazy, but I also like that I can hope to feel better once my gut is healing – so the remedy exists and can benefit all humans, and that felt hopeful to me.

More or less, the points just reminded me how much I have not known my whole life, and how I might have been more gentle with myself and others if I knew what unbalance in the gut can do to our weight, emotions, digestion, skin, etc.

I feel like this knowledge really would benefit people to know – so every posting that suggests the gut – wealth connection I think is great!

Thank you!


Steven Wright November 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Great job taking action can’t wait to hear what happens when you try some of our strategies to heal yourself.


Michelle November 15, 2013 at 10:27 pm

I am 32 and developed severe heartburn earlier this year after clean eating and losin weight. Weird right? Well that quickly turned into horrible heart palpitations in the middle of the night and anxiety attacks. I have never had anxiety before. Doctors discover I have gallstones and an inflamed gallbladder. I have it removed and do well bowel wise. No dumping syndrome, etc. however the extreme belching/anxiety/heart stuff continues. I cut out gluten. Improvement. No more anxiety attacks. I have texted it three times now and every time I have even a small amount of gluten within 24 hours I have an attack. Is this common?

I answered 2 yes. Food intolerance and anxiety. I know they are tied. The belching is better, but by no means gone. I belch all day and even at night. So frustrating. Reflux gone with removal of gluten. I’ve never had constipation and I still don’t. I am hopeful this diet works. I feel like I must have some leaky gut. I have recently cut out sugar because I began having anxiety attacks with it as well. Any tips appreciated. I take a good probiotic now, b complex, vit d3 and magnesium. Thanks!


Karen November 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I scored 5 yes answers. I have been thinking of calling for a consult for a number of months. I started having dairy problems 13 yrs ago, and went off gluten a year and a half ago. All was good for a few months then it started again. So I did an ALCAT test which told me why I kept having Diarrhea (MANY food intolerances). I do better when taking probiotics, but I am out right now. And I also do better when I take Psyllium. But I cannot eat very many foods. And I am afraid my everyday raw spinach in the old vita-mix with fruit will give me kidney stones.

I know my gut is messed up and my food intolerances have increased. Every time I look at a diet that I agree with in principle, I see some problem foods I can’t eat, then I get stuck. And when I try some foods I haven’t had for a long time – I have a bad round of “D” and feel depressed.I have skin problems; hives from the sun and mild pressure rashes. I have some hair loss which drives me crazy.

Is the consult costly and do I have to do it in the daytime (when I am usually at work?) I have no vacation days left since I am using them up 4 hours at a time driving 3 hours north every month (plus) to take my diabetic/stroke-victim sister to the eye doctor, so it would be great if I could talk to someone in the evening.


Lisa January 16, 2014 at 12:04 pm

My son and husband have similar stories. They both have intolerances of eggs and milk. Diarrhea with both. My husband had severe acne as a teen and has mild acne still as an adult. My son has what I would call moderate acne with the possibility of severe depending on exercise. Both are susceptible to bouts of diarrhea if something they ingest doesn’t agree with them. I have them both on high grade probiotics and we eat a great deal of scd/paleo type foods. Although my son eats at school and I can’t keep him from eating junk every now and then. Neither are on any medications. Would they be mild or severe? Do you have tips on how to implement the diet with kids who attend school and busy families? Thank you.


Darla January 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm

I scored a 3 on the test. I truly believe that after just one week on the SCD, it can work. I realize I need to heal my gut in order to put everything else in-line. My most obvious manifestation of poor health is Uveitis. I really hope my journey leads me to healing my eyes.


Mags Buxton January 28, 2014 at 7:05 am

only a one yes as my constipation went after I was fully on gluten Free diet.
Diagnosed Coeliac in 1995 and complied with always eating gluten free since. I have had bouts of many trips to the bathroom over the last two years and was told ‘it is just a bug’
in june 2013 this ‘bug last 5 days and stopped eating all milk and milk products. Immediate improvement and felt so much better, but still getting this ‘bug’ and was referred to Consultant. went through 5 tests and as these tests were spread over 4 months and i was still with the ‘problem’ I lost 1 1/2 stone and by November I was just so weak My family demanded The Doctor visit. The first thing the Doctor said ‘I have read your notes’ wonferdful!! ‘Were you told that you may have bacterial overgrowth at ant time during your test?’ I said it was just mentioned in passing but I was not aware it was important as it is not mentioned in any of the test I have taken.
I was put on a 7 day antibiotic and whew!!! what a wonderful difference this made. It took me about 3 weeks to feel my strength was coming back.
Now I am very concerned that this SIBO may come back. I am getting older now and I am so active in making things/gardening and repairing my drive and refurbishing a dutch cart etc!! I do not want to be ill. Gluten free gave me a wonderful past nearly 20 years of good active life and I am so choice of my wellness I am desperate not to lose it.
I now eat no processed food at all. Bread comes in the form of flour GF and I bake my own mostly.I have many historical food allergies and stick to steak & salad when eating out.
Thank you for allowing me to read this page & I hope the dietitian will give me extra guidance.


Bryce February 11, 2014 at 9:54 am

I don’t really want to just complain about my health but nobody wants to hear it anymore. I can’t figure it out. I want to start SCD but it’s going to severely aggravate my close friends and family as it’s just another diet change to go with the 10’093’943’234 I have already attempted. One week I can’t do gluten, then a year later it’s dairy, then I go vegan, then back onto meat and eggs, then out with the eggs, out with the meat, in with the dairy, out with the corn, out with the soy, in with the healthy fats, out with the fruit, out with the nightshades and so on, until I have no friends left. SCD for me is my last attempt at fixing things before I just take a knife and cut my gut out. I can’t take this anymore.


Em March 4, 2014 at 11:21 am

I didn’t think I would be considered a “tough case”, honestly.
I have one known food intolerance (dairy) and have been a little disappointed after trying to go Paleo. I still don’t feel optimal and deal with mild constipation, so I’m trying to tweak my diet even further to see if there’s anything else I may be reacting to. Thanks for the post!


Megan March 7, 2014 at 3:45 pm

I definitely am a tough case. I have been sick for several months, and it all started with odd bowel movements, the kind that stick to the bowl and then severe, chronic constipation. No doctors can figure out what is wrong with me, however, I suspect SIBO and I battled to get antibiotics to treat it but finally managed to do so and am taking them and my pain is virtually gone WHILE following SCD diet. Without the SCD diet I have a lot of pain, especially eating foods high in sugar and carbs. Fruit is off limits for me and I am doing the intro SCD diet. Sure it is hard at first but you get used to it and not having pain is totally worth it! I was taking a lot of hydromorphones for my pain and now I’m down to hardly any at all! I was just in emergency a few days ago because of my pain and no bowel movements for 6 days and they didnt even bother to help me or comment on whether or not I had SIBO, they didnt even know what I was talking about! I have the SCD diet to thank for my relief of symptoms!


Tammy March 9, 2014 at 6:39 am

I have been on a gluten free, dairy free, soy free diet since November last year and knew that this would say I was a tough case – I would have improvements and then things would go backwards again no matter what I did. I was told that I probably do have SIBO – I am a type 1 diabetic on insulin and with all the diet changes I found my sugars constantly went low and needed a lot of insulin adjustment – add to that the weight loss that was occurring and things were difficult. Obviously to treat these low sugar levels I needed to eat high GI carbohydrates but had been advised to stop fruit and other fast acting carbs (monosaccharides). Any increase in starch of any form resulted in me doing very badly – I would immediately get depressed and angry within hours of eating these foods.

It was with some relief that I found the specific carbohydrate diet and while I have not been following it as written (because of the insulin issues I am actually unable to follow it completely as written), I am using the legal and illegal lists to keep things going. So far I have been relatively pleased with the results – it has again caused trouble with the sugars but this is normal as I figure out how to work the insulin with the dietary changes. Also being able to eat monosaccharides means I can treat lows when necessary.

I do have problems gaining weight now though as I inject insulin based on carbohydrates and naturally what I am eating now is fairly low in carbohydrates – the less insulin I inject the more weight I lose and I have reached a point where I cannot afford to lose anymore weight. I think I still have a lot more playing with this diet to do to find out what will work but in general the digestive issues I was showing have improved a lot and I am less depressed and have more energy than I used to, my basal insulin rates are lower than they have been in a while which shows that there is less inflammation.


Crohns battle March 28, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Help someone you know who has Crohns. Tell them about this


cindy April 8, 2014 at 3:50 am

sad to say I had 6 yes am eager to do something. cheers cindy


Trudy April 13, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Thanks for the book and this post. I have been dealing with Dermatitis Herpetiformis, The ‘Gluten Rash’ since October,w hen it first appeared. I had been trying to go gluten-free, and week after week I added new items to my “Foods to Avoid” list. Then I found your site.

I tried the intro diet, and I am really confused, which is not a good place to be just starting out. The first two days I was extremely tired, and suffered from brain fog, which I attributed to die-off. That ended, and so did my digestive issues. I have no pain, no gas, no bloating. And one other remarkable improvement – the pain in my elbows is also gone.

But my rash is getting worse. There doesn’t seem to be any information about this on your website. And I had always assumed that the rash was really just a reflection of the condition of my small intestine.

My question is – if my rash is getting worse, is it from die-off? I am on Day 5 now, and had added in squash. Or is it something I am eating from the intro-diet that is making the rash worse? Is the only way to tell is to hold where I am, and start eliminating a food 4 days at a time, to see if the rash improves? Or will the healing of my skin happen very gradually over time, same as my small intestine?

It really has been aggravated, since the end of Day 3. But I have always thought that the rash occurred about a couple days after digestion, since it takes a while after eating anything to get through the system, and enter the bloodstream, and come out through the skin.

Should I continue to add new vegies, or just hold here, until I test all the foods on the intro diet? That seems wrong, as it could take months for the gut to completely heal, and the rash to disappear completely as well. If I ignore the DH rash as a symptom of how I am reacting to a food, what kind of signs am I looking for that the food is not well tolerated? Confused, confused, confused…

I could really use some feedback here on this.


elizabeth May 2, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Hi Guys,
Intresting quiz, before I took it I thought I would be a ‘mild’ case as I dont suffer from crohns. However after, I realized I was like your second example of a tough case. Then reading over some of the comments (such as Christines) I realized my case may be tougher then i thought, but that I am in the same boat as many. Some details: I have had light to sever eczema since I was 18 (nw 27) and stomach issues along with allergizes all my life. I had always chalked it up to genetics but after I had my son my health started to go down hill quick. I thought it was due to my body healing from the pregnancy but after some time of continuous lack of energry, stomach upset at literally everything I ate, insomnia,and the worst raw itchy weepy eczema to dry arthritic psirosis I knew somthing was not right. I have been seeing an acupuncturist for over a year now and while she has definitely helped, at best it would keep symptoms at bay. I reasearched and I have a sneaking suspicion I may have leaky gut and perhaps celiac (have not made it to docs to confirm). my cousin told meabout elianes book and I started up right away. Only to get confused! luckly I found ur website,got ur ebook and started over. I have already started feeling better! The inflammation is going dwn! (also ihave been gluten free for over 9 months and on the 10 of april went grain n sugar free). Thank you for doing all the hard work and research to help all of us who suffer so! However, I have many questions regarding the diet still but money is tight due to the high cost of doc bills and healthy eating. Do you have an email where we can communicate with you both to ask questions and get help? I would love to just get ur opinion as to the small tweaks I should be making so as to be doing this diet just right for me n my health! Again, can not thank u both enough! I do have my bad days but this is the best I have felt in some time! which means the world when ur a stay at home mom chasing a toddler around and finally have the energy and want to do so! Many Thanks, Elizabeth.


MaryEllen May 23, 2014 at 10:48 am

I scored a two so am a tough case. I have been diagnosed celiac, soy allergy, RA (was on Enbrel 4 years, recently stopped), fibromyalgia, IBS, Leaky Gut, SIBO, h.pylori, hypothyroidism, dysautonomia and something called EPI (exocri e pancreatic insufficiency for which I take prescription strength enzymes ). The Leaky Gut had been cleared up but then took 2 rounds antibiotics for a recalcitrant case of bronchitis and am now allergic to dairy and I don’t think it is lactose intolerance as Lactaid did not help. The bloat is painful. I eat a whole foods, home cooked diet of fairly simple organic, grass fed foods ( not completely paleo ) but still have issues. Small amount of meat is ok but any more and I am up in the night to see and have insomnia. Just recently found a new functional medicine doc/ nutritionist and am awaiting results of tests. I don’t seem to be able to figure out what foods I can and cannot eat except for the dairy. Those reactions happened within an hour of eating them, yet I seem to be able to eat Greek yogurt without pain. I don’t understand that…..


Leanne June 27, 2014 at 8:39 am

Thanks Steve for this quiz. I have been sick severely for 4 years. The joint pain was agonizing! Doctors wanted to give me the traditional medications. I refused. I kept searching, researching relentlessly. Two weeks ago I found SIBO information. I knew the diet was for me. Just this morning….I got up out of bed….inflammation 90% gone. I can walk again! No words to describe the joy of pain free movement after 4 years of hell. I will never go off this diet!


Cheryl Jacobson July 8, 2014 at 6:29 am

Is leaky gut caused by consuming GMO foods?


Brent Kovacs July 8, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Hi Cheryl, yes it has been documented in the research as being one of the many factors either directly causing or contributing to leaky gut. Since there are so many variables, it’s typically very difficult to pinpoint just one factor that causes it in most people.


Joyce rein July 11, 2014 at 7:04 am

I answered yes to 2 – no treatment has worked and various food allergies. I relate most to the last story (mild case) but from experience I know my healing won’t be a quick fix. I tried the full SCD diet and now I know I need to start with the intro and carefully add. Thanks for all of your help!


Joyce rein July 11, 2014 at 7:44 am

Also, I forgot to mention – I’ve been diagnosed with Lyme disease and was treated with heavy antibiotics. My new dr has said that my main complaint (constant stomach pain and increasing intolerances for about 5 years) is due to SIBO. Really hoping god uses this diet to help me feel better!!


Liz Stockbridge July 29, 2014 at 2:28 am

I scored 7! Tough case indeed… Been a tricky road to this point and I am very interested in SCD and making the change. I find, apart from the bleeding, pain, toileting, soreness and the various surgeries I’ve had, I am exhausted. I just want to sleep through. I am scared to eat most days because I don’t know what will happen and urgent toileting episodes mean that I am a step away from humiliation most days. SCD seems the answer but again I’m scared of how it will affect me. The problem is I need to eat “stodgy” foods to stop the diarrhoea and “healthy” to help Crohn’s. I have had my large intestine completely removed. As a few of you have mentioned previously stress is debilitating and has a horrendous effect on my Crohn’s. I will start this new lifestyle and stick at it!


Brent Kovacs July 29, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Thanks for sharing Liz! Hope things begin to turn around for you… keep us posted!


josie August 26, 2014 at 9:07 am

Hi Liz,
Wow, you’ve had your large bowel removed and you are STILL experiencing such problems. I am so sorry to hear that. I thought that was a cure. But I guess that’s for UC rather than Crohn’s. Stodgy generally means carbs and there aren’t the carbs we’re used to on SCD. It may help regardless though.


Kelly Lee Brosky August 15, 2014 at 8:29 am

Okay so I am obviously a tough case as I answered yes to way more than 2-questions. :( I’ve been dealing with this undiagnosed and increasingly worse gastro issue for over 4-years now. It has affected every aspect of my life. I’ve had to go to NO gluten and NO dairy at all which takes away a lot of the foods I love. I’m interested in what y’all discussed but how do I even get started? I gave up on Gastros (doctors) and just have a family doc and a rheumatologist (supposed for Fibro but I don’t really think I have that either). I’m sick of medications and too young to feel this awful.


Sonja September 30, 2014 at 8:29 am

Hmm… I would think I am a mild case, but I can’t do any of those diets, I have my own based on rice, chicken, some corn products, butter, salt, and coffie. Starting on vita biosa and maximum vibrance as the doctor ordered, he told me to stop having milk procucts but I decided to keep butter in. There is a limit to how limited I can be 😛

Fruit, veggies, berried, nuts, seeds, legumes, onions, lenses and beans make me miserable (lethargy, (depression (I am usually happy tough)), muscle pain, nerve pain in hands, skin pain, digestive issues..
But I am very active, stong and hard working. Just some days when I eat some good stufff (like grapes or melons) I become a ghost.

I am adding potatoes this week if I am symptom free since they are low chemical, potatoes and looots of butter yumm yumm.


Linda November 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I’m a 4 or 5 and am just finishing the Intro diet. I have taken several of the drugs listed, I have had colon removed due to colitis (30 years ago), and have experienced food intolerance like dairy and some gluten. I have had weight loss but not unexplained. Think my cancer treatment (gall bladder) was responsible for that. Number of stools is close. Yesterday I probably did have around 6, not so many in the day but more in the night. So if we count that one I had 4 not including unexplained weight loss. I also have rheumatoid arthritis.
What would you recommend as next steps? Continue through the phases? Additional supplements?


Lori Jo Berg November 19, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Hi Linda, thank you for reaching out. It sounds like you could really benefit from a trusted practitioner’s help. You have a lot going on and they would be able to provide the support you may need.


Jeanette Richter November 22, 2014 at 1:32 pm

I was surprised that I was a tough case, scoring 6. I have struggled for 20yrs with my symptoms getting worse every year. I have been prescribed Omneprozole as the sole fix it all and I hate to take them. I do not believe it is a cure and if it was I should be able to stop taking them after a certain time. I will see the GI Dr next week and have been looking for more information that I can bring to the table and any tests that he may be able to suggest, I won’t be surprised if he says it is all in my mind. I have had the upper & lower test which all came back negative. In the past I was off gluten for several years than started putting it back in my diet, now I have been off Gluten for over a year, but still feel it is not a 100%, do to hidden ingredients. I have been stricked with the Paleo for over 6mth I have been a label reader for decades & have been conscious of my eating habits for that long as well. My digestion has only gotten worse never better except on the Paleo, unfortunately I have not been able to give up all grains which is probably part of the problem. I am really tired of the bloating & constipation, which I than have to take Doucaste to counteract the problem. I am tired of not being able to eat what other people eat. (which is just life) If you have some problem you have to treat it not ignore it. I am going to have to be sticked with my diet again, however this is frustrating even on the Paleo my body started to not feel right. That is why I am looking into other alternatives, I’m slight of build & small, but the bloating makes me look pregnant at times. Tired & frustrated.


Lori Jo Berg November 24, 2014 at 3:23 pm

HI Jeanette, thank you for reaching out and sharing your story. WE know it can be hard at times, but we do encourage you to take action for your health in some way. Don’t stop fighting!


Robyn December 1, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Tough case. Crohns disease for most of my life, I am now 50. Two bowel resections, chronic pain and diarrhoea for years although since I turned 40 symptoms are decreasing. Latest colonoscopy/gastroscopy showed gastric reflux and two ulcers, plus a polyp (assuming benign, they haven’t called me). I used to think diet had nothing to do with it until I started the SCD three weeks ago, but the difference is huge already. I’m still tweaking it. Citrus fruits or too much tomato makes my reflux act up but the only way I can take my iron supplements is with citrus otherwise they cause horrendous runs so I put up with that because I am chronically anaemic. I do cheat with a teeny cappuccino in the mornings but I should wean myself off that too because I can tell the milk affects me. If I eat sugar or grain now I notice an immediate blah feeling. Can’t have too much almond meal so still sorting that out because I crave “bread”. But the SCD is amazing and I feel so much better. My skin is clearing up, my sinus problems are decreasing, I have a clearer head and even the depression is better but comes back the morning after I eat crap. I guess we are what we eat!


Lori Jo Berg December 3, 2014 at 8:43 am

Thanks for sharing, Robyn! Please keep us updated on how you are doing!


Marisa December 18, 2014 at 7:17 pm

I took the quiz and I am considered a tough case. I have had heartburn for many months and no relief. I thought I had candida and quit all sugars and carbs. This shocked my body and I lost tons of weight. I was 140 now 110 and now can’t keep weight on. I have many food allergies and react to so many things. I get stomach burning and sore throat. Would the SCD diet be good for me. I am working with a functional doctor and they have me on a glutten free diet. Even with that I still can’t eat glutten free bread or anything. I always react. I’m frustrated and don’t know where to start. I had an adrenal test and I have adrenal fatigue. My stool test showed I have more bad gut flora then good and I am not digesting proteins very well. I’m so confused and frustrated. The anxiety from this just makes it all worse. I had to take a leave from my job and I just want to get my life back on track. Please any advice?


Lori Jo Berg December 19, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Hi marisa, thank you for reaching out. It sounds like you need a complete approach that addresses diet, lifestyle, and supplements. My best suggestion is to start on our Solving leaky gut program, and following the steps generated from the quiz you took. You can go here for more information:


Darina January 23, 2015 at 10:22 am

Hi there! I answered 4 yes’s so I’m apparently a tough case. I’m on day 2 of phase 1- added in puréed spinach yesterday. My symptoms haven’t really gone away though since starting. In fact, the constipation (and therefore bloating, acne, and moodiness) has been getting worse – I haven’t had a bowel movement in 2 days. Normally, eating an apple or some veggie fiber tends to help, but of course I haven’t done that due to the diet. Also I take magnesium at night which often helps but hasn’t. The first couple days on the intro diet I actually felt better (but solely because I had a bm, possibly from the food I still had in my system?) and didn’t have bloating…so after 3 days I went to phase 1, with spinach. I’ve been dealing with this for years and tired of feeling bloated and constipated and my skin constantly breaking out. I’m so frustrated! Anyone else going through this?? Help!!


lucy February 9, 2015 at 1:11 pm

i scored well over 6 yes’s, I’m deep looking for help and advice, and will try anything,
i suffer ibs c i have the highest severity, I’m daily, despressed, tired,bloated struggle to eat have lost tons of weight and struggle to put it on, I’m constantly labelled as anorexic its so upsetting, I’ve been from one doctor to another with no help and no one believing me.
I’m at my wits end now and so fed up, its halted my life and putting strains on relationships,
my face breaks out constantly and the acne has gotten worse, I’ve never had it so bad,
i don’t know where to turn to or what to do any more ? i cry everyday with this, with the pain, the way I’m looking and missing out on life,


Lori Jo Berg February 10, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Hi Lucy, thanks for sharing with us. The best place to start is by addressing your diet with either the SCD diet, Solving Leaky Gut diet, or something similar (like paleo). Please go here and read more about the program options: If you are interested, please email us at support@scdlifestyle and we will assist you in purchasing and starting the program.


Eric February 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm

My husband *was* a tough case, but no matter what diet he tried (SCD included), he did NOT feel better AT ALL. Some people need a little help with drugs. In his case, he really just needed a “reset” of his gut microbiome with Rifaximin. After throwing up nearly every day, he STOPPED. Just. Like. That. He is back on the diet, and feeling about 80%-90% better than before, but now we just have to deal with little things like minor acid reflux. We’re working on getting rid of biofilm and possible candida.

For some people, diet alone will not fix it.


Lori Jo Berg February 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Hi Eric, thanks for sharing. Yes, each person is different and we must find what works for us. I am glad to hear he has found relief.


Jessica February 10, 2015 at 1:03 pm

I am in desperate need of help. I feel like my life is over and I’m only 28. I have always suffered with digestion problems, but in the last year I have hit a solid rock bottom. I had 10 yeses to the above quiz. I suffer from severe constipation. I cannot have a bowel movement AT ALL without high doses of magnesium and sometimes that doesn’t even work. I can go days without going to the bathroom and when I finally do it is almost always diarrhea at that point. I have such bad inflammation in my gut that I have severe pain and constant urges to urinate. I have acne and severe anxiety and an array of hormone problems, specifically that I have not had a menstrual cycle in 3 years. Again, I am only 28.
I have been to doctor after doctor and no one can help me. I’ve been told I was crazy. I’ve been told that they won’t even run any tests on me because I am too young. I’m drained physically and emotionally. I have done every diet out there from vegan, gluten free, and now the last year have been paleo. Paleo showed some improvements at first, but in the recent everything has gotten worse. I’d literAlly try anything at this point. Will scd work for me if paleo isn’t really? Please help!


Lori Jo Berg February 10, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Hi Jessica, thanks for reaching out. SCD is slightly different from paleo and we do suggest giving it a try, as it has helped many in your same shoes. Tbest place to start is here: Please email us at support@scdlifestyle if you need any help along the way.


Ruthann February 10, 2015 at 3:14 pm

I was just tested for sibo. No results yet. I am celiac and have been gluten free for 5 years. Does anyone know a practitioner in Philadelphia area. Need major help


Lori Jo Berg February 10, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Hi Ruthann, thanks for reaching out! Please search here for a trusted practitioner: If you prefer to see someone in person, you can go here:


michele February 13, 2015 at 7:00 am

I had 9 yeses on the quiz but I had a feeling I would be a hard case. I struggle to find a balance with this diet thst works because I follow a gluten free vegan diet. i have celiac disease and other food allergies. I’d love to find a way to make this lifestyle work for me so I can heal my gut. I thought the quiz was great and gives insight into problem areas.


Lori Jo Berg February 13, 2015 at 11:05 am

Hi Michelle, thank for reaching out! I would like to point out the statement on the sales page regarding vegans: “If you do not eat meat, don’t buy this because there aren’t any options for you.” With that being said, we suggest you view this podcast for other options:


Dave April 14, 2015 at 11:54 am

I am desperate in need of help. I am 39 years and I have been suffering with Ulcerated Coilitis for 22 years. Over the years, I have been using Prednisolone but that seemed to stop working so I am now on Dexamethasone and Sulfasalazine tablets. Now nothing seems to be working and I am getting bloody diarrhea about 7-8 times daily with severe cramps and gas. I have lost a lot of weights. Due to the prolonged use of the steroids I have developed diabetes and I am using insulin. I had cataract in both eyes but did surgery. My muscles are very thin and I’m being treated for osteoporosis. Recently I have been hospitalized and was given blood transfusion due to very low blood count.
I am feeling very depressed and hopeless. Recently I have read about SCD and I would like to try it but I am wondering if it would work since my illness has been for a very long time. I have a 14 year old daughter who needs me and I need to live for her.


Lori Jo Berg April 14, 2015 at 8:05 pm

HI Dave, thanks for reaching out! We have seen this diet work for many people with varying symptoms and conditions.

While no one can guarantee what will and will not work, we suggest reading this article on your question here:
Many different conditions are related to gut issues and chances are, healing your gut can only help you regain your health.
Please do let us know if we can assist you in any other way.


Helene May 19, 2015 at 11:32 am

Hey Dave,
For some reason your post really moved me. I heard the sadness and desperation in your words, which I can relate to. I have been struggling with Crohn’s for 24 years. I have had surgeries, tons of different medications (all which seem to have horrible side effects, more hospital stays than I care to mention (I actually got MRSA from the latest hospitalization) and with all the drug therapies and surgeries, I am still very sick. The only thing that truly keeps me going is my two young children, who desperately need a healthy, happy mom. I started this diet because I’ve decided to try to heal myself. Im only 2 days in, but I’m hopeful…and a little desperate for something to give me some relief. I pray that you are able to remain strong, especially for your daughter. I have no words of wisdom to offer or any advice about this particular diet, but I wanted to commend you for reaching out and trying to be proactive in your healing. You have given me incentive to work even harder today, not just for me, but for my kids. Thank you!


Kate April 29, 2015 at 8:12 am

So what am I if I got 1 yes and 3 maybes? Though one of those maybes is the paleo question.. And I think that is why the other 2 aren’t yeses anymore.. I eat paleo with no dairy at the moment. I have random loose bowel movements nearly every day, thankfully usually only 1-3, fatigue, brain fog and insomnia. Depression/anxiety and rashes/eczema have improved since paleo. Is SCD the kind of thing I could benefit from?


Lori Jo Berg April 29, 2015 at 9:38 am

The SCD diet has helped many people in your same shoes regain their health.

The best place to start is with our Free quick start guide here:

From here, we highly recommend following the directions in the eBook for best results:


Vanessa May 8, 2015 at 3:27 pm

I’m a tough case… Thought so. I’m only 26 and was diagnosed with Uc only three weeks after having my first child. I began flaring when I was only 2 months pregnant and went without any care until after having my baby and colonoscopies and drugs were not an option. When my son was three weeks old I was hospitalized and diagnose, and I weighed 15lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight. I’ve been trying scd for a couple months, but the results aren’t quite there yet, although I see some improvements. I’m also in a high dose of Imuran and Prednisone because without them, I can’t seem to keep the bleeding at bay. It’s been a rough road, but I’m trying to do everything I can for my baby.


Lori Jo Berg May 12, 2015 at 11:24 am

HI Vanessa, good for you for changing your diet. You may consider a few other things as well, such as digestive enzymes- Also, the help of a practitioner would be very beneficial as well- Please read this article as well:


Ida Mae May 22, 2015 at 9:13 am

I took the quiz & and answered yes to 2 questions. In reading people’s comments I feel I am a mild case. I went gluten free in November and have gotten rid of my stomach pain. I have gotten off several meds including one for acid reflux. I lost 20 lbs. in a month & now I have been at the same weight for 4 months. I have trouble with wTer retention, chronic sinusitis & extreme asthma. I take symbacort and Flonase both have steroids in them. I am really working to get better but seem to be going no where is.


Lori Jo Berg May 22, 2015 at 11:59 am

Hi Ida, thanks for reaching out. Going gluten free is a great start, and we suggest taking it to another level to make the health gains you are hoping to. The SCD diet would be a great diet for you and we suggest starting here:


Lynn Saunders June 19, 2015 at 5:18 pm

We think of our bodies as solid. It is difficult to grasp that we are just a community of cells that are constantly adjusting and that any metric taken at any point in time will be somewhat different soon after. At an unthinking level, the body is doing everything possible to juggle all the different impacts. Applying conscious thought to the impacts we are able to manage, and including conscious awareness in the body’s feedback loops, has to improve the odds of survival regardless of the perception of success or failure.


Kim July 5, 2015 at 8:42 pm

I was diagnosed with UC two years ago and have never been in remission. I found your diet about 3 weeks ago. I take two probiotics, enzymes, and fish oil supplements. I have been on SCD for 9 days. Overall, my symptoms have improved. However, I am now bleeding with every BM. Is this considered a die off symptom? Thanks for your books and website.


Mariel Heiss July 6, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Hi Kim. Based on our experience, bleeding is not a symptom of die-off. We recommend you consult your doctor or practitioner and let them know about the changes.


Michelle July 10, 2015 at 12:21 am

Hi guys,
I’m a little stumped as whether I am a tough or mild case. My story is: 3 years ago I was having tummy troubles and doctors found a parasite in my gut, I went on antibiotics for a short time with them saying it may or may not work. I didn’t get any improvement. I tried avoiding dairy, ??wheat, etc but still didn’t help. I eventually got tested for lactose and fructose malabsorption and my fructose one came back positive. Since then I have been to see a dietician that specializes in low Fodmap diet and decided to follow that. 2 years on Ive followed a low fodmap diet 90% of the Time. Yes I would cheat and know what the consequences would be. However I struggled to go 2 days in a row without feeling good even when being 100% strict. I switch between constipation and loose stools, stomach cramps, bloated, mood fluctuations, high anxiety and more recently feeling depressed over my body. I am a fitness lover and run 3-4 times a week, play netball, cycle and go to the gym. Sometimes I have had to stop mid run because the stomach cramps are unbearable and I end up on the toilet once home. However I am then relieved. I will often go to bed feeling bloated and crap and wake up in the morning with pains needing the toilet. Most of the day I would then go on alright and the cycle would happen again.
So..recently I got fed up with this and after reading an article in a magazine about SIBO I recognized I had a lot of the symptoms and wondered if it was the case. The doctor didn’t think so and instructed I had another stool test which showed the same parasite I already had 2 years ago, a new one and possible high levels of a bacteria. I have also always struggled with thrush/ candida. Again prescribed antibiotics and then suggested after the antibiotics I could have the SIBO test. So I did that and results from SIBO came back positive. Which I suppose answers a lot of what I had been feeling.
So since being diagnosed last Friday and doing a fair bit of research I found out that a long with some more antibiotics followed by probiotics that following the SCD diet was the way to go. However I also need to do low fodmap due to fructose intolerance. I am now day 5 and really struggling energy wise. I can’t run or ride like I used to. Just wondering any recommendations how I can fuel my body prior to exercise better or recommendations with exercise ? When I did the quiz I only really answered yes to the food intolerances one. As any of he others are really fixed when I follow low fodmap.. However when j read the case studies I sound like a combination of mild and tough!!
Thanks for the help in advance, your website, podcast etc has been very helpful so far!
Cheers, Michelle


Mariel Heiss July 10, 2015 at 11:03 am

Hi Michelle, thanks so much for commenting. Both of our programs have helped many people with SIBO and they can help you too.

The best place to start is by reading this article here to best understand the ins and outs of SIBO:

We have two different programs that can help you with this infection, and we encourage you to look into both to see what may fit your needs best, especially as an athlete.

Our SCD program provides the basic framework for a diet that will help reset your gut flora by eliminating foods that unhealthy bacteria feed on. It is important to remember, however, that diet is only one part of it and you will most likely need supplements to help address the issue as well.

If you are in need of a practitioner to assist you in this area, you can go here:

The second option is our Solving Leaky Gut product, which includes supplement protocols in addition to diet and lifestyle recommendations. This program is more comprehensive, contains the newest research, and has a gut infection protocol with in. While the diet is based on many of the principles of SCD, it is not the same as SCD and includes foods like rice and potatoes in the second stage.

We highly encourage you to sign up for one of our Free webinars on Solving Leaky Gut, as this will help you understand the product on a whole new level:

This podcast from Dr. Siebecker, hosted by Steve, is very informative and can also help:

If you have more questions, please feel free to email us at [email protected] We would be be happy to help :)


Eve July 10, 2015 at 8:58 pm

I’m ready to start your SCD Intro Diet but I wonder about how best to coordinate my food sensitivities with your meal plans? I had a 180 food panel blood test done in May and it reflects that I have significant antibodies to some of the foods in your plan. Should I ignore these for now and fully embrace your meal plan or should I try to modify your plan to avoid these foods?


Mariel Heiss July 10, 2015 at 9:26 pm

Hi Eve, congratulations on your decision to start SCD. We recommend you avoid the foods you know you’re intolerant of for now. You can substitute with other allowed foods. If you need help substituting foods on the intro diet, you can reach out to us at [email protected]

Some common substitutes on the Intro Diet:
Beef instead of chicken for the intro soup
Zucchini or cucumber instead of carrots
Skipping the gelatin or using lime or lemon juice or water instead of grape juice to prepare it

Please reach out to use if you need more help! [email protected]


Andrea July 17, 2015 at 12:26 pm

II am a definitely a tough case. Diagnosed with Crohn’s in 1985, 2 hospitalizations, 1 surgery. In remission with no meds for 10 years. Over the last 8 months or so symptoms are back with a vengeance. I had decided to eliminate carbs and dairy when I came across Elaine’s book. I viewed your website too, and started SCD. I’m only on Phase 1 but I already see a small improvement. I’m not going to the bathroom as often, and the stool quality is showing improvement, but I haven’t experienced any “die-off” symptoms. Is that normal?


Mariel Heiss July 17, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Hi Andrea! It’s great to hear you’re feeling better. Not everyone experiences die-off, especially if you were eating more closely to the SCD template before you began the diet. It really depends on the individual! The most important thing is that you’re having improvement in your symptoms :)


Esther July 31, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Thank you, Jordan and Steve, for all you do! I heard the webcast a couple weeks ago and wondered where I really fit. I scored 2 on the quiz, years of depression and unable to lose weight after years and years of yo-yo dieting because I never understood what or how to do it. I followed most common diets of the past to no avail, until I did Atkins about 10 years ago and lost 50 lbs. However, how to figure how many carbs to be able to eat was lost to me. I gained it all back, plus. Learning about LCHF and Keto is the way I HAVE to go…forever, as I’ve found I cannot live WITH my terrible addiction to sugar and grain. It has to be total abstinence. I’m not doing well with the abstinence as those foods are EVERYWHERE. I don’t know if I have other problems…like gut inflammation or whatever…that is keeping me from losing what times I can stay on track. OR is it just because every once in a while I do eat the forbidden stuff? What would be your take on this?


Mariel Heiss August 3, 2015 at 7:52 pm

Hi Esther, Steve and Jordan’s research indicates that weight issues are typically closely linked to hormones and adrenal health. They address both of these specifically in the Solving Leaky Gut program – you can learn more by attending a free webinar. Sign up here – I think that you will gain a lot of valuable information: You may also want to check out this podcast:

I hope this helps, Esther!


Marlene August 18, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Hi. I am a severe case for sure. When I was a kid I did not particularly like bread or cereal but was made to eat it. I also wheezed when I drank mild, but was made to drink it. I have been conditioned to put up and shut up. Since my 20’s to early 30’s I have experiences nearly daily diarrhea, which I thought was just anxiety and depression caused. (I am 56 now.) Then in my mid 30’s I started experiencing a pitechia rash all along the inner part of my legs. It did not itch, it just was there all the time. I decided to go to a Natural Path doctor. She took blood for specifics to determine my “Eat Right For My Blood Type Diet”. At that time I only ate wheat, rice, corn, for grains. The doctor told me to minimize my wheat intake, and to eat rye, soy products, and spelt instead. So I did. By the way I am a Type 0 negative with some other information tacked on after that. I ended up being rare for some aspect of my blood ie a non-secreter. So I followed the diet strictly. For a time my body responded wonderfully. My stools became normal. Then over time and a lot more stress, depression, anxiety, and in to my 40s…Diarrhea is back, rash has changed to hives. By 45 I am severely emaciated, weak, fatigued, extremely anxious, having panic attacks, brain fogged, experiencing heart plantations, fighting to continue to work, and had no insurance. Food was coming out of me a few hours later almost like it was going into me. I ended up taking myself to the emergency room after eating dinner one evening and started to wheeze. Also, by this time I have scratched my skin raw over my neck, and torso areas, and was starting to do the same to my arms. The ER doctor said you HAVE to find a doctor to treat you. So I did. She was so nice and very different from any other doctor. She listened. She then said, “have you ever been tested for Celiac Disease?” Well, no I have not. $800.00 dollars later…I did not have the gene, but I had Acquired Gluten Intolerance. Now in addition to not eating wheat, I was told to not eat the “yucky” rye, or the yummy Spelt, and to read very carefully all labels for hidden gluten. I improved for a little while again, but not completely. I also found out I am allergic to soy. To this day I still experience diarrhea at a drop of the hat. Food can occasionally be seen in the stools. My stools change are sometimes a gray mucus sludge, watery with mucus, ribbon like, change colors, pasty, and very rarely normal. For about 2 weeks now I have been on your diet under doctors care slowly working towards the first stage of the diet. I stopped eating all starches, potatoes, Quinoa. The first thing I experienced was a severe toxic reaction to the bad bacteria die off. Okay, expected that what with all that gas. I was placed on Oregano caps 2 x day, and probiotics 3-4 times a day. I took the Oregano at bedtime and early in the morning before getting up after my pretend sleep. (By the way when I started on your diet, my stools were mostly normal, but I had been experiencing a tremendous amount of non-stop gas, and severe bloating for almost a year.) Slowly the diarrhea started to come back, but I started on the first week of the diet of carrots and I choose Cornish hens, and I have never made it out of the first stretch, when I got a UTI. I have had to go on a antibiotic, and I am still on it with 8 more day to go. So, now the diarrhea is in full steam, with some food coming out. Well, I call it diarrhea. It is like soil, that sinks to the bottom of the toilet, but the water in the toilet is mostly clear. I’ve had this version of the diarrhea here and there. It is not particularly watery all of the time, just has no form. Looks like fine coffee grounds. There is no obvious blood or rectal irritation. In the past when my stools were tested there was no blood, and hardly any normal flora. I of course, have stopped the Oregano. The bloating did go down, and the gas did almost go away, but now my gut rumbles all the time, and I can feel the bloat coming back. I do not have a rash, and I have no gut pain other than an occasional gas pain, and tenderness if palpated. I am fatigued, not able to sleep per usual. I know I have had a leaky gut for a long time, multiple food allergies, and the list is growing, and IBS. What do I do now? Start over again after a very LONG period of time to get over the diarrhea. I do not take Imodium, and I don’t want to. I take a thyroid medicine, and a blood pressure medicine, period. I don’t do well with chemicals and synthetics, and only take what I have to. I have had some pretty bad experiences just trying to take supplement. What in the world now?! Do I do?


Mariel Heiss August 20, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Hi Marlene. Thanks for commenting. I’m really sorry you’re experiencing all these problems. Based on what you’ve written, I think you would experience the best results from working one-on-one with either Stephanie or Brie, our recommended practitioners. They can look at your entire case history and help you develop a path to healing that is customized to you. Here’s a link where you can learn more:

I admire your courage and perseverance to get better! I hope the information I’ve provided helps you.


Kimberly Webb August 21, 2015 at 10:54 am

7 yes. Those answers were given based on where I was before starting SCD lifestyle. I am now on day 1 of Phase 2. Much has changed! I’ll continue to work on my safe zone diet. Thanks!


Mariel Heiss August 21, 2015 at 8:03 pm

That’s great Kimberly :) I know you’ll keep improving every day!


Mallory September 4, 2015 at 8:39 am

I took your mini quiz. Apparently I have a mild case. Which makes sense because I respond very quickly to the meds my GI puts me on. However in the last few years I have taken then regularly. I just started my SCD journey and so far I’m 4 days in and already my energy level is improving. (It will only get to a certain point because my daughter still wakes at night).

My husband is very skeptical of how well this will work but I have 6 months before my next GI appointment and as long as things don’t get worse and the blood work shows lower inflammation markers I’ll consider it a success.

My biggest concern is knowing what supplements I should take and what kind. I don’t really understand the difference between probiotics and enzymes.


Mariel Heiss September 4, 2015 at 11:29 am

Hi Mallory! Thanks so much for reaching out to us and taking the time to ask about probiotics and enzymes. They’re really different, bt all the supplements can be overwhelming and confusing at first.

Enzymes are produced by your body and are also contained in the food you eat to help you break down food and better digest what you eat. Sometimes our bodies fail to produce adequate amounts of digestive enzymes – this is where a supplement comes in. Jordan discusses it more here:

Here’s a brand we recommend (not all digestive enzymes are created equal!):

Probiotics are a source of healthy bacteria – our guts are full of bacteria and probiotics help bolster the good bacteria in there :)

Here’s a resource on probiotics:

We recommend both probiotics AND enzymes.

If you ever have questions or need support, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected]


Rita November 6, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Christine (from March 23, 2012) You sound like me in some ways. Have you ever had your mercury levels checked? Thiol/sulfur sensitivity goes with that. What did you put in the bone broth? The only thing I can put in is salt, carrot, celery, and parsley in addition to the bones and water. I’ve read to include garlic and onion. I don’t cause of the thiols. Just a thought. Wishing you the best. Perhaps by now you have found all this and more out and are well. Love to hear how you are doing now. Rita


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