People who suffer from gastrointestinal problems, such as Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome, may find relief from their symptoms by avoiding carbohydrates that are poorly digested. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet, as its name implies, strongly discourages the consumption of complex carbohydrates (such as cereal grains, potatoes, and foods containing lactose), as these are often sources of pain, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea in these individuals. Those who wish to try this diet should consider their nutritional needs before starting it.
Some people find the Specific Carbohydrate Diet socially isolating. Since many commonly eaten foods must be eliminated, ordering from restaurants requires research into the establishment's food preparation methods and requesting that food be prepared a certain way. Others have no qualms about taking the extra time to learn what foods to avoid and how to prepare them; as long as the diet prevents their symptoms, they are happy to comply with it.
Revised June 25th, 2016
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Created by Sidney V. Haas, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is intended to treat gastrointestinal and systemic diseases. Haas was a pediatrician in the United States who researched a way to treat celiac disease through diet. The diet was popularized by Elaine Gottschall, the mother of one of his patients.