It all started with ear infections.
From the age of six months, my youngest child suffered from one ear infection after another. I resisted giving her antibiotics and would instead try natural remedies, but to no avail. With my poor baby crying in pain, I gave in to the doctor’s insistence on prescribing antibiotics because he told me that if the infection didn’t clear up, my daughter could burst an eardrum or even lose her hearing. She had five of these infections by the time she was ten months old, at which point she had surgery to help drain her ears. The operation was a big success, and the good news was that she no longer had any ear infections.
Her stomach was not so fortunate, however. The antibiotics had wreaked havoc on her gut. Her immunity had been so weakened by these powerful medicines that I believe it made her more susceptible to bacteria and infections. And little did I know at the time that the food she was eating was encouraging the growth of harmful bacteria in her digestive system, making her even more susceptible to diseases and parasites.
When she was one year old, she contracted a salmonella infection and had to be hospitalized, where she was given more antibiotics. The following summer she contracted dientamoebus fragilis, another parasite, and was prescribed more strong medication.
At the same time she developed digestive problems. She wasn’t growing properly or absorbing nutrients. She was so skinny and frail that I felt something must be seriously wrong. I kept taking her to see different doctors, hoping to find someone or something that would help her. This went on for more than a year.
Then I met a Santa Barbara, California, nutritionist named Dale Figtree. After I described my problem, she urged me to read Elaine Gottschall’s Breaking the Vicious Cycle. I raced through the book in one night, fascinated by Gottschall’s scientific research and eager to learn more about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) she had designed to alleviate the symptoms of digestive disorders. She explained in her book that millions of people around the world suffer from gut problems and that most doctors routinely prescribe antibiotics and steroids which, for the most part, don’t work.
Dale suggested I begin preparing meals for my daughter using the SCD guidelines. I had to embrace a completely different way of cooking. So many foods that I viewed as healthy ingredients—including brown rice and tofu—turned out to be dangerous for my child. Soon after I committed to this new way of cooking, which eliminated virtually all starch and complex sugars, my daughter started to feel much better, and she began to grow. Now, several years later, she’s thriving.
Elaine is a miracle worker! A true pioneer and scientist, she spent her life teaching others how to heal by prescribing changes in diet and nutrition, not drugs. Her book has sold more than one million copies and has helped so many people in addition to my daughter. For more information and to read about personal success stories and testimonials, visit the official Web site at www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info.
Tested for more than fifty years by Dr. Sidney Hass and Elaine Gottschall, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet has produced very convincing results. Gottschall claims that, based on clinical study and anecdotal feedback, at least 75 percent of those who follow the diet rigidly have experienced “significant improvement.”
It seems as if everyone I meet has digestive challenges or knows of someone who has digestive challenges. The SCD has been shown to help not just one segment of this population, but people with digestive illnesses that include irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, diabetes, candida, and diverticulitis, as well as many food-related allergies, acid reflux disease, indigestion, heartburn, and gas. It also appears to help ch