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Thread: Need help w/angry pediatrician

  1. #1

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    Unhappy Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Hey everyone!

    I just spoke to my pediatrician over the phone. I told her that I recently decided to go vegan (it was a little over a month ago) and she said something along the lines of "What?!? Why would you do that!?" I mentioned a few points, eg. world hunger, exploitation of animals, the illogical consumption of dairy after weening, etc... She basically disregarded that in saying that I shouldn't be a vegan b/c I'll develop a B-12 deficiency and neurological disorders. She then went on to say that people in India and other third world countries have to have regular injections of B-12 b/c of their deficiency. When I told her that I take a supplement, she started saying things about malabsorbtion. Then she used the most convincing argument against veganism I've ever heard *sarcasm*: that "if it were wrong, our religions wouldn't allow it". I told her that there are religions that require veganism but that they're just not mainstream. To that she just said, "well...take your multivitamin and you should be fine....bye!"....wow...Anyway, being vegan is extremely important to me. I'm just a little shaken up about what she said, particularly the part about the neurological disorders. Can anyone provide some insight on the matter or mabe a book/website that might allow me to learn more a/b it and feel less uneasy. At one end, I realize that there is a direct correlation between what my doctor regurgitates to me and what the dairy and egg industries want doctors/consumers to believe. At the other, however, I'm afraid that, perhaps, we, as vegans, could be wrong. I'm afraid that I won't be able to absorb enough B-12. Doesn't spirulina contain a lot of B-12? Could that help? I guess it's just an issue of who one wants to believe. I'm just really scared right now. I'm just 17 years old and I'm afraid that I could jeopardize my development. I could really use some advice. I'm afraid to mention this to my parents b/c they barely support me in this in the first place. Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    That sounds like an unpleasant conversation, Kaitlin. I wouldn't worry too much though.

    I'll let other people answer the B12 questions and will just point out that there are a lot of people around who've been vegan for decades, and in some cases for their entire lives, and are very healthy. The American Dietetic Association says "Well-planned vegan, lacto-vegetarian, and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy and lactation." - http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg...3_ENU_HTML.htm

    A lot of doctors aren't that well-informed about nutrition, especially vegan nutrition, and I guess you have got one of them. When I mentioned to my GP that I was vegan she seemed quite positive about it, though. Maybe you can ask around and find a doc who is more clued up?

  3. #3
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    Talking Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Quote kaitlin
    Hey everyone!

    I just spoke to my pediatrician over the phone. I told her that I recently decided to go vegan (it was a little over a month ago) and she said something along the lines of "What?!? Why would you do that!?" I mentioned a few points, eg. world hunger, exploitation of animals, the illogical consumption of dairy after weening, etc... She basically disregarded that in saying that I shouldn't be a vegan b/c I'll develop a B-12 deficiency and neurological disorders. She then went on to say that people in India and other third world countries have to have regular injections of B-12 b/c of their deficiency. When I told her that I take a supplement, she started saying things about malabsorbtion. Then she used the most convincing argument against veganism I've ever heard *sarcasm*: that "if it were wrong, our religions wouldn't allow it". I told her that there are religions that require veganism but that they're just not mainstream. To that she just said, "well...take your multivitamin and you should be fine....bye!"....wow...Anyway, being vegan is extremely important to me. I'm just a little shaken up about what she said, particularly the part about the neurological disorders. Can anyone provide some insight on the matter or mabe a book/website that might allow me to learn more a/b it and feel less uneasy. At one end, I realize that there is a direct correlation between what my doctor regurgitates to me and what the dairy and egg industries want doctors/consumers to believe. At the other, however, I'm afraid that, perhaps, we, as vegans, could be wrong. I'm afraid that I won't be able to absorb enough B-12. Doesn't spirulina contain a lot of B-12? Could that help? I guess it's just an issue of who one wants to believe. I'm just really scared right now. I'm just 17 years old and I'm afraid that I could jeopardize my development. I could really use some advice. I'm afraid to mention this to my parents b/c they barely support me in this in the first place. Thanks for reading!
    kaitlin- first of all as a 17year old you should be seeing an adult doctor by now, loose that pediatrition who has absolutly no idea about nutrition and what is wrong with the world!

    secondly, dont worry so much about your b-12 levels just yet.... b-12 is stored by the body, and because it sounds like you just went vegan recently, you have nothing to worry about for a while, you have plenty of time to get some good books and do some reading about vegan nutrition. wich brings me to...

    finally this is a good book to read. it will answer all your questions regarding nutrition.

    the vegan sourcebook by joanne stephaniak this covers all aspects of vegan nutrition including b-12 & calcium.
    http://www.vegsource.com/jo/vsource.htm

    good luck
    you can do it!

    also, dont worry so much about telling your parents, its gotta come out some time or another, it is an ethical desicision that you have made and it is good for you, the environment, and the world.
    the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, dunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Hi kaitlin,
    poor you! I woulld definitely advise you to get "Becoming Vegan" by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina. I'm sure others will agree that it is one of the best books out there on vegan nutrition. All the best

  5. #5
    Maisiepaisie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Just pop a B12 pill. I'm gonna have to do that too as I thought it was in soya milk but someone just pointed out to me the the organic Alpro I buy doesn't contain B12, unlike none organic Alpro which also contains the evil maltodextrin.

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    If that was true many vegans here would have neurological disorders. Make sure you read as much as you can about vegan diet and you should be fine.
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

  7. #7
    Russ
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    I'm pretty sure most cereal has B12.

  8. #8
    hydrophilic tipsy's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Quote Russ
    I'm pretty sure most cereal has B12.
    most of the usual cereals here in the states are fortified with non-vegan sources of b-12.

    but some soymilks here are fortified with vegan b-12

    edensoy organic extra is my fav

    http://www.edenfoods.com/store/produ...ucts_id=100220
    the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, dunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
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  9. #9
    Russ
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Non vegan B12 hey. How do you tell? Cause I check the ingredients and it seems fine, but if they're gonna go adding non vegan ingredients without telling me, well I just don't know what to think.

    Though I do mostly only eat muesli from Holland and Barret. Not sure if that has any B12 at all. But I'm perfectly health--

    *silence*

  10. #10
    hydrophilic tipsy's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    well its mainly the company...

    general mills, quaker, and post cereals (the common grocery store run-o-the mill cereals here) are all fortified with non-vegan b12 (to my knowledge).

    the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, dunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Hey Kaitlin,

    I'm 17 and just went Vegan a year ago, I can honestly say that it is the best choice I ever made! I too got a little worried about all the negative feedback I got, but I can honestly say you have nothing to worry about.

    As somebody said, B12 is stored by the body, so you have plenty of time to get clued up. I get my B12 by eating a fortified cereal for breakfast with some soya milk. You can even by fruit juice that has added B12!

    For peace of mind, I take a multi-vitamin every now and then to make sure I have everythin. Holland and Barrett do a Vegan multi-vitamin which isn't too expensive.

    Its really daunting to start with, but as someone else said, you just have to make sure you know where you are getting your nutrients from. I have never felt healthier.

  12. #12
    FR
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    If you ever speak to her again, ask her why animal eaters develop b12 deficinecies at higher rates than vegans do.

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Marmite contains B12. But is it vegan? I've seen it mentioned here as vegan in some posts.

  14. #14
    Stu
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Quote Russ
    But I'm perfectly health--

    *silence*
    Heh, that really cheered me up on a miserable day! In fact, you're always making me laugh Russ. Nice one!

  15. #15
    VeganJohn
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Nutritional yeast flakes contain B12 I believe. The critters are hard to get where I live though!!

    Sometimes the added vitamins in breakfast cereals are not vegan apparently, so I would check first.

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Only one brand contain B12 - I've not seen that brand in the UK.
    "Danger" could be my middle name but it's "John"

  17. #17
    tabitha
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Quote FR
    If you ever speak to her again, ask her why animal eaters develop b12 deficinecies at higher rates than vegans do.
    Really FR? Thats interesting. Why is that?

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Quote FR
    If you ever speak to her again, ask her why animal eaters develop b12 deficinecies at higher rates than vegans do.
    This is a misunderstanding. There are more meat eaters with B12 deficiency than there are vegans with B12 deficiency, but that's because there are more meat eaters...

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Brit posters - I'm pretty sure Ohio (and therefore Kaitlin, the original poster) isn't in the UK!

    Having said that, I'm going to recommend the UK-based Vegan Society help page on B12 , which seems pretty straightforward.

  20. #20
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    I told her that I recently decided to go vegan (it was a little over a month ago) and she said something along the lines of "What?!? Why would you do that!?"
    Find a new one!

    She basically disregarded that in saying that I shouldn't be a vegan b/c I'll develop a B-12 deficiency and neurological disorders.
    Everybody can, vegan or not, but it's very rare. There are some nutrients that meat eaters consume less of than vegans, and basically one nutrient that we know that meat eaters in general have higher levels of than vegans: B12.


    She then went on to say that people in India and other third world countries have to have regular injections of B-12 b/c of their deficiency.
    B12 injections are used to treat severe B12 deficiencies everywhere. They are not commonly used in India...

    When I told her that I take a supplement, she started saying things about malabsorbtion.
    You should ask her why she did that. If absorption would be a problem for you, it wouldn't help if you ate non-vegan food either...

    Doesn't spirulina contain a lot of B-12? Could that help?
    Some sources says it does, some says it doesn't, and some says it will create more problems that if you wouldn't have taken it. We have a B12/spirulina-thread here....

    I guess it's just an issue of who one wants to believe. I'm just really scared right now. I'm just 17 years old and I'm afraid that I could jeopardize my development.
    Don't believe in anyone!

    You may have had very high levels of B12 when you switched to a vegan diet, or very low. There's no general advice to give without knowing what your levels are, really. To say that people who have been eating animal products have a storage of B12 that they can utilize for years after having dropped animal products is not always the case, because several studies show that circa 40% of all meat eaters have low B12 levels. The definition of 'low' and 'high' B12 intake also depends on many other conditions in your life.

    We have a lot of members here, at it would actually be very useful if people would take B12/MMA/homocysteine tests to find out more about what changes people really go through when they go vegan.

    Do you have any symptoms of B12 deficiency, or did your pediatrician mention any reasons why she brought up a possible absorption problem? Most likely, she knows close to nothing about B12 or vegan nutrition....

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Can I ask why you are seeing a pediatritian, do you have a heatlh problem of some sort?
    Expert answers to most nutritional questions are here:
    http://www.vegansociety.com/html/
    They are very good and have been going since 1944, I think they are one of the most reliable sources of info. They are dedicated to keeping vegans healthy.
    As for Marmite, it does not contain any animal ingredients but it is owned by a non vegan company.
    As is Vegemite (similar to Marmite).
    Some vegans don't like to use stuff made by non vegan companies even if the product doesn't contain animal ingredients.
    There are similar products to marmite which are made by other companies.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  22. #22
    Gliondrach
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Hello, Caitlin. If you are on a vegan diet that is well balanced, and that has fortified foods or, better still, with a tablet containing B12, you have no more to worry about than if you were on any other diet. I have met people who have been vegans from birth, and they are perfectly healthy. As others have said, look at the B12 threads here and at the Vegan Society website.

    Regards,

    Martin.

  23. #23
    Pilaf
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    I was recently tested for key nutrients. The nurse was amazed that my bloodstream actually contained more protein and B vitamins than most omnis she tests. With proper supplementation it's more than possible.

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    *Curious* Were those tests part of routine complete blood tests? Or were they specific tests yuo requested?

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Thanks for responding everyone. I created a list of doctors interested in preventive/progressive/alternative medicine to contact. Hopefully, I will be able to find a doctor that is actually knowledgable about nutrition. As a sidenote, I have the Vegan Sourcebook but not the other book mentioned. I will definitely check it out, though. Thanks again for responding. I feel much more at ease now.

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    It's good to see a doctor who is knowledgeable about nutrition and not in thrall to the drug companies. And it sounds like the doctor you saw before wasn't knowledgeable about health.
    It may be a good idea to change to one of those doctors on your list.
    However, it is not necessary to see a doctor on a regular basis if one is not ill. Healthy people don't need guidance from medical professionals to live our lives, despite what the adverts say.
    When it comes to veganism, the experts are other vegans and vegan organisations.
    Hope things work out well for you.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

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    EyesWideOpen monkey60613's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Quote harpy
    The American Dietetic Association says "Well-planned vegan, lacto-vegetarian, and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy and lactation." http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg...3_ENU_HTML.htm
    Great link Harpy! This will be a great tool to use when debating with those people who seem to need a "well known", "normal" or "mainstream" opinion on the subject. I too used to look at these "American-such and such" named associations as some sort of "expert" opinion on matters until I read John Robbins' Diet for a New America. Now I realize how many American-named organizations are hidious culprits in the web of tangled lies!!!

    I will print this abstract for my mother-in-law who I know will have issues with me being vegan during pregnancy. Thanks again!!!
    "Destiny, or karma, depends upon what the soul has done about what it has become aware of."
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    Edgar Cayce

  28. #28
    ldystrange
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    general mills, quaker, and post cereals (the common grocery store run-o-the mill cereals here) are all fortified with non-vegan b12 (to my knowledge).


    What, exactly are the non-vegan sources of B12 in cereals?

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    B-12 usually comes from meat and cheese, but the most common Vegan form of B12 is Nutritional Yeast Flakes.. They taste great and are LOADED with B vitamins.. I'd recommend The Uncheese Cookbook, or the new Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook for anyone looking to make some amazing Vegan dishes using nutritional yeast.. I believe the same author also published a book called Cooking with Nutritional Yeast or something along those lines.. All of your B vitamins are very important, but can be easily obtained if you're willing to take a trip to our local health food store... Just a side note, some nutritional yeast flakes sold as a supliment have added dairy products, so make sure you look out for that stuff.. Good Luck and congratulations on your new life Kaitlin!

    - The Duck

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Quote kaitlin View Post
    Thanks for responding everyone. I created a list of doctors interested in preventive/progressive/alternative medicine to contact. Hopefully, I will be able to find a doctor that is actually knowledgable about nutrition. As a sidenote, I have the Vegan Sourcebook but not the other book mentioned. I will definitely check it out, though. Thanks again for responding. I feel much more at ease now.
    Kaitlin I did have B12 deficiency due to malabsorbtion. If this is the case, you need B12 injections rather than the usual pill suppliments as your system willn ot be able to absorb the B12 from them. I have them about every 6 years. Blood tests will show if this is necessary. Apparently we used to be much more efficient at absorbing B12 but due to diet and lifestyle more and more of the population are discovering they have this deficiency. I am told many meat eaters also have this deficiency, which is much more likely to be caused by the malabsorbtion in the gut than diet. Medication and heavy alcohol consumption are often contributing factors, although not in my case. If I were you - I'd have a general blood test every few years to put my mind at rest.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Quote howdawg View Post
    B-12 usually comes from meat and cheese, but the most common Vegan form of B12 is Nutritional Yeast Flakes.. They taste great and are LOADED with B vitamins..
    The nutritional yeast flakes I buy contain B vitamins, but not B12. http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-...il/579698.html

    Are you perhaps talking about a particular brand which has been fortified with B12, howdawg?

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Quote treehugga View Post
    Kaitlin I did have B12 deficiency due to malabsorbtion. If this is the case, you need B12 injections rather than the usual pill suppliments as your system willn ot be able to absorb the B12 from them. I have them about every 6 years. Blood tests will show if this is necessary. Apparently we used to be much more efficient at absorbing B12 but due to diet and lifestyle more and more of the population are discovering they have this deficiency. I am told many meat eaters also have this deficiency, which is much more likely to be caused by the malabsorbtion in the gut than diet. Medication and heavy alcohol consumption are often contributing factors, although not in my case. If I were you - I'd have a general blood test every few years to put my mind at rest.
    B 12 deficiency can also be due to underlying illness not caused by diet.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Quote harpy View Post
    The nutritional yeast flakes I buy contain B vitamins, but not B12. http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-...il/579698.html
    I use Red star: http://www.veganessentials.com/catal...onal-yeast.htm

    Or their repackage brand, KAL: http://www.myvitanet.com/nutyeasflak.html

    You should be able to get one or the other at most health food stores.. Now that you mention it, I think the B-12 might be added, but it is deffinately Vegan!

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    Quote herbwormwood View Post
    B 12 deficiency can also be due to underlying illness not caused by diet.
    Which one? I hope I don't have it !

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    I don't have kids but I do have a vegan doctor. I would seek out a vegan doctor if possible or find one that's vegan friendly. As your child gets older they may be influenced by the negativity towards veganism from her doctor. I met a kid and her Mum recently, the kid was 12 years old and had never consumed anything from an animal in her whole life!!! Her Mum had always been very careful with what she fed her kid(healthy vegan food-rarely any processed foods, organic, etc) and you could tell, the kid looked very healthy and was a happy kid, full of smiles. I asked the Mum if her kid ever had any deficiencies and she said she had never had any problems and only had one cold in her life. If I had a kid, they would be vegan while in my charge and I would seek out vegan playmates/doctors, etc., for them to associate with.
    The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    As far a the lack of b-12 in your diet, there are several sources for it besides a supplement. Certain pure juice drinks I have found have it (Naked juice is good and it lists all the fruits and all the vitamins etc they contain on the side of the carton.)

    I'm sure you'll be fine.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    You guys worry way too much about B-12 deficiency. It's extremely rare, and even if it does happen, the symptoms are completely reversible simply by taking some B-12.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Whether it's reversible depends on how soon it's diagnosed, I think. It can cause irreversible neurological damage, I've read, although I agree this probably isn't common (and it isn't necessarily diet related, it can be to do with pernicious anaemia).

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    As a side note, here's something my doctor told me.

    "If god had intended us to be vegetarian, he wouldn't have made animals out of meat".

    I never did like that doctor. Stupid biggot of a man. Fortunately I don't live in that area now.


    As for B12, what kind of symptoms would one show if they had a deficiency?

  40. #40

    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    B-12 deficiency is completely reversible until late stages. Symptoms include a sore tongue, weakness, fatigue, anemia and neurological disorder (tingling in extremities or lose of sensation). Complete depletion of B-12 stores takes about 20 years, and the chances of getting B-12 deficiency are about 1:1,000,000.

    I like those odds better than a 1:2 chance of a heart attack. Heart disease is only reversible by following a low-fat, vegan diet.

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    Smile Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Hi Kaitlin,
    Sorry to hear about your unsupportive paediatrician! You can show her that you are able to be a healthy 17 year old vegan without too much difficulty, I'm sure. And as for your parents, I think if you show your commitment and do enough research on diet and vegan cooking, you can prove to them that you're not doing yourself any harm by becoming vegan!

    Regarding B12, I am pretty sure most breakfast cereals are fortified with B12. One idea I kind of stole from my stepmother involved porridge or oat cereal. This is full of zinc and calcium, and making it with soya milk just ups your intake of nutrients. But here's the tip ... instead of eating it alone, add pumpkin seeds or a mix of nuts and seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, anything you want, throw some raisins and chopped dried apricots, and sweeten it with maple syrup as opposed to honey. It makes a nutritious breakfast which initially appears boring, really tasty and ten time more packed with vitamins and minerals. Do you have yeast extract available to you? They say you're either a lover or despiser of Marmite / Vegemite, but if you can stomach that on toast with soya margarine, it's a great source of B12. I picked up a tip about cooking with veggie mince, if you are making casseroles, spaghetti bolognese or chilli etc - add a teaspoon of vegemite or Marmite (use a hot spoon so it runs off more easily) to your sauce while cooking the meal, and although you can't taste the 'mite itself, it adds to the flavour, and throws in a nice dollop of B12 for you!

    Soya milk is a great source of B12, but not always to everyone's taste. One trick I live off - get yourself a hand blender and whizz 200ml of soya milk with a ripe banana, and you've got yourself a sneaky yummy milkshake!

    I hope this information is useful to you and other members. I went vegan a couple of years ago and only lasted 4 months. I had an opposing boyfriend, living with whom wasn't easy and my diet caused a lot of problems. After staying vegetarian, then getting rid of him, I;ve come back to veganism, but in the gap, I have learned to cook some great meals, and got clued up on ways to enhance my diet. Do your homework, and be imaginative as to how you can sneak different things into your diet. Don't underestimate chickpeas or peanut butter, or the power of the hand blender!

    Sarah

  42. #42
    cookey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    I went vegan when I was about 16/17 and now I'm 34. I'm not aware of ever having a B-12 deficiency. I have born two healthy children and continue to stay in good health.
    I don't know the situation in the US, but in the UK our General Practioners(GP), the doctor you see at a surgery, have very little training in nutrition, although some of them seem happy to give out advice on things they are not qualified in!
    I've come in to contact with a number of dietician's who obviously ARE trained in nutrition and not one of them has raised concerns about my vegan diet.

  43. #43

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    um, I don't think you can get marmite in the states. Is it any good? It sure looks nasty. Sorry,lol. It may be very good. Does it have protein too? And I thought all of the yeast flakes had b 12 in it it, not so? I take a supplemental b vitamin complex, but at my health class today (Church group- doctor was teaching this part to us, about the vegan diet) he said we don't need the supplements because we recycle it. So I have bottles of supplements all around me. I think I will err on the side of taking my vitamins. Then i read about dangers of too much vitamins. Its all up in the air it seems.

  44. #44
    luc8
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Quote herbwormwood View Post
    Can I ask why you are seeing a pediatritian, do you have a heatlh problem of some sort?

    hey - don't worry about this - it's totally common for teens to continue seeing their pediatrician, often through college - and is in many cases a really great idea. It means that the person who takes care of you as you mature has ideally been there through at least part of your childhood, if not more. They know your history and your family, and they can be a great person to talk to.

    This doc probably has only your interests in mind - she probably just hasn't had much experience with veganism or vegan nutrition, which is understandable. It sounds like you conducted yourself really well in that conversation, which is really impressive for a new vegan and for someone still figuring their own path out.

    Take a supplement as a backup and then work on learning all about making a healthy and varied diet for yourself. Taking a supplement is a safe route, so long as you're not taking megadoses. Plenty of omnis take B12 just for a natural energy source, and to cover for our impoverished soils as well as the heavy cleaning of produce necessary to inhibit harmful bacterial growth. People on this thread are right in pointing out that your body is capable of storing B12 for a while, however the duration of that storage is not determined, and depends on your unique body.

    Nutritional yeast is a great source not only of B12 but of a complete protein as well - and it's delicious! I sprinkle it on something most days and have come to love the richness and flavor that it adds.

    I think it's great that you are making such an informed decision - it's a great idea to talk to your doctor, and there's nothing wrong with it. Don't be daunted by disagreement. You can try getting in touch with a few other docs (pediatricians or nutritionists) in your area, or ask your current ped for a referral. She'd probably applaud your taking such a mature and careful approach to a pretty big life change, and even the most traditional nutritionists are starting to become more and more informed and able to help with vegan/vegetarian plans.

    Keep asking questions and take your health seriously in this process. A vegan diet can be wonderfully healthy, or quite unhealthy. It all depends on your education. Keep a balanced diet just as you would as an omni and you'll do great - welcome!

  45. #45
    Vegan Princess BellaTanie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    I also got a shocked look from our family doctor. I told her that I was just asking what vitamins she thought I should put my kids on, and that we are vegan so they would have to be vegan. She started on me about protein.....and other nutrients that she felt my children would be lacking. After I explained to her the foods my children consume on a regular basis give them all those vitamins that they need, I just wanted to know what multivitamin she felt they should be on she simply stated she didn't know all that much about nutrition for the vegan diet.....hmmmm.....made me want to get a new doctor. Wish I could find a vegan one! That would be a complete blessing!!!!
    Tanya

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Wow what an ignorant doctor. I hope you get better help. Perhaps call her out about how she started berating you over something she herself said didn't know much about if you stay with her.

  47. #47
    Vegan Princess BellaTanie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    We have been looking (:

  48. #48
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Legal liability (especialy in a place as litiguous as the USA) may be an issue here.

    From an 'I want to keep my job' PoV, for many professionals, 'safe' advice and good advice may often be mutualy exclusive things.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Purple View Post
    "If god had intended us to be vegetarian, he wouldn't have made animals out of meat".


    In that case the fact that God made us out meat must mean that he intended us to be cannibals.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  49. #49

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    Default Re: Need help w/angry pediatrician

    Whatever diet you observe you need to ensure that it provides you with sound and balanced levels of nutrients. Vegans are no different to anyone else in that respect.

    As for the specific issue of B-12, these doctors need to educate themselves. A study carried out by Tufts Universty found that 40% of people had 'low' B-12 levels. 16% had 'near deficiency' levels. And 9% had 'outright deficiency' levels. And yet the number of vegans in (US/Britain) society is around 1%...

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