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Thread: Doctor says that I NEED to have some animal protein in my diet

  1. #1
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    Default Doctor says that I NEED to have some animal protein in my diet

    Hello everyone,

    I've come here because I feel like I could really use some advise from people who have been vegan for a while.

    I've been eating vegan for two months now, and am doing my best to live a vegan life style by avoiding any products tested on animals/ animal by clothing / etc (which is all going very well). I became vegan due to doing research on the way that animals are treated in farms for meat and dairy and I will never go back to supporting such a disgusting industry again. I have always loved animals and always wanted to be vegetarian but never thought I could do it, until one day I tried and never went back. I then wondered why dairy was so bad and did some research and completely gave that up too. With all this research came knowledge on products that test on animals which I have completely avoided since.

    I have had some health issues over the past 7 months and have been in and out of doctors- no period, acne, weight gain, anxiety, stress. In the past 4 months I have managed to gain 14 pounds - from a 5'1 female 54 kg to 61kg, so I decided to go and see a nutritionist. She told me that being vegan was not going to help my health problems in any way and that I NEED to have some animal protein in my diet in order to restore my hormones, stop anxiety and become healthy again. She begged me to buy some fish oil supplements and to at least eat fish but I told her that there's no way. I really want to become healthy again but I really stand my ground when I say that I won't be going back to eating anything to do with animals.

    I want to know if anyone has been in a similar situation and what you could recommend I do? Or someone that I should see? I feel exhausted all the time and I just want to get better without resorting to animal products. Doctors are completely useless because they all tell me I need my animal protein too and it's just not going to happen.

    Any advice would be so greatly appreciated!

    x

  2. #2
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doctor says that I NEED to have some animal protein in my diet

    Ah, L'esprit de l'escalier. The correct response would you have been "well you need to be a dietitian."
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

  3. #3
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doctor says that I NEED to have some animal protein in my diet

    Hi, did the nutritionist explain why they thought you needed animal protein?

    As far as I am aware there's nothing in it that you can't get from eating a good variety of plant-based foods. If you are concerned about omega oils you could try one of the algae supplements as an alternative to fish oil (some plant oils such as flaxseed are supposed to be good too but need more processing by the body).

    How about talking to a dietician or nutritionist with an interest in vegan diets? There are one or two online if you google, or you could ask the Vegan Society if they know of anyone.

    In the meantime I would make sure that you eat a good variety of vegan foods and try and avoid processed ones as far as possible. If you're not sure what to eat, there's a lot of advice around - even the NHS has some! http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Vegetaria...egandiets.aspx

    I've been vegan for over 20 years and there are other people around who have been for much longer, so the idea that you need animal products to feel well doesn't seem very convincing!

    Good luck and well done for going vegan.

  4. #4
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doctor says that I NEED to have some animal protein in my diet

    'Lo Beany, Sorry to hear you've been suffering and getting unhelpfull advice.

    The problem with omni-medics is that they, like all omnis, ultimately fall back on the 'necessity myth'.

    That being the ridiculous belief that the flesh of plant eating animals contains some mysterious, and as yet unidentified by science, component that can't be derived from plants.

    It's bollox. If there were an inherent deficiency in a vegan diet that then all long terms would have that deficiency.

    You need to put your foot down here. DEMAND to see a nutritionist/dietician who has more than a pass level CSE in 'meat and 2 veg'.

    Might be better to phrase that as "a nutritionist/dietician with some proven expertise/experience in exclusively plant based diets", mind.


    One question for you: Did you radicaly change your diet when you turned vegan?

    My totaly non-professional advice is to be highly cautious over radical changes to one's diet. It seems, sometimes, to cause 'system shock'.

    I recommend that new vegans should begin by veganising the things their body is used to eating.

    Simply replace the animal products in the dishes your system is used to with other protein sources; Faux-meats, beans, lentils, mushrooms, etc.

    That and slowly reduce the 'stodge' replacing it with increasing portions of fresh fruit and veg.


    Best of luck Beany and please let us all know how the situation progresses!
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  5. #5
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    Talking Re: Doctor says that I NEED to have some animal protein in my diet

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to me!

    I did put my foot down with her, I just couldn't help but feel so bummed out after leaving her office because it's really not what I wanted to hear! She doesn't think I have a deficiency, but because I'm still growing she insists that I need good quality 'aka animal' protein to grow and with my current situation she feels that my health is not at a good level for me to be taking anything out of my diet. I have told her that I can just have tofu and I have a hemp/brown rice/pea/soy protein powder which has a complete amino acid profile which I can have, but she says it's all not good enough.

    It just left me feeling hopeless, and I actually chose her because I thought she had a holistic approach on things and the last thing I thought to hear from her was that I needed to eat meat.


    Quote Clueless Git View Post

    One question for you: Did you radicaly change your diet when you turned vegan?

    My totaly non-professional advice is to be highly cautious over radical changes to one's diet. It seems, sometimes, to cause 'system shock'.

    I recommend that new vegans should begin by veganising the things their body is used to eating.

    Simply replace the animal products in the dishes your system is used to with other protein sources; Faux-meats, beans, lentils, mushrooms, etc.

    That and slowly reduce the 'stodge' replacing it with increasing portions of fresh fruit and veg.


    Best of luck Beany and please let us all know how the situation progresses!
    In a way, I did radically change my diet. But I had already over time been cutting down my consumption of meat because I felt so disgusted. I just tried one day without meat and then never ate it again after that. I had carried on eating dairy however, but as soon as I stopped dairy I never ate it again. With this being said, I do eat out a lot and sometimes it's hard to avoid it as there are a lot of hidden ingredients in salad sauces and pasta dishes and no matter how many times you ask the waiter to make sure it's vegan they don't seem to care! So I wouldn't be surprised if I have eaten something with dairy in it while I've been out but never intentionally.

    I have read up on food combining for protein and have always had nuts in my diet and have always had a lot of fruit and veg in my diet so I don't think that I should have caused too much of a shock to my body! Hopefully not.

    Thank you again! I really appreciate it

    I will let you know what happens!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Doctor says that I NEED to have some animal protein in my diet

    Hey!

    Yes she did. My hormones are completely out of whack due to stopping the contraceptive pill 6 months ago which has lead to weight gain, depression, anxiety and no period for this whole time. She's saying that I need the animal protein to put my hormones back in place, to help me grow, for better energy and brain function as well as to speed up my metabolism. I recommended all the alternatives to what she asked me - I usually try and avoid tofu as it's processed and go for things like beans and rice and nuts for my protein, but was willing to give it a go and she still told me its not good enough. I asked her if flax seed oil would be a good substitute for the cod liver and she said no.

    I did think that this nutritionist was going to be vegetarian, but I was so wrong. She has told me to cut gluten out my diet as she thinks I've developed an intolerance due to stress, which I will try for a month, along with using alternatives to what she has recommended for my protein and non-vegan supplements and see how it goes I guess. I paid 80 quid for one consultation so I may as well give it a try. If I don't feel any better then I will definitely look into finding a vegan nutritionist if I'm lucky! Thanks for your advice

    And thank you for the website! This is really useful for me

    Yeah I think that as well. I have felt so much better in myself since going vegan. I just think that my current health problems are putting a huge downer on everything and I just want to get better.

    Thank you so much!

  7. #7
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doctor says that I NEED to have some animal protein in my diet

    Quote beany94 View Post
    She has told me to cut gluten out my diet as she thinks I've developed an intolerance due to stress,
    There's no such thing as gluten intolerence. She needs to keep up with the news.

    http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

  8. #8

    Default Re: Doctor says that I NEED to have some animal protein in my diet

    Hi beany94,

    From everything I have read and researched over the years, hormone problems are usually helped by eating a more plant based diet and getting dairy and meat out. In fact, a vegan diet is highly recommended for people with endometriosis (a hormone related disease). I wish I had known that before I ended up losing my ovaries and uterus at a very young age for endometriosis. Surgical menopause was such hell for me that I sought out every avenue I could to help me feel human again. I want to a "holistic" doctor that believed in the whole gluten free and yeast overgrowth speal. She put me on such a strict diet (no gluten, no yeast, no sugar, basically all I ate was fresh meat and fresh low glycemic vegetables) and tons of supplements and all any of it did was make me lose to a very low weight and become sicker. I had no energy to speak of. My body needs carbs. The problem was a severe lack of hormones from losing my ovaries, not an intolerance to gluten or some yeast overgrowth gut thing. Once I got on an hrt my body could absorb and figured out how to balance that with some thyroid issues I also had, I felt so much better. I actually did have the gold standard test for Celiac disease with a gastroenterologist...upper endoscopy with duodenal biopsy, as well as blood work because of digestion issues at that time. Everything was negative.

    I don't have any experience with stopping the contraceptive pill but I imagine it might take some time for your body to adjust without it. My sister was on a hormone shot (contraceptive) for fifteen years and finally went off it last year. She also went vegan almost two years ago and she is actually doing very well now. However, she still only bleeds very lightly and does not get a full menstrual cycle. She is a normal weight and eats very very healthy and is active. It did take some time for her to adjust to not having the shot, but she actually lost weight to a healthy place from being overweight. She has not been able to figure out why she still does not get her periods, but she is in her mid forties so she could be going through natural menopause.

    It is surprising what doctors are supportive and which one's aren't of a vegan diet. I see a rheumatologist now for long standing osteoporosis (not from being vegan, I had it long before) and he is actually very supportive of my diet and believes it is healthy as long as I take in enough calories. My regular doctor is fine with my diet too. Neither are vegans themselves though, but they have been great about working with me to meet my needs. I had another more holistic type doctor that was really anti vegan. And I saw a chiropractor once that was also anti vegan. sometimes you just have to shop around. A doctor doesn't necessarily have to be a vegan or vegetarian themselves. They just have to have an open mind and be willing to work with you and keep up with research and so on. there are many long term vegans out there now, and it is entirely possible to thrive on a vegan diet, despite what some would have you believe. I have actually gained from a very low weight to a normal healthy weight on a vegan diet and I didn't do it by eating a lot of junk either, but whole foods based. Unfortunately I don't have experience with menstruation since I have no uterus or ovaries, but my skin is clearer, nails are growing thicker and faster, and my mental clarity is much better.

    I hope you find something that helps you soon! I actually wrote to some of the famous vegan doctors/dieticians/authors etc that have books and websites out there when seeking help to treat my osteoporosis as a vegan. The only one that personally responded was from the Vegetarian Resource Group and she sent me a nice letter with suggestions.

  9. #9
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doctor says that I NEED to have some animal protein in my diet

    Good points from Robin. FWIW I used to have hormone problems that might have been pill-related and they seemed to resolve after I went vegan, but a sample of one doesn't tell you much

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