I am a 54 year old female. I have been doing the carnivore diet for 3.75 years.
I had to have a liver transplant due to autoimmune disease in 2013 and then lost my colon to ulcerative colitis in 2015. I wish I had known about the carnivore diet back when it may have been possible to save my colon, but that’s water under the bridge.
I have to take an anti-rejection medication every day for the rest of my life, and that med is nephrotoxic. When my UC was at it’s worst, I suffered an acute kidney injury from dehydration, and adding a daily dose of nephrotoxicity didn’t help. The end result of all of that was a eGFR as low as 20 and a creatinine of 2.54 back in March of 2015.
Fast forward to April of 2016. I had been eating low-carb paleo for a year, with the modification of no leafy greens. But I was still eating root vegetables and some of the other veggies they recommend. But even though I had gotten rid of the inflamed, non-functioning colon that was said to be the cause of my problems, most importantly of which was anemia, I was still anemic. I never could tolerate oral iron supps and the I.V. infusions I had in the past never had a lasting effect.
In April of 2016 I dropped all plant matter from my diet. This was quite a scary leap of faith for me because, while I knew that meat wasn’t bad for me, I had read that people with chronic kidney disease should greatly limit their protein to help slow the progression of the disease. Was I about to hasten my route to dialysis and a kidney transplant?
Turns out that “too much” protein does not kill your kidneys and some vegetables can block your absorption of iron (among other things).
3 months after dropping all plant matter from my diet, all my iron markers came into normal range and have stayed there. My last eGFR in September of 2019 was 49 and my creatinine was normal at 1.16. And while 49 is still below normal for eGFR, I have been as high as 52 over the last few years eating carnivore, and was as low as 20 before carnivore. And this has all happened while eating 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of meat a day for almost 4 years now.
The immunosuppresant I take every day also tends to cause high blood pressure, high blood sugar and anemia, among many other things. But I have not had any of these issues and though I cannot prove it because I don’t have a clone of myself to use as a control, I feel that my diet has a lot to do with my “resistance” to those effects.
One more benefit of this diet I’d like to mention— my digestion is smooth and quiet, and never gives me any trouble. And if you’ve ever had an IBD flare, you know how huge this benefit is!
My GI tract has been sliced, diced and re-plumbed significantly and doesn’t look anything like what most people have. I have had a Roux-en-Y Choledochojejunostomy and an open proctocolectomy with APR. I don’t expect anyone to care about those details, but suffice it say that fiber is my enemy because of how altered my plumbing is.
I have no plans to change the way I eat. Meat is easy to digest and is packed with all the nutrients we need in a highly bioavailable package. That bioavailability is key, especially for people like me.