Tanner heals from Crohn’s disease, eczema, and being underweight on a carnivore diet

Tanner is 32 years old and located in Missoula, Montana where he has spent most of his life. Growing up in the 1990s and 2000s, Tanner ate the standard American diet full of processed foods and sugar.

At age 14, Tanner was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease following a colonoscopy after years of digestive issues. He was severely anemic and entering high school underweight at just 135lbs. He was prescribed oral medications to attempt to reduce his symptoms and bowel inflammation, which he continued taking daily for several years. He also worked with a dietician who provided guidance on certain foods to avoid. Eventually his medical provider deemed Tanner to be in remission from his Crohn’s Disease and was supportive of the decision to wean off the medication.

In 2011 at the age of 21, Tanner began working out consistently for the first time in his life with the goal of gaining weight and becoming stronger. He drastically increased his caloric intake by eating a high carbohydrate diet full of processed foods. In 2014, several years into Tanner’s fitness journey and increased low-quality food intake, his Crohn’s Disease symptoms returned. The Crohn’s Disease had fistulized, disrupting his daily life and leaving him with debilitating pain.

By this time Tanner’s provider had closed his practice and he had lost most of his faith in the traditional medical treatments for Crohn’s Disease. He sought treatment from a naturopath and compounding pharmacy, which did not help alleviate his symptoms. Tanner knew intuitively that something in his diet must be causing his symptoms but struggled to pinpoint exactly what was making him sick. For years he experimented with elimination diets and multiple day fasts to determine the root cause of his illness with little success. While elimination diets and fasting did not lead Tanner to identify the culprit, they did give him hope in confirming that it had to be something in his diet making him sick.

In 2016 the fistula had overwhelmed Tanner’s daily life with pain and discomfort. He made the difficult decision to seek advice and treatment from the only remaining gastroenterologist in his small town. After completing a colonoscopy and MRI, the new doctor strongly advised and prescribed Tanner’s only option for treatment: a biologic infusion to suppress his overall immune system. In the doctor’s own words, Tanner “gave it the old college try, but it didn’t work.” Admitting defeat, Tanner scheduled his first biologic infusion for December 2016.

Two weeks before the appointment deep in a Crohn’s Disease online forum, Tanner stumbled upon a man with the exact same story and symptoms. He described his success healing his fistulized Crohn’s Disease with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (“SCD Diet”). As the biologic infusion appointment drew closer, Tanner decided to give diet one last shot. He began the SCD Diet on November 25, 2016, the day after Thanksgiving, and within four days 100% of his symptoms were gone entirely.

Tanner continued to follow the SCD Diet primarily consuming animal-based products, cancelled his biologic infusion appointment, and never looked back. Since then, he gradually transitioned from the SCD Diet to the carnivore diet over time as the movement popularized and because some SCD legal foods appeared to cause other symptoms such as eczema to flare up. The SCD diet also left Tanner unsatisfied, never feeling totally satiated or full.

Ultimately, the carnivore diet did for Tanner what the SCD Diet couldn’t. Since 2021, Tanner has been committed to animal-based foods eating a diet of primarily red meat, butter, and select dairy products. Nearly six and a half years into his diet journey, Tanner is symptom free and thriving with all inflammatory markers in the zero or undetectable range. He attributes much of his success to the carnivore diet, which he believes would have cut his healing time in half had he started with carnivore from the very beginning.

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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