1. Home
  2. The Carnivore Diet
  3. The Carnivore Diet – Symptoms and Cures

The Carnivore Diet – Symptoms and Cures

Symptoms and Cures when Starting the Carnivore Diet

You may experience significant symptoms when getting adapted to The Carnivore Diet.

In this article, I’ll review common symptoms and some tips and tricks to overcoming these.

Getting Started on The Carnivore Diet

Often, nearly always, when you start a Carnivore Diet, you will experience adverse symptoms and side effects. It is what I affectionately call the “Trough of Despair” or the “Trough” for short.

This is the adaptation period.

The symptoms you experience is your body’s natural response to carbohydrate restriction and the elimination of addictive agents and chemicals.

Symptoms

Common Symptoms Include:

Brain fog, headache, chills, sore throat, digestive issues, dizziness, irritability, bad breath/smells, bad taste in mouth (metallic), dry mouth, cravings (sugar!), muscle soreness, jaw soreness, nausea, diarrhea, poor focus, and decreased performance, energy, and drive, cramping, rapid heart rate, insomnia, night sweats, and nocturia (peeing a lot at night), hot or cold,

I sat on a toilet for a week, threw up in the middle of the night, AND I had been on a low carb diet for 20 years.

If you are coming from a ketogenic (keto) or high fat/low carb diet (HFLC), the transition is generally easier (but there are still symptoms you need to be aware of!) than someone coming from a Standard American Diet (SAD – yes it’s sad for a reason) that is high in carbohydrates.

These symptoms are a result of your body undergoing major metabolic and hormonal changes.

What’s Going On?

The 3 Major Adaptations

If you decide to venture into experimenting with The Carnivore Diet there are 3 major adaptations that your body is going to undergo.

1. Fluid Rebalancing

Since you are eating fewer carbs, your insulin levels drop, which sends a signal to the kidneys to release sodium from the body.

Losing 10 lbs of water in a couple days is not uncommon as water follows sodium out of the body.

Glycogen is then converted to glucose as the last energy usage before switching to mainly fatty acids.

2. Transitioning from Sugar to Fat for Energy

As your body switches from burning mainly sugar to fat for energy, your body needs to make many modifications on the way.

Your amount of suffering (or lack thereof) depends on your metabolic flexibility. This is your body’s ability to adapt to different fuel sources, which depends on a number of factors including genetics, and especially how you ate prior.

If you have been accustomed to eating a lot of high carbohydrate foods, it can feel a lot like giving up other addictions (nicotine, cocaine, etc.)

3. Hormone Response and Rebalancing

As a couple example of hormones responding and rebalancing, let’s look at thyroid hormone and cortisol.

T3 thyroid hormone levels may decrease. T3 is a hormone produced by the thyroid that is closely connected with dietary carbohydrates. It plays a major role in regulation of body temperature, metabolism, and heart rate.

Cortisol plays many crucial functions in the body, including regulating blood sugar and controlling inflammation. During this transition, your body thinks, “I’m starving for sugar,” causing a release of cortisol to increase blood glucose. This is a natural sympathetic stress response, also known as “flight or fight” to go hunt for food.

Cures for Carnivore Adaptation Symptoms

You can dramatically lessen and perhaps even eliminate most of the suffering in the “Trough” by using some tricks to help bridge your body to the adapted state of bliss.

6 Tricks and Tips to Limit Or AVOID the “Trough”

1. Eat more meat.

Under-eating is the #1 Reason people unnecessarily suffer.

Early on, it’s common to feel extremely hungry. Eat.

Don’t try and restrict calories or track macros. Don’t worry about gaining fat.

2. Hydrate

Take your body weight. Now divide it by 2.

This is a good target amount of water to drink (in ounces) per day if you are having ill symptoms.

After adaptation, you drink to thirst (no need to measure/monitor) but if you are feeling like crap during adaptation – make sure you are hydrating.

3. Electrolytes

As you lose a lot of excess water, you also lose a lot of electrolytes: sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride.

Supplemental electrolytes can help immensely.

Pink Himalayan rock salt on your meat can provide the extra sodium and chloride.

This is adequate for some people.

Many people need some help in the potassium and magnesium department as well though…

You have a couple options:

  1. Drink Meaty Bone Broth – In addition to water and sodium, this will give you some potassium which will offset some of the discomfort caused at a cellular level.
    • It’s important that the bones have some meat on them because that’s where the potassium is.
    • Here’s my favorite recipe
  1. Supplement – A popular choice among the carnivore community is Pink Himalayan Salt for their Na+, “Ionic Potassium” by Trace Minerals Research for K+, and a Magnesium Citrate powder.

Supplemental Electrolytes Daily Ranges:

  • K – 500 – 3500 mg/day
  • Mg – 250-500 mg/day
  • Na – 2-7g/day

4. Solving GI Problems

Gastrointestinal (GI) issues are extremely common, especially if you are coming from a low fat diet.

Even though you are ready to dive all in, your gallbladder and pancreas might not be ready to handle the increased fat intake. When first starting you may have inadequate bile and lipase to digest the increased fat intake. This leads to diarrhea and all kinds of GI distress.

One solution: You can reduce how much fat you’re eating by choosing leaner cuts of meat. I don’t recommend this approach. This will simply prolong the adaptation period. Translation = you will suffer far longer than you need to.

Much Better Solution: Supplementing for 2-4 weeks

Supplement Solution:

Start with a simple lipase supplement taken a few minutes BEFORE meals.

This is the one I used.

It freed me from the toilet after spending two weeks married to it.

  • Start with 1 tablet and if you still have some discomfort go to 2.
    • 6,000 lipase activity unites LU

For most people, lipase alone does the trick. However, some people need to exogenous bile.

Ox bile, taken with meals, is your next step.

Your final step, if still having GI issues, especially, if they are GERD/acid reflux related is to help the stomach. Many people produce inadequate stomach acid to facilitate digestion and proper metabolic signaling. Yes. It’s low stomach acid that results in GERD, Heartburn, Acid Reflux.

A Betaine HCl supplement is the answer. Don’t take this with anti-inflammatories which could result in ulcers. It should automatically include pepsin in it, but worth checking just to make sure. Common dosage range between 3-5g/meal.

Supplements are a BRIDGING STRATEGY – NOT A LONG TERM NEED. The goal is to be off all of these after the first month. They let your body catch up.

Rendered Fat

For some people, the type of fat is what causes the GI distress.

If the previously mentioned supplements don’t help, then you may need to remove rendered fats.

Rendered fat is fat that is cooked out of meats and becomes liquid.

For example, if you don’t handle rendered fats well, drinking the liquid fat in the skillet after cooking is a recipe for disaster (pants).

One Last Note On Poop Problems

You will likely notice that your bowel movement schedule changes. It’s very common to go less frequently. Much less frequently. Don’t worry you’re not constipated, and it’s normal. Volume also tends to decrease. Your body absorbs and uses meat very efficiently. Not a lot goes to waste.

5. Sleep

As someone who has treated many patients with sleep disorders, I can tell you one thing for certain, if you get good shut eye, everything else in your life will be better.

Insomnia is common during adaptation, and since you are purging water, nocturia is also an interrupter. A few hacks that help:

Sleep hacks:

  • Keep your room pitch black (blackout curtains, cover LEDs) and COOL
  • Start winding down 2 hours before bed (no screens or at the least put them in night mode)
  • Don’t eat within a few hours of sleep if you can help it
  • Be conscious how much you are drinking later in the day
  • Be asleep before 11 (a cortisol spike happens if you are not asleep around this time)

6. Sweat

Exercise helps.

Sweating is a natural detox mechanism.

Since you are finally giving your body the nutrition it has been craving, you give it the opportunity to expel toxins. Give your body a hand and help it detox by getting some exercise and sweating.

Athletic and Training Performance

Athletic and training performance almost always decreases for anywhere between 1 and 6 months, before you find a whole new level.

KILLING CRAVINGS AND ADDICTIONS – “Brain Changes”

Besides the metabolic and hormonal changes mentioned, you may also experience alterations in what I call “Brain Changes” that occur along the “brain-body highway” a  signaling control system between the gut and the brain.

This communication highway influences everything from hormones to neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and GABA that play huge roles in mood, cravings, and addiction.

Not unlike many drug addictions, you may go through withdrawal symptoms from foods or other substances (especially sugar) which you have become physically and neurologically addicting.

Cravings are common and the best solution is to make sure you are eating enough fatty meat. Not eating enough meat and eating meat that is too lean are the top mistakes.

In the gut (a hub in the brain-body highway) the microbiome is undergoing a battle where the “good bacteria” are growing and populating and the “bad bacteria” are starting to die off. These bad bacteria that thrive on sugar are being starved, and they are going to do everything they can to try and get you to eat sugar, especially via sending you strong cravings. If you stay strong, starve the bad guys, the cravings will die with them.

COMMIT

This is an experiment you have to commit to.

If the commitment is loose, I’d recommend waiting until you find a burning desire or some urgency.

Most people experience adaptation symptoms which can range from annoying to a certainty that you are going to die.

There are also psychological and social pressures you have to overcome.

Commit by knowing why you want to experiment and always keep in mind the pot of gold that just might be on the other side of the rainbow.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Comments

  1. Will not have a gallbladder cause any issues with the carnivore diet?

    1. Hi Randy, great question. Many people who have had their gallbladder removed eat a carnivore diet without any issue. It may take a bit longer for the body to get adapted depending on the previous diet, however.

  2. I think at week six, I am experiencing these symptoms. Is that normal? Isn’t usually earlier?

    1. Usually they do appear earlier. Depending on your symptoms may not be diet related. Also, straying from the diet can cause symptoms to be drawn out longer.

  3. I was ultra low carb keto then started to move towards only carnivore before going on an extended fast. When I break the fast I want to refeed with bone broth and then only eat carnivore, I’m hoping this will make the transition to carnivore easier. Many have said you really can’t eat meat too soon after a fast as it’s too hard on the stomach. Any thoughts on this?

    1. I can’t speak too much on extended fasts; however, meat is extremely efficiently digested via the small intestines. My guess would be meat would be the best thing to eat after an extended fast. Maybe keep that first meal a bit light, but I think after that you should be good to go!

      1. Thanks so much. I stopped my fast due to exacerbated hypothyroid symptoms (body temp was 34.8c). I take thyroxine. I saw that many said keto could be a bad idea for t3, what about carnivore though? Which, I guess is not technically keto? I am seeing my gp, but the knowledge on this is tricky. (Btw sushimi went down very well as first main meal after bone broth!)

        1. I don’t know if I would say keto is bad for hypothyroid, but I have seen that several people improved the condition on a carnivore diet. It often is a result of an autoimmune response that can be a result of eating inflammatory foods/leaky gut/plant-based protective mechanisms. I’d say worth a 90 day experiment 🙂

  4. I started on the ZeroCarb diet late Feb and loved it right away. It calmed all my IBS symptoms within a day. Then about week 3 i started getting acid reflux/GERD related symptoms like this article talks about. I have never experienced this and now it is full blown into a feeling in my throat that something is stuck. Super annoying. Can you elaborate a little bit about what happened in my body and exactly what i should do now? Thank you!

    1. I find it is often a result of the type or quantity of fat. For example, too much pork bacon is troublesome for many or too much rendered fat grease from a burger. Generally, just draining off the rendered fat solves the problem. If you had issues with GERD in the past or had low stomach acid, an HCl + pepsin supplement can be helpful for awhile.

      1. What ratio of HCI to pepsin would you recommend? Thank you!

        1. If needed (most people don’t need to take this but helps some adapt) I’d just follow the one mentioned in the 30 day guide (you can download it on the left)

    2. “Audrey
      4 months ago

      I started on the ZeroCarb diet late Feb and loved it right away. It calmed all my IBS symptoms within a day. Then about week 3 i started getting acid reflux/GERD related symptoms like this article talks about. I have never experienced this and now it is full blown into a feeling in my throat that something is stuck. Super annoying. Can you elaborate a little bit about what happened in my body and exactly what i should do now? Thank you!”

      Audrey, try to stay off too much water. What I do is not have water for 30mins before my meal and 2-3hrs after. Someone else had this issue and that’s what worked for them.

  5. Great reading! I’m experiencing a really bad diarrhoea which is making me considering going back to my keto diet of 2 % carbs, 18% protein and 80% fat. My macros on carnivore are approximately 27% protein and the rest is fat. Is the fat percentage still too high? Strange if it is considering the previous fat intake on keto. I’ve been trying carnivore for nearly a week and I don’t want to quit, but my gut issues are affecting everything at this point. No gym, no social activities, no grocery shopping even.

    1. My guess would be that it is the rendered fat that is giving you issues. I would be sure to drain off the cooked fat, and I wouldn’t add fat to anything, just stick with the meat. If you are still having any issues than I’d recommend checking out the 30-day guide to going full carnivore. There are some supplements that can help with the digestion in the early going. The other thing it could be is that you are coming from a high fiber diet which absorbed all the water – that is typically the job of the colon which gets “lazy” after awhile of non-use, so it may just take a bit for it to get onboarded to doing its job again.

  6. I’ve lived by the principle of eating protein in a timely manner after workouts. Does carnivore affect this? Would it be optimal for me to eat immediately after my workout, or is it okay to wait a few hours?

    1. The “anabolic window” has been shown to be a much bigger window than most thought. It’s perfectly fine to wait a few hours after workouts before eating (there is evidence that waiting at least 30 minutes after a workout is optimal from a digestive stand point).

  7. What digestive enzymes did you take when starting? It looked like there should be a link or picture above? But didn’t see one. Thanks for the great resource!

    1. You are right – I need to fix that!

      Have you downloaded the 30-Day Guide to Going Full Carnivore (you can grab it at the bottom of this page)? There are links to it in there. In the meantime, I’ll get these links working on the page 🙂

  8. Ive been doing this for 4 days now.

    High fat ground beef and bacon has given me epic non stop diahrea.

    Aside from the above i have been surviving on an assortment of steaks and tuna.

    Im not sure about eating organ meat because ive never eaten it before.

    If i cut out the rendered fats and continue without organ meat, would you say id be ok?

  9. A couple years ago I had a stool sample test show I have ascaris; roundworms. My understanding is these parasites live in the small intestine. Since I learned of this problem I’ve tried numerous remedies, both herbal and pharmaceutical, but nothing has worked to kill the worms. Is there a chance the carnivore diet might be able to help force this parasite out of my intestinal tract?

    1. Unfortunately I’m just not that familiar with ascaris, and so don’t feel qualified to answer. But if nothing has worked, I feel it may be worth a try.

  10. I’ve been taking only meat/ghee//butter/eggs/cheese for ten days now and although i’ve adapted fairly well otherwise, my hemorrhoids flared up today. Its not too serious but should I be worried? Ive pooped only thrice in the last ten days.

    1. It’s not uncommon for previous issues to flare up before resolving. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. 3 bowel movements in 10 days is completely normal (your body absorbs meat very efficiently). It may be worth going without dairy for a bit to see if that improves things.

  11. I’m on day 13 of carnivore. The last two days I have transitioned to OMAD not because I wanted to per se but because I was only hungry once during the day. I have been trying keto for two years and just couldn’t make it stick but carnivore is a breeze! BUT the loose stool is beyond. Good news it’s only once or twice a day. I don’t really feel like it horrible diarrhea if that makes sense cause it isn’t often but it’s unpleaseant!! I’m guessing it is the fat from what I’ve read and researched (though I was mostly HFLC before). I ordered lipase today from your above recommendations. Other than this I feel better than I have ever felt. How long should I give the lipase? Will the adaptation be complete at that point? Thanks!!!

    1. The lipase should help significantly. I’d gradually reduce the amount you take over a month or so (by then you should be fat-adapted). Other adaptations can take more/less time, but the fat digestion generally takes just a few weeks.

  12. I have had excessive diarrhea on Keto & im struggling to get into Ketosis/lose weight consistently. Will the lipase help with more consistent weight loss?

    1. Hi Heather sorry to hear about the struggle.

      The bowel issues are likely from getting “fat-adapted” and lipase will help you digest the fat better. Lipase isn’t going to help you lose weight though (and either is being in ketosis necessarily). Without getting to technical here, ketosis means you are burning fat for energy, but if you are eating more energy than you are using then you won’t lose fat.

      I think this article can help explain a bit better: https://www.kevinstock.io/health/fat-loss-and-the-carnivore-diet/

  13. Great article! Thank you 🙂
    I have been having issues with fast heartbeat and a higher rate of hair loss on carnivore. Would that be due to the hormone responses and rebalancing? Only started about 6 weeks though, maybe coz of the occasional “vege decorations” i was eating.
    Have been carnivore 90% of the time past 2 months. Yesterday i ate some salad with my omelette at a restaurant and paid for it “MAJOR” in the toilet!! Has never happened to me before prior to going carnivore 🙁 Could it be my gut not being used to that amount of fiber?

    1. Yes the heart rate increase during adaptation is a common symptom, though I’ve not heard / seen cases of hair loss (actually the opposite, and color returning to hair…)

      And yes at a restaurant it’s hard to know what all is in the food / what they are cooking with.

  14. Hi Doc

    Great information, thank you.

    I started the diet a week ago. I work on oil rigs all over the world and as such I don’t have total control of meat preparation. For example, last night all that was on offer was glazed ham. I tried to get as much of the sugar off as possible but ultimately not all of it. I figured that eating the fat was more important than eating the little bit of sugar. Is this correct?

    Furthermore, the staple diet of the country I am in now is pork. Lots of pork. Will this slow the rate at which ketosis kicks in? I think I have dropped about 500 grammes in body fat – so far so good.

    Thanks in advance for you response all your replies above.

    1. Hey Mike, doing the best you can with what you got is all you can do. I wouldn’t worry about fat (macros) or calories or ketosis. You will likely be in varying levels of ketosis naturally, without going out of your way to add fats. That said, if you feel low energy, maybe try and eat a fattier cut your next meal.

      Pork is fine as long as you tolerate it fine (some people don’t do well on pork).

      Hope this makes sense / helps!

  15. I’m on day ten. Experiencing all these symptoms! It is so bad that sometimes I really feel like I want to die. Today I cannot even get out of bed. My body is I excruciating pain, making every other symptom feel so much worse. Q: will drinking chronic medication for Thyroid and depression make adaptation take longer? And will pain and nausea meds also do that? – It has been 10 days of hell. But I haven’t buckled, yet.

    1. Hi Karen, sorry to hear about the struggle. I would make sure you are getting your electrolytes and if it’s digestive problems I would try some digestive supplements (like lipase) and maybe go to leaner cuts for a couple meals. Medications can influence adaptation but you need to talk to your doc before going to adjust anything. I have a feeling there is light at the end of the tunnel (which is near!) Let me know if I can help further.

      1. Thank you. Yes, digestive definately. I’ve had many years experience with digestive issues, so I can sort of handle it. Nausea and vomiting not so pleasant though. But the aches in my joints and myscles are really the worst. And it feels like every lymph node in my body is inflamed somehow. I’m holding on for dear life and don’t want to give in to other foods. I’m desperate for health to return and weight-loss is now more important than ever as doctors are pressing me for bariatric surgery. I’m not interested to go that route at all.
        Seeing that I am particularly nauseated today, would it be ok to not eat, even though I feel hungry as well?

        1. Yes I know some people will fast early on to help get through symptoms. You can also go towards a smaller meals if that helps.

  16. Hi Kevin,

    I’m 8 weeks ZC.
    Physically I feel fine and haven’t really had any adaption issues so far.
    But mentally, I’m really have been experiencing this sad feeling. Like I can’t find any joy in anything. Nothing else except my dieet has really changed and I haven’t really felt this way before…
    I’m sure I eat enough (have been tracking).

    Any ideas?

    1. While most people experience the opposite (finding mental health that had been elusive for so long), I have heard some people mention this. Almost always it’s just a short phase that passes as they get more adapted. My best guess is that microbiome and hormonal changes that accompany the adaptation period are responsible. Sorry I don’t have any better advice and perhaps being patient and letting the changes run their course.

      1. Hi Dr. Kevin and John (from the above comment about feeling sad),

        I can offer a different perspective on the sad feelings you, John, and others are experiencing along with other unexplained emotions that may arise as you change/heal your gut and body. My boyfriend/partner and I have just shifted this week from 3 months of Keto to Carnivore – strict for me for health reasons although some dairy this week as I transition. My partner is struggling and sad is one of his symptoms. I have extensive training and many years of experience as a shamanic practitioner, psychic medium, healer and therapeutic massage therapist (LMT). Your emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies and your chakras shift and heal as your physical body changes and heals. Childhood memories may surface, past trauma, patterns, and attachments will be released and old energies shifted. You are changing your core physical body and all the energy bodies change too! 🙂 Old stored fat may release emotion as it becomes fuel for the body or is simply burned off. The belly is the seat of our emotions and you are changing everything about your gut and digestive system so it is natural for emotion to arise. Your emotions serve as a guidance system and may signal you to make a change energetically. Some suggestions I can offer from our personal experience on this journey and from my experience working with clients:
        1. Get regular therapeutic massage! And/or chiropractic work or acupuncture. Massage moves lymph and eliminates toxins from the body, boosts immune system and reduces stress. Lots of health benefits to bodywork!!
        2. Energy work such as Reiki, chakra balancing, shamanic illumination, soul retrieval, crystal healing and other energy therapies will help shift the physical and the emotional, mental and spiritual bodies.
        3. Walking, yoga, tai chi, dance, stretching, meditation are all very beneficial and gentle ways of dealing with sadness and other emotions.
        4. Go barefoot on the earth – on your lawn or patio! Sit next to or lean against or hug a tree. The electromagnetic energy of the earth is very healing and centering/grounding. Trees are very calming!
        5. Breathwork – so many paths here – and can elicit rapid change so start slow here.
        6. Talk with a trusted friend or partner or clergy (if applicable) – in a safe space of nonjudgement.
        I hope this perspective helps. We are all very focused on what food with which to fuel our body and brain and heal our gut. We forget that as we toss the healing stone (changing our diet) into the lake (our entire physical body and energy systems), the stone sends waves and ripples through the lake to all the shoreline (all our bodies are affected in some way)! Kudos to all who are exploring Carnivore and abundant gratitude to people like you Kevin, who guide us and share their wisdom gained from their own journey with Carnivore.

        1. Carol thank you so much for taking the time to share this with everyone!

          Grateful to have people like you fill this community 🙂

  17. I get Dizzy, and at some point my right arm get numb a bit, is that normal? Some chest disconfort too.

    1. Hi Jean, during adaptation there is a large fluid re-balancing where these symptoms are common. I would recommend an electrolyte supplement as keeping these up tends to help.

      1. Thank You, would it be enought if i consume more salt ?

        1. That will probably help. And I would probably include some magnesium and maybe some potassium. There are numerous products where you can get a good mixture.

  18. I only have one perfectly functioning kidney. I’d like to give the Carnivore diet a shot, what are your thoughts?

  19. I have just started the carnivore diet (about 2-3 weeks) and I still like to have one cup of coffee a day, the thing is I have to have sugar in it or it tastes awful (and I use oatmilk). Is this ok? or should I try to cut out the coffee completely.

    1. Hey Dean, I would really recommend getting rid of the sugar and oatmilk.

      I do recommend people cut coffee at some point (for some period of time) as sometimes this makes all the difference (not necessarily right at the beginning as that can be a tall ask – killing coffee addiction and adaptation symptoms as the same time).

      Many people add coffee back in and do just fine, but many people do better without.

  20. Thank you so much for these tips. I’ve attempted the carnivore diet a handful of times in the past 8 months, but have never lasted because I struggled to make it through the adjustment phase. The lipase supplement has been a god send so far! And I’ve got the ox bile ready just in case!

  21. Any thoughts on a sore lower back right side after three weeks of carnivore. Eating mostly scotch fillet, lamb, eggs, drinking tea and coconut butter several times a week.

    Toileting is normal. No discomfort.

    1. Perhaps it’s diet related / adaptation symptom; perhaps from sitting/working out/sleeping/or any other of myriad potential causes.

      I’d give it a couple weeks and see if it doesn’t resolve.

  22. Hey Kevin

    Definitely struggling in this second week.

    Feel like I have the flu and am kind of depressed. Feel like my anxiety is up and my ability to tolerate work-related stress etc is really diminished. I am sleeping loads as well and managing to get some exercise in to sweat out the bad stuff.

    I come from several years of Paleo and intermittent fasting. Lower carb than normal folks I would imagine but not low carb by any means.

    Toughing it out but damn…. I don’t feel great.

    On the sunny side – no GI issues and I am losing weight daily which was one of my key goals here. I am literally just having to crawl into bed at 8pm and punch my way through the day. I am telling everyone I am ill (not self inflicted).

    My wife thinks I am idiot. 😉

    Mac

    1. Hey Mac, sorry to hear about the struggle – but this is not uncommon. Some people adapt easier/faster than others.

      Undereating is one of the biggest issues. You mentioned no GI issues which is great, but I’d equally make sure you are eating enough fatty cuts. Eating too lean early on is a recipe to feel terrible.

      Your wife will change her mind in time 🙂

  23. Hi Kevin,

    I’m also curious about the insulinogenic effects of all the meat/beef. There are some sources that say that beef raises insulin. Should we be concerned about the insulin? What’s your take on this?

    1. Yes beef raises insulin (just thinking of food can cause a release of insulin). But there is no reason to be concerned about this. Insulin isn’t bad, per se. In fact, it’s necessary. It’s hyperinsulinemia that is bad. I don’t think there is any reason to worry that an all meat diet could ever lead to hyperinsulinemia, in fact, quite the opposite – it is likely protective of such a disease.

  24. Hi, thanks for this site. I’ve been keto since mid January 2018, and very low carb for the past month or so. I started zero carb 3 days ago and am alarmed that I’m not hungry despite low caloric input. I’m eating beef, water and coffee with butter and mct oil. I’m having to force myself to get a decent amount of calories. I’ve lost all the weight I need to through keto and am trying zero carb for health. I can normally eat more than enough calories in a day. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
    Kind regards,
    K

    1. This is very common. Appetite tends to go up and down while getting adapted.

      I remember I was initially ravenously hungry, and then I had a few weeks of little appetite. I wouldn’t worry about it. If you feel your energy is low – use that as a signal to try and eat a bit more, but no need to force yourself to discomfort.

      Dropping the coffee and butter/mct could also help. This can overly suppress appetite for some people.

  25. Hi Kevin, I’m on day 28 and up again at night with insomnia. I’ve searched the internet far and wide but no one seems to mention reporting any ultra violent dreams? I constantly have super vivid nightmares of killing people, fighting off weird ghoulish beings that seem to be attacking me. Blood spills all over the place. My eyes are even blood shot red during the day and I feel high and spaced out lately. I have severe inflammation on the upper left side of my stomach area that is acting up more now than earlier. I’m coming from being 10 years ex-vegan/fruitarian and heavy psychedelic user. Perhaps these are all detox symptoms surfacing to be released from the blood? The dreams are really troubling I feel like I’m taking on a vampiric energy, it’s kind of scary. Any thoughts?

    1. So it sounds like you are coming from a pretty extreme background with long term veganism/fruitarian and drug use. And you are still fairly early in the adaptation period. This makes it very difficult/impossible to try and determine what is going on / what might help other than your body is going through massive changes/stimulus and symptoms should be expected. People often experience renewed dreaming as a function of better sleep (REM sleep) but the content of those dreams is more of a psychological nature (not so much food dependent) from my understanding of dreams. I would perhaps consult a psychologist about the dreams, and try and give the body a bit more time to adapt.

    2. I have found that often when I eat commercially processed beef (as opposed to grass fed, responsibly cared for beef) I can just about count on strange, scary dreams. Drink a lot of electrolyte water, take Epsom salts baths to relax and help with detox. And when I have those crazy, scary dreams, I say a prayer to boot 😊

  26. Hi,

    I’m 10 weeks ZC now.
    First 2 months I didn’t experience any problems nor any serious adaption symptoms.

    Previous week I started getting some diarreah and turned out to be sick.
    Heavy diarreah for 3 days , really tired, headaches and lots of muscle pains.

    It got better by the weekend but i have had small diarreah attacks every time I eat and since yesterday I feel really tired again and the diarreah is back full force.

    I eat beef, eggs, bacon and drink bone broth.
    Occasional coffee and dairy (eggs, cheese, milk since month 2).

    I should add I keep losing weight, while I’m following up on caloric intake and making sure I’m getting enough in…

    Any ideas?

    thanks!

    1. It could be a number of things. What I would do is:

      1. Limit water (and especially coffee!) around meals
      2. Limit/Watch out for rendered fats
      3. I would go without the cheese/milk

      I don’t think it’s fat adaptation (unless you significantly increases fats recently…) as you were good for 2 months – but you could try lipase and perhaps ox bile if it continues to see if that helps (you could also just try a bit leaner cuts of meat).

      This is why “Level 3” is in the 30 day guide – it can help you get to the bottom of it 🙂

      1. Thanks, I started beef/bacon and water only the first 30 days…

        I just really don’t like the weight loss.

  27. Background: I’ve been keto since 1/1/18; carnivore the wrong way, i.e. all vit/min supplements you mentioned, since 7/24/18, I’m F 63yo, 5’10” 155 lbs.

    I’m on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy for estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Will carnivore diet balance these hormones too? If so, when should I stop taking them?

    Had gallbladder removed 2000 (not addressed in download) and have been taking probiotics and enzymes for years. Should stop taking? Unclear as to which supplement should I use for digestion and diarrhea (lipase, betaine hcl, ox-bile)? I’ve been married to the bathroom for at least a month.

    Very excited about doing this write. Thank you!

    1. Great questions.

      1. I would work with your doctor on the hormones (perhaps monitor over time and adjust accordingly)

      2. Many people do carnivore just great without a gallbladder. Lipase and ox bile as digestive supplements are my recommendations to help as you get adapted. I’m not a big proponent of probiotics.

      All the best!

  28. Whew, good to know that voracious hunger is normal when starting carnivore! I was 100% satiated on keto and often couldn’t eat all my calories for the day, but today (Day 1 of full carnivore) I could have eaten a whole cow! I’m 69 years old, female, sedentary, hypothyroid and I weigh 135.5 lbs (lost 15 lbs on keto). Today I ate 121.4 gms of protein, 123.2 gms of fat and 7.4 gms of carbs (dairy). That’s 1620 calories… yikes! Well, let’s see what Day 2 brings tomorrow! 🙂

    1. A good sign your body was craving some nutrients 🙂

      Appetite can take a while to regulate, so it’s something to be patient with.

  29. I just started taking antibiotics for a sinus problem. Immediately i feel fatigued and low on drive/motivation.

    Does this sound normal for someone on a limited diet?

    1. Antibiotics have a major impact on gut microbiome. Lots of potential impacts of this (one of which may be a decrease in drive/motivation), which is why I would only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary.

      1. Its a pain. Ive had sinus problems since last year but have only been to the doctor about it in the last couple of weeks. I guess ill just have to wait it out.

        What are your thoughts on probiotics while on this diet?

  30. Hello,
    can I ask you – how about joint pain, swollen hands and neck – lymh or thyroid (not sure). I had kidney failure month ago and Im 10 days in this woe. (I was one year on keto) I experienced pain in kidneys when I was eating keto, but when Im on carnivore, its OK, but I feel pain in every single joint in my body. I thought its gout. Even if not, and it would pass, can it be something that will stay in my joints forever?

    Also the swollen hand is on the right side as my kidney failure was. Isnt possible that its connected?

    Thank you for an answer, Caroline 🙂

    1. Hi Caroline, of course I can’t give you medical advice here and recommend you work with your nephrologist. But 10 days in is very early and you are likely going through adaptation symptoms that will resolve in time.

  31. on day 38. some days i feel like the worst days of adaptation are over and then other days it seems to come back(weak energy, elevated heart rate, sleep issues, dizziness). at what time frame would you personally say “this diet should be making me feel better not worse” and stop? this is like toward the end of week 5 for me. i was thinking 90 days. but now i am questioning that decision.

    1. Hey Andrew, sorry about the struggle. So different systems take different time periods to adapt. For example, people tend to get “fat-adapted” in maybe a few weeks but hormonal balancing can take a few months. It’s different for everyone. I remember it felt like I was going to have a foot cramp every night before I went to sleep for probably 8+ weeks. Of course, it got better. I think if you decide to stick it out 90 days, you’ll be glad you did.

  32. Hi. 78 days carnivore. I have been tired in the afternoons for the last three weeks. Also, during this time, I have been taking berberine, neem +, olive leaf extract, and oregano oil for a nasty case of SIBO. I have IBS-C. When I take too much Mg and herbal supplements to go, I can get the SIBO. I am doing better with the supplements. These could be making me tired, or just the SIBO itself.

    I also take the bile (no gallbladder), Betaine HCL, and digestive enzymes. I have been going through waves of candida die off. I was LCHF for a year and a half before, though not strict.

  33. HI there. I’ve been carnivore for about a month now and have experienced lightheadedness for about a week. I’ve made sure that i’m well hydrated to no effect. I have had brain fog. I have looked and felt physically better with the exception of this lightheadedness. Is this a common side effect? An electrolyte imbalance of sort?

    Thanks for the time

    1. It is common. It can be from a number of adaptation symptoms (perhaps lower blood pressure) – I would make sure you are getting adequate salt. Likely will just take a bit of time for hormonal systems to adjust.

  34. Hi Dr. Kevin,

    Thanks for all of this great info. About the second week of carnivore for me after 7+ years of being a vegetarian. Yes, I am experiencing some ups and downs, but nothing I can’t handle.

    My question is, you mentioned a couple of times in the comments about not being a fan of probiotics. I recently had a lot of oral surgery and had two rounds of major antibiotics, so I’m thinking my gut microbiome is wiped out. Not great in general and particularly not when I’m suddenly asking my gut to digest something it hasn’t in over 7 years. Would you say probiotics are okay to replenish or still no?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. That’s a good question. From the research I’ve done, I’m not convinced they will help. Will they hurt? Probably not (but perhaps they may interfere with a natural re-population). Wish I could give better advice on this, but I’m just not sure.

  35. Can you drink preworkouts and proteins shakes still after work outs.

  36. Hi I’m Day 31. Done well so far. Cut out coffee eggs and cheese today. Feeling quite sluggish and wondering how to get proper electrolytes into my system. Use pink salt, take vitamins, how much bone broth, how much magnesium citrate should I take daily.
    Thanks

    1. Cutting coffee can take a bit to overcome. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure here.
      You may not need supplemental electrolytes but if you want to try some, I have some recommended dosages in the 30 day guide (you can download that over on the left).

  37. I’ve been on Keto for most of the past 5 months and before that low carb, gluten and grain free mostly for 2 yrs. I think I’ve been meat only for about 2 1/2 weeks now. I’ve noticed that my heart is kinda racy, I’m really tired, kinda feeling anxious and a little bit depressed. Yesterday all I could think of was having some Mexican food, chips salsa & a Mexican Martini. CARB~FESTORAMA! Yes I made that up. Truly my go to crack food and something I allow myself to indulge in on a rare occasion. I just want to stay on track for as long as I can to see actual results. My motivation is to use this as an elimination diet to discover what it is that causes me stomach issue and joint pain. I know gluten and grains are not my friend but certain vegi’s may not be either and it’s super hard to know what it is when every night I am eating a fabulous healthy vegi filled salad. Could be celery, cucumber, red bell pepper, onion or my beloved romaine lettuce. Just not at all sure.
    ANYWAY looking to discover if it’s common to experience anxiety, depression, fatigue.

  38. Day 3 – Blood sugars are at 4.8, will this change and is there way of getting them up in he iterim?

    1. Well I’m not sure why you are measuring blood sugar (diabetic or just curious?) and is there a reason you want to raise it (not feeling good…) lot of variables here but in general I wouldn’t get caught up in measuring/monitoring things so early on. Lots of changes going on in the body and trying to tinker with things to hit certain numbers (whether it be blood sugar or what the scale says) is really not a useful exercise.

  39. Hi, I’ve been eating mostly carnivore for the past month and a half (I have occasionally eaten some salad greens or a little bit of sweet potato or a little salsa in my eggs). I eat bacon and eggs with coffee and half-n-half for lunch. Then for supper, I’ll either have about a pound of steak (ribeye, chuck-eye or t-bone) or 2/3 of a pound of 73/27 ground beef with a 1/4 pound of oscar mayer wieners (2), with mustard.

    Last week, I started having heartburn/acid reflux in the evening, so I stopped eating the rendered fat. I had some sour cream on my eggs one day and had heartburn after that, as well.

    I’ve been tracking my macros in myfitnesspal for the past week and I was actually surprised at how much I’m eating. I average around 2000 calories, (+/- 300). I eat around 100 grams of protein and around 150 grams of fat.

    Before trying carnivore, I was keto since June of this year. When I went keto, I lost about 5 pounds, then slowly over the next two months I dropped 5 more pounds. That’s it! My start weight was 198 and I got down to 188, but I keep going back up to around 190. Since switching to a more carnivore diet I haven’t lost any weight. I’m just hovering between 190-188. I’m 5’9″, 52 y.o. man.

    When I first went keto, I felt great. My achy joints felt better. I had more energy. I felt lighter, springy-er in my step. I was even doing a little sprinting around in my yard, barefoot. But then, later in the summer, I started feeling like my old self again. Joint pain, fatigue, blah. Since going more carnivore I feel even more blah. Aches and pains are still here. Low energy.

    Yesterday, while at the supermarket, I checked my blood pressure for the first time since before going keto. I was shocked to see that it was up! It was 135/86, with a pulse rate of 80! I thought surely since losing some weight and limiting carbs my bp would be low, not high!

    Any ideas what could be going on? Anything I should change? Do some people just not do well on carnivore? Thanks and sorry about the long comment.

    1. It’s hard to comment on “mostly” carnivore as “mostly” can be a vast difference from person to person.

      I’d recommend this as far as fat loss: https://www.kevinstock.io/health/fat-loss-and-the-carnivore-diet/

      And you are still so early (and not really started pure carnivore) so it’s hard to put blood pressure into context.

      If you haven’t read the 30 day guide, that’s where I’d recommend starting to help make sense of all this (you can grab it over there on the left).

  40. Hello

    I AM on this diet for one week now. 2 days ago started to feeling like ill, catch a flu. My eyes Hurts when turning them around. Is that a part of transistion ??

    1. I have had this before. Your adrenals are struggling. Make sure you are getting enough electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium). I make a pitcher of lemon salt water to drink and take magnesium at night.

  41. If I have Candida, and am going to start carnivore, would it be ok to take a Candida supplement (black walnut, Berberberine, grapefruit extract, olive leaf extract, burdock, goldenseal)

    Would manuka honey be ok on carnivore?

    Would colostrum be ok to take on carnivore? “Colostrum is the first form of milk produced by the mammary glands of mammals immediately following delivery of the newborn.”. This is a supplement to heal leaky gut and improve athletic performance

    Thanks!

      1. Thank you for the reply. I’m day 3 of carnivore. I AM FEELING SOO MUCH BETTER and satisfied than eating all sugar and carb diet. I’ve been keeping electrolytes in check fearing of the withdrawal but so far so good!

        I have more energy and bloating has reduced greatly! I’m going to hold off on supplements because I’ve been feeling great!

        The only thing is my bowel momenents, (they float from all the fat I’ve been having) which I read means lack of bile and my body isn’t absorbing the fat? I have been taking a digestive enzyme which has some lipase, ox bile and HCL. I will be tryng the ones you suggest since they’re stronger dosage. Waiting for them to arrive. Again, thank you!

  42. Water seems really important on this diet, now I’m not 100% meat only but it is pretty close… I’m in week 2-3 and water is the big issue for me. I thought I would go swimming and did a little over an hour swimming last night – and I forgot about water afterwards and got a headache. Which was really my fault – as I should have known better.

    So after coming home after a little over 4 hours afterwards I really had to get some water down. Then going to bed.
    Waking up today iv been drinking one bottle after another of water – overall I feel I have to drink a lot of water with the Meat. More meat eating = more water need to be downed.

    1. This is common early on, and I’d recommend making sure you are getting enough electrolytes.

      In time, many people find they need much less water. But listening to your thirst is the way to go.

  43. If I have a large meat meal in the evening I always wake up with burning eyes. What could be the cause of this? Poor digestion? Poor hydration?

  44. Hi Dr. Kevin,

    I have been on the carnivore diet for four weeks now. Dor the last 2 week I’ve only eaten steaks and salt.
    I have had most of the symptoms mentioned, specially insomnia, night sweats amd diarreah. Also I have put on about 6 pounds during the same period of time, which is weird because usually I have no problem losing weight while eating few or no csrbs.
    I wasn’t a meat eater since I read that red meat is not good for my blood type, which is A. What’s you opinion on this????

    Thanks Dr.
    Jos

  45. Hey Doc Kevin,

    So ive been on the carnivore diet going into week 9 now. For the most part i have felt nothing short of amazing well particularly after about week 3.
    1 week ago my gf parted ways unexpectedly and well this week i have binged a few nights on chocolate. Like nearly every night. It has left me feeling the saddest i have ever felt in my life his week to the point i feel like i want to disappear.
    So my question is would it be the fact ive binged again on sugar which i havent done in 8 weeks really which has caused an overwhelming feeling of sadness.

    1. My impulse is that the combination of parting ways and feeling guilty for binging is compounding sadness.

      I think it’s important to know “life happens” and you are doing the best you can.

      Today’s a new day.

  46. Hi
    I’m on day 5 or carnivore and my hot flushes have intensified and seem to last for hours. I’ve never sweated so much (at rest) in my life!! I can’t stand it. Will this go?

    I eat meat (grass fed, live in UK) fish (wild no farmed) eggs (organic free range) cheese and sometimes add a splash of whole milk to my coffee. I do drink quite a bit of coffee but I have been doing that for 40 years. I’m 52 and desperately trying to lose weight. I feel hungrier than I thought I would as I’ve been peeing ketones since day 2. I seem to need quite a big meal to feel satiated. For example, I had 460g of ribeye steak for lunch and some cheese and ham for dinner. I cooked my steak in olive oil in the air fryer and then put a bit of butter on it. Is this normal?

    1. Hi Lis this is all very common.

      I remember I went from ravenously hungry to a period of time with little appetite. I recommend just listening to your appetite and not restricting food.
      I’d skip the olive oil.

      The sweating will pass 🙂

      If you haven’t read the 30-day guide though, i recommend checking that out as it will help your transition quite a bit

  47. Hey Dr. Kevin! Thank you for all the information and timely replies to these posts. I’m almost finished with week four (grassfed Ribeyes and 80/20 ground meat with lots of sea/pink salt, grassfed lamb, some eggs and wild fish every so often, no dairy), coming from keto. My sinuses are generally very swollen now, intermittent wheezing/chest tightness, and a cough/chest mucus that has varied in intensity since I started carnivore. It feels like allergies but nothing ever lingers this long for me, some days better than others. I find in the middle of the night I wake up with more wheezing and chest tightness/coughing (no longer with night sweats though!). I always drink lots of water and the sea/pink salt mix has been a staple for electrolyte balance. Any thoughts on this? Is it possible I have some sort of allergy to this way of eating?

    1. Hey Anthony likely just part of adapting – what I would do is move on to Level 2 and then Level 3 in the next couple months and I think that will help answer the question 🙂

      FYI – those level are described in the “30 Day Guide” that you can download over there on the left.

    2. Hi Anthony, I have the same thing with the mucus and coughing (except no wheezing). I also come from Keto and eat only steak and eggs for some weeks now. I have had issues with histamine intolerance since a year now, on and off. I suspect this causes the mucus/cough for me. Especially because it starts right after eating. How is this for you?

  48. Am almost 4 weeks in, the only symptom I’ve been getting is a headache from time to time. Depending on how active I have been throughout the day. I do have problems getting fatty meat though(I also have a strick budget). The steak I’ve been getting is rather lean but I compensate by using lard and ghee to cook. Also by eating a ton of bacon.

    What I am getting recently (again) is stomach burns. I’ve had issues with those before when I ate tomato and lettuce in the past. Now they started appearing after I had smoked bacon (although that could still be unrelated). I can’t seem to find why I’m getting them.

    1. Hey Cody, it could be from the rendered fat, could just be part of getting adapted. What I would do is continue on to Level 2 next month (as described in the “30 Day Guide” that you can download over there on the left). That should help you get to the bottom of it.

      1. And I meant to mention, that in your case, if still having issues after Level 2, then I’d go to Level 3.

        After Level 3, if you’re still having issues, let me know 🙂

  49. Does carnivore diet inhibit High Intensity Interval Training, something like (Shaun T Insanity Workouts or CrossFit etc)

  50. Hello, thanks for answering our questions. I have been eating carnivore for about three months now, and have great results, except one thing. My stools are rock hard and painful to pass. I never had this problem before. But the more strict I become with the diet, the worse it gets. Perhaps I am one who this diet wont work for? That would be disappointing, as I love the simplicity, appetite control and the many benefits that I have gained.

  51. Day #6 of carnivore, fasting Blood glucose 5.9 (usually 5.1) — it supposed to drop? Why the elevation? (P.S.: I have so called metabolic syndrome condition that was the reason to start the carnivore)

    1. Hey Jack, I’d recommend reading the 30-day guide (you can download over on the left).

      Many bodily changes occur while adapting, especially if you already have metabolic dysfunction. Getting caught up in the numbers early on is a common stumbling block for many people – I think a longer perspective is much more useful/helpful.

  52. Hi!

    How long do these side effects roughly last? I understand that most humans are different, but can anyone give me a ball-park figure?

    I started 2 days ago, eating lots of chicken filet, salmon steaks, ground beef burgers but I’m still constantly hungry, feeling very sluggish and tired. Lots of brain fog and head aches. Very similar to when I stopped drinking caffeine a few years ago.

    No diarrhoea (yet?), but quite a few stomach rumblings. Woke up last night at 2:30 am with a big headache and hungry, and after tossing and turning for 2 hours I ‘cheated’ by eating some cornflakes with a banana. Fell asleep almost immediately after that.

    Thx!

    1. Like you mentioned – it depends on a lot of factors. But what you described is very common.

      I’d recommend checking out the 30-day guide (you can download it on the left) – there are some strategies to help mitigate transition symptoms.

  53. Hi, been on the diet for a week and have not had any bowel motions for 5 days, feeling terrible??…

    1. Hi Ash, bowel changes – especially early on – are very common (pretty much expected).

      In the 30 day guide (you can download it on the left) has some tips on what to do 🙂

  54. Doc, almost 3 months in, mostly beef, eggs, salmon, dairy, and two cups coffee daily. My knees ache so bad going upstairs (I’m only 38 and never had joint pain). Could beef be causing inflammation in my knees? Or should I cut the coffee, dairy and eggs? Everything else feels perfect, I don’t want to quit. Thanks for your help!

    1. Yes I would do Level 3 for a month or two.

      But I would also evaluate the rest of your life (i.e. did you just start squatting or some other activity)?

      Also – I would read this article on oxalates: https://www.kevinstock.io/health/health-dangers-of-oxalates/
      I’m not saying prior oxalate consumption is the problem per se (could be..), but often things get worse as healing happens, and oxalates are a great example.

  55. Is acidosis to be worried about on a carnivorous diet?

  56. Hi Dr. Stock!
    I have been transitioning from keto to carnivore for the past few weeks, and notice that I have liquid diarrhea. I’m guessing that this is just from all of that fat increase? I was previously vegan…
    Also, I had some bloodwork done, and I had (slightly) elevated hematocrit, BUN, creatinine, calcium, and protein. Is this normal while one’s body adjusts to such a high protein/fat diet? Will drinking more water also help? Thank you for all of the info you’ve put together and your help!

    1. Hi CeCe – yes as far as digestion – I answer all those questions in the 30 day guide that you can download here (just click on the left blue button).

      I am going to be writing about blood work shortly and if you are subscribed to my newsletter (the “Saturday 7” at https://kevinstock.io) I will be talking all about these numbers.

  57. Hello, your website has been extremely helpful for me, as knowing the symptoms of the transition keeps me from thinking there is something wrong and I keep persevering despite of that. So first of all, thank you very, very much. Ironically, The simplicity of this diet raises a lot of questions and your website has been my main guide for it. I read it over and over again.

    However, I come from a high carb, low fat, and relatively low protein diet, and not just bad eating, but also overeating (The indulgence diet I like to name it). And I find it kind of suspicious that cutting off carbs and sugars has been extremely easy for me from day one. But, I love and am addicted to bulletproof coffee (with sugar and butter) and is the only thing that I haven’t been able to quit. For me drinking bpc is like getting dressed or showering. I am a beginner at this diet, so, my question is whether I should cut it off completely so it is no sugar at all, never, or if it’s okay to not treat it so seriously and gradually lower the BP coffee intake? I mean, can 3 or 4 daily teaspoons of refined sugar in my coffee cups ruin the whole thing, or mess with my body’s adaptation? I feel my body and mind sometimes going whack. One curious thing: My journaling has been extremely insightful since I began this diet. Has anyone else experienced this?

    1. As long as you are gradually decreasing the sugar in the coffee that is the right 1st step.

      I would recommend eventually not having any sugar in your coffee. As you mentioned – it is addicting – and keeping sugar around like that keeps people from breaking the addiction and often leads to people reverting to old habits.

  58. HELP! I have been on carnivore for a solid 29 days. The first 3 and a half weeks were tough but no severe symptoms except for brain fog. Well a couple of days ago I had diarrhea which was odd because usually it happens earlier and I hadn’t changed much except for cutting eggs and eating a tad more fat. I probably went from 80/20 to 75/25(totally random guess, although I for sure had a slight increase). Anyways the past 2 days have been hell(digestive wise) every time I take a sip of water whether it is during or 3 hours after a meal I have diarrhea. I have easily had more bowel movements in the past 48hrs than from the first 3 weeks. Like 10x a day. I got Lipase yesterday and hasn’t helped yet. Last night I woke up at 2am sweating and had more diarrhea. Weird part about all of this is my brain fog cleared and my mental clarity is very good. Is there anything else I can do aside from wait it out? I could probably handle this for 3 more days maximum and then I will be forced to quit due to the fact I need to go places. Again I only eat regular steak, lean grass fed ground beef, water, salt every day.

      1. I gave it a few days and it has gotten slightly better at best. I use Ox Bile and Lipase right now. Ox bile seems to help for small quantities of fat but if I eat anything above 15-20% fat it is not fun. I still have diarrhea about 6x a day. I feel fine otherwise.I still want to follow through with this diet but I have about 2 weeks of hell coming up school wise and I’m not sure how I can do it. If I can get through these next 2 weeks I will be good to go for a while. So what I am asking is, are there any other methods, supplements or foods I should try for these next 2 weeks while in school? Thanks for the help!

        1. The 30 day guide has a bunch of recommendations – so if you haven’t checked that out, I’d start there.

          I’d also limit water (especially coffee if you are drinking it!) around meals.

  59. I seem to have a similar symptom to Nick. My background is no history of gut issues or autoimmune disease. I started keto about 3 years ago as a weightlifter to see if it would help physically and also simply reading that low carb was healthier and that it made sense. I had the typical keto flu in the beginning which was gone after a few weeks. My keto diet was strictly whole food based. I decided to try carnivore about 2 months ago because I had been feeling bloated for a few months prior to that (but no other issues or concerns, generally felt great), and had heard all of the positive side effects. It made sense after doing keto for so long. When I started eating carnivore I had some diarrhea the first 2 weeks but then was fine afterwards, having great bowel movements every 2-3 days. Almost 2 weeks ago now I started having heart burn, bloating, and no bowel movement for over a week. Then that turned in to terrible diarrhea every time I eat or drink. The diarrhea has calmed down a little bit but is by no means gone. I still feel bloated and my energy level is very low now and I tend to have headaches. Even eating doesn’t really appeal to me at this point although I continue to. What is happening? I wish I had a Dr to call with some answers.

    1. This is not uncommon as your body is going through this transition.

      I’d recommend moving to “Level 2” in the 30 day guide, as sometimes coffee and dairy exacerbate this.

  60. I will add, part of what is so confusing is that for about a month, after the initial first 2 weeks of some diahrrea, I felt great.

  61. I am on week 2 of carnivore. I’ve been carb cycling the last 4 months or so. Also, I’ve done keto prior along with a palumbo contest prep. So I’m no stranger to sugar restriction, or macro manipulation if you will. Carnivore so far has been an extremely diet for me. I’m not really experiencing any negative side effects yet. I had a couple loose and very strong BMs last week. Since then , not really. My energy has been stready all day long. I wake up feeling pretty darn good compared to prior. My knees and feet have not been aching like they use to at work. I also haven’t had any strong sugar cravings after the first three nights. I’ve already lost what I think is mostly water weight in my face, arms, hands and wrists. (had to tighten my watch band and my ring is a little loose) I drink a coffee in the morning pretty similar to a “bulletproof” recipe. I have awesome energy and focus. I stop eating around 7:00-8:00 pm the night prior, and don’t eat whole food again until 12:00-1:00 the next day. I’m hoping I was already somewhat fat adapted and thats why this has been rather easy for me. Only thing I’m worried about is I’m not eating bone broth or organ meats.

  62. I have been carnivore now for three-plus months with no cheating. For the last 10 days I have had extreme nausea no vomiting and hot water diarrhea. I have been completely unable to eat and have gotten very weak, but just the thought of food causes a Bout of extreme nausea. It has triggering me a kind of mourning a kind of grieving for the foods I used to eat. I dream about peaches and salads what is this? The thought of meat is turning my stomach and I don’t want to fail because I’m getting such remarkable results. I entered this diet because I have trigeminal neuralgia and not only the disease, but the drug, trileptal, has ruined my life. What is this sadness and Mourning and dreaming of apples and peaches and berries sweet coffee apple pie Mexican food all the things I used to so enjoy? This is new.Thank you.

    1. Cravings for carbs/sugar can take time to die (and if you had something that was sweetened it can re-trigger some addictions).

Leave a Comment