I’m a 67 yo physician, trained as a cardiac anesthesiologist who has been carnivore for 1 year. My previous medical history, included hypertension, coronary artery disease, Diabetes T2 with multiple problems associated with diabetes including visual problems, renal problems, cardiac, hypertension, significant peripheral neuropathy with muscle wasting and obesity. I also had some joint disease which limited my exercise. If I were to choose an overarching diagnosis is would be Metabolic syndrome. All of the above are included in that diagnosis.
My cardiac disease had advanced to the point of unstable angina. I had a stent placed in a minor artery 2009 and another in 2018 in the circumflex. I also had disease in the LAD but it was too small to stent. My right coronary was vestigial from birth. This picture is terminal. I was living on Nitrites like nitro-glycerine and Imdur ever increasing doses, beta blocker ARB diabetes drugs thyroid replacement and omperazole for gastric asthma. I was morbidly obese. In effect I was dying and likely would be dead within a year.
My metabolic syndrome or at least pre-metabolic syndrome dated back at least to residency or probably before. My exercise history was I wrestled in HS was a distance runner in college and post college, a weight lifter in my 40’s and 50’s till I became injured, but metabolic syndrome was present throughout. Metabolic syndrome is NOT exercise or lack of exercise related. I treated my diabetes with pills and diet and followed the standard “heart healthy” and starch based diabetic diet, complete with eschewing meat and animal fat.. I ate those cookies and thngs that are advertised as legit for this diet and the fats were seed oils dressed up as margarine etc. I was clearly in a state of inflammation. I tried Crestor but it gave rhabdomeyolysis.
In August last year I knew I had one last chance. I had managed to preserve my heart muscle through a lot of biochemical manipulation, but my time was running out. My symptoms were increasing as were my drug dosages and eventually I would have an infarct and kill off some muscle. I had an EF of 55% and normal wall motion on echo the day I went carnivore.
I basically went into training to survive heart surgery. There is a calculator on the Thoracic surgery academy’s website that calculates risk and I entered my risk variables, got my risk scores and my risk of surgery was not good. The diets recommended by AHA and ADA clearly were defective and did nothing to improve my risks. My disease only got worse. After carnivore I went through induction, living on ribeye. I ate only ribeye for a couple months then eventually added a hamburger once in a while. No cheese no eggs no cheating. In 9 months I lost 65 lbs. I weighed less than what I weighed in medical school 40 years ago. My diabetes resolved and my A1c was 5.4. Previously is was as high as 9. My hypertension improved. I went off diabetic drugs and thyroid replacement but still needed the beta blocker and nitrates. My joint pain improved as did my exercise tolerance. Since I have neuropathy I can’t run but I own a treadmill and a weight vest and between elevation and weight load I could achieve HIIT easily with heart rates to about 180 (remember I’m 67) and a normal blood pressure response to hard exercise. In other words despite severe disease I had achieved pretty good cardio vascular fitness as well as improved endurance and strength.
I found the carnivore diet interesting in its energy efficiency. A glucose based life has associated a parameter called a respiratory quotient which is a measure of CO2 production vs elimination and CO2 production is a measure of metabolism. The respiratory quotient can be judged by respiratory rate and heart rate for a given exercise load, both readily measurable while exercising. Since I could hold metabolism constant by adjusting my work I could determine subjectively my respiratory quotient as I acclimated to carnivore. The results were dramatic. My workouts became easier even as I got stronger and I could feel my muscles working more efficiently. I trained for 9 months, and halved all my risk scores in the calculator.
In the 10th month my cardiac health deteriorated. A diet was not going to resolve 40 years of damage from disease, at least not in time to save my left ventricle from infarct so I selectively became a candidate for bypass surgery and I want to stress elective. It was urgent but my 9 months of preparation mattered. Heart surgery is a risky business no matter what and I had a little rocky course recovering. The hospital diet nearly killed me. It was all carbs all the time and then they would measure my blood glucose, give me some insulin and feed me carbs all over again. A completely stupid protocol. I was in sorry shape post op and went home on more drugs than when I came. At home re-induced on carnivore and started shedding drugs. My unstable angina is gone. My ejection fraction remains at 55% and my wall motion is normal. I didn’t stoke or have neuroloic sequella from the pump run. I work out an hour/day including weights since my joints are better and am down to 3 drugs, a beta blocker ARB and some baby aspirin.
My recovery is not all due to diet, but my disease Metabolic syndrome was completely due to diet. Completely due to grains and juices and fruits other starchy veggies, dairy and seed oils. My disease was from “eating healthy” and all the nonsense and politics wrapped up in that. The SAD or AHA or ADA diets completely miss the actual hormonal causes of the disease and the standard treatments make it worse, and then the patient is blamed for not getting better, when the treatment is wrong.