Steve’s SCD Healing Journal: Week 14 – Don’t Lose The Forest Among the Trees!

by Steven Wright

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

Week 14 Summary

Well, after coming off a nice new high last week, my digestive healing is on a bit of a bull pullback (stock trading talk for down swing in the middle of an up swing).  The main problem has been bowel movements.  Not really any other problems, just the fact that they are not of very high quality and I’ve had a couple mini constipation cycles (2-3days).

My first reaction as this happened last week was “AHHH F#C$, What the Beep?!?”

I can’t stand these feelings because constipation is something I’ve never experienced before doing this diet.  It’s funny to say it, but at least with D I know how my body is going to react.  I guess you could say I was a bit frustrated early last week.  All I wanted to do was get in my time machine and go back to the weeks prior when everything was humming along.  While I think this is a normal reaction for me to have initially, I also feel like there is a real danger of letting these mini setbacks cause lasting problems on my healing journey.  If I let myself start tearing apart my diet and worrying over what minute little thing has changed, it will probably end up causing more damage.

I mean, suffering less than stellar stools 90 days into the SCD diet is not that big of deal, but who am I kidding, I was hoping and praying this climb was straight vertical!

I think this is a common thought process to get caught up in on the SCD diet.  Once I started taking pride in changing myself and feeling better I’ve come to expect that I will always be going forward and always feel “amazing” (insert positive adjective here).  I want to always be making forward progress, to be adding more foods and experimenting.  But that is a trap, this is life and nothing ever works out exactly as I picture it and nothing ever stays the same.  My life is always changing, and with it too is my digestion, thoughts and emotions.  To get all bent out of shape over a slight digestive problem that in all reality is nothing compared to what I was feeling 90 days ago is a bit ridiculous.

The ups and downs of healing my digestive tract have been maddening at times but in the future I think it going to be really important for me to keep my head level when I’m having a “problem” (any type of poor digestive reaction for lack of better term) allowing my mind to wander into negative guess work thoughts during these periods is going to do nothing but cause poor rash decisions.

I think it is always really important when a change (good or bad) is observed in my digestion process, to take a look at the micro and macro levels.  Observing one without the other is an insufficient analysis.  It the same principle as looking at short term trends (how i feel today) vs long term trends (how i felt last month, 6 months ago, last year).  Focusing too much on either one can easily lead to split second decisions that take me farther away from my true path of health.

So going forward when I’m in the heat of a sugar craving, or swearing on the toilet during a bad food reaction, I’m really going to focus on taking a minute to reflect not on what might fix this situation, or what is to blame, but I’m going to try and remember where I was 6 months ago and see if this current “setback” is really all that I’ve worked it up to be.  Judging each moment accordingly can only happen when I examine each problems weight in several time periods.

So what caused my problems?

That is a great question, one in which I haven’t figured out the answer.  After more reflection, I think the problem is too many variables changed at the same time last week.  I upped my dosage of anti-fungal supplements, I changed my yogurt base from goat to cow milk, I cut the tomatoes but kept mushrooms, green peppers and white onions, added a small amount of cheese gratings, and tried a small amount of almond butter.  Now are any of the things really CRAZY or out there for me at this point in the diet?  No, but the problem was I got lazy and stopped writing down when and what I was eating.  Not to mention I didn’t separate all the changes by 3-4 days like I normally do.

Now that I’m in the guessing mode my thoughts are that it most likely has something to do with the yeast and change in yogurt.  I’m making this assumption based on the fact that usually when I try new foods and they don’t agree with me they cause fast digestion symptoms such as loose stools and other gas pains not constipation.

Go Forward or Go Back?

Now what do I do?  I’ve developed a negative change in my symptoms and I don’t even know how to fix it because I can’t determine the cause.  In the past I’ve returned to intro diet type foods automatically, hoping for some kind of immediate relief.  Which I truly think is the right move when I’m experiencing a major setback, however when it comes to minor setbacks I’m going to experiment with taking a new stance –  STOP and change nothing.

I might try eliminating the one most likely culprit but I think its very important for me to try it again soon (days not weeks).  That is what I’m planning on doing.  Constipation or not so superior stools, in my mind, indicate something is out of whack but that could be good or bad as far as I’m concerned.  To automatically rule out a food or supplement, without making sure it is the true culprit, would be a poor diet limiting move.

So I’m going to sit still for the week, I’m going to keep eating the yogurt, taking the anti-fungals and I’m going to make each of the vegetables separate and see if I notice anything else change.  While I’m not completely happy with how I’m digesting, I think it would be wrong to jump to any conclusions.

So hows everyone else doing?  What do you do when you experience setbacks?

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About the author

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

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol Frilegh May 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm

My comments keep disappearing. I suggested you go back to goat yogurt as it is more digestible than cow dairy even though it is treated for SCD through 24 incubation into yogurt. It’s OK to use suppositories to temporarily relieve constipation. Also you are at the critical three month mark where regression can occur for no apparent reason. One more thing, Reactions can be delayed for week. The Easter misfortune may just be manifesting itself now. Do you think when you got lazy with journaling that you ate something illegal or new and forgot about it? Beef up your watchfulness in all the above mentioned areas. If things don’t improve, stop all yogurt for a time and see if this makes a difference. Try a dairy free probiotic instead.

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Sherry Johnson May 3, 2010 at 9:29 pm

I would agree with Carol to go back to the goat’s milk yogurt as she said it it easier to digest, is less allergic than cow’s milk, and doesn’t as readily produce or bloating (you probably already new all that). My son was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis a few years ago and I have been reading everything I can on the SCD. I am glad I found your website. I will be visiting often!

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Steven Wright May 4, 2010 at 8:49 am

Carol – Thanks for stopping by and helping out, we are having some trouble with spammers in the comments sections so thanks for continuing to comment and help out. I completely forgot about the “3 month setback” and I am going to take your advice and switch back to goat’s milk yogurt in the next day or so. I’m 99% sure I didn’t eat anything illegal or new but I wasn’t writing it down so I can’t be 100%.

Sherry – Welcome to the site and thanks for stopping by as well. Yeah the yogurt milk has been in the back of my mind, I didn’t want to give up the cow’s milk because the texture is sooo much better than the goat’s milk. 🙂

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Carol Frilegh May 4, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Steve,
I got a great little cone shaped plastic gadget, lined with mesh for dripping the yogurt. It makes the texture of the goat yogurt range from sour creamy to cream cheesy depending on how long the yogurt drips. Unfortunately they are no longer being made, but you can use cheese cloth or line a colander with men’s large hankies and filter out the galactose liquid. This will make the yogurt easier to digest.

I think Melitta paper coffee filters will work too.

I am currently having problems with yogurt and am on a yogurt sabbatical for a while. This happens when my immune system gets on overload.

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Steven Wright May 17, 2010 at 10:38 am

Carol – On my next batch I want to try this dripping method, what is the diameter of the mesh stainer that you use? How long do you typically let it drain for? and I’m assuming you leave it covered in the fridge while it drains? Thanks for the Help!

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Rick November 6, 2011 at 11:55 am

Steve, did you ever figure out what the culprit was? I have been on the SCD for over a month now and if I do not take magnesium supplements I have some intense C. I have been considering the possibility that it could be the cow’s milk yogurt or eggs, but both of those are big parts of my caloric intake that I really do not want to take out of my diet unless absolutely necessary. I also eat 3 tbs of coconut oil with each meal so I keep thinking the C should go away naturally but it still has not. I realize this post is over a year old so I am interested to know if you solved the problem and how?

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