I've been a vegan for 4 months and have been feeling pretty good most of the time. In the last month or so though I've been feeling pretty emotional and maybe a little depressed. Occasionally I have small heart palpitations that I've attributed to anxiety. I did not think this was related to my diet until I read a post by Tasha, an ex-vegan ( http://voraciouseats.com/2010/11/19/a-vegan-no-more/ )I occasionally hear about people becoming really sick or losing their hair after a year or so on a vegan diet. My usual response is that they probably weren't doing it right. In her case, it sounds like she was eating very healthy. I also read a couple of responses to Tasha's post that sort of make sense but have not been as convincing as I would like them to be. I'm worried about a vitamin deficiency. I love being a vegan, and don't want to start eating animals. I feel like I'm susceptible to anemia and want to make sure I do not become iron or B12. Any help or suggestions?
Eliza -- Everyone's body is different, so it is very important to know your levels of certain nutrients. A diet that is perfect for one person may be metabolized differently for the next person. Working with a nutritionist or even getting bloodwork done with a primary care physician can tell you a lot about your health. I found the vegan diet solved many problems for me. I have been diagnosed with MS for over 15 years now. The progression of the disease stopped in its tracks with the vegan diet. I have proof on the MRI! After 18 months vegan, however, I began to faint and feel weak periodically. I had my bloodwork checked and it was determined I did indeed have a B12 deficiency. I tried prescribed supplements, but ultimately found that injecting myself with 1 mg of B12 every other week works very well. I do it myself since my doctor taught me how and it is much cheaper and more convenient this way. It only costs me $90 for about 18 months of shots! While I was figuring out my deficiency, I did pay attention to my body's cravings, and indulged in shellfish -- oysters, clams, mussels. But now that the deficiency is corrected I no longer crave the fishies and am back to a normal, well-balanced vegan diet. The benefits of a well-planned vegan diet far outweigh any detriments, but do be proactive about knowing your bloodwork and correcting any deficiencies. You will have to ask your doctor. Most doctors don't know much about nutrition. Good luck finding your good health. Start with some bloodwork! http://midlifevegan.blogspot.com
Cheryl and Kim thanks so much for the good advice. I will talk to a doctor about getting blood work done for sure. Cheryl you really have an amazing story and I'm so happy to hear how much veganism has helped you, it's really inspiring. I think you're right that the benefits of being a vegan far outweigh any of the negatives. I had been thinking that the only solution to a B12 deficiency would be meat, but clearly there are other options. Thanks again!!
so true cheryl! Eliza its really important to get a thorough health check. I suffer some palpitations however these are due to an electrical fault which can be corrected by surgery and is not due to diet ( i had this many years before going vegetarian) however if not recorded on ecg at the time it is often diagnosed as anxiety. Its called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia or psvt. Definately follow the advice of previous posts but take this into consideration and mention to your doctor if bloods dont answer it for you
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