To bring everyone up to speed and a quick refresh (even for me), since 2009, I've been diagnosed with Lyme, Babesia, CIFS, MTHFR, CBS, heavy metals, POTS, excessive yeast, and possibly more, but we get the picture -- your standard chronically ill person.
In having all of these diagnoses, you'd bet that I've tried quite a few treatment modalities along the way, though not everything.
I've done the Buhner protocol, cherry-picked the Cowden protocol, taken antibiotics, treated excessive yeast in countless ways, homeopathy, altered diet, chelation, nutrient testing and replenishing, etc.
A few treatment modalities have worked, most were pissing into the wind, as they say, or as maybe they do.
My never-ending quest to find an answer led me to the carnivore diet (zero Carb Diet)
Honestly, I've tried so many treatments and received so many diagnoses, that when people now ask what's wrong with me, I can't even give them an answer because I myself don't even know anymore.
I feel the length of this plight has gotten me lost along the way, but never without a will to keep moving forward.
So I'd keep researching for an answer, but discarding what I found because it was all stuff I've heard or tried before -- nothing new.
However, one day I stumbled upon a video by a girl named Mikhaila Peterson, who was able to put the symptoms of her chronic illness into remission by simply eating just beef.
This was different, for sure. I was intrigued.
After watching this video, I read the comments below to get the viewers' general consensus on her radical diet of just beef. She had a lot of support, which was great!
From there, I went to her blog to get the nitty gritty. I wanted to see how she was thriving on the diet and just get more details about her story in general.
Why? I don't know. I guess because I love beef and I'm also chronically ill. You can see how that logic panned out.
Mikhaila has a testimonial on her blog about a chronically ill person named Charlene Anderson -- who had Lyme (like me), along with other ailments -- and was able to feel better with a carnivore diet.
That's it. I was sold, but delivery would take a couple of months!
Starting the Carnivore Diet
No where along the way has anyone suggested the complete opposite. Not only stop taking supplements, medicine, and seeing doctors, but strip your diet down to just beef.
Well, 10 years is long enough, and dammit I was very willing to try something different. Something radical, especially if it didn't involve another doctor's appointment or a supplement delivery from Amazon.
It took me some time after watching Mikhaila's original video to go full carnivore. I'd try the Keto diet and a few more supplements in between, but when my health started to decline even more within the past month, it was time.
I figured if I'm not living a life, than I really honestly have nothing to lose.
This past Friday, June 21, 2019, I officially started the carnivore diet, fully committed.
How am I doing on the Carnivore Diet with Lyme?
Symptoms have been dropping like flies. It really is remarkable the improvements I'm experiencing.
I had symptoms disappearing that I didn't even know I had. That's because when you're chronically ill, you adapt and learn to accept any malfunction in your body that comes your way.
In dealing with this condition, you don't even acknowledge the torment of symptoms after a certain period of time. You just live with it and it becomes your normal.
Like I said, I started the carnivore diet this past Friday, June 21, 2019, but it wasn't smooth sailing the entire time.
Before Friday, I was eating twice a day -- intermittent fasting, which I've been doing for years. After every meal, I would be hit with an overwhelming fatigue and need to sleep.
A systemic muscle weakness, a symptom I experienced when my entire health ordeal started in 2009, resurfaced.
I was pretty miserable this past month, useless to society, but pushed through it as I always did, even if it killed me.
This past Friday, I awoke stiff as a board and in pain all over my body. Yes, the inflammation was real and it was all I needed to make a change.
I didn't eat anything at all until 2 pm on Friday because I know that fasting is really good for shutting down inflammation. And as the morning went on into the afternoon, I actually began to feel better.
When 2 pm rolled around, I made the choice to eat just ground beef. It was 80%, grass-fed ground beef, of which I didn't even add salt.
After eating, I was waiting for the fatigue to hit, but something unusual happened. The fatigue never came.
I'm on to something here. It was this moment I got my first confirmation that the carnivore diet could really be legit, even for Lyme.
As a bonus to my efforts, Mikhaila Peterson's recent diagnosis of Lyme gave me great hope and motivation to try it.
That evening, family came over for a gathering and I prepared 2 lamb shoulder cuts on the iron skillet (for me). Again, no salt, nor any fatigue afterwards.
What the hell was going on? Why was I not suffering?!
To top it off, I even went for an extensive walk around town. Absolutely zero fatigue or muscle weakness. I was feeling pretty good.
I was blown away and in complete awe at what I was experiencing.
Saturday (The following Day)
Well, I did, but things went down hill fast. I stuck with just the meat, but a complete exhaustion would take over beginning on Saturday.
After doing some research, I'd learn there is a transitional period when moving to the carnivore diet. You don't just switch to the carnivore diet and everything is fantastic.
Nope! Your body is switching from a fuel of glucose from carbohydrates, to a fuel from ketones from fat.
During this transitional phase, your body has to make adjustments in order to burn the new fuel source of fat efficiently.
I was weak, exhausted, and out of breath during this transition, but eventually on the following Monday, June 24, my body transitioned enough to where I wasn't exhausted or weak anymore.
It appeared that my body successfully transitioned to use ketones as its main fuel source (aside from protein) instead of carbohydrates.
It's my understanding that this transitional (adaptation) period can be really rough for some people. The more carbs you were eating before the transition, the harder (and longer) it will be.
I've read it can take a couple weeks to make this transition, but for me, it seemed to take just 3 days. This makes sense, since I essentially was on the Keto diet just prior.
I suspect I felt good that Friday because I cut out of the carbs, which reduced inflammation, which allowed my hormones to work a bit more correctly.
The short-lived energy came from my glycogen reserves (uninhibited by inflammation) since my body was no longer receiving carbohydrates.
What has improved on the carnivore diet for me?
Since starting the carnivore diet, I've noticed:
- Significantly less fatigue
- Significantly less muscle weakness
- Less pain in my joints and muscles
- A pain in the region of my liver has begun to subside
- My neck pain went away for a whole day on Monday
- No more bloating
- A general feeling of well-being has come about
- Clearer and more articulate thought
- A deeper and more restful sleep; waking up in the morning actually feeling refreshed
- Breathing has gotten much easier
- Sinuses have begun to drain
- Testicular pain has decreased
- The white coating on my tongue is disappearing
- Urine flows uninhibited (it used to feel like there was a kink in the tubing)
- More motivation and inspiration to do things
- A sore throat and swollen lymph nodes developed (I think this is yeast related, but could just be a coincidence). Whatever the cause, my sinuses seem to be improving.
Mind you, I've only been on the carnivore diet for less than a week, but the drastic improvement in my symptoms is huge!
It really is all the motivation I need to keep at it. I'm truly excited to see how my body further responds to the carnivore diet.
Why is the carnivore diet working for chronic Lyme?
Could these stories be fake? Sure. Do I think they're fake? I don't know, but if you find no money trail, and instead just relatable words and a true gratitude from the experience as reflected in the sound of a voice, it's worth giving a shot.
There isn't much research on how the carnivore diet works for the human body, but there is much anecdotal evidence.
Hopefully one day these anecdotal experiences will form strong hypotheses for scientific testing and experiments, to potentially better the health of many.
What research has shown is that the less carbs you consume, the less inflammation you'll have. The carnivore diet is perfect for repairing digestive woes and reducing inflammation.
Which is why I think the carnivore diet could potentially help me get better from my chronic Lyme.
Stephen Buhner, the creator of the Buhner protocol for Lyme, has a first and important step in treating the condition by shutting down inflammation in the body.
He states that a person can simply feel better by reducing the inflammation the Lyme spirochetes cause in the body. The inflammation is what causes the symptoms.
The Lyme bacteria needs inflammation to thrive because it's the mechanism that breaks down collagen in the body, the Lyme spirochetes favorite food.
This is why Lyme symptoms tend to occur in collagen-rich areas within the body (e.g., the heart, the eyes, the joints, etc).
If you can shut down the inflammation, then you can essentially starve the Lyme bacteria (or at least make it difficult for it to thrive), thus resulting in fewer symptoms.
Stephen Buhner prefers to shut down inflammation caused by Lyme with Japanese Knotweed, of which I've taken before and it actually worked.
No placebo. I was back on my feet and working (not full time, but to an extent) within a year of taking it.
But the Japanese Knotweed wasn't enough, so I never completely got better. I ended up coming off of it and let my body handle the condition on its own.
Fast forward 3 years to 2019, and I've found a new treatment modality that may be able to shut down the Lyme inflammation more effectively -- the carnivore diet.