Hi! I am a new vegan (about 6 months) and i have been having a very tough time. I have always had problem with protein absorption in my body, and need to eat about twice as much protein as someone else my size - no problems at all dealing with this from a young age just making sure I have a sufficient protein in eat meal and snack does the trick. I have recently been suffering greatly with IBS and stomach issues, I have tried naturopathy, homeopathy, doctors, operations, celiac and allergy testing, medication, elimination diets, dieticians - nothing has helped! It has been bought to my attention that the enemy to my stomach and digestion is Galacto-oligosaccharides aka legumes and beans... I am just devastated. I decided that I would continue on in my vegan ways and ignore this news, but I suffer terribly from stomach pain, nausea, bloating, to the point where I cannot leave my house or go to work or uni. I can't live on just soy and nuts for protein because my body doesn't absorb them properly and I have lost a lot of weight (not in a good way) because of not eating enough protein for what my body needs. I need help :( I don't want to eat meat and I am allergic to dairy and eggs so I can't make that little switch. I love being vegan and making a conscious effort to 'be a superhero' but I don't know what to do, I can't leave my house :( please help me!
First of all, I want to say I'm sorry you are struggling so much. I may get some negative feedback for saying this, but this diet is supposed to be first and foremost kind to yourself. It sounds like you have really tried hard to find a kind solution. But I think at the end of the day, you need to find a happy medium that allows you to live a healthy quality of life. If that means adding some wild fish, or some "ethical" meat into your diet,.. well thats a decision you have to make. But I don't think anyone could fault you for it. You can't sacrifice your own wellbeing. Just my two cents. Good luck as you continue to work out what is best for you.
Have you tried any of the rice or hemp protein powders? They might be a way to add a little more vegan protein into your diet in large quantities. Take a look at your local Whole Foods or Health Food Store. They should have a variety for you to choose from.
Nut butters may be a nice way for you to add protein and up your weight as well. Good luck!
Unfortunately most helpful products such such wonderful things as Whole Foods aren't available here in Australia :( and I am conscious about eating 'real food' as well, but I have been trying pea protein to see if that helps :(
My doctors recommended adding wild fish and organic chicken, but I would just feel like such a disappointment :(
So sorry for what you are going through, Lauren! I too have had many problems with IBS, leaky gut syndrome, and just digestive disorders in general. My naturapath has me taking a digestive enzyme supplement. It is vegan, it's just the enzymes found naturally in fruit which help break down fibrous and starchy foods. You might try looking for one.
Also, you might try searching this website for a natural practicioner who can help you. Mine is vegetarian, and she has helped me tremendously with my food allergies and other health issues. http://www.naet.com/
Hi Lauren, maybe you could introduce seitan and/or quinoa into your diet and see what happens? Pre-made seitan might be hard to find (it is where I am, anyway) but it's easy to make if you are able to buy vital wheat gluten. Here's a recipe: http://www.theppk.com/2009/11/homemade-seitan/
I feel wholesome and full after eating it. Someone else mentioned protein powders, and those might help too. I just ordered some hemp protein powder from Amazon and it does make me feel full, but I'm not crazy about the taste or texture.
What symptoms are you having? It sounds like you have low stomach acid and poor balance of gut flora.
IBS is caused by low levels of good bacteria. Working on repopulating the gut flora with fermented foods and probiotics is a good start. Prebiotics are even better as there are only so many strains of good bacteria you can repopulate with probiotics so stimulating there activity and feeding them via prebiotics fibers is the best method.
Raising stomach acid will help protein as it is acid dependant for absorption, raw apple cider vinegar mid meal, one tablespoon will help.
There may be other issues but its hard to tell without more information on symptoms.