"I have an autoimmune condition, can I do the carnivore diet?"
We get asked this question all the time, here is a detailed answer from Dr. Chaffee.
Autoimmune conditions have drastically increased in prevalence over the last 40 years as we’ve moved to a diet with less meat, more grains, plants, sugars and oils.
Unfortunately the medical treatments available are costly and treat the symptoms, they don’t get to the root cause. And they come with a host of extremely harmful side effects, some of which can be worse than the disease itself.
However, we have been effectively treating these conditions for over 100 years with optimal nutrition. Dr James H. Salisbury, a New York doctor in the 1800s, found that you could put diseases like Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout into remission by putting them on a pure red meat and water diet.
Dr. Salisbury created the Salisbury Steak, which is basically ground beef without the gristle, so that people with serious intestinal issues such as Crohn's disease or all sort of colitis could absorb essentially 100% of the meat that they were eating and completely rest their bowel and allow it to heal.
This has been rediscovered amongst tens of thousands of autoimmune sufferers around the world today, and is even in the current literature in a form. Recent studies have shown that putting people suffering from Crohn's disease on an elemental diet, which is a powdered processed diet that only has the essential macro and micronutrients and nothing else, was better treatment for an acute flare up of Crohn's disease than steroids such as prednisone, which heretofore have been the gold standard.
What this means is that just not eating the wrong thing is a better treatment than steroids. So doesn't that mean the food is causing the disease?
And what is an elemental diet if not a fatty steak? Fatty meat is the only single sourced nutrition that you can live your entire life on optimally without any additives or supplements. It is the original elemental diet.
There are other studies, again with Crohn's disease, showing that by simply eliminating carbohydrates and fiber from the diet you can keep people in remission without medication for up to 51 months, over 4 years. Contrast this with a control group that did not eliminate carbohydrates and fiber where they stayed in remission on average 0 months. That’s not a lot of months… So that means that something in the carbohydrates or fiber, or something that came along with one or both of them, is causing your body to react and develop this autoimmune condition in the first place, and by eliminating them you eliminate the disease process.
This is why I have formed the opinion that these diseases are not diseases per se, but toxicities and malnutrition. Toxic buildup of a species and appropriate diet and a lack of species specific nutrition. Namely too many plants that we are not designed to eat biologically and not enough meat that provides the essential nutrients that we need for optimization of our health. We are reacting to these harmful chemicals in the inappropriate foods that we are eating and our body is responding in ways which we are calling disease.
I have yet to see an autoimmune condition that doesn't respond extraordinarily well to a pure red meat and water diet, or even go into remission. Some will take longer than others to resolve, but in general people get fantastic results. And this is with tens of thousands of people around the world who have tried this.
So yes, people with an autoimmune condition can, and should, do the carnivore diet.