Monday, July 20, 2015

Living SCD

Last year I was diagnosed with diverticular disease. Not fun! An infection landed me in the ER twice- this is where I got my diagnosis. The antibiotics they put me on were the harshest meds I have ever been on. I was so sick I honestly thought I might not come out of the infection.
 I've had a few infections since but they have been mild and easy to treat with oregano oil. If you have ever tried oregano oil to fight infection you know how quickly it works! Faster than any antibiotics I have ever been on, and I only have to take a few days worth.
 When I was first diagnosed with Diverticular disease it seemed quite mild. I didn't do anything about it other than watch for an infection.
 For months I was fine, until April of this year. My symptoms progressed quickly and I found that I was unable to attend social functions or even go to the grocery store. I needed to stay close (VERY CLOSE) to a bathroom! Know what I mean?? It was awful. I told my husband I was not dying, but I wasn't living either. I realized when I started to heal that I WAS dying. My eating habits were in fact slowly killing me. My A1C was creeping up, my blood pressure was high, the inflammation in previously injured joints was working overtime, I had massive acid reflux that wasn't responding to meds, I had fatty infiltration of the liver, I wasn't sleeping well and I was always exhausted. I felt horrible!
I realized I couldn't live like that. Literally! I was a ticking time bomb. Years of Yo-yo dieting and abusing my body with food had taken it's toll and I could no longer exercise my way out of the damage I was causing.
I had to do something- but what? I did what I always do. I turned to Google! Information is power, yes? I stumbled across the SCD diet.
The SCD diet helps in treating diseases of the bowel like Crohn's disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Diverticular disease by removing starch and complex sugars from the diet. I came across a book called "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by biochemist Elaine Gottschall and bought a copy. There is an extremely detailed list of "legal" and "illegal" foods in the book.
I really had hit rock bottom with my health and told my husband I was done eating. I honestly probably would have tried anything at this point. I was that desperate. I started then and there on my quest for better health.
I immediately cut all complex carbs, grains, sugar, oats, flax and chia seeds and focused on eating a diet full of fresh fruits and veggies, meat, cheese, eggs, nuts and nut flours.
Within 2 days of cutting inflammatory foods I felt different. I had so much energy (I told my family I felt like the energizer bunny on crack),  I started to sleep soundly, I quit taking heart burn meds, and I wasn't chained to the bathroom.
I began the diet on April 26th and five days into it I began keeping a journal to document how I felt and to keep a record of my progress. I lost about 3 lbs. in that time and noticed a decrease in sugar cravings. That last one was huge for me. I have been addicted to sugar since I was a child. In the past when I would cut sugar from my diet I would have specific cheat days. They only happened once in a while but I would hog wild because I knew I was going to be cut off the next day. I had never fully adopted a grain/sugar free lifestyle. Until now. It has been 12 weeks since my journey to heal my gut and improve my life began. I have lost 19 lbs. in that time and for the first time in a long time I have hope. Now, this diet is not for wimps! I had to cut things you would not imagine would cause inflammation. Like baking powder. What? I have had to get very creative and make a lot of our food. Almond milk, baking powder, mayonnaise, fruit syrup, taco seasoning, and nut flours- just to mention a few.
Is it worth is? Heck yes!! Just the fact that I don't have constant stomach pain has made this all worth it. Can I keep up this strict eating plan? I think I have to. I want to live. Not just fill my air with lings but actually live!

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