So we have been on the SCD diet for about 6 weeks now. This is in addition to the Gluten Free, Cassein free, sugar free, soy free, and corn free.
The SCD or “The Specific Carbohydrate” diet was highly recommended to us by our Functional Medicine doctor who has been treating our son for close to 3 years.
If you don’t know this, kids/teens on the autism spectrum have extremely sensitive guts. Their guts don’t allow them to process food in the same way that someone not on the spectrum would be able to do. Since your gut is basically your second brain, you can see how it is so important to pay attention to the diet.
Now diet is not just important for people on the spectrum, it is hugely important for everyone. Diet can help heal and repair. Food is very healing to the body so you need to be conscious about what you put into your body at any age.
We struggle with high candida levels all the time. In fact, our son is on a protocol where he takes an antifungal prescription medication as well as herbals. He goes in waves where his body would be able to get rid of the candida, but then it can keep coming back. This is not a battle that is simple and easy to fix. In fact, it’s a lifelong thing that will continue to happen unless intervention is done.
Some kids with autism will be on certain medications their entire life because that’s what they need for their system to work properly. Sounds overwhelming? daunting? too much work?
Just to try to explain this in easy terms, anytime our son would eat carbs (ie potatoes, rice) these would turn into sugar in his body and sugar feeds the candida, hence his messed up gut, otherwise known as “leaky gut.” With Leaky gut you can have large cracks or holes in the gut lining, allowing partially digested food, toxins and bugs to penetrate the tissues beneath it. This can trigger inflammation and change the gut flora, which is the normal bacteria that can lead to problems with your digestive track. In people with autism, especially, this affects brain function. Imagine if this is happening in your gut how foggy your brain would be.
Even though the food was gluten free, a carb is still a carb is still a carb – get what I mean?
So, you may wonder how do you heal the gut? Well it can be done a lot with food and supplementation and prescription medication.
For us, we had success with medication (both prescription and herbal) but the candida kept flaring up at times.
Hence, starting the SCD diet. It is a little overwhelming, but it is doable. I have seen much progress in the last 6 weeks. Our son is eating more variety of foods, which is huge because his diet was extremely limited. I am finding new ways to make foods that I never tried before. For example, there is this recipe called Squash buttons. This is taking some cooked squash, eggs, cinnamon and honey and blending them all together and baking them in mini muffin tins. Voila, a vegetable a different way and very tasty. I love them too.
So there are many different recipes I am trying and I am still learning. I am hoping one day to put all of my favorites in some kind of book. Right now I just have the ones I like together. He doesn’t like every single one but for the most part, he at least tries them.
The downside is each night I have to go over recipes to decide what I am going to make for the next day so that takes a lot of planning.
I cook all the time. I cook a lot of squash, almond bread, cashew bread, nut butter brownies just to name a few of our favorites. The food is delicious and honestly doesn’t seem like you are missing anything in terms of taste or satisfaction. I just finished baking a loaf of almond bread and its 10:30 pm! Unfortunately, you can’t buy most of the products you have to make them.
Anyway, it’s worth it because we just went to see his doctor last week and his cells are much better. The candida has almost gone. This has happened before but I’m super-excited this time as I know that the changes we are making with diet are working because its only been 6 weeks since we saw him!
Gut repair can take a very long time so there’s a journey ahead for us but I am excited for what’s to come! With every stone I continue to uncover, more healing happens and it is truly amazing to watch!