newsletter pulls together much of the material I have written about
Gottschall's groundbreaking work on the effect of complex carbohydrates
on the intestines. I provide urls and their listserve at the end of
the article for those of you who wish more information and communication
with others on the diet. I know I have carbohydrate indigestion and
mine is a result of early and unattended constipation. One of the
effects of constipation or the stagnation of material in the intestines
is bacterial and fungal overgrowth which can lead to inflammation.
I feel great when I follow the diet.
you or anyone you know has any of the symptoms or conditions, the
book will be very valuable reading.
the Vicious Cycle
recently came across an informative book entitled Breaking the
Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Health through Diet by Elaine Gottschall,
M.S. Her areas of focus are the effects of sugars on the digestive
tract, changes that occur in the bowel wall in inflammatory bowel
disease, and the effect of food on the functioning of the digestive
tract as well as on behavior.
originally wrote the book for Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis,
diverticulitis, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, and chronic
diarrhea. The circle has expanded to include some forms of schizophrenia
and other psychiatric symptoms, physical and mental retardation, seizures,
candida, Epstein-Barre, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
you think we are the only generation experiencing intestinal distress
, Gottschall notes that as far back as 300 A.D., a Roman doctor prescribed
fasting and plantain juice to cure a diarrhea condition like celiac
disease. Her chapter, "Beyond Gluten", deals with celiac.
reading her book, I realized that over 50% of my colon hydrotherapy
clients have carbohydrate indigestion. The most common symptoms
are gas and bloat that might appear late every afternoon, or after
each meal, or after eating one thing. Occasionally, the person will
suffer periodic bouts of deep intestinal pain or extremely painful
gas attacks. In some, the peristaltic response is nil due to bacteria
and yeast by-product damage.
Are the Sugars?
evidence of the twentieth century has indicted carbohydrates as the
major culprit in numerous intestinal disorders. Carbohydrates are
various types of sugars and starches. Gottschall lists the three types
and defines them.
are single sugars called monosaccharides. Glucose, fructose,
and galactose are absorbed directly into the bloodstream without digestion.
Glucose and fructose are found in honey, fruits, and some vegetables;
galactose in fresh yogurt.
are double sugars or disaccharides. The double sugars
"require splitting by intestinal cell enzymes." The disaccharides
are lactose and sucrose from milk and refined sugar. The other two,
maltose and isomaltose, are from the breakdown of starches by enzymes
of the saliva and pancreas. Enzymes at the tips of small intestinal
microvilli break them down into single sugars.
are the multiple sugars or polysaccharides such as potatoes,
yams and grains. Pasta and bread are on this list.
sugars can be directly absorbed into the bloodstream. Trouble
begins when double and multiple sugars do not get fully
digested, assimilated, nor eliminated by intestinal enzymes. The undigested
sugars ferment through bacterial action. They are the primary source
of energy for the yeast and bacteria. These little critters have their
own by-products: gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane,
and sometimes alcohol; and acids such as lactic and acetic. She cites
research from the New England Journal of Medicine that claims
lactic acid formed from fermentation causes abnormal brain function
and behavior accompanying so many intestinal disorders.
presence of the undigested carbs in the small intestine encourages
bacteria and yeast from the colon "to take up residence in the
small intestine and continue to multiply." Bacterial by-products
in the small intestines destroy enzymes on the intestinal cell surface
so that digestion and absorption are nearly impossible and more fermentation
occurs. At this point the mucus-producing cells of the small
intestine, the goblet cells, kick in. Their mucus secretions
protect the intestinal wall against microbial toxins and undigested
carbohydrates. The mucus-coating prevents sugars and starches needing
digestion from reaching the absorptive and enzyme cells. Fermentation
and damage escalate and "normal absorption of B 12 is disturbed."
calls her intestinal recovery program through diet practices, "The
Specific Carbohydrate Diet." or SCD The main foods not permitted
are processed meats since they contain starch, whey powder, lactose,
or sucrose. No grains or grain products, potatoes, parsnips, yams,
chick peas, bean sprouts, or soybeans, are allowed however a person
could have lima beans, squash, artichokes, navy beans, peas, and lentils.
Nuts, fresh juices, and even a smoothy made with homemade yogurt,
and fruits sweetened to taste with honey are permitted. Gottschall
requests that if you have candida you eliminate the fruit,
fruit juices, and raw honey in the beginning.
big NO went to the lactose sugar group mainly all those milk
based dairy products. Our digestive enzyme, lactase, begins to disappear
at two or three years old once we are weaned from mother's milk. We
begin to derive our nutrients from other sources than milk. Some of
us were never breast-fed. We started right off with sugar and milk
or soy based formulas. It has taken a toll on our intestines.
basic idea is to end the bacterial destruction of the intestinal
wall by depriving them of the foods that give them energy. It takes
time for the microvilli of the small intestine to repair themselves
but they do. At the end of the book she claims that after one heals
their small intestinal track and has no symptoms for one year, they
can return slowly to grains, potatoes, yams, pasta, and soy products.
However, she admonishes everyone to stay away permanently from white
sugar and flour. They are two of the main energy sources for the harmful
bacteria and yeast.
Components of the Book
Appendix has a list of the amount of sucrose ( table sugar!) commonly
added to foods. The winners come in at 50% for hard candy, 44% soft
candies, 42% chewing gum, 31% for jams, jellies, sweet sauces, toppings,
and syrups, 26% breakfast cereals, and 25% processed cheese (that's
a new one for me). One small section is devoted to baby foods! She
also lists allowed cheeses and alcohols for those who dare to venture.
book also contains nineteen pages of references, ten excellent illustrations,
a glossary, and an appendix. A Gourmet Section of some great recipes
takes up 45% of the book, 65 of 143 pages. I found a good Honey-Ginger
Chutney for vegans!
work brings attention to a long overlooked part of our digestive tract,
the small intestines. She gives us a new piece of the puzzle in our
big jigsaw of understanding intestinal health.
of Intestinal Hydrotherapies
hydrotherapy sessions combined with appropriate dietary and herbal
programs are sometimes used to alleviate carbohydrate indigestion.
Herbal formulas to cleanse, rebuild, refoliate and soothe the intestinal
tract may form an integral part of the intestinal wall healing program.
Psyllium, bentonite, raw juices, fruits and vegetables along with
the intestinal hydrotherapies help dissolve mucus layers especially
for those with excessive mucous conditions. Massage therapy techniques
during the colon hydrotherapy session cover the small and large intestine.
hydrotherapy is indicated under prescription and direct physician
supervision for colitis, mucous colitis, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis(itis)
and Crohn's disease. A person may also choose to use enemas and colemas
as well as colonics and develop their own massage and breathing techniques
that assist their healing.
I wrote the original book review, Elaine Gottschall called me and
asked if I would help sponsor her in Tucson. With an enthusiastic,
"Yes", I sent out a newsletter inviting clients and friends
to come to a talk we planned for her. The response was excellent.
The following excerpt is from the invitational newsletter. The following
article is a review of her talk.
of the most dramatic and fastest recoveries have occurred in babies
and young children with severe constipation and among children who,
along with intestinal problems, had serious behavior problems. (That
sounds like my childhood!). These included autistic-type hypoactivity
as well as hyperactivity, often accompanied by severe and prolonged
Quote from Gottschall's book
Gottschall's Talk September 1995
energetic 74 year old powerhouse explained the research contained
in her ground-breaking book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal
Health Through Diet, reviewed the principles of the Specific Carbohydrate
Diet, interpreted electron microscope slides, and answered many questions.
The dynamic seminar was attended by over 100 people.
the evening, many people chronicled their story to Elaine for her
expert advice. She encouraged people with carbohydrate indigestion
symptoms to read her book, and give the diet a chance for three weeks.
It has had significant effect within two weeks in the most severe
from the talk. Food for thought.
thrive on a complex carbohydrate diet.
Hirschsprung's disease, muscle movement in the intestines has
ceased. In a less severe condition, the intestines are temporarily
paralyzed. I observe this in a number of clients. She said the
cause could be a toxin or acid that destroys the nerves.
currently reading Deadly Medicine by Moore.
study of Crohn's disease shows that sufferers eat 40 - 400% more
starch than other people.
mutant E. Coli is the cause of ulcerative colitis.
colitis is an immune disorder. White blood cells attack our own
disorders are associated with mental illness: ulcerative colitis
with schizophrenia or bipolarity; chronic diarrhea with epilepsy.
When the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is eaten, mental symptoms
disappear first then intestinal!
you have intestinal problems with diarrhea, go off lactose.
is the seaweed targeted for causing carbohydrate indigestion.
It's highly refined and used as a thickening agent/emulsifier
in many products. (Read your labels. I find it even in 'healthy'
breeding changes the digestibility of food. Corn is indigestible.
electron microscope slide shows many bacteria and yeast contained
within a mucus layer on a small intestine wall. She explained
many antibiotics don't work because they can't penetrate the mucus.
slide shows intestinal cells sending out fimbrils (arms) to the
fimbrils of mutated bacteria, clasping each other, and bonding!
Url and Listserve Information
Send a blank e-mail (no subject, no message) to
mailto:SCDfirstname.lastname@example.org (regular subscription) OR
mailto:SCDemail@example.com (digest subscription).
about how to order the book from the publisher are on this website:
also has a mirror site: http://www.scdiet.com
Bowel Disease (IBD) Information.
Site of Ronald Hoffman MD in Manhattan regarding IBD.
Shea 1999 All Rights Reserved