Cassi overcame ankylosing spondylitis, Bartonella, and Lyme disease on a carnivore diet

Cassi began her carnivore journey in August 2022.

In 2020, Cassi developed back pain that was so bad that she could hardly walk. She was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a painful autoimmune disease that causes the joints in the spine to become inflamed. Her condition continued to worsen, and she began using a walker. She was 28. Cassi needed answers.

Testing by her functional doctor revealed she was battling mold issues and Bartonella.

In 2022, Cassi got COVID and had difficulty recovering. Her doctor prescribed a daily protocol that included nine cups of raw veggie smoothies. Cassi just couldn’t keep them down. She ended up eating lots of carbs like fruit, rice, and bread. She most likely had SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and was recommended either a SIBO diet and medications or the carnivore diet.

Cassi chose the carnivore diet. She ate red meat, chicken, eggs, wild-caught fish, sardines, and, because she can tolerate it, raw dairy. The intent of the diet was to correct her dysbiosis. She was told to give it four weeks and come back for reevaluation.

That first month was “pretty brutal.”


She felt hungry all the time. And she struggled with her sugar addiction. She cried a lot and was often tired. Looking back, she realizes she wasn’t eating enough fat. But within a few weeks, her cravings went away, and she wasn’t always hungry.

By week three, Cassi was starting to feel better. She loved the simplicity of the carnivore diet—no more prepping all those veggies.

The smoothie protocol her functional doctor recommended was to help with her mold sensitivity and accompanying constipation. Cassi says that photos show how bloated and puffy she was. “I didn’t do well with all those veggies.”

Within the first couple months on carnivore, Cassi lost 20 pounds. Her face was no longer puffy, and she felt less inflamed. Her doctor recommended she continue and because Cassi was feeling so much better, she agreed.

While sick, Cassi spent two summers on the couch. She couldn’t do the things that her friends were doing—she couldn’t participate in life. This, she says, “broke my heart.”

Before her illness, Cassi worked out four or five days a week. This is when she would mentally reset. Now she can deadlift again and is making fitness gains that she didn’t see before she got sick. For the last six weeks, Cassi’s been training three days a week for 45 minutes. “Things are clicking faster.” Six months ago, she couldn’t lift a 20-pound bag of groceries, and last week she lifted 115 pounds.

Cassi says eating steak keeps her satiated. She eats a fair amount of fat and adds butter to her ribeyes from Costco.

Cassi has made many improvements in a short time. Her spinal pain and overall joint pain improved very early on in the diet. And her gut issues have resolved. Proof that the carnivore diet is helping her came during the holidays when she tried eating “normal.” After an hour of having corn chips, she had terrible stomach pain. “It was a bad idea.”

After nine months on carnivore, Cassi’s starting to get back to life. She has more clarity and is happy. Cassi is well enough to start working again and has a new job. She’s getting stronger so she can get a dual sport bike to ride off-road with her husband.

Cassi’s missed out on so much that she is eager to make new memories.

Results are not typical. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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