Headache when being vegan

Kenny Hau

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Hi all,

I've been a vegan for two years since my parents are vegetarian for 10 years so I want to follow their path. I'm also an animal lover so I don't want to eat them anymore. Being a vegan is kind of hard for me because my mom opposed and said I won't have enough nutrients especially when I'm 22 and still a college student. After being vegan for two years, I sometimes get very headache, it will get extremely bad at night or during cold weather season. I also feel very weak and want to faint. I use vitamin pills everyday and the problem hasn't gone away. I'm going to have a checkup next week to see if I have enough nutrients. I'm very afraid that the results turn out bad and I have to go back to the normal diet again. I'm not ready to go back :(( Does anyone have the same problem as I do? Can you give me some advice?

Thank you
 

Naturebound

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Hi Kenny! Just to clarify, for me a vegan diet and lifestyle are "normal", not alternative. There is a cultural attitude that meat eating is normal, but when you stop to consider what it takes to acquire this meat to subsist on, it really doesn't seem all that normal. Breeding and keeping animals for food? Having to use powerful weapons to kill and skin animals? Slaughtering animals by the billions to feed the world? Clearing rainforests to feed farm animals? Doesn't seem so normal to me. And it's a very inefficient food system...feeding plants to animals and eating those animals. Everything we need on this planet can be obtained from plants.

I do not get headaches at all. However, at one time I was taking a vegan D2 supplement and was getting dull headaches. it took a while to figure out it was the supplement. Changing that to something else helped the headaches go away. Have you been taking any new or different supplements?

What is your diet like? Do you eat beans? Nuts and seeds? Whole grains? lots of fruits and veggies? Sometimes not eating enough will eventually cause the symptoms you are having. Have you lost any weight (whether intentional or not)?

I went through a period of anorexia nervosa (both as an omni and as a vegan) and a dramatic loss of weight did cause me to feel weak and faint sometimes. I also recovered as a vegan and put on over 22 lbs to get healthy all as a vegan. it is important to include a variety of plant food and not restrict too much in this area, especially if you haven't been vegan long. I can't tell you the number of people I have witnessed who went from an omni SAD diet to raw vegan overnight and failed miserably with such drastic changes.

also, it could be something else entirely, not related to diet. Are you under a lot of stress? I can imagine college would be quite stressful. And all the extra reading involved could also cause headaches.

When you get a checkup, have them check your iron and B12, if for no other reason than to get a baseline. Usually if the do blood work they do a metabolic profile or general lab that includes electrolytes, thyroid, and other measurements. It's not likely you would be short on B12 this early into being vegan, but low iron could be a possibility if you don't eat a lot of beans, wheat, leafy greens, blackstrap molasses, soy, and so on.

Keep us updated on your results and good luck!
 

SilverSan12

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Hi Kenny! Just to clarify, for me a vegan diet and lifestyle are "normal", not alternative. There is a cultural attitude that meat eating is normal, but when you stop to consider what it takes to acquire this meat to subsist on, it really doesn't seem all that normal. Breeding and keeping animals for food? Having to use powerful weapons to kill and skin animals? Slaughtering animals by the billions to feed the world? Clearing rainforests to feed farm animals? Doesn't seem so normal to me. And it's a very inefficient food system...feeding plants to animals and eating those animals. Everything we need on this planet can be obtained from plants.

Really well put! Also, I always find it funny that when meat eaters get sick, they almost never think it's due to their diet (unless they're overweight or obese). On the other hand, when vegans get sick, many of them (including myself when I started haha) assume it's because they're missing something animal-related from their diet.

Just wait for the test results and if you're low on iron, b12 or calcium, start implementing more vegan foods containing them into your diet. Sometimes it's useful to track what you're eating on FitnessPal to make sure you're getting all the right levels of vitamins and minerals. For a while I felt like crap because I wasn't eating any foods containing calcium, so I started eating soya yoghurts every day and felt a ton better!
 

andrews

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Hi all,

I've been a vegan for two years since my parents are vegetarian for 10 years so I want to follow their path. I'm also an animal lover so I don't want to eat them anymore. Being a vegan is kind of hard for me because my mom opposed and said I won't have enough nutrients especially when I'm 22 and still a college student. After being vegan for two years, I sometimes get very headache, it will get extremely bad at night or during cold weather season. I also feel very weak and want to faint. I use vitamin pills everyday and the problem hasn't gone away. I'm going to have a checkup next week to see if I have enough nutrients. I'm very afraid that the results turn out bad and I have to go back to the normal diet again. I'm not ready to go back :(( Does anyone have the same problem as I do? Can you give me some advice?

Thank you
Being a vegans i didn't get headache. instead of taking vitamin pills eat nice food should contains high proteins which is made by your mother.
 

AlkalineAddict

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Hi Kenny,

Make sure your drinking enough water I find most people I come across are just dihydrated maybe cut down on salt.

I agree with cutting or choosing different multi vitamins half the time there's list of random ingredients on them who's to say one of those isn't causing your problems definitely not the good if your eating a balanced diet. Good post Naturebound.

Anyway good luck with it bud.

:)