Resources from the Book


The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is a nutritional method for managing and alleviating the symptoms of Celiac disease, IBS and other digestive problems. 

The foundation of the diet was formulated back in the 1950’s by Dr. Sidney Valentine and Dr. Merril Haas for the treatment of Celiac and various forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). One of their patients was Elaine’s Gottschall’s daughter who through their diet regimen was able to achieve ongoing relief of her digestive symptoms.

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Ms. Gottschall continued extensive research around the concept of diet through health.  She pioneered the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) protocol and published the “how-to book,” Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Health Through Diet. The diet has also been associated with the improvement of symptoms associated with autism and general health improvement.


To date, the book has sold over a million copies and has been translated into seven different languages.




The diet excludes complex carbohydrates, lactose sucrose and other man-made ingredients and replaces them with easy-to-digest, natural foods. Removing these foods slows or ends the assault on the digestive system and allows the body to begin the healing process naturally.


The goal of this diet is to starve out harmful organism counts within the gut that have become unbalanced because of feeding on improperly, or undigested residue.


Potential imbalance can occur due to excessive use of antibiotics, poor diet choices, genetics or any combination of the three. By practicing SCD, foods that have complex carbohydrate chains, those that can leave behind undigested residue, are eliminated.


Consequently only easily digested foods with simple carbohydrate chains are consumed, which allows the gut to essentially “reset” correct balance and ultimately heal.

Follow the SCD protocol outlined in the book, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle,” by only consuming foods that are noted to be easy to digest. It’s a good idea to keep a food journal of what you eat and your reactions to those foods. (click to download PDF File)









As referenced in the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle: “Most cases begin to improve within three weeks after the dietary regimen has been started and improvement usually continues.”


Additional verbiage from Elaine’s Gotschall’s book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle says the following:

“Many cases of Celiac, spastic colon and diverticulitis appear to be cured by the end of a year. Other disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis take much longer with the minimum time of two years. A rule of thumb is to stay on the diet a minimum of one year after the last symptoms have disappeared."