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#519516 - 03/19/19 09:51 PM Total remission of my AS on the Carnivore Diet.
Mark55 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/20/09
Posts: 49
Hi everyone,

I've posted on this forum occasionally over the years, and always really appreciated the support and information provided here. I've recently had tremendous success with a lifestyle/treatment I've adopted which has given me what feels like complete remission from my AS symptoms. It's been like a miracle for me. I literally feel ten years younger, and I'm active and doing things in a way that I haven't been in as long as I can remember. Although I feel it will be controversial for some I thought I would still like to share my case in the event there's someone else like me out there that could be helped by it. We all know what hell the disease is.

I'll go through my exact symptoms just to give as clear a picture of what was going on with me and the various things I tried to alleviate them.

-------------------------------------

I had my first flare of SI joint pain when I was 16, which lasted a couple of weeks and caused me terrible pain at the time. The 2nd flare I ever had was at 19 years old, again lasting a few weeks and causing me to limp in pain and be prescribed anti-inflammatories from my GP. After that I think maybe one more flare up, until in 2008 when I was 23 I had my worst flare ever - I was essentially housebound and couldn't walk for almost a week at the worst point, with awful emiserating pain for 4-5 weeks total and general SI inflammation and pain for 2-3 months total. Since that episode, over the years I have progressively reacted to and become more and more sensitive to heavy exercise or later any stress on my hips / legs. More recently any impacts or serious stress / exercise with any part of my body would cause an SI flare. I also had recurring sore knees which would sometimes stop me sleeping, and I have had 2 bouts of iritis / eye inflammation also. I was quite active going to the gym, rock climbing and running before this, but had to give up all sport and exercise apart from activities done sitting down (like riding a motorcycle). Until recently even two sets of pushups or a hilly walk would cause me a horrible SI flare a few days later. Also getting an upset stomach from traveling in foreign countries caused me flares on 3-4 occasions.

I should add that my Mum, Sister, and Aunt are all diagnosed with AS and my Mum has a completely fused spine, and I am HLA-B27 negative and have had the test twice. Also I am a diagnosed Celiac (this comes from my Dad's side believe it or not), diagnosed with biopsies of my duodenum done by a gastroenterologist and a blood test. I have had multiple MRI scans and X-rays on my SI joints, but they never found any identifiable damage despite over a decade of flare ups many times a year.

In the last 5 years, I generally would have 5-10 flare ups a year, lasting from a week to 6 weeks, always in my SI joints but often with accompanying hip and knee pain also.

-----------------------------------------------------

Here are the treatments I tried over the years:

Things I was prescribed by my Rheumatologist: Celebrex, Diclofenac and other prescription anti-inflammatories in different forms. Tramadol and Amitriptyline were tried also. Also had cortisol injections in my SI joints which didn't help.

No immunosuppressants or DMARDs or anything like that. I had to stop anti-inflammatories apart from Celebrex very quickly because I had acid reflux / esophagitis which also runs in my family.

I tried physiotherapy from 3 different physios and a course of acupuncture also.

Treatments I tried myself:

Dozens of different supplements / vitamins
Megadosing fish / krill oil
MSM
Low-dose naltrexone (from an Israeli pharmacy)
CBD
Large amounts of probiotics
Resistant starch supplements for feeding good bacteria
Tumeric

Diets I tried:
Low starch (mostly no starch) for 6 months
Vegan (3 months)
Raw Vegan (3-4 weeks)
A super bacteria rich diet, with homemade sauerkraut and kefir every day, along with raw miso
Keto diet
No dairy
Also tried a 48 hours fast in the middle of a flare

Of every single thing I tried in the last 10 years, none gave me any relief at all, apart from possibly the Tumeric and occasional Celebrex which I felt might have made a tiny difference. By that I mean I feel like either or both of them would relieve my pain maybe 10-15% when I was having a flare, that's it. Aside from that no treatment I ever had or undertook ever felt like it was ever reducing my pain or inflammation or sensitivity to exercise in any way.

--------------------------

Zero Carb / Carnivore diet

I heard about the carnivore diet I think from the doctor that only eats meat who appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast (Shawn Baker). I also came across Mikhaila Peterson's blog about her beef-only diet treatment for her arthritis and depression. I did a bit of research and joined some facebook groups (be warned some are rather zealous / strict, don't be put off by the people though as the information can be useful).

Since October 2018 I have strictly eaten only meat, with salt for seasoning. I eat 90% beef, with a little bit of pork / chicken and lamb also. Generally I try to get the fattiest meats possible to help meet my caloric needs. I also eat beef liver once a week for the nutrients and I make large batches of beef bone broth and drink a bowl before bed every single night. I take a supplement nightly with magnesium, potassium and calcium (electrolytes seem hard to come by on the diet) and that's it. I have cheated 3-4 times over the last 5-6 months by eating normal meals with carbs when eating out with friends or at Christmas, and it hasn't given me a flare up. I tried to reintroduce raspberries (as they're okay on the fodmap diet which is the one other thing I'd never tried) by eating some every day and felt like the inflammation was returning so I stopped. I plan to slowly try and reintroduce fruits or vegetables one at a time in the future, but at the moment I am enjoying being pain free so much I don't want to risk it.

Within a few days of starting the diet I started feeling really good, and I had to hold myself back from exercising and possibly triggering a flare. After a month I tried some light exercise and it didn't give me a flare, and in the following months I slowly tried heavier and heavier physical activities, until around January 2019 where I returned to working out using heavy weights in the gym which was just unbelievable for me. In terms of my weight, I have always been thin. On the diet my weight has remained stable after initially dropping 1-2 pounds, and my bodyfat has dropped several points, I'm noticeably quite a bit leaner.

Just to give you some idea, I have gone from being unable to run anywhere, go on a long walk or do any activity that involved any impacts or jolts, to being able to do heavy squats and deadlifts in the gym (these were the first exercises I had to give up 10 years ago). I feel unbelievable and it's been totally life changing for me, I can finally use my body again. Other symptoms like knee and hip pain have been eliminated, apart from 1-2 bouts of slight hip soreness for a few hours which I think is related to my weightlifting.

I know this diet flies in the face of all conventional dietary wisdom - literally no fruits or vegetables, no fiber, almost all red meat! I won't advocate for it in detail here or try to explain why it might be okay or why it works, I fully accept it's quite possible that it's bad for your / my long term health. If you search online there are various discussions and possible explanations and data for questions you might have or as to why it might not be so bad. I just wanted to make a post here so that people know it's an option they could try if they are truly desperate like I was.

Trying the diet was a huge leap of faith and still is pending any long term effects on my health. However I have to say I am willing to accept extra risks of other health problems to be able to use my body again, I feel incredible and being pain free is something I had not imagined was possible for me. I hope you don't mind me sharing my this. I'll answer any questions if anyone has any but won't try and advocate or promote it any further.

Thanks for all the help and support over the years, I came to this place many times in great misery and desperation and it was always nice to find people willing to answer my questions.

Thanks very much,
Mark

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#519517 - 03/19/19 10:27 PM Re: Total remission of my AS on the Carnivore Diet. [Re: Mark55]
mulehound Offline
Commanding_AS_Kicker

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 693
Loc: USA state of Utah
High five! Everyone has to find their way. Way to go.
ETTE
Darrel

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#519519 - 03/20/19 04:51 AM Re: Total remission of my AS on the Carnivore Diet. [Re: Mark55]
Bazel Online   content
New_Member

Registered: 12/28/18
Posts: 21
Hi Mark,

Great to hear you found a diet that works. Before I found this site, I found out myself that a keto diet cured my IBS. I did it for a few weeks, but could not get my energy levels sorted out.

I think what makes the diet work is that it shuts out all alergies possible: lactose, fruit, dairy, eggs, what ever you can think of. There is no meat allergy.

Also, I read that plants require sophisticated gut flora to digest, because they developed 'poisonous' mechanisms in evolution to deter creatures from eating them.

Good luck with the diet. I heard a lot of good things about it. I read that it doesn't have to be bad for you. A lot of people seem to be doing great with the diet.

Good luck!

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#519525 - 03/24/19 07:22 PM Re: Total remission of my AS on the Carnivore Diet. [Re: Mark55]
Kellybells Offline
First_Degree_AS_Kicker

Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 168
Loc: Canada
Right after I found KickAS and learned about the link between starch and inflammatory arthritis, I found a blog by someone with Crohn's who did a year long meat only diet that was very successful. He felt great and was completely symptom free. (There's a link between Crohn's and AS, insofar as HLA B27 is common in both pops and the diseases can overlap)

Bottom line: it's about the lowest starch diet you can do!!! So glad to hear it's working for you.

One thing to watch out for is sensitive or bleeding gums due to low vitamin C. Some meat-only dieters don't have an issue but it happened to me when I went NSD. I added a supplement and it went away.
_________________________
Suspected USpA. HLA B27, xray, u/sound, blood tests all -ve. Ancient history of plantar fasciitis, SI joint pain, knee arthritis. Recent history of tendinitis, neck pain, debilitating finger pain and stiffness (especially mornings). No diagnosis, no meds.

2010 - stopped eating dairy
2012 - stopped eating wheat
2014 - stopped eating all grains
Jan 2017 - discovered NSD - 98% improvement in symptoms, continually amazed by my results, wish I'd found kickAS sooner

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#519527 - 03/25/19 09:15 PM Re: Total remission of my AS on the Carnivore Diet. [Re: Mark55]
Mark55 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/20/09
Posts: 49
Thanks for the comments everyone.

And thanks for the tip Kelly. I have been eating beef liver which has some vitamin C, but I'll be on the lookout for that!

Cheers,
Mark

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#519529 - 03/25/19 10:14 PM Re: Total remission of my AS on the Carnivore Diet. [Re: Mark55]
Kellybells Offline
First_Degree_AS_Kicker

Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 168
Loc: Canada
Ah yes, that's right....I recall reading about beef liver as a source of vitamin C in that community. Hope you're one of the lucky ones who doesn't need to supplement.

I just remembered that in my early days when I was so frustrated by the starch mistakes I was making that I tried eating just meat for 3 days and was so relieved to just be able to eat without fear!!! It was my best stretch of pain free at that point.

I also found it a million times easier than fasting, which was a miserable experiment that I hated every minute of! (I firmly believe in the virtues of fasting - there's some interesting research showing its benefits, but I'm not in a hurry to try it again lol)

Would love to know more abput what youre eating. Like, what does a typical day look like for you? Do you change it up from day-to-day? What's on your list of foods?
_________________________
Suspected USpA. HLA B27, xray, u/sound, blood tests all -ve. Ancient history of plantar fasciitis, SI joint pain, knee arthritis. Recent history of tendinitis, neck pain, debilitating finger pain and stiffness (especially mornings). No diagnosis, no meds.

2010 - stopped eating dairy
2012 - stopped eating wheat
2014 - stopped eating all grains
Jan 2017 - discovered NSD - 98% improvement in symptoms, continually amazed by my results, wish I'd found kickAS sooner

Top
#519542 - 03/27/19 04:05 PM Re: Total remission of my AS on the Carnivore Diet. [Re: Mark55]
Exacta Offline
Active_Member

Registered: 12/12/16
Posts: 54
I am curious whether you struggle with the social aspect of this diet?

Obviously this is dependent on your particular circumstances.

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#519559 - 03/31/19 06:07 PM Re: Total remission of my AS on the Carnivore Diet. [Re: Mark55]
Mark55 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/20/09
Posts: 49
Hi everyone, I'll try and answer your questions!

Basically my diet is currently:

Shallow fried ground beef patties for breakfast and lunch (I cook them each morning) with a lot of salt
A fatty steak (typically ribeye) for dinner
A bowl of beef bone broth (from a big batch made in a pressure cooker every 10 days or so) and a potassium, magnesium and calcium supplement before bed - these really help me sleep.

1-2 times a week I'll eat beef liver. I also eat chicken, pork, duck, and lamb, but just when I fancy it. I'm always on the lookout for specials on meats with a lot of fat, because I need the calories, and it can be difficult eating a large amount of lean protein.

Currently I also allow myself one cheat meal per week where I eat normally. The cheat meals do seem to bring on a bit of inflammation in my hips / SI area, but it's never gotten bad enough to give me a flare. My feeling is that if I had a few of them in a row then I'd get a flare up.

Socially the diet is a bit of a pain, I tend to save my cheat meal for eating out with others. I don't have a family, and friends / girls I date have been very accommodating once they realise how much it's changed my life. For the first 6 weeks I was really craving sugar and normal foods, but now that's almost entirely gone away. My palate has adjusted and now is just happy with the food I eat. I look forward to eating that big fatty steak for dinner each night.

Once I realised I could workout and use my body again without being pain it really changed things. Being pain free after suffering for years made sticking to the diet very easy honestly.

Please feel free to ask any more questions, I'll check back here every so often.

Cheers!
Mark

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#519562 - 04/02/19 09:47 PM Re: Total remission of my AS on the Carnivore Diet. [Re: Mark55]
Kellybells Offline
First_Degree_AS_Kicker

Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 168
Loc: Canada
Mmm...that actually sounds very tasty! I love ribeye steak. And I LOVE fatty cuts. They are the heart of my diet.

I have accidentally found myself in ketosis a few times now, leaves me feeling weird and very wired. Very hard to sleep. Good to know about the supplements.

Sounds like eggs are off the menu....is there a reason for that? Or just personal preference?
_________________________
Suspected USpA. HLA B27, xray, u/sound, blood tests all -ve. Ancient history of plantar fasciitis, SI joint pain, knee arthritis. Recent history of tendinitis, neck pain, debilitating finger pain and stiffness (especially mornings). No diagnosis, no meds.

2010 - stopped eating dairy
2012 - stopped eating wheat
2014 - stopped eating all grains
Jan 2017 - discovered NSD - 98% improvement in symptoms, continually amazed by my results, wish I'd found kickAS sooner

Top
#519579 - 04/10/19 07:15 PM Re: Total remission of my AS on the Carnivore Diet. [Re: Mark55]
Mark55 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/20/09
Posts: 49
No real reason, I like eggs and was going to try introducing them soon, but honestly once I started to feel good and was able to exercise and go to the gym again I lost a lot of the strong desires I had to reintroduce more foods.

Recently I have been eating cheat meals maybe twice a week however and unfortunately it's bitten me in the [*bleep*], I'm having a flare up right now, the first one in 6 months frown

I guess I will be very strict with the diet for a month and then have a very occasional cheat after that I think. Oh well, at least I've found something that finally works for me, even if I have to be very strict with it.

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