Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Three years? Time flies

It's been three years since my last colonoscopy, and three years since my last post. Reading that post feels like reading a note in a time capsule; so much has changed since then. My wife and I bought and fixed up a house, had a baby, both had work changes (she moved schools, I got promoted) and have had some wonderful and trying times. Stress out the wazoo.

But one thing hasn't changed: I'm still symptom free. More on that in a bit.

Diet-wise the only hard rule left is "no gluten", which in pragmatic terms translates into "no regular, large starch piles". However, I do eat potatoes with regularity, and have ventured into the dark lands of gluten free pizza a few times (with predictable results). Overall, my diet remains centered around meat, eggs and cheese, with fruit (mostly "gross" bananas), vegetables and starchy tubers rounding it out.

One negative health event was scoring high cholesterol for a physical two years ago. 290 total, I forget the exact splits. At the time, I was chugging milk and yogurt, so I stopped. A year later I was down to 204 and had an extremely positive Boston Heart panel. High HDL, the right LDL pattern, etc. The cardiologist was a little stunned by the turnaround and mentioned that it takes most people years to pull that off. Most people probably aren't drinking that much milk. I guess my phenotype doesn't respond well to a sustained dairy onslaught. Oh well. I've been making up the calories with a shake made from protein powder, super-ripe bananas and peanut butter, with no negative side effects.

On to the colonoscopy.

I switched gastros to one who had a facility a little closer to my new house. The prep they gave me was astonishingly inoffensive (suprep). I recall gagging and being almost unable to finish a similar prep (fleet phosphosoda or something like that), but this one was so mild it was no big deal. Only complaint about the procedure itself was that instead of giving me the relaxant a few minutes ahead of time, they just knocked me out - come on guys, I crapped my brains out for twelve hours, I think I deserve a little legal high time.

Woke up and the doctor told me everything looked fine. No polyps, no inflammation, no visual signs of disease. Come back in two weeks for follow up.

When I went to my follow up appointment, he said that I didn't look like I had Crohn's. He had me go through my history just to make sure that my diagnosis seemed sound, and I don't think there's any doubt that I do in fact have the disease. He said that it's so thoroughly in remission it's hard to tell. All of my biopsies were unremarkable except one which showed some signs of old inflammation, which wouldn't be enough to diagnose the disease if I was a brand new patient.

He grilled me about my diet for a bit and said that he's seen a few people like me, all with their own random diet stories. It's not possible to say if I actually induced remission with my year on meat, or just had a random remission start at the same time, but he said that given the individual nature of the disease and our lack of understanding of the microbiome, anything's possible. Maybe in ten or twenty years, we'll be able to sample your gut and say, "Eat like this and you'll be fine." The science just isn't there yet.

He said that given my results I probably shouldn't bother coming in for another colonoscopy unless I had symptoms, but he's obligated to recommend a follow up given that I have a history. Keep doing what I'm doing, and call him if anything changes, but otherwise my colon looks like any other 32 year old colon. Not bad.

So, maybe in another three years I'll go get scoped again. We'll see. For now, though, I'm fine.

Eight years ago I decided to eat nothing but meat for a year. Now I have a perfectly normal colon. If those two events are indeed correlated, and someone could figure out exactly how, a whole lot of people would be able to find relief from a terrible disease. I hope that in twenty years, I'll be able to shutter this blog with a post saying, "They figured it out, go eat X and Y." But for now, it's all up to you to find the diet that works best. My approach might not work for you, but I'm betting there is an approach that will. Don't give up!


  1. "The cardiologist was a little stunned by the turnaround and mentioned that it takes most people years to pull that off." You might find this of particular interest: https://proteinpower.com/drmike/2017/07/25/how-to-lower-your-cholesterol/

    Cheers, Amber

  2. Great blog. I only just discovered it via someone's post. I've also been ZC for about a year now, and it was a life saver from UC. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  3. Like your story. made aware of your post from Principiacarnivora Web site. I am presently on Humira for Crohn's and AS. So far 6 months ZC (or almost)... Thanks for sharing

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. I've been suffering with daily IBS-D symptoms for 20 years (though I never had a colonoscopy to confirm it wasn't something worse).

    I've been doing SCD (which you showed some interest in) for 1 year and it has helped a lot. I now only have diarrhea about once a week instead of multiple times daily. My diet has tended to get most of my calories from fatty meat. It is difficult to correlate symptoms to food, but it seems to be various plant material that leads to horrible gas and sometimes diarrhea.

    I don't know if the overall improvement has been because of microbiome changes (as per SCD theory) or just certain food triggers.

    In any case, your experience is very inspiring - especially that you were able to reintroduce plant foods after a year. Reading through your experience was very inspiring. I guess a year isn't really that long (out of a lifetime) to experiment with a major life-improving change.

    I plan to attempt a 3-month to 1-year experiment to see if it works, though I don't have a theory as solid as yours (other than hoping maybe it could give sufficient space to heal 20 years of gut damage and reduce unknown bad bacteria). I hope to successfully reintroduce plant foods at the end, though I see no reason not to eat a predominately meat diet forever.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  5. It sounds like, with your gut healed, you're able to eat whole healthy foods (meat, fruits, veggies, even potatoes) but still have to avoid most processed foods. That's pretty awesome it was enough to maintain remission and that even the occasional "cheat" didn't damage your gut/biome enough to cause major issues.

    You're not too dissimilar from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and I believe Elaine permitted one to start doing "non SCD" foods after a year or two of healing. Technically a "meat only diet" is within the SCD framework too.

    I've been reading a lot about the damage caused by glysophate (highly present in the "evil" gluten/wheat foods) and it almost sounds possible the glysophate damages the gut to permit gluten to enter and set off the auto-immune response. Maybe meat-only allowed your gut the space to have nothing to react negatively too and close up to allow a permanent change. So awesome you kept this blog up all these years.

  6. I’m just starting and have tried everything for my UC for 6 years. Really hopeful!

  7. This is simply brilliant, and it should be read side by side with a post by someone who went into remission with a vegan diet. The simple lesson being that everyone is different and Crohn's is complicated. We are in the infancy of our knowledge of the possibly multiple causal and risk factors, the nature of the gut biome, and the inflammatory process. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  9. Hi! You've been inspiration for me. Such diet helped me tremendously. But I've noticed if I don't cook my meat enough leaving raw blood in it symptoms come back.
    The question: how do you cook meat and how did you cook it when you started?

    1. I cooked it rare or medium rare. Not blood-rare usually, although I did try to eat a few raw steaks over the course of the year, just to see what happened. I didn't notice any symptoms relating to how cooked the meat is, so I'm not much help there, sorry!

  10. Hi! I've some new questions if you don't mind)
    Do/did you use any probiotics? Do you salt food? Do you take any supplements like vitamin D?
    Do you try to get more fat/measure ketones?
    I am sorry for so many questions and thank you.

    1. 1. I tried probiotics in 2003/2004, but saw no difference in symptoms. Makes sense, because I didn't change my diet. The gut microbiome is very resilient.

      2. Salt, yep! Just to taste, and probably not all that much.

      3. Yes. Over the past 5 or so years I've taken vitamin D and over the past year or so I've experimented with K2. No noticeable differences in health.

      4. I don't measure ketones since ketosis isn't a goal of mine. If I want to lose weight, I make sure to stay low carb and measure my overall calorie intake until I can dial in portion sizes.

  11. Randomly came across your blog from a reddit link about leaky guy ;-)

    My story is similar to yours, but without the Crohns and digestion issues. I tested negative for Crohns using DNA testing. Not sure if that is valid though. I have no belly aches or poop issues ;-) Only some bloating from plant based food.

    Suffered from severe chronic fatigue syndrome for 14 years. Went on a diet of red meat and 3 bananas a day for a month, and started to get better. I just could not do 100% meat (and I love meat), so I chose one carb to avoid ketosis. After several more weeks all my symptoms were gone.

    Slowly tried introducing one food item at a time back into my diet after 6 months, and paid the price. Extreme fatigue, body aches, arthritis, old injuries would suddenly hurt again, etc.

    I can only eat red meat, bananas, avocado, coffee and coconut oil it seems. Im trying some potatoes now. Trying to expand my plate, but it seems everything fails. Cant eat any grains, eggs or dairy at all. Oatmeal kills me in just a few hours.

    The whole N=1 makes its so incredibly hard to decipher what is happening. But there is no doubt this is triggered by food. Ive gone from feeling super human on 100% meat+bananas, to in bed and debilitated, so many times now, its statistically significant.

    Now im starting to wonder if trying to force myself to be an omnivore is a good idea at all. Are we really sick?? Or are we simply humans near the tail end of the bell curve? There is no doubt in my mind that the human bell curve is incredibly wide.

    Maybe having issues with grains, veggies, and non-meat items is perfectly normal?? Maybe we are like the Fox, technically an omnivore, but only in a pinch as an evolutionary advantage? But we're optimized to eat mostly meat???

    This new isotope analysis method has recently shown (2019 reports) that neandrathals and early homo sapiens we're nearly carnivores.

    Maybe we should stop trying to force other food items and simply listen to our bodies? Could being 90-100% carnivore actually be perfectly normal for a human? Or even optimal??? My blood tests have never been better. My colonoscopy was so pristine, they told me not to come back for a decade. I feel super human when running on 90-95%+ meat.

    Just one article on this subject. I have read most of them that go into details about early homo sapiens. They scored as more carnivorous than the neadrthals! Food for thought.


  12. Hi I was wondering about your experience with milk and acne. Does it apply to cheese as well? And has it resolved? I want to go low starch but want to gain weight.
    Thanks so much

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  14. Just checking in to see how you're doing now and hope you don't mind my asking a few questions.

    Did you eventually not have diarrhea after your initial start, and is the diarrhea inevitable do you think? This is one of the reasons I'm reluctant to try it.

    Did you get any bloodwork done during your carnivore year and were any markers out of range, particularly cholesterol or triglycerides? I'm on a medication that can raise trigylcerides and I'm wondering how eating this way may affect that.

    Lastly, I know this is just conjecture on your part, but do you think you would've had the same beneficial results if you would have just done the Life Without Bread 72 grams of carbs per day? I can't really envision myself only eating meat, but may be able to do mostly meat with a few veggies and maybe minimal fruits. But then I wonder if the main reason you were able to start eating normally again was because you did only meat for that whole year.

  15. Sorry, one last question, did you have any extra intestinal manifestations of Crohn’s?

    1. Answering both comments here. I should probably write another update post, but time is not my friend :)

      I no longer had diarrhea by ~October/November if I recall correctly. So basically +3-4 months from start of diet. It's hard to say if it was inevitable, or a general-case side effect. I know normal people who have gone on all-meat diets certainly did not report "diarrhea for 3 months". So maybe I just had a flare up around the same time, or the diet caused a flare up, or I'm just unlucky. I would put a small amount of money down on a bet saying that you will suffer SOME digestive disruption, but my experience could be outlying.

      I did not get any bloodwork done during the year itself. A few years later I had very high cholesterol (270) and that dropped to ~204 when I stopped drinking milk, with a Boston Heart Panel showing a very low risk profile of HDL/LDL and triglycerides, particle size, etc. My bet is that the diet did elevate my total cholesterol, and it would probably be worth monitoring if you gave the diet a shot. If you get a Boston Heart Panel and it comes back with a low risk profile after ~6 months, then you can feel better. If it comes back bad, you can adjust. For me, dairy was the problem, not meat.

      I did have a fistula when I was first diagnosed in 2002. But nothing since then.

      Saving the best for last: did I have to go all meat for a full year? That's the bazillion dollar question :)

      All I can say for certain is that after 12 months of diet, I had zero inflammation in my bowel. It's probable that there was a point before that where I could have stopped the diet and retained the benefit. My hunch (ie, my guess that is only weakly supported by evidence and is definitely not medical advice) is that I did need to be strict for the period of time where I had diarrhea. So 3-4 months in, with maybe a month or two more for safety. After that, I bet I could have stopped the diet with most if not all of the benefits. That would bring me nicely to the 6 month mark indicated in Life Without Bread - fun coincidence.

      If you put a gun to my head, I'd predict that you'd get at least some of the benefit, albeit possibly more slowly. The underlying hypothesis here remains starving out gut bacteria, so if whatever not-meat you leave in the diet continues to sustain the bacterial population causing you trouble, then it might take longer to work or not work at all. The good news is that your proposed diet almost certainly won't hurt you, so you might as well give it a rigorous try for 6 months.

      I was kind of hoping by now (10 years since I did this! wow) we'd have a better model for Crohn's, and I'd know if I was right or wrong, but it remains uncertain. Ugh!

      Best of luck!

    2. Thank you so much for your prompt and detailed response. I hope you don’t mind my asking you a few more questions.

      1. How severe would you classify your Crohn’s and did it respond well to medication?

      2. Was your Crohn’s in remission when you started carnivore? (I believe you said it was)
      which leads y to I my next questions

      3. Did you have any objective inflammatory markers taken before or during? I know you her a colonoscopy after but did you have one fairly recently when you started your diet and/or get inflammatory measures like CRP or sed rate taken. Just wondering if you had objective improvement or if the diet kept you in remission as opposed to improved it,not that it by itself isn’t amazing.

      4. Did you ever take any peppermint it oregano oil? I may be confusing your blog with someone else’s.

      5. Do you have any suspicions on what caused your Crohn’s? Mine started after I took antibiotics for a sinus infection, so I feel very much there is a microbial link

      Anyways, I suppose none of it matters that much because results will vary depending on the individual. It’s just nice to have an idea of what to compare to. I’m currently doing a round of EEN and if it doesn’t work, I’m debating on carnivore vs 72g carb limit with SCD.

      I really appreciate your blog and your time. I remember stumbling on your blog after I was diagnosed and thought there was no way anyone else would do that. Now carnivore is so trendy. You’re like the OG carnivore blog. Thanks for sharing your experiences! Glad you are still well. 😀

    3. Happy to help! And wow do I need to update the theme on this blog. Painful to type comments :)

      1. I was first diagnosed in 2002 after what in retrospect was several years of active Crohn's. I would say it was a moderate case - I was 6'3", 135-140lbs, hadn't had a normal bowel movement in years and was exhausted all the time - but I've read about the truly bad cases and mine wasn't like that. No blood in my stool or resections or hospital stays. I took prednisone to get into initial remission,and then asacol/pentasa for maintenance after that. Outwardly that did the trick, but see #2.

      2. Yes, technically. However, every yearly colonscopy I was getting polyps removed and showing Crohn's inflammation on my biopsies. That was pretty good for my gastro at the time, but never sat right with me. In 2009 my gastro started talking about doing a resection to remove a large polyp, which is part of what motivated me to try a radical diet - I really did not want to get a resection.

      3. I did have blood tests, but I can't find them now. I don't recall them being very interesting before/after snapshots, no big movers anywhere. The only objective evidence was the biopsies from the colonscopies going from all inflamed before the diet to no inflammation after the diet. My last colonscopy showed zero disease activity, something which never happend pre-diet.

      4. No, just meat. I did try cod liver oil a few times, but gave it up after a massive fish-smelling diarrhea episode that made me want to die. I'm generally skeptical of supplements beyond basics like vitamins for deficiency. My guess/bet is that removing the trigger food(s) is all that matters. No supplment (besides actual medication) will outweigh the trigger. But just a guess.

      5. No clue. I was a pretty sick as a kid all the time until they took my tonsils out at ~9, and my parents assure me that I was getting liquid stool ever since I started eating solid food. I was a c-section kid, so maybe that mattered, but then so was my brother, and he didn't get Crohn's. I ate unbelievably poorly in high school, which can't have helped and may have been the trigger in a final straw sense. But I remember horrible stomach cramps going back my whole life, so I might have had a mild case since forever.

      Odd timing for this comment thread - I'm doing a brief all meat reset right now. I periodically do a week or two after an extended period of poor eating, just to reset back to baseline. Like you said, carnivore is trendy nowadays, and I have to admit I'm bemused by how many blogs and gurus have sprung up around the diet. It's not a difficult concept, and watching everyone make hay off it makes me shake my head. Maybe I should have been selling $100/hour life coaching all this time. Oh well. Could have bought bitcoin back then too, but them's the breaks :)

      Best of luck with whatever diet you choose. I hope you find the right mix and get to a lasting remission!

    4. Sorry I took so long to reply, but I just want to thank you so much for getting back to me and sharing your experiences.

      Your story is very interesting. I'm a female and at 5'8" if I get down to 135lbs I start to look pretty emaciated, so I can't imagine how that was on you at your height and as a male. It sounds like you had digestive issues your whole life, so who knows if you maybe had the beginnings of Crohn's that was undetected way back in the day.

      I'm kind of the opposite, I had a stomach of steel, was a swimmer for most of my life and the stories of what Michael Phelps ate as a swimmer aren't really off base for most swimmers, so I pretty much ate anything and everything and never had any issues until I took antibiotics for a sinus infection when I was 30 and that seemed to be the catalyst, but I also had a bunch of other possible predisposing factors including taking antibiotics a lot as a child and my dad having UC, but neither of my sisters got Crohn's, as you mentioned your brother didn't, so it seems that there are definitely environmental factors going on as well.

      Also, I did want to mention that I don't think just being gluten-free was all you may have needed to do as you had mentioned back in one of your posts. I've been gluten-free for almost a decade and it doesn't seem to affect my disease enough to notice at least. I've done pretty much every diet out there except carnivore, so maybe that's the key for me. SCD unfortunately didn't seem to work despite being religious about it for years, but I have talked to someone on Facebook who SCD works for her son only after he went through 8 weeks of exclusive enteral nutrition, and then he was med free only on SCD but then flared again when he tried to add back in illegals. So maybe you really do have to starve out everything for a long period of time in order to fully heal like you have.

      I have been reading up on EEN studies since it's the only dietary measure that has seemed to help me, and I just read a study that had adult Crohn's patients on EEN for several months and had them use it until there was endoscopic remission, not just clinical or biochemical remission, and the average time that it took them was around 6-7 months, I can't remember, but I'd have to find the research paper again. Anyways, that goes along with your experience and the Lutz data that around 6 months seems like the length of time for things to work. It would've been nice to see if Lutz's patients had endoscopic remission.

      Anyways, I'm babbling now, I just want to thank you for your time and keeping your blog up and running. And I'm glad you have updates since some people may be more likely to try something like this if they know they may eventually get to loosen up on their diet after a year or so. Your blog is just the right amount of data and humor, and I like that you posted just usually monthly, because it gives your audience a good way to somewhat quickly see how things progressed.

      Glad you're doing well. Hope the meat reset went well too. You should feel good that you're a pioneer in this area, and I'm sorry you didn't get to cash in on it, but I'm happy you're willing to share just to help others. 😀

  16. Hello. I hope all is still well with you. I found your blog on a Reddit post while researching zero carb and Crohn's and it gave me the extra motivation to take dieting for Crohn's seriously.

    My meds are losing effectiveness and I can't ignore the disease any longer. It's nice being able to take a drug and go about your life like nothing is wrong but one fact always remains. You're only treating the symptoms.

    It's always rubbed me the wrong way when doctors say diet has nothing to do with Crohn's. Thankfully research on the gut microbiome is coming into the mainstream and it's looking more and more like a pathogen, or multiple pathogens are responsible for autoimmune disorders.

    I have two questions.

    Are you still symptom free? And have you read about Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) being implicated in Crohn's and other auto immune disorders?

    I had never heard of the bacteria you mentioned in an earlier post that is mistaken by the immune system for intestinal lining. Fascinating. And I wonder if it's all connected somehow. MAP causes yoni's disease in most domesticated animals as well as non human primates. Couldn't find anything on carnivores developing it though.

    If you're interested,look into the work of Dr Thomas Brody in Australia and professor John Herman Taylor of King's college London.

    Thank you for your time and for writing this blog. It's hard to find non culty diet information out there.

    1. I remain symptom free. I also really need to do another update post. Ironically, the lack of symptoms pushes Crohn's down past the cut-off line for "things I pay attention to", so I've been putting it off for years.

      I read a fair bit about MAP back when I started the diet, and my takeaway was that the evidence didn't seem very strong. Or, put another way, it seemed really easy to falsify the hypothesis - antibiotic therapy, even extreme therapy that should eliminate MAP, doesn't seem to reliably induce lasting remission, which seems to contradict the idea that Crohn's is a result of a specific infection. And then my own experience seemed to falsify it. If MAP were the hard cause, then my diet shouldn't have had any effect at all. Now granted I can't show a positive effect with n=1 experimentation, but if MAP == active Crohn's, shouldn't I still have active Crohn's? I could have innately overcome the MAP infection at the same time by coincidence, I guess.

      In fairness, the KP hypothesis I wrote about over a decade ago also isn't a slam dunk. The anti-biotic logic above also applies to it, as does the possibility of coincidental remission. I can find much more recent articles examining KP as a trigger, so it must still be an active area of research.

      But I like the general case logic of the KP hypothesis - if immmune cross-reaction is really possible, then individuals may have any number of bacterial triggers. Those bacteria might be ubiquitous in the environment, so if you keep eating a diet that promotes them, they'll come right back even after antibiotic therapy. But if you eat a diet that restricts their growth, and sustain it long enough for that immune reaction to die down, then you could get a lasting remission.

      At least that's what I'd like to believe. My "if I had a billion dollars" dream would be to fund a real zero carb study for Crohn's patients. Six months to a year, monitor their gut biome, large enough population to be meaningful. Alas.

      Good luck with your next steps. I hope it works out well!

  17. Thanks pfw for your inspiring experience, you might don't know that your blog helping chrones like me who lives in different spot in this planet :)
    My case almost similar to your case, mild crohn's, easy to get sick and skinny childhood, years of irregular BM & cramps, some deficiency of iron & B12.

    Last 2 years i was mostly LC which gave me a hope.
    I started few months ago strict ZC but stopped after 35 days because of horrible Diarrheaa and noticed also my fecal calprotectin test ,as inflammation marker, is elevated that time which also worried me, but could be as a result of microbiome changes.
    And now your experience boost me to do it again with extended period.

    My question,
    1- if I try to eat between 2500-3000 calories a day of just meat and organs, is is possible to gain weight? Because I see more people get heavy cream to gain weight.

    2- with your normal BM, do you think you can now easily gain weight than before, or no difference?

    by the way you still have a chance to offer coaching session and consider me in if you decide :))

    Thanks again and awaiting your next post

    1. I had about 2-3 months of adjustment when I went all meat. I lost about 10 pounds over those first months with lots of loose bowels. Then it stabilized in month 3-4 and I was able to gain weight back, from ~155 to 180 if I recall correctly. Day 35 would have been right in the middle of that process.

      Of course, you have to draw your own lines. If your symptoms get really bad, and you're losing weight rapidly, then please don't kill yourself because some guy on the internet had a different experience :)

      To your questions:

      1. Yes, if you ate that many calories of meat, you'd gain weight. The trouble will be actually eating that much meat for long enough to gain weight. I found overeating meat to be a lot harder than, say, drinking a bunch of milk or eating way too much ice cream. So I'm not surprised that people try to supplement with liquid calories or dairy/cheeses - it makes it easier to hit your calorie number for the day.

      2. MUCH easier to gain weight than before. I went up to ~190lbs during the pandemic, eating lots of junk and handling stress. But having this diet tool in your belt also helps go the other way. I decided to go back down to 170, so in Apr 2021 I went strict all meat for a few weeks to kick off, and by July 2021 I was at 170. When I reduce focus on diet, the weight comes back on. Some of that is being in my late thirties, of course, but my gut can handle a lot more food than it used to.

  18. PFW, thank you so much for publishing this blog. It has helped me tremendously and avoid starting biologics (crohnie here). I started the carnivore diet in Feb and most of my symptoms started improving immediately. Close to 3 months in I started getting heart palpitations at night, and got a little worried so I tried to transition to some ripe bananas (per SCD diet) which did not work out. I went back to strict carnivore and improved again, then about 2 weeks ago tried to transition even slower to some fruit. Even a very miniscule amount seems to set some minor symptoms off, but when I return to strict carnivore my symptoms abate (good bowel movements again) almost immediately.

    My question for you (hopefully you still check this blog) is how was your transition back to eating starch / fruit? Was it rocky? Did you have to adjust and go really slow? Did you get any symptoms at all?

    Last, if you had to guess, would you say I just need to spend more time on strict carnivore before trying again (months), or am I going about this the wrong way?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Eric, great to hear about your success! Awesome that you've been able to get your symptoms under control!

      Couple thoughts:

      1. Are you taking a multi-vitamin? I had some cramping during my year that I attributed to a lack of magnesium/potassium/elecotrolytes in general. I powered through that, but in retrospect that was dumb, and could have been addressed with a simple supplement. Heart palpitations sounds much scarier than some cramps, but if you have micronutrient worries a multi-vitamin might immediately address them.

      2. If you're going from strict carnivore to basically anything else, you're going to get some GI symptoms when you add in the other foods. That may or may not have anything to do with Crohn's - a normal person eating pure carnivore suddenly eating bananas might have some bowel disruption until their body adjusts. So this is a bit fuzzy to call. In my case, I very gradually added carbs back in. Like one kind of carb a month, starting with small amounts. Each time I reintroduced a food it would take a week or two to hit a new equilibrium. You might need a similar strategy. I do remember backing off a few times after getting worried, then trying again a little later.

      3. The super imprecise line in the sand, based on my experience, is six months. That's when I started gaining weight during my year, and when my bowel movements fully stabilized. After six months, I bet I could have started adding carbs back in and gotten the same effect as the year. 3 months? I was still having periodic bouts of diarrhea, so I wasn't all the way there. Your mileage and milestones will vary, of course, but six months might be the next thing to aim for. BTW I don't think you have to restart your clock on that. You might just have to do three more strict and then try again.

      Good luck!

    2. PFW: your reply helped a ton - I really appreciate it. I'll post an update here, because i'm sure there are many like me going through the same thing looking for other personal anecdotes.

      I went most of the summer doing fairly well, but in hindsight I never went 2 weeks without a 'crohn's crap' as you called it. I had SCD yogurt, cheddar cheese, coffee, and honey in pretty liberal amounts.

      Had my blood work towards the end of summer and my LDL was ~350 - not good. This also coincided with your recommendation to try and reintroduce again. I started with banana baby food, and I started slow (1 tbsp / day). I ramped up slowly until I was at a full container, but my GI symptoms started to worsen and I almost didn't make it into work one day.

      I pulled the plug on that and have since removed the dairy, honey, and caffeine :( I am back on track but still not back to normal stools yet - they are still kind of soft. The last thing in my diet I am not sure about is olive oil.

      So my plan is to just stick with the strict version until my symptoms are completely gone for a few months straight per your recommendation despite the LDL and such. (this might get better without the dairy). If you or anyone had any other thoughts, that would be greatly appreciated!


  19. Man I just would like to say that I came across your blog 3 years ago, and you basically saved my life. I read every single update you posted and decided to start my own experiment. Now I live happily without any symptoms or medications. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

    1. I would like to add to my comment above, based on my research, and for the benefit of other readers, I found that the work of Paleomedicina's group to be the most scientific and precise. Dear readers, check them out.

    2. Comments like these are why I made the blog in the first place! Awesome to hear it worked for you!

    3. Hi, regarding butter, you mentioned that u don't have a vehicle to handle it, is that mean that even tallow and other form of fat we need to be cautious about it? When u say meat centric, do you eat fatty cuts such as ribeye and that's enough? Because in carnivore communities they encourage more fat, but not sure about crohns people like me which i still have loose stoll in carnivore and could be simply I'm overeating fats!

  20. Pfw, how are you?

    1. Still alive! I'm going for a colonoscopy in July after which I'll write up a long overdue update post. Hoping it's boring, but we'll see what happens after the colonoscopy :)

    2. How your colonoscopy? We are waiting for an update post :)

  21. So I am waiting for an update. :) Your blog is a huge inspiration for me. I am starting the "animal"diet today. I had some improvment already on the SCD diet (I used it for two months but I ate to much fruit I think). However I am afraid that I will feel hungry for a long time on na "animal" diet/carnivore diet. Did you feel that way to? Tell me what do you eat currently?

  22. Finally past the 6 month mark! So far I've had a very similar experience as you. The first few months were shaky but things stabilized as my body adapted to more fat. CRP initially spiked (confusing) but dipped and was trending down in my last blood test and I have a colonoscopy in the Fall. Looking forward to finally getting an update post on here. You should make a YouTube video about all of this sometime. Hope all is well!

    One last thing. Near the beginning you mentioned you had a friend with Crohn's that was also trying to use diet. I was just curious if they found relief as well.

    1. Did you heal your Crohn too? How did you feal the first months? I started two weeks ago but it`s worse. Now I have diarrhea, I didn`t have it earlier.:/

    2. Hi Agnieszka,
      I am eating carnivore since June 2018. I was diagnosed with Crohn/UC at January 2017 (doctors couldn't distunguish at that moment).
      This blog was an inspiration for me and it helped a lot but after lots of trials and errors I came to conclusion that carnivore diet doesn't work for me as it is. So if I eat only steaks for example my blood glucose goes up, inflammation goes up and I don't feel well. In order to feel well I need to stay in ketosis(>1.5 blood ketone levels) so with each meal I eat a lot of pork fat(in the form of 'salo'). In addition I keep my vit D at the high levels above 100 ng/ml.
      If I do as I described above - my blood inflammation markers(crp and calprotectin) are really low, I gained 30 kg and I feel great.
      And most important - don't overeat initially. At the beginning take a look at paleomedicina recommendations.
      After about a year when your body adjusted you can ignore it and just eat as much as you want, just eating fat with each meal.
      You may also consider taking betaine hcl and pepsin and some digestive enzymes initially. But that's not neccessary. I ignored that and had a rough first month but I see that they help people switch to eating meat only easier.
      I was in your situation and I wish I knew these principles when I just started.

  23. Alex, thank you for sharing your story!