The carnivore diet gained a lot of attention in recent years as an interesting way to lose weight and improve overall health. It may also be (very) helpful for those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
In this post, I will discuss the potential benefits of a carnivore diet for those with IBS and provide some tips on how to get started.
Types of IBS
IBS is a common disorder characterized in most cases by abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea. There are four subcategories of IBS:
- IBS-D: Mostly diarrhea and abdominal discomfort (cramps, bloating, and other symptoms).
- IBS-C: Mostly abdominal discomfort and constipation.
- IBS-mixed: Alternating loose stools and constipation (as well as abdominal discomfort).
- IBS-U: Un-subtyped IBS.
Many people with all types of IBS find that adopting a Carnivore Diet can be beneficial.
In the first period of adopting the carnivore diet, some experience an increase in symptoms as their bodies adjust to a new way of eating. In most cases, symptoms eventually subside or disappear completely.
Carnivore Diet For IBS – Does It Work?
The carnivore diet is the natural diet for humans. We ate meat for millions of years.
Only in the past few decades have humans started to eat unnatural amounts of grains, legumes, and other plant-based foods. And of course- seed oils are also a big part of the problem.
There are many reasons why the carnivore diet helps with IBS. Here are some of them:
1. It’s a Low FODMAP Diet
Nowadays, it’s well known that low FODMAP diets are very effective for IBS.
The carnivore diet is an extreme version of a low FODMAP diet, as it eliminates all plant-based foods that contain certain types of carbs and sugars—Fructans, GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides), and polyols.
These are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and are prone to ferment in the colon.
2. It Alters The Microbiome
The gut microbiome is the collection of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that live in our digestive system. Research has found that IBS sufferers have a different microbiome than healthy individuals.
The carnivore diet encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria that can improve gut health, helping to reduce symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating.
3. No Fiber
Fiber can cause digestive issues in some people with IBS, so the absence of fiber on a carnivore diet can be beneficial.
Without plant-based foods, there is no fiber to ferment in the colon, leading to less gas and bloating.
People who suffer from constipation may find that removing fiber from their diet leads to more regular bowel movements.
Some people who suffer from IBS find that sometimes supplementing with probiotics can help reduce their symptoms. If you suffer from IBS, and follow a carnivore diet, you should consider taking a probiotic supplement and see if it helps.
Keep in mind that not all probiotics will be effective. In fact, our colon doesn’t easily colonize with bacteria from outside sources, so it’s important to find the right one for you.
A product that I can really recommend is BioGaia Gasturs. It contains Lactobacillus reuteri, a specific strain of bacteria that has been studied extensively and proven to be effective for many digestive issues. I personally take it daily.
If you search online, you will find many people that report that a specific supplement, vitamin, or mineral has helped them with IBS. Sometimes, it’s just a placebo, but many of these supplements do have some science to back them up.
Here are some of the supplements you may want to consider if you have IBS and are following a carnivore diet. Remember to consult with your doctor before taking any type of supplement.
Many people are deficient in magnesium. For some- addressing this deficiency can help to reduce IBS symptoms. You can read more about the carnivore diet and magnesium here.
Taurine is an important amino acid that has a variety of health benefits. Some report that it can help with IBS symptoms, including reducing abdominal pain and cramping.
Some people who follow the carnivore diet still use sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit. While for most – they won’t cause many problems, for some, especially those who suffer from IBS, they may cause digestive issues.
If you have been diagnosed with IBS and are following the carnivore diet then it’s best to avoid all sweeteners.
Dairy, Carnivore Diet & IBS
Dairy is excellent for the carnivore diet. There are many types of carnivore friendly cheese and other dairy products such as yogurt that can be enjoyed.
But, for people with IBS- sometimes it’s better to avoid dairy. Dairy can be a trigger food for some people with IBS and it is not always easy to digest.
It’s also worth checking out if you are lactose intolerant as this could be a contributing factor to IBS symptoms.
Many people who suffer from IBS find that following a strict carnivore diet can be beneficial in reducing symptoms.
A carnivore diet eliminates all plant-based foods and focuses on animal products such as beef, pork, chicken and fish.
All of these foods are healing and allow the body to heal itself and restore balance. People with IBS on a carnivore diet should consider avoiding dairy and sweeteners.
I hope you found this post useful! Make sure to check out the carnivore recipes on my website.