Top critical review
31 people found this helpful
I have actually read this book and tried the diet
on 21 January 2014
It is common knowledge that some amazon reviews are falsified. If you look at the number of reviews for this book ( 76 including mine ) and the average rating ( 4.7 ) you will see a distinct similarity to its main direct competition ( amongst others ) the book 'Breaking the vicious cycle' ( again 76 reviews and 4.6 rating ) upon which some of the basic principles of this book are based. I found this statistic suspicious but continued with an open mind.
I have severe M.E ( along with I.B.S, G.O.R.D and a Hiatus Hernia ) and comorbid clinical DEPRESSION and ANXIETY and am therefore desperate for any help as there is currently no cure for my diseases. I had to leave my career in Medicine due to these debilitating illnesses. I was keen to find out if it could help with my depression and anxiety. Whilst there is no specific reference to any of my other diseases in this book, the SCD diet is mean't to help with I.B.S symptoms. The same specific components instigated in this book should also help with that.
I DID NOT find this diet to be helpful at all with my depression and anxiety. In fact both myself and family members noticed a definite worsening of both my anxiety and depression whilst on this diet.
I found some of the info in the book to be helpful though. The 24 hour yogurt has helped me to greatly reduce lactose in my diet, whilst providing the apparently beneficial bacteria. When i started taking probiotics capsules previous to this diet i thought i noticed a slight reduction in pain from colic. However, I can not be sure of this but i can say that the yogurt does not seem to have improved upon the pain from colic. I have anosmia ( lack of smell ), but my wife noticed a reduction in the unpleasant infective smell (b.o) that accompanied me within a few days of starting the yogurt. I will be continuing with the yogurt due to a perceived lactose intolerance.
I tried the diet for two months in total. I was not able to progress from the introduction diet due to gastrointestinal symptoms persisting (I.B.S) and the exhaustion caused by all of the food preparation ( even with my partners help). This intro diet is very limiting and requires a vast amount of food preparation and cooking time, as well as sourcing the correct meats and organic veg. The chicken stock and soup are undoubtedly helpful as a soothing agent for G.O.R.D and gastritis and i continue to do it when i can. I thought i notice a reduced swelling of my upper abdomen (stomach) and lack of epigastric pain from not consuming milk, wheat, corn, oats, potatoes and specifically durum wheat pasta whilst on the diet. This swelling was noticed upon reintroducing these foods one at a time. Upon reintroducing these foods ( other than milk ) into a balanced diet i have not physically noticed any increase in abdominal swelling, but the increase in stomach pressure seems to persist and be associated with these foods. However, most importantly over all i will say my gastrointestinal symptoms - epigastric pain, colic, flatulence- were NOT reduced by the diet. If fact i did notice an increase in flatulence. The increased oligosaccharides from all the veg consumed would account for this.
Whilst on the diet i was allowed honey, a food i have always associated stomach pain with. This was still the case on this diet and in fact was more prominent, a feature i attribute to not having the bulking and stomach lining properties of some of the removed carbohydrates noted above.
The Anti-Candida diet has been proven to be ineffective for M.E by this trial apparently -
'New dietetic research published tomorrow shows that Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is not helped by low sugar, low yeast diets, compared to a well balanced and healthy diet. The research, funded by The ME Association and carried out by the infection and immunity group based at St Bartholomew's Hospital, looked at different dietary treatments of patients diagnosed with ME/CFS.'
Maybe in the future they will carry out such trials for the SCD diet or this GAPS diet. After my own experience I would hazard a guess, neither would be an effective treatment, especially if the patients have to prepare the food for themselves given the intense nature of food preparation involved !.
If people find the scd effective for ulcerative colitis and crohn's disease then that is great.
I continue to use some of the methods outlined in the book ( the yogurt and chicken stock ) but i do not feel it is helpful to attempt the diet for people with M.E/CFS, Fibromyalgia or clinical Depression or Anxiety due to the restrictive nature of the diet and intense preparation involved.
I found the book to be overly descriptive on the rationale behind the diet and really lacking on detail and description of some of the food methods ( the yogurt in particular ) and recipes. Some of the info is given as a matter of fact as opposed to opinion which is what it really is. Facts have to be backed by reference to science data. I found that a little disconcerting given the assumption this person has the same training as myself.