Why Does Carnivore Diet Cause Diarrhea

Why Does Carnivore Diet Cause Diarrhea

Why Does Carnivore Diet Cause Diarrhea?


The carnivore diet has gained significant attention in recent years, with proponents claiming numerous health benefits. This dietary approach involves consuming exclusively animal-based foods, such as meat, fish, and dairy products, while eliminating all plant-based foods. While many individuals report positive effects on weight loss, energy levels, and overall well-being, others may experience an unpleasant side effect: diarrhea. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind why the carnivore diet can cause diarrhea and answer some frequently asked questions to help you better understand this phenomenon.

Understanding Diarrhea on the Carnivore Diet:

1. The Shift in Macronutrients:
The carnivore diet entails a drastic shift in macronutrient intake, particularly a significant reduction in fiber consumption. Fiber, found abundantly in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. By eliminating these fiber-rich foods, the carnivore diet can lead to a decrease in stool bulk and slower transit time through the digestive system. This alteration in macronutrient balance may contribute to the onset of diarrhea.

2. Gut Microbiome Changes:
The human gut is home to trillions of microorganisms that form a complex ecosystem known as the gut microbiome. These microorganisms play a key role in various aspects of our health, including digestion and immune function. The carnivore diet, due to its restriction of plant-based foods, can lead to a significant reduction in the diversity and abundance of beneficial gut bacteria. This disruption in the gut microbiome balance can affect the digestive process and potentially result in diarrhea.

3. Fat Intake and Gallbladder Function:
The carnivore diet typically involves consuming high amounts of fat, often in the form of fatty cuts of meat and added fats like butter or lard. While fat is an essential macronutrient, excessive fat intake can place a strain on the gallbladder. The gallbladder releases bile, a substance that aids in the digestion and absorption of fats. If the gallbladder is overwhelmed by an excessive fat load, it may not release enough bile, leading to poor fat digestion and increased risk of diarrhea.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Is diarrhea common when starting the carnivore diet?
Yes, diarrhea is a common side effect when transitioning to the carnivore diet. As your body adapts to the sudden change in macronutrients and the absence of fiber, it may take some time for your digestive system to adjust. Gradually increasing fat intake, staying hydrated, and giving your body time to adapt can help minimize the occurrence of diarrhea.

2. How long does diarrhea typically last on the carnivore diet?
The duration of diarrhea on the carnivore diet varies from person to person. For some individuals, it may last only a few days or weeks as the body adapts to the new dietary regimen. However, if diarrhea persists for an extended period or is accompanied by severe symptoms, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional.

3. Are there any ways to prevent or alleviate diarrhea on the carnivore diet?
While it may be challenging to completely prevent diarrhea on the carnivore diet, there are several strategies that can help alleviate symptoms:
– Gradually transition to the carnivore diet, allowing your body to adjust.
– Stay well-hydrated to compensate for the increased fluid loss due to diarrhea.
– Incorporate bone broth, which contains collagen and gelatin, to support gut health.
– Consider digestive enzyme supplements to aid in the digestion of fats and proteins.
– Monitor your fat intake and ensure it is not excessive, as this can strain the gallbladder.

4. Can diarrhea on the carnivore diet be a sign of an underlying health issue?
While diarrhea is a common side effect of the carnivore diet, it is essential to consider other factors that may contribute to its occurrence. If diarrhea persists for an extended period, is accompanied by severe abdominal pain, or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.


The carnivore diet, although praised by many for its potential health benefits, can lead to the development of diarrhea in some individuals. This side effect can be attributed to the significant shift in macronutrients, changes in gut microbiome composition, and the potential strain on the gallbladder from increased fat intake. While diarrhea may occur initially, it typically resolves as the body adapts to the new diet. However, it is crucial to listen to your body and seek medical advice if symptoms persist or worsen. Remember, everyone’s body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.

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