Could fatigue on carnivore be due to high levels of iron?


When reading the comments to a carnivore promoting video on youtube (I have a bad habit of getting stuck in the comment section after watching videoes) there was a person who commented he had experienced immense fatigue on carnivore, and another who commented back to the person that she too had experienced the same fatigue, and what had solved it for her was giving blood, this she wrote, had restored her energy levels. And this then got me reading about high levels of iron. How symptoms include a sense of heaviness, fatigue. Has any of you on the carnivore WOE experienced this? As it would make sense that on a carnivore WOE levels of iron would be higher.


My response was going to be that it could be a lot of things, but if giving blood gave them energy, that leaves Iron (most likely with Carnivore), high RBC, and Hematocrit. When I give blood I feel WAY better like 1-2 days later.


Hi lfod14, thanks for your reply. That is interesting. I have never donated blood, I’m not particularly fond of needles (well, who is?) and so the only times I’ve had my blood taken was through various tests. I don’t remember if I felt any better after them. But the physicians of old used to believe didn’t they, that relieving somone of their blood, was both healthy and neccessary, in treating various illnesses. Perhaps it was high levels of iron for this person on carnivore, as she also commented to the fellow complaining of his fatigue, that the reason he felt better when going back to carbs (I seem to remember he had opted to abandon keto and carnivore altogether) was because his body began retaining water again, dilluting the high iron in his body, and this may have been so if he was eating a lot of carbs, exceeding the keto carb limit.

When I was on carnivore, at first I was feeling great. Loving the food. Still do. Enjoying a mental clarity I hadn’t achieved on keto. I was struggling a bit with my indigestion, but discovered, along with magnesium that upping my fat intake helped. Until it didn’t and I began becoming constipated, with stomach pains. At about the same time this happened my energy began to decrease, until everything began to feel like a chore, and I was dragging my feet. When I added back in some vegetables and nuts that dreadful fatigue went away. But I discovered something new. I was colder again, I had been experiencing the cold less. And my mental fog returned. My inflammation has risen somewhat, in that I have some of my old aches returning. But, the fatigue and feeling of heaviness is gone, and I can function again. I would have loved to know what caused the fatigue.


Very little blood is taken so it shouldn’t change anything significantly, donating blood is quite different due to the way higher volume.

I am curious. Another reason to donate blood :slight_smile: I dislike needles but it’s nothing, really, my reason to avoid donating blood was that I feared they won’t find my elusive vein. I would love to help though. So I will try :slight_smile:

It was very stupid along with most of their beliefs… They used it for everything, even loving the wrong person…
Of course, it may help in some cases.

Good luck to figure out what will help you, it must be pretty bad when there isn’t a woe where simply everything gets better or at least not worse. My body is simple, the less non-animal net carbs I eat, the happier it is and I don’t get negative things, typically. On carnivore, food boredom is the only occasional problem of mine (but I can solve it with a little break). Not like I had noticeable problems on high-carb but still, I do feel differences and carnivore is simply the best, hands down, without making anything worse as far as I know. I just need to see what happens longer term :slight_smile: If I manage to do it. I am not sure I need it but I am curious.


Hi Shinita. It probably was mostly dangerous thinking, but somewhere in there was a thought, an insight that led to further discoveries and progress, there has been so much, and is so much trial and error in the medical world. I wouldn’t want to live back then though, when infections were ripe and deaths many due to bad hygiene.

I have an elusive vein too by the way. One nurse who took my blood called them tricky veins, and many other nurses have complained about them as well. But I was notoriously bad for many years not drinking enough water and letting myself get dehydrated. Nowadays I drink a lot more, so perhaps my veins would be less tricky. Staying hydrated a helpful nurse told me, definitely plumps up your veins.

I never get food boredom. Just issues with my digestion, but I had issues with my digestion when I was on a HC/LF WOE too. Infact, I’ve struggled with chronic constipation for years. As well as fatigue and muscle weakness.

But this week I am eating carnivore and if no constipation ensues or stomach pains, the next week it will be carnivore, and so on. I upped my fat (cream) and it solved my constipation.


some info. carnivore isn’t usually the issue, it stems before hand with individuals most likely. tagged as ‘kinda common’ issue amongst the population.

plus tons more info out there to research. maybe when ‘off all crap food’ and more the issue of more iron ‘becomes focused’ with individuals maybe? Alot to read about tho out there on the 'net.


Hi Fangs, thanks, will check out the link. I have been reading a lot lately, and I mean a lot, blog posts, articles the admins have linked to in this forum, other articles I’ve found myself. The vegetables I tried didn’t solve my constipation. They made it harder to go. So today I stayed carnivore, but upped my fat intake. That helped. This week I will stay carnivore, and adjust fat and salt and magnesium intake, if constipation and stomach pains ensues. If the week goes OK, then another week, and so on. I will be monitoring my body closely for signs of dehydration, constipation, electrolyte issues and fatigue, as I am beginning to think it might have been a combination of a dehydration issue and electrolyte issue.

I don’t think it’s a case of high iron if it’s more of a genetic issue. As genetically, I have always had low iron, and so has my mother. Anemia runs in my family, that and low blood pressure.


yea veggies can work SO against many of us :slight_smile: only thru trying do we know and find us for sure.

key being…a week on carnivore ain’t gonna cut anything for ya. Commitment. 30 days bare minimum and 90 days is the most recommended time to ‘try carnivore’ and work thru ‘adaption’ whcih can be wicked diff for each of us, and then ‘transition’ as the body heals we find ourselves literally changing amongst the adaption time too. We can get hit in a number of ways while we commit to longer term carni cause the body has a ton of work to do :slight_smile:

adaption, transition can take longer than one thinks and it ‘can nail ya a bit later’ too in our journey when we think ‘hey we are there and doing fine’ and boom something else hits cause fat releases toxins into the body too whcih can change our dynamics as we progress with some weight loss, then ya got other ‘sneaky issues’ like oxalates can dump ‘whenever they decide’ to do just that and we don’t know when and if it will happen to us, we can’t see inside us ya know :slight_smile: Then we got the body saying eat more fat one day cause ya just want/need it and another day the body says, I got enough fat, go eat leaner and it drags you that way which while all that healing/repair/hormone changes are going down we are starting to flip our eating as the body is indicating so again, we can have ‘so much happening’ yet we ‘think it is carnivore’ and I should be ‘over that phase/part fast’ but it doesn’t happen in those forms for tons of us. So like a yr. carnivore and we find more out about ourselves and level out then we ever could have known. Carnivore equals commitment to hit total new you change. Many have issues doing it but if one does, wow, real amazing life changes can come if we hold that fort :slight_smile: but only doing it can one get results so…just a personal walk for each of us.

wishing you the best!!!


I hear you Fangs. I don’t think though our body ever stops showing us signs or truth, as you call it, we can spend our whole lives learning from our bodies, the body is just such an amazing thing. In an ideal world, in order to stay pure, we wouldn’t be taking medications, as they can affect our bodies in so many ways and prevent those signals from getting through. I blame my chronic constipation which I suffered especially bad with when I was on a HC/LF WOE, on the fact for many years I have been taking antibiotics. They wreck absolutely havoc on one’s guts. Unfortunately I’m still on antibiotics, though a much lower dose, 40mg, to keep my skin clear.

What my body enjoys more than anything is fat, crispy chicken skins, the fatty rign of a pork chop or shoulder joint, whipped cream, it above and all desires fat. And really doesn’t like lean meat unless it’s eaten with the fat. I never get food boredom and desire more variety because I love my carnivore foods, and how they make me feel. The mental clarity, which I cannot achieve on keto, as whenever I bring back in carbs my mental fog returns.


I so so agree. but SO much can change those signals for us truly as in ‘real deal’ from med prescips against some ‘real diagnosis’ one is battling, or just stress/mental overload and more in our lives, to just eating a few things that ‘don’t set well with us’ and our environment around us, IS IT a good factor in our lives or a ‘gonna take me out factor’ to many of us, like living under monster elec. power lines, or locations of dealing with bad water and more. I tell ya one thing, I never now think anything is ‘just one thing’ ever. I learned life is not on a linear line for anyone thru any circumstances.

Some say carni will wreck ya and I got ‘whatever’…nope, doubt it LOL as being ‘directly from the menu and lifestyle’ cause transition/adaption and healing SO come into individual play. I can’t eat Keto Plan, because I can’t function ever on only 20g…I need 100g to function best…nope it is again with the above thoughts on carni. But what time to change for each of us against our own lives? Best we can do is walk thru the crazy and come out best we can when we ‘feel the body’ and ‘listen’ and darn if that ain’t a pain in the arse alot of times HAHA I know I had my wonky times thru it all :slight_smile:

good post!!

(Bob M) #11

I wonder if some people are affected by this more than others?

For where I live now, I’ll be at 6 gallons of donations this year. If you were to go the maximum times per year, which is 6, that would take 8 years to donate that much. My history goes back to 2004, though I gave blood here before then and gave many years of donating in other states.

Anyway, I can’t honestly say I feel better at any time after giving blood. I am a lot hungrier and a bit more tired 1-2 days after giving blood. For instance, I gave blood on Friday, and had to eat 3 meals on Saturday, which is rare for me. Other than that, I haven’t noticed anything.

My hemoglobin appears to fluctuate between low 13 gm/dL (lowest 13.1) to low 16 gm/dL (highest 16.3), with most between 14-15. And I eat a lot of beef, though I still eat chicken and pork and other meats.

(Bob M) #12

I’m wondering if people who benefit from giving blood could take something like this before they gave:


I wonder if this (or some other metric of iron) would be high? And then if they took it again, it would be lower after giving blood?

I’m looking into this now because I have to get blood tests for a physical done. I wanted to get them done before I gave blood, but ran out of time. I gave blood on Friday. If I get a blood test this week, say Saturday, would my ferritin give me an artificially low number?

I don’t know. I asked about this at the blood drive, but they basically said everything should be OK after 24 hours. I find that hard to believe. It seems that metrics like ferritin and even red blood cells should be lower than a “normal” value right before giving blood.

Edit: In other words, for metrics like this, the “worst” value would be right before giving blood; the “best” value would be right after.

Edit 2: Ugh, there are never any simple answers. This study says hemoglobin is a poor indicator of ferritin status, and it also shows that while many experience ferritin decreases, not all do.


Not sure. I’ve read that pre-menopausal women should be fine, as menstruation provides the equivalent of blood donation (though that’d be a hell of an awful period!)

My hematocrit is barely high for a female (fine for a man), at 50. I don’t think I’ve ever been under 44, though (US measurements), even when eating crap. I feel great. Just ran after a morning of work at the computer, feel plenty of energy to get me through the afternoon. I also live at 4500 ft elevation, and that can raise hematocrit a couple of points. And finally, blood value “normals” are “the first 100/500 people we tested this year,” I’ve read and most people are pretty sick, so I really don’t worry about charts and numbers unless they are way out of whack. Just “how do I feel?”


I quickly looked things up (and asked my SO who is borderline asleep, he donates blood). 30-45ml blood per period (normally). 400ml blood per donation, in my country a woman may give blood 4 times a year… It seems donating blood 2 times per year is a similar amount.