Carnivore Help! Bowels & Energy

(Ruth Beardsley) #122

I restarted carnivore and I am nearly 5 months ZC. I have the same issue with my :poop:. I “go” every 3-4 days, but feel “heavy” in the abdomen in the last day or so before I :poop:.

My BMs started out very firm, and every couple of days. I think I passed some old, hard dry stuff about six weeks ago. Now my BMs are like Dairy Queen soft serve ice creams in consistency. Or at least the last 10 or so have been. Thankfully the urge to go is unmistakable and there is no amount of sitting/waiting/wishing/hoping that will bring it on. Only time.

Any tips for alleviation of the heavy feeling in the lower gut?



To the OP, it’s good to see that things are getting better for you. It takes some time to ween off the need for carbs but shouldn’t take that long. Definitely what you were experiencing is cause for concern. I haven’t really been around these forums much but decided to make an account after seeing your experience.

I’ve struggled with my health on-and-off for years and after coming to an all-time low about a month ago, decided to give the carnivore diet a second try. I’ve had a much better experience and by the end of the first week ended up feeling good enough to want to commit fully. But the first time I tried I felt much less good than I think I am feeling now. Was dealing with constipation then for who knows what reason. I was eating several different meats along with eggs the first time around.

This second time, I started with beef only. Some grass-fed but mostly standard supermarket meat. Also am eating most of my meals very rare as I think they taste better and there seems to be a slight difference in how I feel eating rare. It’s like I feel lighter eating the meat when it’s less cooked. I’m limiting water to before 30 mins of eating and after 30 minutes of eating, and I think i do notice that the closer to a meal I drink the more gurgling I have. When I drink too soon after it’s like the water is gurgling as it swishes past the meat that is being digested in the colon, and it lasts a couple minutes for each sip I take - at least that’s what it sounds like. My only problems so far have been finding a place to get clean organ meats and diarrhea Interestingly the first week or so my stools were the best. Then after that, it’s been a short but messy explosion every time I need to go. Not excessively uncomfortable but definitely inconvenient. Also very aperiodic. I think at most it’s been 3 days between stools and at least about 3 hours. Average is about 2 days per movement.

Not 100% sure what’s causing this lack of structure. I might try further restricting my consumption of water. Also, in the last week or so I’ve started introducing raw eggs. The first time I ate them my intestines went wild. Crazy amounts of gas and the same volatile stools experienced earlier. I tried soaking the eggs in grapefruit seed extract (a pretty strong antimicrobial) and water for a bit before eating them, but I don’t think that changed anything. The gaseous reaction has been reduced quite a bit but it’s unclear whether that was the effect of my system becoming more used to the eggs or the elimination of bacteria. If it was caused by bacteria, it’s interesting that it only caused 1 explosive stool during the day whereas when I’ve gotten food poisoning in the past I was on the toilet for the better part of the day. I’ll continue to experiment but the gas and bloating seems to steadily be getting better. There were a few days there though that there was so much gas and bloating I was worried something was going to hatch and break out from my intestines. I almost never had nearly that much gas on any previous diet.

I am taking no supplements. The only things I put on my meat are Himalayan salt and pepper. Once in a while if I start to get a headache I will add some salt to my water but there’s no indication to me whether this helps at all. My body still feels like it is lacking something as I wake up at night with my feet cramping but the cramping recently has been far less bad than the foot cramping I’ve woken up with in the past while taking multiple supplements daily.

I am curious to know who is eating raw meats. I’m very interested in how raw meats might affect gut healing and overall physical health. As I said, I’ve been eating meat mostly rare, with the exception of meat that is starting to sour (yes, I buy meat with noticeable bacterial layers on it because I’m curious and because it is discounted so I want to save a few dollars). No notable effect from eating this type of meat rare or well-done, though there is that very prominent high meat flavor. It is unbelievable that I didn’t end up in the hospital after this considering the stigma against meat getting old. Thinking about it though, it would make sense that it’s the old cooked meat that is dangerous rather than the old raw meat, as I would think that different bacteria would grow on cooked meat then on raw meat. Also if the bacteria doesn’t impregnate deep into the meat, it would make sense that even just searing the meat would kill the bacteria to the point where It’s not a problem. I am very much a novice in this regard though, so I will proceed with caution. If anyone has experience with raw, high, or meat that isn’t very cooked, I’d very much like to be directed towards reliable information on the subject.

Anyways, I know I don’t feel the best I’ve ever felt at this point, but I feel quite good and would be happy if I just felt this good for 75% of the time. I think that is one reason the carnivore diet gets so much praise by people with previous health issues - The feeling of consistent health, even if it is mediocre compared to someone in excellent health, is absolutely incredible. For those who struggle switching to it, definitely find out why and don’t just assume that feeling like garbage is part of the process. Some transition of feeling worse makes sense, but if you’re not continually improving past that brief transition, something’s wrong. Don’t let it get into your head that you need to just wait it out - if you feel something is wrong, listen to your body and make changes and search for information until you figure out what the problem is. Obviously there has to be a balance to this - quitting a fast because you feel hungry in the first 30 minutes is rather silly, but there should be at least a semi-intuitive difference between experiencing withdrawals and experiencing a toxic reaction or complete lack of nutrition. Why the carnivore diet doesn’t work for some people is beyond me, but don’t let yourself fall into the trap that the die-hard vegans fall into in assuming that if you are doing everything “right”, things will eventually get better even if it feels like they are getting worse. You’re only as healthy as the nutrients that you are absorbing and if a step in the process is missing so that absorption can’t happen, then at best it will have a neutral effect on your overall health. At worst, your health will just get worse.

To the above post, I might suggest cooking your meat less and seeing how that feels. I am not completely sure what I am doing differently this time around that makes me feel so much better than the last time I tried going carnivore a few months ago, but the main differences are I’m cooking my meat less and that I’m only eating beef and the occasional raw egg. Also, I haven’t been microwaving my food to reheat it. And to be honest, I have only had two reheated meals in total including today. Not sure there is anything more than paranoia to it, but a lot of people swear that the microwave is the devil in terms of what it does to your food. And I think that the histamine content gets higher in meat as it ages, though I don’t know if this is true of cooked food that is being refrigerated for a few days. I may be way off the mark here so I don’t suggest you try these suggestions except out of curiosity.

Wow I completely rewrote this post to be a summary of what I originally posted and it still ends up being one of the longest posts on this thread… Sorry guys.

(Cathrine Helle) #124

I don’t personally eat raw meat, but I’m also curious about this. I’ve tasted raw, and think I prefer cooked meat, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this changes over time. I remember vividly not liking liver as a kid - now I find it very tasty. If you experiment further with a more raw diet, please update us on your experience :smiley:

(Kel Ta) #125

There was a study posted in a discussion on SBakerMD’s twitter (I seem to remember) that gut bacteria initially consumes the mucin layer but then dies off without sufficient nutrient… however Dr. Robillard also has indicated that in SIBO anyway certain gut bacteria can scavenge for B12 which is why, besides instrinsic factor problems some on the Carnivore diet as well as any lower carb for that matter can end up with a B12 deficiency

(Ruth Beardsley) #126

Reporting in! 10+ months Carnivore. Feeling well, save for :poop: movements. They are every couple of days - six days! I often feel very heavy lower gut pressure for a day or so then “go”. I have reduced reliance on herbal laxatives.

The other item of interest is that I am learning about Oxalate dumping.
I have classic symptoms which could be explained by the build-up of oxalates in my tissues: IBS, IC, sore, swollen tongue, cloudy urine, joint pain from time to time, excessive tartar and shoulder pain.

Of course I am now not eating any oxalate containing foods and most of these symptoms are clearing up. S.L.O.W.L.Y.

I am staying CV for the foreseeable future.

(Adrian ) #127

You make a good point, and I think you may be tapping on to something. Could it be that those who claim extraordinary benefits were actually suffering, and having found relief from suffering, they feel it as ‘extraordinary’, when it’s what normal should feel like. And so they exaggerate their claims, without realizing
I started Carnivore 2 months ago and never quite saw anything amazing. I do still suffer from chronic low-level depression, and I am somewhat functioning.
If Carnivore / Ketosis really were a cheatcode to tap into a superior state of mental cognition, we would be seeing folks using it to become rich or to create successfull businesses, but we don’t see that.
There are no superpowers

(Norma Laming) #128

Yes Adrian, I think that is true of a lot of accounts where people feel amazingly better. Context is key.


Hmmm… I’ve wondered about it too. I also have a very dry nose, throat and esophagus and can’t really cough properly since the middle of last year. I came across some info regarding keto provoking this lack of mucin in the body a while ago and I think a guy Paul Jaminet or something was talking on a blog about the relation between low carb diets, lack of mucin and stomach/bowel cancer. It worried me at that time but just went on with my keto WOE as I felt great. Anyway, I am carnivore now day 17 and feeling good. BUT, although I really don’t want to think there might be a correlation between keto and lack of mucus, I seldom wonder if my dryness and love of everything low carb might have had a role to play. I still feel constantly that if I want to cough and clear my lungs?? nothing ever comes out and it feels so dry. Nose, throat, esophagus and sometimes eyes the same. Oh…and pardon my english, not native.

(Edith) #131

Maybe you are not hydrating enough.


I wonder if 2 months would be enough to see any significant benefits from carnivore or any other diet change. I am saying this because I mostly see people trying to make adjustments or tweaking things in order to find out what better works for them on the long run. Some speak about seeing improvements after 2 weeks and some breaking through their health issues after 1 year. We are different and what works for one might not work for the other, that’s true. but guess one needs to give it enough time for the body to adapt and find its “mojo”. Or not. How is it going for you now? Are you still on meat only? Did you manage to find something that works for you?

(Adrian ) #133

I’m still Carnivore, yeah. About 100 days in.
Was still having difficulties. A few good days follow a few bad days. This repeats over again.
Energy levels and mental well-being fluctuated a lot.

This week, I started implementing a major change: significantly increase my fat intake, up to 75 - 80%.
Realized I was eating way too much protein (60:40 fat/protein ratio, 65:35 at most) and my body may not have liked it. This would explain my struggles with physical energy and my mental fluctuations.

My fasting glucose was constantly in the 90 - 100 range, which would indicate not high level of ketosis.
Never measured my ketones until yesterday.

So, my goal is to make my diet a Ketogenic Carnivore one: 100% animal-based, with Ketogenic ratios (Steffanson, F. Tufano recommandations).

Today is the 3rd day since I implemented a higher fat intake:
My fasting glucose has fallen a bit, 83 yesterday.

This moment I realized that, up until now, my fasting glucose was high-ish because of the protein amount I consumed (200 - 300g / day)

Yesterday, my ketone strips that I ordered arrived. Tested myself for the first time at 6PM

** Blood glucose: 83 mg/dL*
** Ketone levels: 3.1 mmol/L*

I have no certainty, but my hypothesis is that up until now, my ketones were very low due to high protein. Hence, the low energy problems. Probably had a lot of gluconeogenesis taking place.

If my hypothesis is right, upping my fat intake should really solve all of my problems. It should solve the energy problems, it should solve my anxiety and mental fog.
So excited for the upcoming days.

Also, the past 2 weeks, I’ve been consistently getting stronger in the gym and was able to do more volume (reps). Relative to my Carnivore standards, of course. I’m still a long way from my peak strength levels I had before Carnivore, but I’d say I’m now at 80 - 83% of my peak.


Waaw…Adrian, this is great news. I think it must have been the fat. I have the same experience. I came to carnivore from 4 years of keto and tried from the beginning (of carni) to keep my fat intake high 80/20. The few times when I ate higher protein I did’t feel well…tired, moody, brain fog, muscle weakness, cravings, hunger. I realized this after eating very high fat with some of my meals…I couldn’t stop exercising and my mood was so great 24 hours/day. Energy through the roof. Now I even add fat on steak. Also got a great tip from a carnivore veteran on this forums…first to eat the fat on your plate until you can’t take another bite and then eat the protein until you are satisfied. It’s been working wonders for me. Another reason why I think I need more fat it’s because I am already very low body fat and don’t have too much stock of energy (fat)on my body so need to eat it with my meals. It might be your situation as well. A few carnivore people on Instagram confirmed this as well. It is just early days for me with carni but will keep going as I already feel great improvements.Thank you for the feedback. I am glad you tweaked your carnivore diet to better suit your needs and admire your determination to keep going for 100 days even if you didn’t feel that great. I’ll make sure to load up on fat from now on (still a bit worried about weight gain tho). Keep us updated.
Mersi :wink:

(Adrian ) #135

First, many thanks for thefeedback.:upside_down_face:

That sounds familiar. Most days were like this, with a few great days in-between.
You see, I did knew from the start that Carnivore is supposed to be high enough in fat. But I did not quite fully realize the this until recently. I started tracking my ratio using Cronometer.
One day I ate 300g protein and 200g fat, up to a total of 3500 cal.

I thought I’m all good as long as I have some fat in my diet, and don’t eat super lean. But I may have been wrong

There are several CV communities out there. One is the ZIOH, and they preach ‘Just eat fatty meat to satiety’. And you’ve got people needing to eat 3-4 lbs of meat / day to satiate themselves.
My guess is they’re eating moderate fat and high protein. Because once I upped my fat intake, to 75% or greater, the amount of meat that I can eat and do eat to feel fully satiated has reduced.

It’s possible that some percentage of Carnivores are fine with a 65 - 35 ratio and they can function optimally on this ratio, but personally, I have a feeling I’m at my best at something like 75 - 25 or even 80 - 20.

This also makes sense to me. Started CV at ~14% BF, now I’m probably 11%-12%, because I have good abs definition and almost have a six pack. I also have an athletic physique, with decent muscle mass.

Read this tip too somewhere. However, eating pure fat without the lean parts is not appealing to me and may cause me nausea. I have to take a bite of both meat and fat to feel ok with the taste.

It’s to early to tell the changes implemented will pay off, I will wait a few more days. So far, it feels promising. First few days were decent, third day (today) I’m feeling really good, stable energy, zen state of mind.:innocent:


Well, I know there is a lot of preaching in both keto/carnivore communities and that is a good thing I guess when one is just starting out because you have a baseline from where to start, test and make changes. I see that most people end up trying to tweak things along the way to make this WOE work for themselves. We are all different and what works for me might not work for you. I also did some mistakes, unintentionally during the 4 years on keto but also learned a lot and still do. I hope you get to a point where you feel your best self.I am keeping the higher fat ratio for sure. I need my zen state and energy. Good luck and keep us updated. Many thanks for sharing your experience. :wink:

(Sarah Kurdi Belendez) #137

hey! your comments have helped me so much man, thanks for sharing your insight.

carnivore is great but I still can’t get rid of the constipation and I realized around 3 days of not going to the toilet, I start getting more anxious, stomach aches, and fatigue. I don’t know if it’s because of the constipation but by day 4/5 I have to take a laxative herbal tea because I start feeling really low!

was the 100% raw your best solution? I saw that you also suffer from anxiety… any insight?

(Bacon enough and time) #138

Get more salt. Constipation and headaches are symptoms of inadequate sodium intake, along with the other symptoms of so-called keto “flu.” Dr. Phinney has an explanation of the mechanism in one of his LCDU presentations on how to formulate a good ketogenic diet, but I don’t remember which one and don’t have time to re-watch them all. Suffice it to say that the healthiest range of sodium intake is 4-6 grams daily, which translates to 10-15 grams daily of table salt (sodium chloride).

The 10-15 gram range includes any salt already present in food, and just be aware that too much salt can cause the opposite of constipation (I’ll spare you the details, but I’m sure you can figure it out, lol!). . . . :grin:

(Sarah Kurdi Belendez) #139

thanks for reaching out Paul :slight_smile:

I don’t think it’s the sodium. I’ve had constipation my whole life and right now, eating carnivore, I add lots of salt to my food.

I just realized I have Hashimoto’s… that should be the cause for my constipation

(Thurston ) #140

Daily, I use 2 magnesium citrate caps in the am and 2 at bedtime.

(Robin) #141

I use the powder in my coffee