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Diarrhoea on an all-meat diet?!

by (424)
Updated about 17 hours ago
Created July 09, 2012 at 12:57 PM

No, I don't mean constipation. Has anyone else experienced diarrhoea after a few days on a meat-and-fat-only diet (or have any idea what might cause it)?

Background: Inspired by posters such as Aglae?? and Melissa I decided to try a meat-and-fat only diet for 2 weeks to begin combatting a suspected SIBO/dysbiosis problem. For the first few days my bowel movements were small but regular. Then, about 7 days into the diet I had a sudden onset of diarrhoea which caught me completely by surprise. Not simply loose stools: this was full on, profuse, watery, why-in-the-name-of-all-that-is-holy-is-it-so-far-from-the-organic-meat-counter-to-the-customer-toilets?-type diarrhoea that hit me in the middle of the afternoon. My diet was pretty constant the whole week (beef, lamb, broth, liver, haddock, a few dried herbs) and I didn't introduce anything new which could have suddenly caused this.

I chickened (or rather 'potatoed' - a big mistake, btw) out of the diet the next day, but I'm considering trying it again for a longer stretch. I'm back on a more standard GAPS-type diet at the moment.

Your thoughts and experiences much appreciated. Thanks!

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5150 · July 17, 2012 at 5:26 PM

I got EXTREMELY tired after S. Boulardii as well. Used to take it first thing int he morning after I woke up and then maybe an hour or two later I'd need a short nap. Probiotic enemas, when done properly, will adhere far into the GI tract. (Helps if you have a lawn chair and you lay on it reverse so your legs are raised above your head.) I would recommend doing the probiotic enema as described in the GAPS diet.

8e403031cae4272bac5c25c40446daaf
176 · July 15, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Well I'm a few days into my all meat attempt and had a similar thing. What I'm sure I've done is maxxed out my bodies capacity to process fats. This does pose a viability question on the all meat diet, however I think within a few weeks I should adapt to the higher fat intake - Or I can eat meats with a better mineral profile as these would not need to be consume with so much fats - ie fish and poultry.

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282
424 · July 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I think die-off is a likely candidate. I'm going to try the experiment again in a few days and stick with it this time and see if the diarrhoea clears. I have a bunch of chickens' feet on order from the butcher for my next batch of broth...

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282
424 · July 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

It started on a Saturday. Don't say I'm allergic to Saturdays - my life is over! :-) You're right. I think I'm going to have to do the experiment again and see what happens. I don't think an all meat diet is great long term either. I was planning to do it for a few weeks to give my digestive system a chance to settle down and begin to heal before slowly reintroducing veggies and other foods.

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282
424 · July 13, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I've been taking S. Boulardii as capsules (they contain potato maltodextrin but I figured it's ok as the amount is so small and I don't think I'm sensitive to nightshades). I got headaches, tiredness and a mild skin rash when I first took them which I'm sure was a die-off reaction. I'm still taking them but the effect seems to be wearing off. I don't do carb meals at the moment as it took my digestion about 3 weeks to settle down after the last one. WRT probiotic enemas, I'm so desperate I'll try anything ;-). However, most of my problems are upper GI so I'm not sure how much it would help.

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424 · July 13, 2012 at 12:35 PM

That's really interesting. I think I should have stuck at it a bit longer to see if the diarrhoea resolved. I've had diarrhoea from too much fat before but it tends to be greasy rather than watery (apologies if that's TMI). I've been doing lots of bone broth for a while now and gradually expanding my repertoire when it comes to organ meats (liver, heart, kidney, bone marrow tried so far).

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424 · July 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Thanks for the link, Rob - really interesting study. I purposefully avoided lean meat and added extra beef and duck fat to my meals to try to get round this issue. I find lean meat really hard to eat on its own - it's so dry for my taste. Can't be certain I was up to 80% calories from fat though. I find it much more difficult to calculate this with proper non-packaged fresh food as it doesn't come with macronutrient breakdowns printed on it! I was just going by what felt 'right'.

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665 · July 13, 2012 at 5:20 AM

I wonder if it could it be gallbladder cleansing? Detox in a sense..

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5150 · July 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Have you tried taking S. Boulardii with a carb meal? Away from any sources of protein? Did you take an S. Boulardii with FOS/MOS? Would you be receptive to the idea of a probiotic enema filled with S. Boulardii?

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282
424 · July 09, 2012 at 2:36 PM

I have lifelong gut and related problems (possibly SIBO - having been undergoing inconclusive medical investigations for the past 18 months). The meat and fat diet was an attempt to begin to tackle these problems. I've struggled with loose stools for a long time but nothing quite like this before. I've tried S. Boulardii before with limited success.

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7 Answers

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176 · July 12, 2012 at 10:22 PM

http://www.jbc.org/content/87/3/651.full.pdf+html

That's a link to a study where two men ate nothing but mean for I think 9 months to prove that it is safe, and they did prove that as you'll see if you read it. But more to the point, it was noted that there would be diarrhea if only lean cuts were eaten, perhaps that is what happened to you? It doesn't give an explanation, but my knowledge of the subject points to an excessive build up of zinc/other minerals found in high concentration in meat which with sufficient fat intake would be easily eliminated. The recommendation is to get 80% of your calories from the fat of the animal, and 20% from the protein. Quite difficult if your just eating lean steaks! I'm about to try this, and things like lamb shoulder seem to be sufficiently fatty, though in the absence of fatty cuts of meat I will get a few jars of duck/goose/beef fat to supplement my intake.

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282
424 · July 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Thanks for the link, Rob - really interesting study. I purposefully avoided lean meat and added extra beef and duck fat to my meals to try to get round this issue. I find lean meat really hard to eat on its own - it's so dry for my taste. Can't be certain I was up to 80% calories from fat though. I find it much more difficult to calculate this with proper non-packaged fresh food as it doesn't come with macronutrient breakdowns printed on it! I was just going by what felt 'right'.

8e403031cae4272bac5c25c40446daaf
176 · July 15, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Well I'm a few days into my all meat attempt and had a similar thing. What I'm sure I've done is maxxed out my bodies capacity to process fats. This does pose a viability question on the all meat diet, however I think within a few weeks I should adapt to the higher fat intake - Or I can eat meats with a better mineral profile as these would not need to be consume with so much fats - ie fish and poultry.

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1966 · July 09, 2012 at 3:52 PM

It is likely a die-off reaction from the gut flora being starved from lack of carbohydrates. You have SIBO so the reaction is large. Just power through the diarrhoea as the SIBO dies.

Drink plenty of broth, and include feet/skin/head/cartalige for gelatin which gut cells can feed on directly. Also natural sea salt, as this will be lost in the diarrhoea water.

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282
424 · July 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I think die-off is a likely candidate. I'm going to try the experiment again in a few days and stick with it this time and see if the diarrhoea clears. I have a bunch of chickens' feet on order from the butcher for my next batch of broth...

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598 · July 13, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Both my boyfriend and I got diarrhea about a week in when we tried a meat only diet. It resolved itself after a few days. I think that it is related to the amount of fat you are eating: if i remember correctly, too much causes diarrhea.

If you do try again, be sure to consume plenty of bone broth and organ meats.

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282
424 · July 13, 2012 at 12:35 PM

That's really interesting. I think I should have stuck at it a bit longer to see if the diarrhoea resolved. I've had diarrhoea from too much fat before but it tends to be greasy rather than watery (apologies if that's TMI). I've been doing lots of bone broth for a while now and gradually expanding my repertoire when it comes to organ meats (liver, heart, kidney, bone marrow tried so far).

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11557 · July 09, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Very possibly food poisoning. Sudden and unexpected onset after a regular couple of days- you probably ate a bad bug.

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24538 · July 13, 2012 at 1:16 AM

If it isn't a disbiosis issue, depending on what your fat to meat ratio was, gunning a bunch of fat without working up to it can cause this. You can only digest as much fat as you have available bile for, and if it makes it past that part of digestion untouched your body works pretty hard to eliminate it, i.e. diarrhea. You can either take ox bile supplements or slowly build up your fat intake, either will work to provide enough bile to digest fat better.

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7292 · July 12, 2012 at 10:36 PM

I would try your experiment again to be sure there isn't some missing variable. for instance, did your diarhea start on a Tuesday? You could be just allergic to Tuesdays. Just kidding there, but my point being that sometimes there are other variables taking place that we don't always think about. Maybe you just had some bad food, or something like that. Just because something happens once during an experiment doesn't mean it will always happen, or that it was the experiment that caused it. I don't personally recommend and all meat diet. I get roughly 70% of my calories from meat though.

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282
424 · July 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

It started on a Saturday. Don't say I'm allergic to Saturdays - my life is over! :-) You're right. I think I'm going to have to do the experiment again and see what happens. I don't think an all meat diet is great long term either. I was planning to do it for a few weeks to give my digestive system a chance to settle down and begin to heal before slowly reintroducing veggies and other foods.

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5150 · July 09, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Your food is passing through you too quickly for the water to absorbed. Do you have IBS?

Take S. Boulardii.

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282
424 · July 09, 2012 at 2:36 PM

I have lifelong gut and related problems (possibly SIBO - having been undergoing inconclusive medical investigations for the past 18 months). The meat and fat diet was an attempt to begin to tackle these problems. I've struggled with loose stools for a long time but nothing quite like this before. I've tried S. Boulardii before with limited success.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79
5150 · July 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Have you tried taking S. Boulardii with a carb meal? Away from any sources of protein? Did you take an S. Boulardii with FOS/MOS? Would you be receptive to the idea of a probiotic enema filled with S. Boulardii?

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282
424 · July 13, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I've been taking S. Boulardii as capsules (they contain potato maltodextrin but I figured it's ok as the amount is so small and I don't think I'm sensitive to nightshades). I got headaches, tiredness and a mild skin rash when I first took them which I'm sure was a die-off reaction. I'm still taking them but the effect seems to be wearing off. I don't do carb meals at the moment as it took my digestion about 3 weeks to settle down after the last one. WRT probiotic enemas, I'm so desperate I'll try anything ;-). However, most of my problems are upper GI so I'm not sure how much it would help.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79
5150 · July 17, 2012 at 5:26 PM

I got EXTREMELY tired after S. Boulardii as well. Used to take it first thing int he morning after I woke up and then maybe an hour or two later I'd need a short nap. Probiotic enemas, when done properly, will adhere far into the GI tract. (Helps if you have a lawn chair and you lay on it reverse so your legs are raised above your head.) I would recommend doing the probiotic enema as described in the GAPS diet.

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