Reid Kimball is a pioneering filmmaker. He’s been busting it on a documentary for the last few years and we are happy to support him again. As a loyal reader we ask that you dig deep and find a way to support him (big or small). The film is about people like Reid, like us, like those of you who decided to get your needs met with alternative therapies. It’s an important awareness tool for the whole community. Donate here.
I’m currently running a fundraiser so I can finish my documentary WANTED: Crohn’s End and I want to tell you about something I’ve learned during the past two years of production. It’s called the 5-R Framework and I believe it can help you make better decisions about which treatments to take, like the SCD.
Gluten sensitivity, Celiac, IBS, Crohn’s disease, and Ulcerative Colitis are extremely difficult to treat. These conditions tend to involve genetic susceptibility, environmental factors, the immune system, and leaky gut.  Conventional treatments for digestive problems are drugs.
A Drug That Blocks One Chemical in the Body Is Not Likely to Have Resounding Success
The body is a complex system with built-in feedback loops to prevent us from tricking it into harm. Drugs typically are only concerned with tricking a certain biochemical pathway, which over time the body isn’t going to allow without consequences. To make matters worse, for IBS, gluten sensitivity, and Celiac disease, there are no standard drug treatments to even consider. Instead, if you want to overcome your complex, multi-faceted digestive condition, you will need a comprehensive, holistic approach.
If you are struggling with the SCD and wondering whether it’s worth going through with it, I have a story to tell you. Everyone in the film found big changes in their health by changing what they ate first. It is the foundation that great health is built upon. If we put crap into our bodies, we’re going to get crap out. Some had to remove dairy, while others thrived on fermented dairy.
The 4-R Framework is popularized in Chiropractic care and Functional Medicine , and I added a 5th R to make it more comprehensive. The SCD fits into most of its components naturally. The more tools you can fit into it, the greater your chance of ending your digestive inferno.
The 5-R Framework
Through my research and interviews, I realized that those who achieve dramatic health results despite having complex digestive conditions do so through a powerful framework.
I call the framework the 5-R Framework and it includes five components:
- Reconnect (new)
Remove the chemicals, food, and toxins in your environment that may be inflaming your intestines, killing your beneficial microbiota, feeding your pathogenic microbiota and triggering your immune system once they enter your blood. Removing products that cause inflammation will promote healing and decrease inflammation.
SCD Lifestyle recommends the SCD, GAPS, and Paleo nutritional healing plans. All three require the removal of refined sugar- and grain-based carbs. GAPS encourages the patient to also remove toxins from the person’s environment.
[Steve – We discourage toxic chemical usage as well.]
Replace your diet with healthy fats, nutrient-dense and toxin-free food. Use supplements to fix deficiencies until no longer needed. Giving your body optimal nutrition will give it the building blocks it needs to repair damage. Nutrigenomics is going to be a hot scientific field and shows that food has the ability to alter the expression of your genetics, possibly reducing inflammatory activity.
Again, the SCD, GAPS, and Paleo recommend replacing your diet with supplements when needed, and healthier food options.
Reinoculate your gut ecology with beneficial microbial probiotics that have many benefits, which include helping to regulate your immune system, digest food to produce vitamins, and significantly decrease inflammation. These probiotics include yeasts, bacteria and helminths (microscopic parasites).
The SCD and GAPS programs strongly emphasize the importance of repopulating your gut with beneficial microbes. Paleo has different variations, one being an autoimmune version that does recommend probiotics.
Repair damage to your intestines using supplements and sleep at least 8 to 9 hours every night to aid your body in its repairing functions. Strictures can become much less painful, and absorption of nutrients can improve to provide further healing.
SCD Lifestyle has discussed Glutamine and its excellent ability to heal the small intestines.  Low-dose Naltrexone has been proven in small clinical trials to heal the mucosal lining of those with inflammatory bowel disease. 
Reconnect is one I decided to add to the existing and well-established four above. This means to reconnect with your body, mind and spirit. Doing so will lower stress and increase endorphin production to improve immune system function. 
In SCD Lifestyle’s “Big Picture: Designing a Healing Plan,” they discuss lifestyle changes that include sleeping more, exercising, and meditation, all of which will help decrease stress and lower inflammation. 
How I Implement the 5-R Framework
If you find tools that fit into each of the above 5 Rs you will be taking a holistic, comprehensive approach to quelling the inferno within.
I suffered for eight years with diarrhea, fatigue, and extreme abdominal pain, until I tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Each year I try different alternative treatments and my health increases.
I used to suffer with partial bowel obstructions due to strictures (scar tissue) in my terminal ileum. Today I use the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) healing program as a starting point, and then I add in additional tools. I applied the above 5-R regimen and today I am largely free of Crohn’s and partial obstruction symptoms. Here’s how I use the above 5-R Framework.
I don’t eat:
- Refined sugar
- Grains of any kind (wheat and rice)
I try to keep my home on the low toxin side with natural soaps and cleaners.
I eat organic, grass-fed, wild raised food for maximum nutritional content and reduced toxins. I take vitamin D supplements, and fermented cod liver oil.
I drink homemade kefir which is loaded with probiotics, far more than any commercial probiotic I’m aware of (50+ different strains of bacteria and yeast). Additionally, I drink kombucha which also has a mixture of bacteria and yeasts. Together, the probiotics help me digest food, combat pathogens, are anti-inflammatory, and modulate my immune system function to optimal levels.
I take glutamine which is fuel for the small intestines keeping its cells as healthy as possible. Colloidal silver has also provided amazing healing to my terminal ileum scar tissue I believe.
I quit my extremely stressful game design career and I’m following my new passion, making and editing videos. I also practice deep breathing. In the past I have done yoga, and Emotional Freedom Techniques. I stay connected with my family who I love, have great friends, and a wonderful girlfriend.
All of the people I interviewed for my film who have overcome their Crohn’s or Colitis used the above framework, without realizing it. They removed offending foods, replaced deficiencies with proper nutrition and supplements, used probiotics to reinoculate their gut, repaired digestive tract damage, and reconnected with what was important to them.
If you doubt that the SCD can work for you, then take a look at my 5-R’s from above and see if you are missing any of them. Everyone needs a comprehensive nutritional healing plan that removes, replaces, reinoculates, repairs, and reconnects you towards better health.
-Reid Bryant Kimball
Reid is a filmmaker, and is currently raising funds to complete production of WANTED: Crohn’s End, a documentary about empowered patients with Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis who use controversial alternative treatments when nothing else works. You can find more information about the 5-R Framework here.