Carnivore Diet and Ileostomy: Seeking Advice and Experiences

Jun 11, 2024 12:00 am

I have a consultation with my surgeon to discuss going forward with what I suspect will be an ileostomy. I know little about it at this point but have started my research. I found this group and I have a few questions.

I am 90% carnivore and have been for 4 years. What issues can I expect?

I am a barrel racer and do not want to give it up. Any horse folks have advice?

I had to give up running and only walk and hike. I hope to get back to running. Does anyone have issues with running?

Are you glad you did it?

Thank you in advance.

Jun 11, 2024 6:14 am

You can do all that stuff with a little adjustment.

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Jun 11, 2024 2:37 pm

G-Day Hikergirl107, I am also on a carnivore diet and have no problem with my ileostomy. I find my poo is a bit runny or loose and it's no problem. But you are talking about a colostomy which should make it more firm. When is your operation? Let us know the outcome. Life is not as bad as you're thinking with a stoma and it's life-saving. Regards, IGGIE

Jun 11, 2024 9:30 pm
Reply to AlexT

Thank you. It gives me some hope.

Jun 11, 2024 9:34 pm
Reply to IGGIE

From what I'm reading, it will be an ileostomy. I had 85% of my large intestine removed back in the late '90s and rocked along great until about 1.5 - 2 years ago. I am happy to hear you are not having issues being carnivore.

Thank you for the encouraging words.

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Jun 15, 2024 3:26 am

Had ileostomy for a year before converting to colostomy. Ate pretty much what I wanted. Fatty/greasy meats will make things looser, leaner meats less so.


As far as barrel racing, I expect your biggest concern will be similar to running - the vigorous bumping and stress against the adhesive of the wafer on your abdomen. I found that when I wanted to go running, I needed to reduce food intake prior so the bag didn't fill and also used a wrap to hold everything against my body to keep it from bouncing around. Everyone is different here, so how much support for the bag you need will take some time to learn.

Speaking of time, I would guess your doctor will tell you 6-8 weeks before you can lift anything significant and run. They might have you hold off longer for barrel racing. My doctor said no mountain biking for another 6 weeks after the first 8. It would be good to have this conversation now and understand what recovery looks like.


Jun 16, 2024 5:28 pm

JD is right. Get a wrap or stealth belt to hold everything in place and you should be fine even with the most vigorous activity.

Jun 17, 2024 12:06 am

Carnivore diet. I suggest speaking with your registered dietitian (RD). I've got an ileostomy and am an RD and a horse person. Chew chew chew. Small portions are better tolerated versus large. Multivitamin with minerals. Lots of fluids. Kg body weight x 35-40 = ml recommended for fluids. Hope this helps.

Jul 02, 2024 4:05 am

Hey Hikergirl107. There is hope after an ileostomy for an active person. I'm an avid hiker and social dancer - had my ileostomy a year ago and now trying to get back into my really active lifestyle. Wearing belts and wraps are important for ostomy security out in public. Also, eating a lot of meat is okay, but I control my stoma with yogurt, oatmeal, and applesauce, and that is important for my security away from home and overnight sleeping.

Tulsa is one of my favorite cities - I'm sure it has some nice hiking trails. Good luck to you. Cheers! Jack D.

Jul 16, 2024 1:41 pm

I have been on the carnivore diet for over 9 years and will not be altering my way of eating anytime soon. I am not a horse person, so I can't speak specifically to that.

I had a proctocolectomy in 2015, so I have a permanent ileostomy. I wish I had known about the carnivore diet before UC finished destroying my colon and I had to have it removed. I still ate a paleo diet for a year after the surgery because I didn't find carnivore until 2016.

Fiber is your enemy (despite what we have all been told forever), and you can get everything you need from meat, especially ruminant meat.

You will definitely be able to get back to barrel racing when you and your doctor feel you're ready. I started back to playing full court basketball 3 days a week about 4 months (I don't remember exactly) after surgery, but I maybe could have started back sooner. I was eating plenty of meat, but also a pretty good amount of vegetables, as the paleo diet recommends. So my digestion was still gassy and painful a lot of the time.

When I dropped all plants from my diet, my digestion became smooth and quiet almost immediately, and continues to be.

I would suggest NOT consulting a registered dietician because they will tell you to go plant-based and eat a bunch of leafy greens and such. That is the absolute worst thing you could do for your gut, especially when you have just had major surgery.

I didn't really have a choice on the surgery—my colon had basically stopped functioning, but I'm glad it could be done and I could go back to living a "normal" life. The silver lining is that I'll never have to have another colonoscopy and colorectal cancer is one less cancer I have to worry about getting, ha!

I don't know if you do Facebook, but there is a great group on there called Ostomy Lifestyle Athletes that you could get some great advice and inspiration from.

Please keep us updated!