Reducing your allergies and sensitivities may start with healing your gut. Recent studies indicate that dietary habits may feed harmful microbes leading to GI problems, inflammation and many illnesses, including allergies.
The book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health through Diet, by Elaine Gottschall, outlines an eating plan, called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). The diet is designed to eliminate harmful microbes by starving them while continuing to nourish the body. In studies, individuals who followed the diet experienced alleviation of symptoms, including muscle aches, stiff joints, chronic skin rashes, allergies and sensitivities.
What is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet?
SCD was developed decades ago by Gottschall from the work of Dr. Sydney Haas, a pioneer in the treatment of celiac disease. Individuals on the diet must avoid refined sugars and flours as well as certain other foods. Lactose-free yogurt is eaten to replenish healthy bacteria. A complete list of legal foods for the diet can be found at http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/legal/listing/A/
How do GI problems develop?
Studies indicate that more than 400 different kinds of bacteria live in the human colon. The stomach and most of the small intestine normally have only a sparse population of bacteria. In a healthy intestinal tract, the bacterial species live in harmony.
However, bacterial overgrowth does occur for a variety of reasons including:
•Overuse of antacids which interferes with the high acidity of the stomach;
•Decreased acidity of the stomach due to aging;
•Malnutrition or a poor diet which results in a weakened immune system;
•Antibiotics which change the balance of bacteria in the gut.
How does SCD heal the gut?
Starches and certain sugars feed microbes, such as bacteria, yeast and fungi. By avoiding these foods, these harmful microbes die off. At the same time, beneficial bacteria is replaced with foods, such as lactose-free yogurt.
Is SCD successful?
A success rate of 80-85 percent has been reported, provided those following the plan practice strict adherence. Find out more about SCD at http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/home/