A few health obstacles I need help with

Qwaychou

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Hi its qway!
So, last time i went vegan, I thought i did something wrong because i became very sick and weak. I did not make the correlation between my past health issues and current eating habits.
See, I've had a lot of abdominal sugeries. The ones Im mainly concerned with is a stomach stapling, and a liver surgery. Both of these shortened my alimentary tract and i have a lot of malabsorption issues. I'm taking lots of vitamins and prescription supplements, but last time i went vegan, i was very close to ending up hospitalized for severe anemia.
Thats why I'm here. I don't want to just toss in the towel. I'm sure this can be done, i just need a little advice.
My current diet involves a lot of beans, whole grains, and veggies. I'm going to try to find a reasonabky priced vegan multivite, but i cant be dumb about thinking my prescription iron supplement is vegan.
I see a new dr on saturday, and so far he seems a bit more "current" so I'm hoping he'll give me the okay to stay vegan. Anything i can take to him would be so appreciated!
Thank you for reading this whole thing! I'm grateful!
 
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Lou

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Hi, Qway!!

Welcome. I'm hoping you will come back and tell us what the new doctor said.

I'd like to correct a few misconceptions you might have. Stomach stapling and a shortened alimentary tract should not have much effect on your "malabsorption issues". Except for carbs, almost all your nutrients are absorbed thru the large and small intestine. Mostly the small intestine.

I'm not so sure about liver surgery. The liver is an extremely powerful and multipurpose organ. the somewhat good news is because it is so important and serves so many functions it is about 3 x larger than necessary. It does pump out all kinds of stuff that has to do with digestion.

I give blood multiple times a year and so i get frequent iron tests. I'm always borderline anemic. I think it is just how I'm built. but the iron content of my blood is only somewhat affected by my diet (I've been more or less the same before being vegan and after). Here is something i learned the hard way. If you take iron supplements and your stools are black and rock hard you are excreting iron. So you are consuming more iron than your body can absorb.

There are other factors that affect the iron in your blood besides how much you ingest. Here is the skinny.

I take DEVA multivitamins - the tiny tablets - they are the minimalist approach to multis. They also make a full-size multi with minerals, and an iron supplement. All of their products are vegan. The tiny tablets are very cost-effective. Like 4¢ a day.
 

Qwaychou

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Thank you so much, Lou! My stools have not been hard or dark in years. In fact, for the last few months ive had greenish diarrhea every couple of days. My dr said it was un digested bile. From the liver surgery, which had to move a section of my small intestine to attach directly to the bottom of my liver. I will definitely look for those vitamins though! Thank you!
 

Lou

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Thank you so much, Lou! My stools have not been hard or dark in years. In fact, for the last few months ive had greenish diarrhea every couple of days. My dr said it was un digested bile. From the liver surgery, which had to move a section of my small intestine to attach directly to the bottom of my liver. I will definitely look for those vitamins though! Thank you!
Undigested bile? You know normally we don't digest or excrete bile. It gets reabsorbed. And reused (recycled). Is that not happening in you?

One of the other functions of bile is to facilitate the excretion of cholesterol. I would think a plant-based diet would be a big plus just for that.
 

Qwaychou

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I see him on saturday, and now am looking forward to asking him to clarify what he meant by that. Its possible i misunderstood him.
That was his explanation for the greenish diarrhea i get every few days for the last few months. Cant be the vegan diet, its only been a few days.
I am so grateful for your quick replies and help! I'm glad i joined!
 
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Lou

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You can just get the DEVAs at Amazon. but if you don't like Amazon you can get them at the Thrive market for about the same price.
 
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Emma JC

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My current diet involves a lot of beans, whole grains, and veggies. I'm going to try to find a reasonabky priced vegan multivite, but i cant be dumb about thinking my prescription iron supplement is vegan.
Do you eat any frozen or fresh berries? bananas? citrus?

fingers crossed that your doctor is onboard

Emma JC
 

Qwaychou

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I don't currently, but i like them and am willing to add a smoothie to my daily intake!
 
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Silva

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Congratulations and good luck!
Your digestion will probably go through a period of adjustment while your gut biome changes with the new higher fiber, and meatless diet, so don't be too surprised if you don't feel as good as you'd thought you would!
Be sure to get enough calories, and water
This is one of my favorite sites for information-https://nutritionfacts.org/
 
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Qwaychou

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Update!
The dr all on board for a WFPB diet! He's willing to check my blood levels every 3 months, and i lost 5 pounds! I did get a B12 shot, but I'll be looking into some supplements.
Bad news: this dr is leaving! So i have to start all over again with someone else! I am determined to make this work and live as peacefully as i am able.
 

Emma JC

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Great news!

Thank you for keeping us up to date - can your current dr suggest another doc that may also be wfpb friendly?

Emma JC
 

Qwaychou

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Update: seeing a new dr in january, got some blood drawn gor a bajillion tests they'd like to run.
Still pretty fatigued and not sleeping right, but thats an on going issue, not vegan related, im sure.
I did get Deva vitamins, a multivite, and iron and a B vite. Will be taking these in when i see the new dr.
 
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Qwaychou

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Blood work came back and for once in my life, my iron levels are NORMAL! Woo hoo! I can go down to three iron pills a week for maintenance.
I didnt get the rest of my bloodwork over the phone, but the iron thing is excellent news!
 
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Emma JC

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Blood work came back and for once in my life, my iron levels are NORMAL! Woo hoo! I can go down to three iron pills a week for maintenance.
I didnt get the rest of my bloodwork over the phone, but the iron thing is excellent news!
congrat @Qwaychou that is wonderful news and I hope the rest of your bloodwork comes back good as well

Do keep on eye on the iron and the supplements as too much of it can be toxic and can be harmful to your internal organs.

Emma JC