Rush University Medical Center in Chicago Conducting SCD Study

Posted March 18th, 2011 in Recent News.

Chicago, IL – Rush University Medical Center’s Department of Gastroenterology is conducting a study to determine if the Specific Carbohydrate Diet changes the population of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract. The researchers began enrolling study participants back in January. According to Rush, they have already recruited the needed 200 subjects: 100 individuals who are following the SCD, and 100 control subjects who are not following the diet.

Rush Medical Center released the following statement to announce the study:

Are you following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to manage your inflammatory bowel disease?

Rush University Medical Center’s Department of Gastroenterology is conducting a study to determine if the Specific Carbohydrate Diet changes the population of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract. This is a popular dietary program amongst patients, but there no published studies on how the diet works. Your participation in this study will contribute to scientific knowledge regarding how diet can be used to manage the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Participation will entail completing a series of surveys and mailing two stool samples and a urine sample.

We are currently looking for volunteers eight years of age or older with a formal diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or indeterminate colitis. We need volunteers who are both on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and also volunteers who are not on the diet.

The principal investigator for this study is
Dr. Ece Mutlu, M.D.
Rush University Medical Center Department of Gastroenterology
1725 W. Harrison St. Ste. 207
Chicago, IL 60612

If you are interested in participating or have questions, please contact

16 thoughts on “Rush University Medical Center in Chicago Conducting SCD Study”

  1. Stevanne Powers says:

    Just starting the SDC diet. Interested in participating.

    1. Finn says:


      Congratulations on starting the diet! We’d love to have you come back and update us on your progress, regardless of the outcome. You’re always welcome to author a blog on your experience, too, should you want to.

      Also, thanks for your interest in the Rush study. The investigators at Rush have already filled all the spots in this particular study. However, when another study comes along, I will send you an email to check your interest. Be well!

  2. Lucy Dittmar says:

    I started the SCD in August 2011 because I have already had a partial colonectomy in 2007, after a tumor was discovered. In June 2011, I began to have severe UCD symptoms again, but I was trying to manage it without taking medication. By August, I had become pretty run down. A friend told me about SCD. I started the diet and now I am symptom free. I have lost 22 pounds and my energy level is increasing. I haven’t felt this good for a very long time. I have lived with UCD since I was in my early twenties. I am 51 now and I am feeling great. I live a long ways away from Chicago, but I would like to say if I lived closer I would be eager to be part of your study. SCD is a healthy way to treat UCD.

    1. Finn says:


      Thanks for sharing your with us! Notes like this make my day. Regardless of how one decides to treat their IBD, a day spent in remission is a good day. And when something ends up working for us, and we experience prolonged periods of remission, well, that is simply the best.

      As you know, I had a very similar experience with the SCD. I’ve been in remission coming up on 11 years now, and I couldn’t be more thankful that I found something that worked for me. I’m curious, how long were you on the diet before your symptoms went away? Were there any “trigger” foods that you learned to stay away from? Any additional tips you could share with this community would help! And who knows, perhaps in the future there will be an SCD study closer to where you live. Be well! And congrats on your progress!

  3. Cheryl says:

    Hi Finn,

    I was diagnosed with UC in Fall of 2003. The medications seem to hold back severe symptoms for approximately three years and then lost their efficacy for me. I found and started the SCD in October of 2007 and suffered quite a bit in between. I went into remission in roughly three weeks and was off Prednisone in about six months. I have been off all medications for two years and feel fantastic. I am very interested in the results of the Rush study. Do you know if they have made any progress? In my opinion, there are a few SCD foods to be careful with, too much honey, fruit, and nuts seem to irritate my colon. If I eat mostly veggies, meat, one serving of SCD yogurt and baked goods made with coconut flour I do the best. I have outstanding bathroom experiences, really quite exciting!! LOL I feel so triumphant.

  4. Finn says:

    Isn’t it a wonderful feeling? 🙂 I know that feeling of triumph. It’s pure bliss. It’s empowering. I’m so proud of you! It’s not easy to be so careful about one’s diet, but the quality of life benefits are so great for those who stick with it.

    Rush has enrolled all of the SCD subjects it needs, but is still looking for some individuals to be in the “control” group (ie the non-SCD group). So if you know anyone who has IBD and is not on SCD – and would be willing to participate – Rush would probably like to enroll them. And I could facilitate that introduction. As with all big studies like this, cost is always an issue. We are going to try to help raise some funds to support the study this quarter.

    Again, thanks for your email and I am THRILLED to hear you are doing so well. Keep it up!! 🙂

  5. Anne Czerwinski says:

    Finn – I have a 19 year old son with Crohn’s. We have just started SCD – it is slow going. Please keep me up to date on your studies as we are really interested.
    Anne Cz

    1. Finn says:


      Congratulations on taking that important first step! If you or your son ever need a little inspiration, I love talking with people during those initial “slow going” periods. I know how to help you get through them 🙂 Wish you and your son all the best.

  6. jean torelli says:

    wbere can we find the results of the Rush study once they get data? Do you know what the duration of the study is?

    1. Finn says:

      Hi Jean, I have an email into the lead researcher at Rush to see if I can get an update. I will share what I am able to with the community once I hear back. Thanks for the note!

  7. Bryan Desmond says:

    I am 42 year male daignosed with CD March of 2012. I have tried: Remicade,Humira, MP6 and am now on methotrexate and Cymzia. I started the SCD Diet 2 weeks ago and my symptoms seem to be getting better but not sure if it i because I am currently on 40ml prednisone. I am committed to SCD as it is the first thing I have tried that makes sense. It sounds like the diet will take several months but it gives me hope. I live i Vail CO and am use to a very active life style. I weigh 153 pounds down rom 185 1year ago. Any early advise you could give me to break this terrible cycle am living in?


    1. Finn says:

      Hi Bryan! Thanks for the note. I would love to chat with you about your situation, if you’d ever like to talk. I also lost around 30 pounds when I got sick, which was devastating to a guy like me, who was also very active. Although I bet in Vail you really get to be out in nature all the time!

      Try using this link to set up a call with me:

      Once I get your request, we’ll find a time to connect. I have all sorts of tips to help you get started. Plus, I can encourage you to stick with it! It took me 4-6 months to really, really see the improvement. But many people I talk to have to wait a bit longer. I honestly believe it is worth the effort, though, as you’re going to get your energy and health back. Hope to talk to you soon,


  8. Rachel says:

    I just started SCD last week after having uc for 6 years. After the first two bad years, I went off the birth control pill and I improved drastically. I’ve been getting by fairly well until I had a colonoscopy 2 weeks ago which flared the colitis. Luckily, I found and was blown away by the SCD diet. I went out to eat last night and ordered a plain grilled chicken breast. I was more sick this morning than I have been in years. It was terrifying. I called the restaurant and learned there are tons of illegal ingredients in the marinade and, spices that go on the chicken, hence my reaction. I am so upset and feel alone and like I need support to get me through the beginning of this. I was also very active, teaching yoga and lifting weights, but now I’m down almost 10 pounds again. I would love to find a doctor in my area that is aware and supportive of this diet as I know exactly the path that my gasroenteroligist will suggest: drugs and invasive tests. Any advice would be so appreciated. I’m 34, teach high school and have a toddler. I would also be interested in participating in a study if te need arises, but right now I’m just desperate for resources and support. Thanks.

    1. Finn Haley says:

      Hi Rachel, thanks for reaching out to us. I’d be really happy to chat with you sometime, if you’re interested. I could offer some encouragement and guidance on starting out the SCD, as well as provide some tips to help you get through some of the initial challenges. Just use the links on our site to schedule a call.

      The restaurant thing can be tough, but try to be patient. It never hurts to ask when you order if their meat is seasoned or coated in a sauce. I frequently specify I want mine “as plain as you can possibly make it,” with nothing added. That usually does the trick. But even then restaurants sometimes mess up. Don’t worry, you’ll get better at tasting whether something is coated. Believe it or not, I can taste sugar in almost anything now 🙂

  9. christy says:

    Hi. I just came across this study. I know its over a year old. I live in Chicago and I’m currently doing SCD 2 month in. I’m looking for local support of others who are on the diet. I’m also very interested to know how this study is going. Thank you

  10. Finn says:

    Hi Christy! If you schedule a call with us through the link below, we can provide all sorts of helpful info for you as you start out on the diet. Thanks for reaching out!

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