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Not able to digest meals all of a sudden


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Hi gang,

Newbie here...I've been on a strict Carnivore diet for 11 weeks and 2 days.  I'm 52, not overweight (5' 11", 145 lbs), just doing it to heal my gut issues such as severe acid reflux (with hiatal hernia), many food allergies/sensitivities, probable leaky gut, bad quality sleep for years, low energy, inflammation (carpal tunnel), etc.  I dove right in from day one to just eating steak, ground beef, pork, chicken, bacon, eggs, and butter, with occasional seafood with my eye on getting plenty of animal fat.  And I only drink water.  For the first 2 months my digestion was fine, though I was very jittery, wasn't sleeping well because of my heart beating very fast during the night.  At about the 10 week period, I started having daily diarrhea all of a sudden with no change in my diet as far as I remember.  After hearing about someone with years of gut issues having trouble digesting fat, I thought that could be my problem.  I cut down fat, started taking digestive enzymes, and cut out chicken and most pork as well, but am still having diarrhea and haven't been regular now for at least a week and a half (and still not sleeping well). I just read on a forum here that someone INCREASED fat in order to get regular.  I really believe in the diet and really want it to work, but I'm so confused and I can't go on like this much longer since I'm losing most of the vitamins and minerals I'm taking in and feeling more and more run down by the day.  Any suggestions?

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2 hours ago, Danmusicman said:

I just read on a forum here that someone INCREASED fat in order to get regular.

Welcome Dan. That might have been me. I told my doctor I would lose 50 pounds in 6 months and he kinda chuckled me off, and said "the only way you are going to pull that off is if you cut out every single carbohydrate" - so I did, lol. But as that 6 month checkup was getting close, I was stalled at 40 pounds down. So I started backing off the butter, trimming the fat from my steaks, and removed dairy altogether. I broke my stall but quickly stalled again, and I was having diarrhea. Then when I did my labs I had ridiculously high triglycerides and the doctor wanted me to be a vegetarians instead. One of my theories regarding my trig problem was my macros. I was basically eating a no carb, low fat, high protein diet and I thought maybe it was gluconeogenesis at work. I was wrong and did figure out the issue. But, to fix my macros and make it ketogenic again, I had to up the fat. I returned to using liberal amounts of butter, started eating the fat on my steak, added back cheese, and my stool returned to normal. The diarrea went away. 

Since then, I've heard two things. 1) That cheese is a natural constipater. And 2) in the book Strong Medicine that I uploaded, there is an account about how Stefansson went on a diet of lean meat, and had diarrhea and digestive discomfort, but when he started eating the fat his issues went away. When I read this it reminded me of my own experience.

2 hours ago, Danmusicman said:

I dove right in from day one to just eating steak, ground beef, pork, chicken, bacon, eggs, and butter, with occasional seafood with my eye on getting plenty of animal fat.  And I only drink water.

That sounds like my diet. Chicken and certain cuts of pork (consumed less often on my part) can be lean but it's not the end of the world, you can always add fat to those meals through other means.

2 hours ago, Danmusicman said:

For the first 2 months my digestion was fine, though I was very jittery, wasn't sleeping well because of my heart beating very fast during the night.

So we know things were working as expected. I've heard that the heart beats better when running on ketones, and this stonger beat worries some people. You just have to get used to it.

2 hours ago, Danmusicman said:

At about the 10 week period, I started having daily diarrhea all of a sudden with no change in my diet as far as I remember. 

Tis the season for viruses here in the U.S. Could you have caught a bug? It just stands to reason that something changed at the 10 week mark. 

2 hours ago, Danmusicman said:

I cut down fat

That is common advice, and I hear it from Dr. Anthony Chaffee a lot. The thinking being that if you eat too much fat you won't have enough bile in your gall bladder to break it down, so it will result in loose stools, and you should dial back the fat a bit. But if you didn't increase your fat at the 10 week mark and things were fine prior to that, then I wouldn't suspect this is the case.

I will say that during my first 2 months of strict carnivore, I would oscillate back and forth between stool that was hard as rocks, to utter liquid, and I could never predict which was next. This lasted for 6-8 weeks before things returned to my new normal. 

2 hours ago, Danmusicman said:

I forgot to mention I've also had muscle cramps and twitches so I started taking trace minerals electrolite drops, magnesium, and potassium supplements maybe a month ago...

What kind of magnesium and what is the dosage? Certain types of magnesium will cause loose stools. 

I eventually developed severe cramping as well, which was from an electrolyte deficiency. I now take a magnesium complex every day, but I've made certain to find a product that contains forms of magnesium not notorious for causing people to explode on the toilet.

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3 hours ago, Danmusicman said:

At about the 10 week period, I started having daily diarrhea all of a sudden with no change in my diet as far as I remember. 

Hi Dan.

Bob responded beautifully to your post, but I have a couple things to add.

Regarding magnesium supplement ... mag. sulfate causes diarrhea for sure! so check that. I have chronic insomnia, so I take mag. glycinate at night - evidently the best form for those with sleep issues.

You say you "dove right in from day one". What was your diet prior to Carnivore? Is it possible you are experiencing Oxalate dumping? Sally K. Norton's book Toxic Super foods is a great resource on that topic. (There are so many equally good interviews with her on YouTube you may not need to buy the book.).  I was vegetarian for years, and lived on spinach, sweet potatoes and nuts - ugh, massive Oxalate overload! Definite dumping symptoms over the past 1.5 years when I began fasting, but I had no idea until recently.

Wishing you health. 🙏🏼

LynnD 

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Shortly after I started on carnivore I developed diarrhea and it stayed with me for a month. I just stuck with it because my research told me that when we radically change our diet overnight our gut biome isn’t ready for it and until it transitions from a SAD diet to a animal based diet there’s a good chance of having issues.
After a month of diarrhea my system become severely constipated. It took a while to figure out the right amount of salt, magnesium and fats to get that straightened out. It’s still not perfect but it’s a lot better.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Hey thanks for all the feedback everyone!  I think the magnesium theory makes sense as I started taking additional magnesium about 2 weeks ago.  I'm going to try to cut out the magnesium supplement and see if that helps.  I'm definitely not planning on giving up.  Cheers! 

Dan

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13 hours ago, Danmusicman said:

Hey thanks for all the feedback everyone!  I think the magnesium theory makes sense as I started taking additional magnesium about 2 weeks ago.  I'm going to try to cut out the magnesium supplement and see if that helps.  I'm definitely not planning on giving up.  Cheers! 

And then the flip side of this coin is that the muscle cramps will return.

For the record, this is the magnesium complex I take...

https://www.amazon.com/Zentastic-Triple-Magnesium-Relaxation-Absorption/dp/B0BC84FL5C/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?

I did my research and hunted for what I thought were the best types, and all 4 types of magnesium in that formular are NOT the kind the loosen your stools. 😉

I take one pill (80mg) with breakfast, and one with dinner, and then at bedtime, usually just after midnight, I take 3 pills. So altogether I am taking 5 pills (400mg) spread throughout the day. 

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Thanks Bob, I ordered the Magnesium supplement you suggested and have been taking it for a couple days now.  I stopped taking the Trace Elements drops and the Magnesium supplement I was taking previously and things seem to be better, though that one is a little hard on my stomach.  I definitely can't take it without food, so I'm taking 5 spread out over my daily meals.  I'm increasing my fat intake again to see how that goes.  Fingers crossed...

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16 hours ago, Danmusicman said:

I'm taking 5 spread out over my daily meals.  I'm increasing my fat intake again to see how that goes.  Fingers crossed...

Keep us posted. 🙂

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