Daniel improved digestion, mental health, joint, back pain on carnivore diet
My name is Daniel and I am forty years old from Australia, 183cm (6ft) and 75kg (165 pounds). I have held off writing this story, despite following the carnivore community for some time, as it has taken this long to heal from quite a few ailments, most notably my joint pain and depression. (No photos as most of my issues are internal.)
My mother told me that from a very early age I had an allergy to cow’s milk (I was fed soy “milk” as a child) and a nearly fatal fall (fractured skull and broken collar bone) from a ledge at the age of 2. I can recall always having sore throats and hay fever as a boy. Also looking back now, I believe I experienced some anxiety and depression too. Antibiotics were a regular thing and I eventually had my tonsils removed at the age of nine.
My journey to this carnivore way of eating began nearly 2 years ago when I started to seriously investigate how diet can affect one’s health (particularly autoimmune problems) which I previously just thought were the “bad genetic cards” I was dealt. For example, I thought that I had genetically inherited my father’s bad back and my mother’s hay fever and that was how it was going to be for life and the only way to treat these was with over the counter medications or other alternative therapies.
I have long been a supporter and consumer of alternative therapies for health like chiropractic, acupuncture and energy frequency therapy, having tried to stay away from visiting the GP unless necessary.
I have always preferred fresh foods for cooking instead of processed garbage and the health education I received was the classic “SAD/Western” diet as based on the food pyramid, i.e. saturated fat is bad, wholegrains are good, “2 fruit and 5 veg daily” and meat in moderation. I have loosely followed the “eat a rainbow” style together with high carbs and some meat with every meal.
In a sense I knew that diet played a part in health and I had an awareness of additives and processed food, but like many younger folks I took it for granted that I would always be healthy because I never got fat. I would daily consume a pint of chocolate milk or iced coffee and lots of toasted sandwiches, pastries and cakes. I still thought that I had reasonably good health as my weight has never been an issue and have been blessed with an incredible metabolism.
However, inside I was broken from:
- Regular colds, sore throats, congestion
- Tonsilitis as a child (tonsils removed when I was 9)
- Chronic hayfever
- Bad snorer and mouth breather
- Frequent mouth ulcers, cold sores near lips
- Mouth corner sores (angular chelitis)
- Bowel problems (irregular and constipated frequently)
- Bleeding gums/gingivitis
- Poor dental health on left upper side, failed root canal, ongoing infections (related to sinusitis)
- Jaw pain on left side, clicking jaw (TMJ)
- Brain fog and poor concentration
- Mild depression as a child worsening to severe in recent times
- Anxiety from a young age
- Poor sleep in recent times
- Back/neck pain, sciatica, inflammation and chronic groin pain
- Worsening joint pain in hands, elbows, knees and shoulders
- Gout in toe
- General aching on left side and in chest
- Skin tags and bad skin breakouts on back
- Always getting a sunburnt face
- Minor heartburn
- Raynaud’s in my hands
My health took a turn for the worse about five years ago when joint pain was affecting my ability to work (labouring) and my mental health nose-dived, culminating in a mental breakdown followed by a psychotic episode and a six month period in and out of a mental ward about four years ago. I was heavily medicated on anti-psychotics and antidepressants like Olanzapine.
At this time, I became increasingly disenfranchised with the medical system, since I had four children who were always sick, and they were always going to doctor’s appointments for one ailment or another and being constantly prescribed antibiotics or some special cream. I managed to get myself of the antidepressants through some alternative healing and improved diet with more nourishing home made meals, however still had depression.
Cycle ahead to about 2 years ago and after watching quite a few Netflix documentaries from the plant-based vegan propaganda videos like “What The Health?” And then “The Magic Pill” and other Youtube video series like “Autoimmune Secrets”, like many folks in the carnivore community I saw the Joe Rogan podcast with Dr Jordan Peterson on Youtube and was blown away. I believed Dr Peterson to be a credible source of information but could not reconcile that the meat only diet was a thing. From there I followed Mikhaila Peterson and then Dr Baker and many others and kept doing the research.
I began to slowly make some changes to my diet, cutting out gluten, reducing sugar and dairy but still hung onto my “rainbow salads” and then went down the whole gluten-free alternative rabbit hole of eating. I then heard about all the processed seed oils contained in these gluten-free foods and it dawned on me that take away/restaurant foods also could not be trusted. I never really entertained the idea of giving up meat, but there were certainly some vegans I had contact with who were trying their best to persuade me to do so.
Some improvements occurred from these changes, but joint pain and mental health was still an issue. My meat consumption increased, higher fat intake but I also dabbled with some vegan foods at this time like hemp protein and quinoa. I had a wholefoods market nearby with organic produce. This was a very expensive exercise in the beginning, having nearly fallen for the “health food” industry marketing, but as time went on, I started to have more meat, bone broth, bacon, eggs and moved to an animal based keto diet.
My digestion began to improve and with it a whole range of ailments and autoimmune issues went away like hay fever, mouth ulcers and gout. Anxiety, back pain and sciatica began to reduce which I have had for as long as I can remember. I found myself not being hungry for 12-15 hours and saw improvements in my dental health and skin.
I continued to spend hundreds of hours watching videos, listening to podcasts like HPO and digesting all the old books/articles linked to Meatheals.com and was absolutely convinced. As to the mechanics of why this works, I believe it is about giving your body what it needs, eliminating what it doesn’t need and then the immune system rebounds and the body heals like it is designed to.
I feel that the joint pain in my hands, groin pain and mental health has taken considerable time to heal, as well as having quality sleep again, but I am extremely grateful to have taken control of my health with 90 % meat and some other very basic lifestyle factors. Every single ailment listed above has seen some improvement or remission of symptoms. I love that it has changed my outlook on life, a sense of calmness and really given me a new appreciation for ancestral traditions as well.
I am Above all, a new relationship with food that is more about fuel and nourishment as opposed to entertainment. It seems that my mood is much better on beef and when I stray from this my allergies and sinus issues always seem to come back.
My energy levels have not been as consistent as I would have liked and through recent discussions with personal trainers, I simply have not been eating enough to meet the physical demands of my job and training. I have addressed the food quantity and I have also increased electrolyte intake and I am feeling better for that as well.
The next step for me is to try meat, water and salt only, to iron out some occasional small joint pain issues and Raynaud’s in my hands is still an issue on some cold days. I am very passionate about this movement and am seriously considering a health coaching career in the future to give back and share this simple and effective healing protocol.
Many thanks to Dr Baker and all the carnivore community for making a massive difference in my life and giving me the opportunity to tell my story.