When changing your diet to a carnivore diet, there may be an initial period of diarrhea as your body adjusts to the change.
But what if diarrhea on carnivore persists? In this article, I will talk about some possible reasons for carnivore diet diarrhea, and some things you can do to help mitigate the issue.
Remember, there is no magic carnivore diet diarrhea fix. You need to experiment to find what works for you.
Cause #1: Too Much Fat
If previously you were not eating a lot of meat, and especially-fatty meat, then it’s quite possible that the sudden increase in fat is causing your carnivore diarrhea.
Our body needs time to adjust to digesting more fat than usual. So what happens, is that meanwhile- your body just kind of… pushes the fat through and you experience carnivore diarrhea.
This should improve as your body gets used to the new diet.
Solution: You can try adding more lean meat to your meals or reducing the amount of fat you cook with, and see if that helps.
Cause #2: Gut Dysbiosis
Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria. When you are suddenly faced with a new food (or in this case, a new way of eating), it can take a while for your gut bacteria to adjust.
In the meantime, you may experience some digestive upset, including “unpleasant” carnivore diet bowel movements.
Solution: Give your gut time to adjust. Very specific probiotics like L. reuteri (BioGaia Gastrus is the product I personally use) can help as well.
Cause #3: Bile Acid Malabsorption
This is a very underdiagnosed condition that is often mistaken for IBS, and it is characterized by over-secretion of bile acids or malabsorption of bile acids (our body recycles them and therefore they are normally reabsorbed).
This can be a symptom of FXR regulation problems. When this happens, the bile acids travel through the digestive tract and cause diarrhea.
About one-third of people with IBS-D actually have bile acid malabsorption. Many times, this condition goes undiagnosed because a special test called a SeHCAT scan is not widely available.
Those people who suffer from bile acid malabsorption often find their symptoms get worse after switching to a carnivore diet. They often experience carnivore diet explosive diarrhea.
Solutions: Bile acid malabsorption can be caused by Vitamin D and Vitamin A deficiency.
Lactobacillus reuteri (there are many strains, but I found the specific strain offered in the “BioGaia Gasturs” product to be helpful in my case) can also help by regulating FXR signaling. Taurin is another good supplement that may help.
Cause #4: Vitamin Deficiency
Deficiency in some vitamins can lead to diarrhea on carnivore diet. For example – vitamin A.
These vitamins can effect how your body handles fat (and produced bile acid for example).
That’s why eating organ meats is important on a carnivore diet – to make sure you’re getting all the right nutrients!
Beef liver for example, is an excellent source of vitamin A and many other minerals and vitamins. I compared the nutritional value of beef liver, chicken liver, and pork liver in this article.
Moderation is key though – too much vitamin A can also lead to diarrhea (not to mention it can be very toxic).
Solution: Regularly eating organ meats.
Cause #5: Too Much Water After Meals
After I eat a big meal, I get a strong urge to drink lots of water. Especially if I used salt.
For most people- drinking after a meal is not an issue. But for some people, it can trigger diarrhea.
Solution: Avoid drinking half an hour before eating, and for at least an hour after.
Cause #6: Rendered Fat
Many people report that rendered fat (especially beef fat) is a trigger for their diarrhea.
Solution: Allow the fat to solidify before eating or avoid eating or adding rendered fat to meals
Cause #7: Histamine Intolerance
Beef meat is high in histamine. Histamine is a natural compound found in many foods (some contain more than others). It’s also produced by your body as part of an immune response.
When you buy beef meat from the grocery store or a butcher, it’s likely that the animal was not freshly slaughtered. In some cases- it was slaughtered weeks ago. The longer meat sits, the higher the histamine content.
So, if you have histamine intolerance- you may experience digestive issues after eating such meat. If you tried everything to solve chronic diarrhea carnivore diet, and nothing worked, this could be the reason.
Solution: Purchase freshly slaughtered meat, or focus on chicken and fish which generally are sold more fresh.
Cause #8: Sensitivity To Certain Meats
Alpha-gal Syndrome is a red meat allergy that can cause hives, itching, nausea, and diarrhea. The allergy is caused by a bite from the Lone Star tick.
So, if you’ve been noticing that you get sick after eating mammal meat, it might not be the meat itself that’s the problem. It could be the fact that you’re allergic to it!
But even if you don’t have this syndrome, it’s important to know that some people are just sensitive to certain meats. Some people report that beef makes them sick, while others say that pork does.
Solution: Get checked for Alpha-gal Syndrome, and if you don’t have one, try avoiding the meat that you suspect makes you sick – switch things up and eat different animals. See if that solves the carnivore diet diarrhea.
Cause #9: Using Sweeteners
There are many people on the carnivore diet that use artificial sweeteners in their coffee or to make carnivore friendly desserts.
Most people don’t really experience any issues with these, but some people can have reactions to them.
Solution: If you experience diarrhea on carnivore, it’s worth considering cutting out any artificial sweeteners you’re consuming to see if it helps.
I hope this article helped you understand the different possible causes of carnivore diet diarrhea. Please consult your doctor if you have any concerns.