Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 11, pp 3255–3260 | Cite as

Patients Perceive Clinical Benefit with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • David L. Suskind
  • Ghassan Wahbeh
  • Stanley A. Cohen
  • Christopher J. Damman
  • Jani Klein
  • Kim Braly
  • Michele Shaffer
  • Dale Lee
Original Article



Recent studies suggest that dietary therapy may be effective for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but limited published data exist on the usage and efficacy of dietary therapy.


To evaluate the perspective of IBD patients using the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD).


An anonymous online survey was conducted using REDCap, a Web-based survey tool. Survey links were sent to known Web sites as well as support groups in an attempt to characterize patient utilization of the SCD and perception of efficacy of the SCD.


There were 417 respondents of the online survey on the SCD with IBD. Mean age for individuals on the SCD was 34.9 ± 16.4 years. Seventy percent were female. Forty-seven percent had Crohn’s disease, 43 % had ulcerative colitis, and 10 % had indeterminate colitis. Individuals perceived clinical improvement on the SCD. Four percent reported clinical remission prior to the SCD, while 33 % reported remission at 2 months after initiation of the SCD, and 42 % at both 6 and 12 months. For those reporting clinical remission, 13 % reported time to achieve remission of less than 2 weeks, 17 % reported 2 weeks to a month, 36 % reported 1–3 months, and 34 % reported greater than 3 months. For individuals who reported reaching remission, 47 % of individuals reported associated improvement in abnormal laboratory values.


The SCD is utilized by many patients as a primary and adjunct therapy for IBD. Most patients perceive clinical benefit to use of the SCD.


Crohn’s disease Ulcerative colitis Inflammatory bowel disease Specific carbohydrate diet Diet Nutrition 


Author contributions

DS developed the concept of the study, while DS, GW, SC, CD, JK, KM, MS, and DL all contributed to design of the study, generation, collection, analysis, and interpretation of data as well as draft the manuscript and had approval of the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have a conflict of interest in regards to this article and have adhered to strict ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Seattle Children’s HospitalUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Clinical and Translational ResearchSeattle Children’s Research InstituteSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Children’s Center for Digestive Health CareChildren’s Healthcare of AtlantaAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, Division of GastroenterologyUniversity of Washington Medical CenterSeattleUSA

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