Essential Carbohydrate Living – learning to obtain necessary carbohydrates through sources that are pure, easy to digest, and free of potentially harmful (or non-beneficial) ingredients.

CSID (Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency) is a genetic digestive enzyme deficiency.

More limiting than Celiac disease, the dietary restrictions of CSID expand beyond the scope of eliminating gluten. Initial elimination of all starches and sugars is essential, followed by slowly adding easy-to-digest carbohydrates until tolerance levels are determined. Tolerance levels vary from zero tolerance of starches and sucrose to some tolerance of starches, with some cases also suffering from lactose intolerance.
For parents of young children and infants, the process of eliminating problem foods can be overwhelming and frustrating. After all, how does a young child grow with the absence of carbohydrates from their diet?

Aside from descriptions of its cause via online medical websites and professional journals largely inaccessible to the public, there is not a single resource published regarding the management of the CSID diet.

Understanding the cause of CSID hardly addresses the main concern of most parents.

What they want and need to know is

What do they feed their child and is there a way to repair the months or years of damage done by the indigested food wreaking havoc within their bodies?

The number of children and adults diagnosed with CSID has multiplied dramatically over the past several years. In 2005, a little over 400 children and adults had been diagnosed with CSID in the entire world.
That number is quickly approaching the 10,000 mark today!

These numbers could just be breaking the ice, as recent studies now indicate thousands of cases of chronic infant and childhood diarrhea could be CSID, while adults who have lived with undiagnosed symptoms their entire lives are just now discovering CSID could be the reason.

The need for resource about CSID is undeniable. Parents of recently and long-term CSID diagnosed children are frustrated and discouraged at the limited information available online and in published form.

  • Digestive books don’t mention it.
  • Cookbooks on sugar-free and gluten-free recipes don’t discuss it.
  • Doctors don’t and sometimes won’t test for it.
  • Most dieticians know nothing about it.
  • Even most GI medical books do not even reference the disorder at all.

Where does that leave the over seven thousand people with a CSID diagnosis? Other parents and adults experienced with managing CSID are the best resource for understanding where to start and to know that they (you) are not alone!

Why I’m Sharing My CSID Journey

In addition to my direct experience with managing CSID, I have many years of research, trial, error and a lifetime of nutrition and holistic digestive health knowledge and practice. As a result, I now consider it my duty to share all I have learned from a practical approach.

Is managing and mastering the CSID diet easy? Never. I fail almost daily at reaching the high standards I set forth here. However, with knowledge comes power, and I firmly believe that any child with a parent determined to gain an understanding of the optimal way to care for them will be far better off for life. Because of all I now know about CSID and digestive health through diet, it is easier to set dietary limits for my family and our recovery time after “giving in” to taboo foods is minimal.

Countless hours of researching digestion and finding the best food combinations and digestive supplements have revealed that a whole-food-based, non-GMO, grain-free, dairy-free CSID diet can also benefit those with Celiac disease, Crohn’s, colitis, diabetes and even fibromyalgia.

My continual theme is to assist parents in creating a lifestyle of choosing healing foods for their families–not just finding the closest CSID version of the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is killing the average American anyway!

In this way, the CSID diet is a blessing in disguise. We don’t have a choice to indulge in the foods that contribute to diseases like diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. On the contrary, a CSID diet balanced with fresh vegetables, clean proteins, healthy fats, and semi-sweet fruits is satisfying and nutritious in numerous ways.

Add What helps, and Remove What (Potentially) Harms.

And finally, please make sure that you understand your child’s individual dietary limitations before using any recipes, ideas or thoughts about digestive health posted to this site. All are to be used at your own risk.

NOTE: This page was revised as of 3/13/2014 as some outdated information has been removed. A 2016 Update will be coming soon!