Why the Digestive Clearing Diet (DCD)?

There is significant evidence that most digestive disorders can be effectively treated with a diet or improved with dietary modification. The DCD will help you learn which foods your body can tolerate and which foods cause inflammation and other digestive issues.

Who Developed it?

Andrew Gaeddert, who specializes in GI and immune health, developed the DCD over twenty-five years ago to help his clients and colleagues who had conditions such as IBD, IBS, and symptoms such as heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, reflux, bloating, and intestinal gas. Andrew is the author of Healing Digestive Disorders and other natural health books. He is a recognized expert in herbs and the western applications of traditional Chinese medicine.

How did Andrew Gaeddert develop the DCD Diet?

Andrew looked for natural solutions to treat his own Crohn’s disease, as pharmaceuticals were not effective in his case. Andrew studied nutrition, herbs, and traditional Chinese medicine. Prior to developing the DCD, Andrew experimented with the anti-Candida diet, popularized by William Crook, M.D.; the paleo diet, then called the “caveman diet”; as well Chinese Medical dietary advice. The DCD has been taught to thousands of health professionals and patients.

What do you think about other specific diets such as High Fiber, Specific Carbohydrate, and Fodmaps?

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet, popularized by Elaine Gotchall, can work, but it is difficult to follow because of the limitations and length of time needed to achieve symptom relief, which can be longer than six months.  FoodMaps is a newly developed diet which contains a number of foods that I believe aggravate digestive symptoms. It also appears very complicated to follow. Increasing fiber is a long-term treatment for certain digestive disorders, such as IBS, and prevention for colon cancer, however, increasing fiber must be done gradually, and certain high-fiber foods may compromise digestive activity, especially if these substances are from grains rather than vegetables.

What is DCD in a nutshell? 

DCD is a rotation diet, emphasizing lean sources of protein, vegetables, and gluten-free grains. The DCD avoids sugars, sweets, sweeteners, corn fructose, corn syrup, alcohol, dairy products, shellfish, beans and legumes, nuts, and fruit for two weeks. After the two-week elimination phase, you are asked to start reintroducing food in a recommended order.

Who can it help?

In addition to helping almost everyone with digestive symptoms, the DCD has helped many people with respiratory allergies and autoimmune conditions, as well as chronic pain.

When can the DCD be started?

You may start it at any time, however, we have found it difficult to implement during holidays and while traveling.

Can I use the DCD with supplements? What about prescription drugs? 

The DCD is compatible with many herbs, supplements, and prescription drugs. Our suggestion is to avoid herbs, with the exception of peppermint, chamomile,or ginger tea, during the two-week elimination phase. After two weeks, we suggest that medicinal herbs and supplements be used under professional supervision whenever possible.  We have found that herbs work best when professionally dispensed. Supplements should be hypoallergenic and digestive friendly, and in the correct potency. Always consult your doctor before stopping any prescribed medications.

Are any special foods recommended?

Everything can be obtained at a grocery or health food store.

What about vegetarians and vegans?

The DCD is not designed for vegans. Vegetarians can substitute animal sources of protein with rice protein, however soy and pea protein are best avoided for at least two weeks.

What results have you observed at your clinic?

While some patients achieve symptom relief within days of beginning the program, the vast majority of patients who faithfully follow the program achieve symptom relief within the first two weeks. The long-term goal is to discover which foods trigger your digestive system issues and which foods your body tolerates more easily. 

I tried an elimination diet once before. Can I still benefit from the DCD approach?

We feel that the elimination diet is a great resource for people who have digestive, allergies, and autoimmune disease. As our body is ever-changing as a result of stress, aging, nutrition, and health status, it’s important to re-evaluate allergies and intolerances regularly. We find that many patients, especially digestive patients, have overly-restricted diets. One of the long-term goals of the DCD is to increase the quality and variety of the foods you eat. Of course, if you don’t have any symptoms, you don’t need a rotation diet.