Linda Was Wasting Away on the Gluten-Free Diet (Then SCD Saved Her Life)

by Jordan Reasoner

Linda-McGuire-healing-progression

2015 is the year of taking action… and nothing motivates me more than a powerful success story.

Back when I was sick and in pain, I searched the interwebs for hours just hoping to read about someone just like me that was able to turn off their diarrhea. Most nights, I found nothing and went to bed scared and afraid.

But once I found a few people that had success with SCD, I was inspired. I thought, “Maybe this could be the thing that changes my life...”

And it was…

But I wouldn’t have tried the diet without reading those 2 success stories.  

Which is why we’re committed to continuing to share as many of these stories as people are willing to write. You see, we get emails every day from people who are FINALLY starting to heal – FINALLY starting to stop their symptoms. But not everyone is willing to share it with the world just yet…

So, when we find someone who is, like Linda, it means the world to me. Because I know there’s more people out there, sick and in pain like I was, just hoping to read a story like hers to FINALLY take action.

So, in light of the theme for this year… here’s another amazing success story in hopes that it inspires thousands of others to take action. Cheers!

Disclaimer:  We here at SCD Lifestyle do not endorse any faith more than any other, but here is a remarkable story of a woman whose faith led her to find the SCD Diet and how the diet saved her life. If you’re not of the same beliefs as Linda, that’s totally cool with us, you can still gain so much from reading her full story 🙂

[Enter Linda]

“Be healed!” At the hearing of those words the tears began to fall from my sunken eyes, burning my skin as each rolled down my cheek. I anxiously awaited, barely breathing as I didn’t want to miss this! At any moment some supernatural healing was going to overcome me! Oh yeah, I was so ready for this epiphany! Shouts of praise were already starting to roll off my tongue. “Wait for it…” I told myself… the Almighty spoke it so my healing was coming. Therefore, I eagerly yet patiently waited…and waited! The ticking of the clock echoed loudly as the seconds turned into minutes, minutes into hours. As time slowly passed, I began to wonder did somehow my supernatural healing slip through my fingertips. Had I missed it? Or had these last two years of escaping death that had been chasing at my heels, somehow caused me to become totally delusional? Then, doubt showed up knocking at the door to my heart. Truly, if I was healed, then I should have had the energy to get up from a slumber state singing and dancing, “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me and I’m feeling GOOD!”

Surprisingly, that didn’t happen at all. My epiphany didn’t come…at least not the way I had hoped anyhow. Undoubtedly, there was a lesson that I needed to learn. If He healed me instantaneously, I would not have learned the vital information for my survival. Instead I would have continued on the path of totally destroying myself due to a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). I am thus reminded of the wise saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Handing out answers is easy. Teaching takes love and patience, while learning takes work! In His great mercy He did just that for me!

You See, My Healing Came with a Fig

A fig you ask? Here, let me explain. There once was a King of a great nation named Hezekiah. He got really sick and almost died. A prophet named Isaiah came to him and told him to get his house in order as he was indeed going to die. Upon hearing his death was a sure matter, the King being a humble man, turned his head and began to pray! Isaiah the prophet left and went about his business. Just then in a remarkable twist of faith, the Almighty tells Isaiah to tell the King that He did hear his prayer and that he would give him fifteen more years! Isaiah then declares for them to “Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered!” (2 Kings 20:1-10)

Amazing! One must ponder who did the healing? The Almighty or the figs? Of course some would say the figs. Yet I believe the Creator used His creation of the figs in bringing the King full restoration to his body! The Bible states, “….Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” (Ezekiel 47:12). I, like King Hezekiah, needed a fig to bring full restoration to my rapidly deteriorating body.

The very next day or shortly thereafter, I stumbled upon: “If a patient can be cured at all, it must be by the means of diet.”-Dr. Samuel Gee, 1888. This was mentioned in Dr. Sidney Haas’s fascinating book “Management of Celiac Disease.” Upon reviewing Dr. Haas’s case studies I looked just like the typical children featured in his book. I looked like I came right out of a concentration camp during WW II. My eyes were sunken, bones I didn’t know existed had suddenly appeared, yet I had a protruding stomach. I learned that Dr. Samuel Gee (English Physician and Pediatrician) also claimed that starchy food such as rice and corn were unfit! “What? Are you kidding me?” I thought. Practically everything that is gluten-free is made up of either corn or rice flour. These had become my staples since living a strict gluten-free diet for seven months.

I Then Learned the Startling Facts

The typical gluten-free diet had not always been the treatment for Celiac Disease. I, like so many others, was told by my gastroenterologist that a gluten-free diet was all I needed. However, after I ate products with brown rice, white rice, corn, buckwheat, gluten-free oats, potato flour, sugar, just to name a few, I suffered with an array of symptoms. I lost count of the many ER trips with heart rate racing up to 170 beats per minute due to excessive gas being trapped, or the thousands of belches I was forced to do to get the gas out. I even had bleeding ulcers at one time. I could not lie flat on my back nor could I lay on my left side as that caused right-side pain. My right side constantly gurgled. I wore fancy hot packs under my garments due to the excessive pain I was enduring. I was never able to walk upright, with my arms clenching to my sides, always hunched over in pain. I had to be pushed in a wheelchair as I had no strength to walk on my own. It was absolutely frightening how my organs were shutting down with dangerously low Iron levels (7). My potassium levels were also low. I had elevated liver enzymes, plus I had a yellow glow. My blood pressure was extremely low, which stayed at 70/40. I could not bathe myself. Despite eating I was withering away at a phenomenal rate. My body was deteriorating as I wasted away to 85 pounds. If I ate things like corn chips, two to three hours later my right side felt like I had just consumed a handful of broken glass. I literally felt it moving through my small intestine. The pain was so excruciating I couldn’t even sit still. I suffered with dizziness, vertigo, alternate bowels habits, constant nausea, chicken skin (Keratosis Pilaris), dyspepsia, unexplained osteoporosis, kaleidoscope migraines and malabsorption with severe wasting away. Clearly, the typical gluten-free diet was killing me. I was going down for the count and I was going down fast. I didn’t have two years to experiment with the GF diet. I needed a radical transformation and I needed it yesterday already!

I was totally ecstatic that not only did Dr. Sidney Haas manage to successfully treat hundreds of patients with Celiac disease to a complete recovery but he also shared the science behind the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I began examining everything I could get my hands on that he wrote. My research then took me to Elaine Gottschal’s blockbuster book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet. I was utterly blown away. This book is a powerhouse of knowledge on how to not only heal the gut but gives a list of legal and non-legal foods. After analyzing her book I was ready to dive in head first. My radical transformation of my gut health was now or never! Blogs and websites like Jordan and Steve’s were a lifesaver for me. I found the information they shared in their menu plans, with step-by-step instructions on how to make broth along with meal planning, motivating and extremely helpful.

The First Three Months On the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) Was Rough for Me

At times I wanted to throw the towel in and just die. The reality is, though, I was too sick to quit! Don’t ask me to explain, just trust me on this one. Therefore, quitting was not an option for me. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was like my ‘hail mary’ pass!

Despite the ‘die off’ knocking me out for weeks, I quickly saw results. Just three days into the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, my pain went away! For the first time in my life, I was actually having daily BMs without having to take extra fiber or resort to laxatives. Sure, I was still suffering with constipation back then but my bowels were literally moving two to three times daily! That was a major accomplishment.

Linda-McGuire-6-months-into-SCDGoing into the fourth month, my health drastically improved and by six months my weight was 101 pounds. By my first year anniversary, I weighed 110. My family and I skipped winter by hanging out in the Florida Keys, getting as much vitamin D as I could. For the first time in years, I could actually stand up straight and I was no longer confined to a wheelchair. By my second year anniversary, I finally felt that I had indeed ‘Been healed.’ Let me repeat that, I had been healed! It was no longer a far off dream but a reality! It took years for my body to get in a disease state so I knew it could take some time to get out of that state. I was in for the long haul as quitting was not and never will be in my vocabulary.

I went very slowly and currently am still taking it easy on introducing foods back into my diet. At first, carrots were just too sweet for me as were bananas. I stuck with poultry and pureed all my cooked organic veggies. The only sweet food I ate was homemade applesauce and pear sauce. I refrained from all red meats, beans, lentils, peas, eggs, processed foods (even if they were SCD legal), all fruit juices, honey, dairy, nuts and nut butters. I didn’t even take vitamins. I drank at least eight glasses of water a day and had no coffee or teas. I never drank water with my meals but did drink twenty minutes prior to eating and up to two hours after eating. I also made sure I got eight hours of sleep every night. I stayed clear of stressful situations including watching the daily news and certain movies. I didn’t even walk into a doctor’s office as I didn’t want to hear any negativity! The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was my fig and no doctor was going to rain on my parade! No more was I buying into or wearing the pharmaceutical Band-Aids! Radicalism was birthed within me!

My New Motto:

Linda-McGuire-Hippocrates-quote-pic

That was truth coming from a well-known Greek Physician whom was considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. Oh the power of foods! With the flip of the switch, foods can start a fire or put a fire out! It is a fact that certain foods such as wheat, oats, white potatoes, sugar, casein, etc. are known to cause inflammation while other foods such as beets, garlic, dark leafy greens, berries, cherries, olive oil, etc. stop inflammation. Each of us holds that power to flip the switch on or to turn it off. I radically turned my switch off! You can too. Remember the body is a fascinating piece of machinery. Fuel it with the best, you’re going to get that baby to purr. Feed it junk and it’s going to spit and sputter.

My ultimate goal was to achieve restoration of my health. I pursued it with everything I had through the Specific Carbohydrate Diet lifestyle. I saw dramatic improvements in my health. I have stayed true, not even cheating once, to the SCD as outlined within Breaking the Vicious Cycle. After two years, for the first time in my life I am thriving! I am med-free with no adverse long-term side effects. I am living pain-free with blood pressure stable at 90’s/60’s. I have no more anxiety, no depression and no more brain fog. I do not suffer with intense cravings for sweets. I have not had any kaleidoscope migraines. I am at a great weight of 123 pounds with increased energy levels. I finally do not look, nor do I feel sick. I’m actually able to walk on the treadmill daily and can’t wait to ride my bike.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Is Not a Quick Fix

Rather, the SCD is a lifestyle which incorporates and maintains gut health. I took what I learned and embarked on a wonderful yet hard journey to health! This is not just for those who have Celiac disease but can also help people with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, autistic disorders and other digestive diseases. Today you can begin to radically transform your health for the better. Together we can sing, “Oh freedom is all mine and I know how I feel. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life and I’m feeling good!”- Feeling Good

[Enter Jordan]

Thank you so much Linda, your words are beautiful and your story is an inspiration. I know this is going to help so many people. I’m so grateful you’ve taken control of your health and now you’re willing to help others!

I hope that in reading this success story, you’re inspired to take more action. If you’ve been waiting to change your diet, start today. If you’ve been waiting to try a new supplement, start today. If you’re still not sure about that stool test you need to order, do it today.

Continue to take action toward health, and you WILL get healthy.

If you need help with diarrhea, click here to join us for our live “Stop Your Diarrhea” event.

If you need help creating your custom diet, our book can help.

But no matter what, know that we’ve got your back and that you can become a success story just like Linda!

– Jordan

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About the author

Jordan Reasoner Jordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Works

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie January 8, 2015 at 3:03 pm

This is such an incredible story, and I’m so happy for you, thrilled that you were willing to do the hard work of preparing these foods and sticking to the diet. Because many people really are in denial about diet to the point where they are just not willing to even try something that seems extreme – compared to SAD, that is. So, you deserve a lot of credit, and of course you’re receiving way more than that!

A big congratulations to you!!

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Linda January 11, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Thank you Debbie! Yes it is very hard yet so worth it. At one time I could not cook my food my daughter and my two sons all helped in preparing my food. I do not think i could have done it without them helping me. Some days it felt like all they did was COOK, cause they did. Cooking in advance is how we do it now!

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Sarah Johnson January 8, 2015 at 3:26 pm

I have Graves Disease but don’t want my thyroid radiated. This organ is important for the hormone balance! What can I do get my thyroid levels normal without medication. I have been on gluetin free, sugar free, potato free, caffeine free, etc diet for 1 1/2 years and it isn’t helping. I’m under the care of a Endocrinologist and an all natural doctor that is working to correct my gut. I do have constipation problems. Would appreciate any help!

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Lori Jo Berg January 8, 2015 at 9:06 pm

Hi Sarah, thanks for reaching out! It looks like you are on the right path, but if you would like to view our program to heal the gut you can do so here: solvingleakygut.com

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Sherry January 8, 2015 at 3:42 pm

I was so inspired from Linda’s story. You see, this is almost identical to my son’s life story. We are on year 15, with trying to get him healed. I started the S.C.D. after all the gluten free foods left my son with a weight loss of ten more pounds! I am seeing some good energy coming back to him and hoping some year to get him out of the house again, and back to school.
My question is this,. I believe my son was misdiagnosed of Celiac, he had no gluten in him for years with the blood test and the Dr. assured me that was fine. We know better today. However,……….my son is lactose Intolerant so,…..the yogurt is wonderful for him but when I tried the hard cheese(after 2 months on the diet) he started with his old pains for 4 days now. I am interested in your advice for lactose Intolerant people. Can we have any dairy or no? My son was very high on the test. Also,….any suggestions to get those greens in? They mostly cause gas and the only way I can get them I is with a smoothie, too many fruits give him always mouth ulcers.
Thank you,
Sherry

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Lori Jo Berg January 8, 2015 at 9:04 pm

Hi Sherry, thanks for reaching out! Your body will tell you if you can handle the dairy or not. He may be able to down the road when his gut has healed a bit more, but it is hard to say. You can try blending the steamed veggies in a smoothie with other SCD legal ingredients to increase the intake of greens.

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Anna Hoffman January 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm

A wonderful story filled with inspiration.

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Jacqueline January 8, 2015 at 9:42 pm

Thank You Linda,
I’m on a modified SCD, I’m a vegetarian. I’ve been feeling like I have reached a plateau, but your story has inspired me to hang in there. I was at 84 lbs. I’m up to 91 after 10 months. I’m encouraged to know that it took a couple of years for you to feel healed.
I’ve been going for IV infusions of vitamins

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Linda January 18, 2015 at 11:51 pm

Jacqueline,

That is AWESOME you are starting to gain some weight! That is a sign that you are indeed healing. As I was eating but the weight just coming off. I was not able to absorb anything I was eating. Yes don’t give up SCD works! Some of us takes a little longer than others before we start really feelng good.

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Wendy January 9, 2015 at 6:41 am

Such an amazing story – I am so impressed with Linda’s determination and success. It’s hugely motivating to me as I am working through auto-immune/leaky gut issues and hoping to now cut grains. However, as I am already struggling to keep my weight up I have concerns about cutting more calories – any help much appreciated on how to keep my calories up on the SCD diet please would be much appreciated! There is so little advice on this issue out there I feel. Thank you!

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Lori Jo Berg January 11, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Hi Wendy, thanks for reaching out! Adding in extra healthy fats, like coconut oil, can help increase caloric intake. Secondly, this article may help you as well: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/04/5-real-food-weight-gain-shakes-paleo-scd/

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Linda January 18, 2015 at 11:58 pm

Hi Wendy,

You need to increase your protein and healthy fats such as ghee. Eat more meals everyday also. After my family saw how sick I was my one Son went also went SCD. He weight 245 pounds and got down to 135 pounds. So you will have to adjust your meals to get more calories. I know Steve and Jordon offer a meal program with helps with meal planning and calorie counting. You may want to get that.

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Lori Jo Berg January 19, 2015 at 5:54 pm

HI Linda, we do have SCD meal plans and they can be found here: http://scdlifestyle.com/meal-plans/

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Lisa January 9, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Great story for us too to slow down and really think about what food is about and how it can help us live a better life. I, myself, was diagnosed early at 27 with primary biliary cirrhosis. Not sure why even to this day.. Too early docs told me. My future was bleak. I was sooooo driven to live life to the fullest that I supposed I burnt myself out. Now my life has doctors wanting me to comply at 47 with their corticosteriod which I slowly tapered off and supplemented with good alternatives. Recently my digestive system and my dad’s illness took a hard toll on me and I might not be qualified for a transplant. Not sure as I read alot of negatives of corticosteroids and wish there was an alternative way… I feel ok but have had bouts of intestinal issues. Was thinking I got this autoimmune disease from gluten and leaky gut. Docs disagree….. Viral they say…

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Lisa January 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm

I need some insight as to what course I can take? I was told i need to take prednisone with immuan. Put me on list. I am sooooo scared to say but I guess I might die if I don’t. I was loving my own regime but started to get on marine phytoplankton, liver rescue, vitamin b and d, DE and chia and intestinal repair. I want to do the bone broth. Does anybody out there have any good recommendations? Please I feel like I am at the end soon!

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Lori Jo Berg January 11, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Hi Lisa, thanks for reaching out. It sounds like you need a comprehensive program that will address diet, lifestyle and supplements. Our best suggestion here is to look into our Solving Leaky gut program, as this program is a comprehensive program to healing the gut and addressing underlying issues you may be having: solvingleakygut.com

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Jacq January 10, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Is this diet for someone with very chronic constipation, chronic hemorrhoids, along with low adrenals, low thyroid, and low libido?

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Lori Jo Berg January 11, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Hi Jacq, thanks for reaching out! We have had many find success on the SCD diet with chronic constipation. As far as low adrenals, thyroid, and other hormone issues, changing your diet is only a part of it, and we encourage you to get the proper testing and help you need by working with a functional medecine practitioner. I you are in need of one, you can find one here: http://scdlifestyle.com/practitioners/

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Jacq January 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I also have a list of “known” food intolerances too ( and likely many unknown ones as well.)

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Linda January 11, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Thanks Anna. I truly believe you will feel much better if you tried this also.

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Kathy Masson January 11, 2015 at 2:35 pm

I have Lyme disease & severe GI distress ( most likely from years of antibiotics & diet – (gluten free only). I would like to follow the SCD diet, but am not sure it is benicial if I need some kind of antimicrobials to keep the persistent Lyme infections away. Has anyone else benefitted who had chronic infections that need to be treated ongoing? Also how can I gain more weight, will the SCD diet help?
I sure would appreciate any info.
Kathy

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Lori Jo Berg January 11, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Hi Kathy, thanks for reaching out! It is our belief that there is a custom diet out there for each person and SCD provides the framework for figuring out what that may look like for you. We always start with food, as one of the first steps to better health and no matter what the symptoms are, we must figure out what our bodies can tolerate, what they can not, and how to heal the gut. I encourage you to read this article on weight gain as well: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/04/5-real-food-weight-gain-shakes-paleo-scd/

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