Hi all, first post here - have done a quick search but don’t see any previous posts that specifically address this question, so thought I’d ask. I’ll start with my questions and add my story at the end for anyone who wants to read it for more details on my situation - happy to answer any questions people might have, too!
My big question is, to any of you who have (‘had’?) UC, is how did the carnivore diet work for you? Would it be better to jump in straight at the ‘beef, salt, and water’ level, or follow a ‘tapering’ strategy of e.g. 1 month on dairy/fish/eggs/meat, 1 month on ‘all meats only’, then going to ‘beef, salt, and water’?
Another big question is about bowel movements. I see that diarrhea is fairly common as people switch to the diet, but… well, if your life is already measured in explosively wet toilet visits of the hit and miss variety, how would you say it went? The same? Less? More? Did you notice, for example, as you increased fat levels, that there was increased white foam in the toilet bowl? What about blood? Decrease/increase?
I have been gradually increasing my meat/fat intake (now every day with the fat as opposed to trying to limit it and cutting off ‘unhealthy’ fatty bits prior) and I have noticed an increase in white foam (think dish soap-like bubbles) together with (non-foamy, flat) ‘white patches’ floating on top of the toilet water. Almost like when you make a fatty soup and the fat congeals at the top, only this doesn’t seem congealed or even thick. On the rare occasion my colon manages to put something together, it usually comes with thick mucus around it. I’ve noticed that as my fat/meat intake increased, so did the solid matter. It’s not a lot compared to the diarrhea, but it’s… something. Is this… normal? I’m still eating a low-fiber diet though (5g - 10g/day - no carb restriction), so that may affect things.
Finally, while I’ve looked, I haven’t been able to find all that many resources on UC/ZC - does anyone have any links/book reccs on that? I am still doing preliminary research at this point, slowly going through books like The Carnivore Code by Paul Saladino, The Carnivore Diet by Shawn Baker, Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, and The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz. Perhaps this is too much research, but after decades of thinking fiber was good for me, I’m struggling with the idea that meat and fat alone can sustain me. These books are helping, but also leave me sad and shocked at how upside-down nutritional science and indeed how limited medical knowledge/understanding of the gut seem to be (another, rather long, debate, I guess!).
I am planning to start this diet in the next week or so. I feel a little intimidated, but I feel that this is the best path forward for me at this point. The whys are in the next section…
My guts worked wonderfully until about a year ago - I could eat just about anything and was pretty proud of my cast iron stomach. About a year ago, I noticed that my poop was getting rather wet, and blood was sometimes present. Not a lot, and at first I thought it was nothing and something that would pass. It didn’t get better, so I went to the doctor, who sent me to a gastro, and after a misdiagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (I was more concerned about the joint pain than dodgy guts at this time).
After a colonoscopy and various blood/stool tests, I was diagnosed with mild UC and a campylobacter infection. They sent me off with a 10-day course of Flagyl (Metronidazole) and a 30-day course of Dr. Salofalk Granustix (Mesalazine granules - think Pentasa, but a different brand). This did the trick, and my guts returned to normal.
Naturally, I went straight back to my regular diet - medicine had cured me! But the symptoms gradually returned, with me reluctantly returning to the gastro in July. This time she only gave me a 30-day course of Dr. Salofalk together with a 10 day supply of Ultra Levure 250 (saccharomyces boulardii). Again, it did the trick.
Things got back to normal, as did my diet. When my bowels started to go south again, I decided to put off the gastro and instead try switching up my diet. Cue buying a juicer and juicing a tonne of cabbage (apparently good for ulcers), carrots, and other plant stuff. Did it work? I felt virtuous and healthy, of course, but it was hard to deny that things weren’t improving. Not getting worse, but not exactly improving.
So, I went back to the gastro. More Dr. Salofalk, this time for 3 months. I kept up the juicing as well. However, the medicine didn’t work at all. Effectively, I have had nothing but diarrhea for 5 months at this point. I was hospitalized in December for a week with anemia (from the blood loss) and c. diff. A colonoscopy revealed my disease had progressed from mild to moderate. I was (and am) going to the toilet anywhere between 15-20 times a day. I have lost 17 kilos (37lbs-ish) in the last year.
Soon I will be starting a course of Pentasa and Budenoside, but my faith in medicine has slipped. I also don’t relish the steady deterioration of my condition while also increasing my intake of immunosuppressing (and worse drugs). So I started looking for answers again in diet, and that’s how I ended up finding the carnivore diet. My gastro had pretty much insisted on a a low-to-no fiber diet, and I’m tired of constantly looking at labels. In some respects, the carnivore diet represents freedom from that and a newfound simplicity that may offer remission, even (whisper it) cure.
Most of all, I simply cannot accept that the rest of my life is going to be governed by autoimmunity and bags of drugs with the threat of colectomy in the background. If a change in diet can help me to nurse my body back to health and maintain it, then I am prepared to give it a good go. I guess I’m just seeking advice/information from people who have walked this path.
Regarding the medication, I will continue to take it per my gastro’s orders - the Pentasa/Budesonide should (hopefully) work to reduce inflammation while the zero carb approach means no scratchy plant matter. My hope is that after a month (or more), I’ll have enough progress to stop the drugs. I won’t be returning to my ‘normal diet’ this time though. I’ve made that mistake twice!
Thanks for reading - and apologies for the long post and hopefully it’s in the right place!