Kelly improved her kidney disease on a carnivore diet

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Hello, my name is Kelly. I am a 54 year old female. I have been doing the carnivore diet for 3.75 years.

Losing my liver and colon
I had to have a liver transplant due to autoimmune disease in 2013 and then lost my colon to ulcerative colitis in 2015.  I wish I had known about the carnivore diet back when it may have been possible to save my colon, but that’s water under the bridge.
 

Damaged kidneys

I have to take an anti-rejection medication every day for the rest of my life, and that med is nephrotoxic. When my UC was at it’s worst, I suffered an acute kidney injury from dehydration, and adding a daily dose of nephrotoxicity didn’t help. The end result of all of that was a eGFR as low as 20 and a creatinine of 2.54 back in March of 2015.
 

Still having colon issues

Fast forward to April of 2016. I had been eating low-carb paleo for a year, with the modification of no leafy greens. But I was still eating root vegetables and some of the other veggies they recommend. But even though I had gotten rid of the inflamed, non-functioning colon that was said to be the cause of my problems, most importantly of which was anemia, I was still anemic. I never could tolerate oral iron supps and the I.V. infusions I had in the past never had a lasting effect.
 

Dropping the plants

In April of 2016 I dropped all plant matter from my diet. This was quite a scary leap of faith for me because, while I knew that meat wasn’t bad for me, I had read that people with chronic kidney disease should greatly limit their protein to help slow the progression of the disease.  Was I about to hasten my route to dialysis and a kidney transplant? 
 

Iron levels normal

Turns out that “too much” protein does not kill your kidneys and some vegetables can block your absorption of iron (among other things). 3 months after dropping all plant matter from my diet, all my iron markers came into normal range and have stayed there. My last eGFR in September of 2019 was 49 and my creatinine was normal at 1.16.   And while 49 is still below normal for eGFR, I have been as high as 52 over the last few years eating carnivore, and was as low as 20 before carnivore.  And this has all happened while eating 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of meat a day for almost 4 years now.
 

Resisting negative effects

The immunosuppresant I take every day also tends to cause high blood pressure, high blood sugar and anemia, among many other things. But I have not had any of these issues and though I cannot prove it because I don’t have a clone of myself to use as a control, I feel that my diet has a lot to do with my “resistance” to those effects.
 

Smooth digestion

One more benefit of this diet I’d like to mention— my digestion is smooth and quiet, and never gives me any trouble. And if you’ve ever had an IBD flare, you know how huge this benefit is! My GI tract has been sliced, diced and re-plumbed significantly and doesn’t look anything like what most people have.  I have had a Roux-en-Y Choledochojejunostomy and an open proctocolectomy with APR. I don’t expect anyone to care about those details, but suffice it say that fiber is my enemy because of how altered my plumbing is.
 

Bioavailability

I have no plans to change the way I eat. Meat is easy to digest and is packed with all the nutrients we need in a highly bioavailable package. That bioavailability is key, especially for people like me.
 
Kelly

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15 thoughts on “Kelly improved her kidney disease on a carnivore diet”

  1. As someone who has recently been diagnosed with IBD this is so encouraging. The only thing I’m taking for my IBD is Phosphatidylcholine and magnesium supplements. I suspect I’m not absorbing nutrients as well as I should and I am getting B12 injections. Sounds like I need to be careful to drink plenty of water too.

  2. This is amazing, thank you so much for sharing. I’m only just getting started, and I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep. But so far so good. I have Celiac and a genetic predisposition for IBD which is connected to the Celiac like a time bomb (even treated Celiac). I’m very afraid that this is why I didn’t fully recover with just the gluten free diet.

    When my health was already waning, I tried so many diets and was a vegan for a long time thinking that’s the right thing to do. It wasn’t and it injured me to think that. I won’t make that dogmatic mistake twice. I’m going to lead with how it makes me feel and whether I’m getting healthier or not.

    Grass fed beef comes in little tiny packages, so it feels weird to buy 8 of them at once and marinate 4 at a time. And it’s not fully true that you can just forget about meal planning, the rest of the family probably won’t keep carnivore with you. But so far, the way I feel is stronger and many of the fatigue feelings I have are based on strength. The effect on hunger is amazing too (it’s gone). I generally have more energy and motivation without having to chant mantras to keep doing my tasks through pain. That in itself is extremely nice.

    1. I am ditching ALL plant matter and going MEAT only today, feel like I am dying with carbs and vegetables….

      Praying for that miracle 🙏

  3. I’m so happy for you Kelly and your face just glows with health! Thank you so much for sharing your carnivore success with the rest of us. Those of us with health issues who are newbies to carnivore really appreciate reading stories like yours. Improved kidney function, just wow!! 🙂

  4. Nancie Billingsley

    Hi Kelly~amazing results. I know people who have hashimotos as well as other autoimmune diseases do your story is intriguing. I just started carnivore a s am so excited about how I feel and how the scale is going down. Do you live in TC? Noticed your t-shirt. I live here too and would love to talk sometime if possible.

  5. Thank you! Thank you! So much for sharing this story, exactly the info I needed to hear to know I am on the right path. I have tried everything to alleviate the symptoms of SIBO, for years chronic pain exhaustion, etc. My doctor and my husband are concerned about my kidneys and other organs as I embark on a carnivore diet. I’m 27 days into this lifestyle, not perfect, had some slip ups in the beginning but am feeling better than I have in years.

  6. Thank you. I want to do carnivore. I have type 2 diabetes with stage 2 or 3 ckd. Your story has given me the courage to do the carnivore. I have done me to buy my blood sugar are not where they need to be and I have lost 25 pounds. I am obese and my life quality and length is not good Thank you for Sharing.

    1. Me too! The elevation in her GFR and decrease in creatine are profound. Want to share this w/ my nephrologist who can’t get beyond prescribing more nephrotoxic hypertensive meds that do nothing to reduce blood pressure, but were the initial cause of my acute kidney failure 20 years ago, and have caused numerous other intolerable adverse side effects.

  7. Your situation sounds similar to mine. I had UC which led to a J Pouch and I also have Nephrotic Syndrome plus some other autoimmune diseases. I’m planning on eating more meat based. Your story is encouraging!

  8. thanks so much for the info, I am going though something similar to yours. I have had a liver transplant and my kidneys are getting bad. I have swelling in my legs again. I am starting this diet myself. I really hope it works for me as well. I’m almost 60, i still work and my legs hurt all the time. I hope this diet does wonders for me. I only worry about high Cholesterol. hope the diet works foe me like so many have posted.

    1. There’s no reason to worry about cholesterol. Your cholesterol is what it should be for your current health status. If you reduce inflammation by cutting carbs/plants, your cholesterol will adjust as the body sees fit. But cholesterol does NOT cause any disease.

    1. Hi, A1c is now 5.9, from 8.3 since the last test in January 2022. GLR remains at 39 but only have been doing carnivore for six weeks. Triglycerides are 73 from 151 in the same period. I will continue carnivore and will continue to give updates. I didn’t get any encouragement from my new doctor. I was wondering if I got my high BP meds changed to ARBs versus what I currently take, which are beta-blockers and diuretics, calcium channel blockers, and lisinopril; would my numbers and GLR improve? Please advise.
      With gratitude,
      George

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