I went vegan a few months ago (I was vegetarian for a few months before that), and I recently started having major bouts of weakness and extreme heart palpitations. I went to the doctor and it turns out I have a kidney problem -- it can't excrete potassium the way it should. The potassium builds up and that's what was leading to my dizziness and racing heart.
So she put me on a low potassium diet. Since I've been on that, those problems went away, but there's a new problem... it is extremely difficult to be a vegan on this diet. I haven't broken my veganism yet, and I really don't want to, but my diet is ridiculously limited now. Since most fruits and veggies are high in potassium, very few vegan foods are allowed. And even the "allowed" foods I can only have in small quantities.
Here are some of the vegan foods that I'm not allowed to have AT ALL:
Apricots, artichokes, avocado, bananas, ALL BEANS (including soy), ALMOST ALL LEAFY GREENS, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, chickpeas, dates, dark chocolate, figs, grapefruit, almost all melons, kiwi, mango, molasses, mushrooms, nectarines, oranges, papaya, peaches, plantains, potatoes (okay if leached), prunes, pumpkin, split peas, sweet potatoes (also okay if leached), tangelos, tomatoes and winter squash.
There are lower-potassium fruits and vegetables that I can eat (like eggplant, kale and watermelon) but I'm only supposed to have two cups of those a day. I can also have nuts and seeds, but only two tablespoons a day... almost nothing!
I asked my doctor how I could reconcile this with my vegan diet, and she said I couldn't, that I would have to go back to eating meat (but only certain kinds of meat, because some meats are high in potassium too). Dairy is also high in potassium, so lacto-vegetarianism is not an option for me. If I followed my doctor's advice, I would have to go back to full-on omnivore.
But I don't want to go back to exploiting animals. And so far I haven't. I've been eating my two cups of fruit and veggies a day, my two tablespoons of nuts and seeds, and the rest has mostly been grains -- whole wheat bread, quinoa, millet, brown rice and so forth. I've even been trying more obscure grains like teff and amaranth to try to get as much variety as I can!
I guess one good side-effect of this is that I've lost some weight, but now I'm worried about losing too much weight!
This diet would be hard enough as an omni, but it seems almost impossible to me as a vegan. I don't want to give up veganism, because I know it's wrong to use animals, but I don't see any other option. What should I do? Should I quit veganism?