Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Changing my Diagnosis and The Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Earlier this month I wrote about the Ulcerative Colitis I deal with effecting my ability to get pregnant.  Just to recap, the doctors recently informed me to "look into other options" in regards to pregnancy, because they don't see me being able to have a healthy pregnancy on my own, especially with the medications I've been on (as of last Thursday, I stopped taking the meds due to a side effect that the doctor was concerned about.)  As I told you before, this baby news devastated me.  I've wanted to be a mommy more than anything for as long as I can remember.

I took the doctors advice seriously.  I've done and continue to do research on everything from fostering to adoption to surrogacy.  I've spoken to many people and David and I have pow-wows with each about all of our options on a regular basis.  However, in all of this studying, I figured out that I still have one more option before throwing in the towel.  It's called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

It's not an easy program, but if it means I can change my diagnosis, feel better, and have a healthy baby on my own, I'm willing to try it.  For it to be successful, I have to follow the program to the letter... with no cheating, for at least a year.  So now I'm trying to wrap my brain around all the rules.  I've read the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle, which David is reading it now too.  I love food and cooking, so what I'm doing now is training my brain to focus on cooking the SCD way from now on, and only the SCD way.  Everything else is poison to me.

The gist of the program is no grains, starches, or simple sugars, and lots of fermented (for a minimum of 24 hours) homemade yogurts and sauerkraut.  I've actually had a great time making the homemade yogurt... and its quite easy and tasty too!  I'm not thrilled by the sauerkraut because I've never liked the taste, but I'll try!

The program gets a little tricky because there are a lot of other "Illegal" foods like all canned vegetables (although frozen are okay), soy products, certain other beans like chickpeas and pinto beans for example, also whey, cream, etc. I can have flax oil, but not flaxseeds- the list goes on.  And the only sweetener I'm allowed is honey (and of course naturally occurring sugars in fruit).  It's definitely a lesson in ready labels!

I have to admit that I was really struggling with the idea of the program until I stumbled upon this wonderful blog called Roost.  The talented author, Coco, and her husband started living the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in an effort to heal his Crohn's Disease (the sister disease to Ulcerative Colitis), and they have enjoyed a 90% success in his healing with diet alone!  That's huge!

The Roost Blog gave me the crutch that I needed to get me started in the right direction.  She also provided links to a couple other very insightful blogs: Comfy Belly and Elana's Pantry which in turn had other wonderful links to support me as well.  I even wrote Coco a letter telling her my story and asking her for starter tips.  She graciously responded and I can't tell you how meaningful her insight and kind words were to me.

I showed all of my research to David and he happily agreed to do the program with me like Coco and her husband did.  Working together, I'll have a better chance of being successful- even the tiniest bit of "illegal" foods can upset the program, so its truly necessary to be vigilant about what goes into my body... so if I'm ever coming over to your home for a meal, please do me a favor and consult the food list and other online recipes.

The woman who created the program, Elaine Gottschall, created it for her daughter who had Ulcerative Colitis, but has since found that the program is healing for everything from bowel diseases to autism to multiple sclerosis and many other auto-immune diseases.  If you have health problems, particularly tummy troubles, you might check it out.

Wish us luck and please keep us in your prayers!  I've got a good feeling about this, and combined with all of the other beneficial things I'm doing like yoga and acupuncture, I'm going to change my diagnosis and have a healthy happy family of my own.

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