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Thread: Need help!

  1. #1

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    Default Need help!

    Hi,

    i have been vegan for 2 months. This was an EXTREMLY hard period for me. I is suffering. Since i start this diet i feel lack of energy, weakness, anxiety like feelings (i feel an obsessive tension in my head), depression, no sex drive, concentration difficulties, vision problems, mild dizziness, etc. I have never feels like this in my life before.
    I visited my doctor, make blood tests. Everything is ok.
    I eat all the proper nutritients what is needed. I read everything about deficiencies. I eat a lot of grains, beans, nuts, oils, veggies, seaweeds + supplements: B-komplex, D, Omega3 (dha,epa). About 2000 calorie per a day (what is a little less what recommended, but not much). I tracked my meals across a month, so i am sure there is no shortage.
    My digesting is ok. I do run at 3-4x a week, but it goes well.
    Before going vegan i was lakto-vegetarion for 8 years, but had absolutely nothing problem.

    I have no idea what to do. Please help me to find a solution! I cant tolerate it. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help!

    Hi,
    there's a tendency - when someone switches over to a new diet - that whatever happens with them, it's because of the diet. And of course - sometimes it is, for a number of reasons. But as you say, your blood tests are fine - and you are "sure there is no shortage", so nutrient intake (combined with stored nutrients in the body) is probably fine.

    The problem is not switching to a vegan diet as such, because if doing so regularly would cause anxiety, obsessive head tension, depression etc., we would have known this. Lots of people actually feel that they have more, not less, energy after having switched to a vegan diet.

    So... 'no shortage': What do you think it possibly could be? And, before someone mentions "detox": Do you eat/drink/sleep enough? What kind of tests did you doctor take (MMA? Homocysteine?) Could you possible have some deficiencies (eg B12) before you started to eat vegan food?

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    thegreenjudy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help!

    I am not sure if that is the case with you or not but it is the case with me...When I start something new (especially like a new diet) I get completely obsessed with it. I can see that you follow it by the letter, which is commendable...However, could it be that the fact THAT you feel like you have to follow it by the letter, makes you feel anxious? (Anxiety can cause all those other symptoms, too) Becoming vegan involves a lot more planning than being vegetarian especially when it comes to nutrients. Also, I personally don't drink enough. The thing is, I eat less, now that I don't have as much options around me. You HAVE to compensate with water if you were in the habit of not drinking enough anyway. Before I became vegan I ate a lot more and food comtains fluid as well so it didn't really matter. Although I eat more veg now, I still can't quite reach the amount of fluid I used to take in with all the food I ate.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Need help!

    This sounds strange and horrible. Your diet does sound pretty good. Do you know what the doctor tested you for, I'm thinking that some more investigations are needed. Did your feeling so bad start as soon as you dropped the dairy? If so, my logic (and I'm no medical expert) tells me that it is something else, going without dairy for a couple of days would not bring on such symptoms.

    Does your doctor know about you being vegan? And if so, what is their attitude towards your diet? I think you should go back to your doctor, explain how careful you are with your diet, tell them how bad you feel and ask for further investigations.

    I am really sorry you are suffering like this, please let us know how things go for you.

  5. #5
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help!

    Well, I'm in the opposite position (I eat more delicious food now than before I went vegan, after having learned about all the Thai/Mexican/Indian/Lebanese and *hybrid* options out there).

    If eg. someone from Gambia would move to a place where Gambian food wasn't available - or vice versa - he'd probably see it as if they "don't have as much options around" them, whereas the truth often is that people on both vegan and stanard diets have lots more options/room for variation then they are aware of - they're just not aware of it (or ignore it).



    I don't think there's more planning involved than it is for a lacto-vegetarian or meat eater either (except for the initial few weeks) - but I still agree with thegreenjudy: if someone feels that they have to do it 100% by the book/need a lot of supplemnts etc., such thoughts alone could possibly cause stress/anxiety. Lots of people simply don't know or forget that people on a standard diet usually have too low levels of a number of nutrients, and assume that there's more to worry about when going vegan (at the same time as we see lots of people who start to eat vegan for health reasons alone!).

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    Default Re: Need help!

    Thank you for the answer!
    I eat/sleep/drink enough (i cant eat more : ) The blood tests was an overall about nutritions, blood cells, etc. But it was a month ago. Maybe i need a new one.
    Yes, maybe i had B12 deficiency, but now i take daily 50 microgram, so i think it has balanced.

  7. #7
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help!

    Hi again, you'd need to check both B12 and MMA (and homocysteine) to get what's usually considered enough info about your B12 levels to find out if you have had a B12 deficiency, but if you have/had one, you would probbaly want more than 50 mcg to get the levels right, at least for a short period.

    Some people start to eat vegan because they feel that their body is in bad shape, but if they don't feel perfectly well after a few weeks, they blame their ongoing lack of wellbeing on the vegan food - and forget that they were in bad shape even before the transition to a vegan diet started. Good luck (and don't forget that for proper advice, general advice on a forum isn't goof enough!)

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Need help!

    Thanks.
    I didnt worry about nutrition. I just know, that i need to plan and cook more accurately. But i realy enjoy explain new foods, and i eat much more varied foods than before. In vegan cooking there are endless possibilities : )
    I start to tracking becuse those bad fellings
    My feelings are more phisical like. There is no anxiety in my mind - but it is very dificult to say it in english (i dont speak this language well). But yes, maybe all is psychological.

    I sad to my doctor about my vegan diet. I dont think he realy knows too much about it : )

  9. #9
    thegreenjudy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help!

    Quote Korn View Post
    Well, I'm in the opposite position (I eat more delicious food now than before I went vegan, after having learned about all the Thai/Mexican/Indian/Lebanese and *hybrid* options out there).

    If eg. someone from Gambia would move to a place where Gambian food wasn't available - or vice versa - he'd probably see it as if they "don't have as much options around" them, whereas the truth often is that people on both vegan and stanard diets have lots more options/room for variation then they are aware of - they're just not aware of it (or ignore it).



    I don't think there's more planning involved than it is for a lacto-vegetarian or meat eater either (except for the initial few weeks)
    Oh I am more talking about convenience food that you can pick up from the supermarket shelve Having started only 4 weeks ago I still have a lot to explore!

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    Default Re: Need help!

    What is MMA?

  11. #11
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help!

    MMA = Methylmalonic Acid, and MMA tests are sometimes used as a marker for B12 that's actually biologically active in your system.

    B12 which actually isn't active may show up in your B12 blood tests and make the result appear as within the normal range - while they are not. For that reason, homocysteine and MMA tests should be taken as well, but both these tests are - just like the 'plain' B12 tests - object for discussion as well. It's still better to take an MMA test in addition to the B12 tests - but if your B12 test shows low values, the values are probably low.

    According to Really Old School Thinking, it was enough to test only for B12, but that idea isn't generally supported anymore, due to the well known existence of so called inactive B12 analogues in vegan and other food. According to just plain "Old School Thinking", the results you may get from MMA and homocysteine tests are always reliable, but I (and many others) don't support that theory. It's still better to take MMA/homocysteine tests than not to take them.

    Here are a couple of links about MMA:
    Methylmalocin Acid - the test (from labtestsonline.org)
    MMA (Methylmalonic Acid) tests
    http://www.vegansociety.com/lifestyl...ition/b12.aspx

    You seem confident that there's no need to be worried about nutrients - and maybe you are right. But in order to know for sure, my advice would be to at least check that you didn't enter the 'vegan world' with eg. a B12 deficiency from your lacto-vegetarian years (with proper B12/MMA/hcy tests), and also check for other, non-diet related problems. If the problem isn't about nutrition, it's probably not about what you eat/drink, in which case it's even more difficult to come up with any useful recommentaions! We don't know if you smoke a lot, drink 20 cups of coffee every day, take medicine which could have side effects and so on, so there isn't really much we can other than pointing at possibilities.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Need help!

    Thanks, i will check it sure!

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Need help!

    Homocysteine: 11.7 umol/l
    B12: 317.8 pmol/l
    Folic Acid: 30 nmol/l

    (there is no available MMA test, i didnt find any lab to check)
    I checked some other stuff (iron, sugar, calcium, kalium, etc. but all other is seems ok too.

    It doesnt seems bad, am i right?

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Need help!

    Looks nobody can help further. I decided to switch back, and stop veganism. I am very sorry about it, i was really wanted to being vegan, but i couldn't. Maybe i will try it later, if i will be ok again. Thanks.

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