"SCD" SUCCESS STORIES > Gwynn's Questionnaire

7 Jun 2010

“HEALTH QUESTIONAIRE” submitted by Gwen, June 6, 2010 and conversation with Kay that followed:


Good afternoon, Kay. Here is my questionnaire. Please add me to your mailing list. Thank you! 

Name? Gwen

Where do you live? Alpine, Texas

Are you male or female?   Female

How many people live with you? 1 (hubby) + 2 dogs (Roxie & Pepper) Great!  I have a Lola & Channing . . . long haired Chihuahuas. :-)))

How did you find my website? Through pecanbread website.

What have you been diagnosed with? My Nurse Practioner thinks I have Crohn's and I agree. To date, I haven't had a colonoscopy.  I do hope you can have a colonoscopy to rule out anything else. You don't really need a "name" otherwise. A gut problem is a gut problem . . . the SCD works for them all.

Do you suffer from weakness, muscle or joint pain, swelling, tingling or numbness? I did off and on, particularly in the last year, particularly in my right shoulder/rotator cuff. My right hand and arm (to elbow) were tingly until recently.  Hmmm, sounds familiar. 

Do you have poor circulation? No, I don’t think so.      

Do you itch often? Yes! My back itches most of the time. I also have psoriasis on my left ankle/foot. I think psoriasis and Crohn’s and other digestive issues are linked. Most people with psoriasis think I’m crazy when I suggest this.   I also agree. I believe they are all related to yeast/bacterial overgrowth. I used to scratch my hands and feet until I bled. 

Do you suffer from headaches, bronchitis, asthma or allergies? No. (I used to have a lot of headaches until about 10 years ago. Now I have the rare headache.)   It sounds as if your allergies are manifesting in a different way now . . . which often happens.

Do you feel worse when exposed to mold, dust, chemicals or pollutants? Yes!! I can’t walk through the “garden center” of any store or I will be sick from the pesticides and chemicals. Why do they put that stuff indoors? Or anywhere, for that matter? I'm certain this will improve as you continue to strengthen the immune system on the SCD. Right now, try to avoid excessively breathing anything that irritates you  so you don't overload the immune system. 

Do you suffer from rashes, athlete’s foot, jock itch or yeast infections? See Psoriasis mentioned above. I haven’t had a lot of yeast infections, but I now suspect I’ve had them but they’ve been undiagnosed. I used to have a lot of bladder infections/UTIs.  Yep, they are related, too. 

Do you feel worse when deprived of sugars and carbohydrates (potatoes, bread, sweets)? This is a resounding YES!! Except I’ve been on SCD since 4/21/10 . Now I don’t have cravings. (It’s a miracle.)   Yes it is!  Yeah!!!  I'm proud of you for hanging in there. Once you cross that hurdle, you are well on your way to great improvement. Don't fall off the wagon or the cravings will start again and you'll have to break the cycle again.


What foods are you sensitive to? Soy. I was mostly vegetarian/somewhat vegan for a while before SCD. Bad, very bad!! I also have stomach pain with pistachios. Pistachios… I love them. I hope someday I can eat them again.   Soy is one of the worst foods in my book! Not only does it seem to affect the thyroid, but most of it has been genetically altered (as have many other SCD illegal foods) and many people have reactions to it. It's in most processed foods today.

What are your symptoms/reactions? Severe stomach distress, pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, dehydration, sometimes throwing up. I missed 9 days of work since January 2010 because of “stomach bug” and now I know it was probably soy-related.   Glad you have pinpointed it. It trial and error until you figure out which foods your body doesn't tolerate well. That's one I would not ever add back. 

What foods have you eliminated from your diet? I’m strictly following SCD now, so everything that is illegal is out. My “mourn” foods were chocolate (milk chocolate), corn tortillas, popcorn, and my favorite wines. But I don’t miss them anymore. (If you would have told me this a few weeks ago, I would have said you were off your rocker.) I know . . . most people think I'm lying to them when I tell them that.  Thank God you've arrived at this point!

 For how long? I’ve been on SCD since 4/21/10 . With the exception of a slip on 5/19/10 where I ate a piece of breaded fried chicken, I have been legal. (I think I had conned myself into thinking I didn’t really have a disease. The lack of understanding from my medical care people and the lack of diagnosis helped cultivate that belief. I learned that lesson! I paid the price for that piece of chicken for 10 straight days. But I am now a fanatical adherent.) Most of us have to cheat once or twice to learn our lesson. I always hope for reactions so we will stay on the straight and narrow path. If we didn't have them, most of us would slide right back to making poor choices again.

Do you like to cook? Yes!   Great! You will have no problem staying on SCD!

Do you make the SCD 24-hr lactose-free yogurt? I didn’t until I messed up with the fried chicken. Now I always have some on hand at home and at work.  Great! That's one of the big secrets!  It's good to have it daily to keep the bad guys at bay and it helps your body manufacture other healthy nutrients, too.

Do you suffer from indigestion or acid reflux? No.

Does your esophagus make “gurgling” sounds? No.

Do you cough after eating or drinking? No.

Do you suffer from indigestion, gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation? Yes, another resounding yes! (Pre-SCD. I still have a little but nothing like before.) Again, I'm proud of . . . and for you!

How many bowel movements do you have daily? Before SCD, 9 to 14 and I was literally wiped out. I haven’t completely stabilized yet, but now I’m down to some day 1 with constipation and other days 2 or 3 with a little diarrhea. You should continue to improve and soon be normal! Yes! 

Are they formed?    Loose, almost always. Occasional constipation since I started SCD, but nothing major.    Be sure you're eating plenty of cooked veggies and fruits and you may want to add cooked spinach (if you haven't already) once in a while to avoid constipation. Also, eating a cup of SCD yogurt every day should help. Ease up to that amount if you don't presently eat that much.    Later, after all symptoms are gone and you've added all legal veggies . . . if you're still having constipation . . . add 1/2 a legal magnesium supplement at night.   If that doesn't help in a couple of days, increase to 1 whole one at night.   Too much mag can cause loose stools . . . so it's trial and error to see what works for you.                         

Do they pass easily? Most of the time,  but with pain.

Which color: Yellow, grey, brown or black?  Mustard. Here's your goal:     http://www.austinscdfriends.citymax.com/articles/article/3691414/142848.htm

Do you have abdominal soreness? I did. Most of the time now I don’t, but lack of abdominal soreness is a very recent development. It would be a good idea to have the doc check where the pain is coming from, just to be safe.               

Do you have heart pains or palpitations? I have, but not anymore. I’ve actually landed in the ER with heart palpitations, but everything was normal on the tests. Also sounds familiar.

Do you have gynecological disorders: PMS; irregular, painful or no menstrual cycles; hot flashes? I had  partial hysterectomy in 1996. I struggled with PMS symptoms that included depression. Also sounds familiar.  Sure wish I had known about SCD when I was going through all that PMS and Menopausal stuff! 

For what conditions do you take prescription drugs? No drugs.   Wow, that's great!

How often do you take antibiotics? Rarely, but I’ve taken them in the distant past.  At least if you have to have them again, you'll know to eat a lot of good yogurt 2 hours before or after taking a dose. 

What supplements/herbs/medications do you take? None. I don’t like to take supplements.

How often do you wake during the night? Toward the end of my vegan period, a lot with stomach pain and diarrhea and up 2 or 3 times a night to go to the bathroom or lay on the couch. But now, I sleep pretty well.

Do you have leg/foot/toe cramps or restless legs at night? No.

On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel when you wake in the mornings (1 being great & 10 being awful)? Pre-SCD, probably a 6 or 7 most days. Now that I’m through die-off, I feel like 2 or 3. I hope to be a 1 soon. Yes, yes, yes!!! Keep going! 

Do you feel alert or foggy-brained during the day? Pre-SCD, I can’t describe how foggy I was. It was awful. I won’t say that I’m completely clear now, but I don’t have the 2:30pm slump I always had before. I do have a little trouble with coming up with words sometimes during a conversation or remembering details. I joke with my boss that I need a teleprompter sometimes. But if I’m given enough time to talk, I can always come up with the words and thoughts.  Unfortunately, forgetting names seems to be normal among the over 50s crowd! 

Do you have unusual bouts of depression, anger or irritability? I am stillangry and irritable sometimes, sometimes feel irritably-stressed, but the depression seems to be much better.The B vitamins are seldom absorbed properly when there is any inflammation in the intestinal tract. Lucy's Kitchen has a multiple B vit that is SCD legal.  They are good for depression  and mood  and so is Omega 3 Fatty Acids found in Krill Oil or deep sea fish. Be sure to read articles on my website  for  locating a healthy source  of Omega 3 . Unless you are in the sunshine a lot, you may be low on Vit. D, too . . . most of us are, it seems.  

Are you overweight or underweight? I lost 10 pounds pre-SCD (dieting/vegan) and I have since lost another 8 pounds on SCD (not dieting, but more like a normal human being). I would like to lose another 10 pounds more or less, but I’m ok with myself now. This is huge as I have battled an eating disorder for decades that I now believe was simply my body screaming at me for sugar, sugar, and more sugar (and sometimes salt). I couldn’t resist the urge to binge on sugar. Today, I don’t even think about sugar or cravings or bingeing or anything. I don’t want to imply that it was a breeze to get here – I’ve been in therapy since October 2009 – but I now sit with my feelings and process them instead of eating sugar or starches over them. What progress. I believe that our cravings are due to nutritional deficiencies. Be sure to get an assortment and lots of veggies into your body. They contain the most minerals to help give you a sense of well-being.

Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease? I was diagnosed with lupus in the early 90s. I have been lupus-symptom-free for about 14 years. I was helped my an amazing accupunturist and if I would have listened to him and followed his advice completely, I probably would have been on SCD since the late 90s. He tried… I wouldn’t listen.  Wow, I've never heard of someone getting over lupus!   Unfortunately, most of us don't realize the ramifications of our symptoms and have to get desperate before we're willing to make changes in our diet. They often wait too long to retrieve their health. 

Do your parents or children suffer with digestive/intestinal/bowel or malabsorption problems? Sadly, I believe my late mother did. I could have helped her if I would have known. I think my youngest daughter (age 22) and my middle daughter (age 24) may have some very very minor symptoms. I talk to them about them without pushing too much. They are well aware of my problems over the years with being stuck at home in the bathroom. Be a great example and they will notice your healing and hopefully want to jump on the wagon, too! When you cook for them, cook SCD so they can see that the foods are great and not "diet" foods!  

Do you feel “hopeful” or “hopeless” about your health and/or disease? Now, I feel hopeful. Before SCD, I didn’t. And I was particularly distressed about taking steroids. I didn’t want to do that!  Good for you!!!  So glad you found the SCD!  In my book, steroids and surgery should be a last, last, last resort and used only to save a life after nothing else worked!  

Do you need help quickly with anything? No, I am enjoying reading over your wonderful website. Thank you so much for your hard work, dedication, and generosity with your time and knowledge. Thank you! God led me to the  SCD  so I could give it to  you .   Bless you for doing it!!! 

Would you like to be on my email list for future announcements? Yes, please. Will do!

If you're ever in Austin, Marble Falls, or Kingsland, I would love to meet you . . . maybe you can join us at a meeting. I hope you will agree to let me place this on my website to help others. Thanks so much for writing!  Keep reading and learning!!! If you hit a road block, please let me know. 

Hugs . . .



Hi, Gwen!

Thanks for submitting the Questionnaire!  My first question is . . . Do I have your permission to publish this on my website? I believe it would help other SCD newbies. I'm starting a compilation of success stories and would love to include yours.



Hi, Kay! Oh, thank you for your answers! You may put my info on your website. I realize that I am almost brand new to SCD, but I feel my progress is big. I know that it will take time before I feel like my old self again. I don't want to give anyone false hope for making it sound like it's easy, because as you know, it's certainly not. But I really have made great progress and I feel like I'm starting to get my life back.

Seriously, die-off was the worst thing I've ever been through. I will remind myself daily that slip-ups can set me back again and I don't want to go there. I will eat my veggies and fruits and stay away from the bad stuff. I live in the Chihuahuan Desert (far West Texas) so we get plenty of sun (too much, I'm afraid, but it's so beautiful outside).

I am thinking about the colonoscopy. There isn't much medical care around here and although my nurse practioner is a lovely lady and listens to me, she's not very supportive, nor is the doctor or staff in the office. GI specialists are 180 miles away. I am a half-time student and a full time employee at the university where I go to school. I don't have as much anxiety about going into the classroom now, whereas I used to panic about  when I could next get to the bathroom. Anyway, I hope those days are soon over for good.  

My husband and I live full time in our RV in the mountains. I can't walk into a store and buy most of the things that people take for granted because we are isolated and remote. We do have a good (very expensive!) health food store nearby though, and I believe they are willing to get some things shipped in if I need them. If I can do this with the little room and resources that I have, anyone can.

I would love to meet you and the group in person. I promise that if I'm in the area, I will make arrangements in advance.

Thank you again! Gwen Sullivan