New vegan - fatigue

donsabi

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Last week I experimented with going vegan/vegetarian and found I slept better, reduced stomach issues, felt better after meals, etc. I was convinced to go vegan. With DST I eliminated all meat, fish, eggs, and diary. For the first few days I felt fine, but on the third day the fatigue set in. I am sleeping great. I feel fine after rising but after a few hours the fatigue sets in and does not resolve with a nap. I assume I am detoxing. I also think I may have made the jump too quickly. No, no I am not giving up. However, I am going to add back a little salmon and tuna in small quantities and hope I get a little more energy back. If I do I will taper these foods down over time.

In the worse case I will become a pescotarian and that is much healthier than the meat/egg/dairy eater I was.
 

nobody

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This is just meat stimulant withdrawal. It will go away after a couple of weeks. Here is a quote naming the chemicals:

Hypoxanthine and other similar substances, such as inosinic acid and guanylic acid, are present in meat. They have a chemical structure similar to that of caffeine in coffee or the theobromine in cocoa, with similar effects. They are central nervous system stimulants.
and another quote from the same article:

“the toxic metabolites of animal products that are flowing through the body, once consumption of animal products is dramatically lessened or eliminated, the presence of these toxic metabolites creates this hangover feeling.”
 

donsabi

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Thanks for you post. That explains it nicely.
 

Forest Nymph

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It's possible you're just not eating enough calories. New vegans often complain after a couple of weeks that they're afraid they have low iron or a B12 deficiency (something that doesn't happen for literally a couple of years) when in fact you cannot develop any sort of deficiency that quickly, other than simply being calorie deficient.

People who rely on animal products may not realize how many calories they've removed from their diets. Adding meat back to your diet isn't the answer, it's simply learning to eat properly as a vegan.

What have you been eating?
 
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It took my body nearly 6 weeks to fully adjust to becoming a vegan. I had bowel issues, low energy and some flu-like symptoms for a while, but when they went away, life became something I could live again. I am guessing you are going through some of the same.

I thought about going pescatarian, too, until I found out how horrible the fish, even wild caught, in our world is for us. Even the best fish you can buy isn't good for you.

Now, after about 10 months of being vegan, I have still found fatigue to be something I struggle with in certain ways. It used to hit me after lunch, but I changed to not eating breakfast (just a huge glass of water) eating mainly watermelon or another melon for lunch, along with a big smoothie packed with bananas, fruits, flax seed and greens and eating a large dinner.

This has killed my fatigue all together. I learned that sometimes, we can lose our energy because we eat too much or food that are harder to digest and our bodies have to use energy for digestion, which zaps our brain energy. For me, this works, but for you, it could be something else. Diet is personal and you have to use trial and error to find what works for you sometimes.
 
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pumpkin

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Hi there, I've been Vegan all my life so I can't comment on transitioning, but when when on holiday, I often get terribly fatigued due to difficulty getting enough protein. All my life I've heard Vegans say ''h you don't need that much protein' but actually since increasing my protein intake I've felt a lot better. It's really impprimpo to get all the amino acids, as an imbalance can even lead to anxiety and depression - there's a great book called the mood cure about it.

I would also recommend taking the B12 supplements, methylB12 seems better, and definitely a good source of essential fatty acids like DLA, which is difficult to get on a Vegan diet. I take a supplement called Opti-3. Other Vegans say it's important to get enough Iodine for your thyroid too, but I'm actually a bit hyper thyroid so I don't worry too much about that.

Make sure you read all the nutritional info on the vegan society website. It's amazing how many vegans complain of health issues that would be resolved if they understood a little more about nutrition. And we'll we'l for the transition. Me and my vegan weightlifting boyfriend have been doing great on a vegan diet for years. You've made a fantastic change and were here to help if you need anything else.
 
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gab

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Pumpkin I strongly disagree about not getting enough protein. You might not get enough carbs, but protein is not an issue even if you only eat fruits (lowest fat and protein contents).
 

Nekodaiden

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It's possible you're just not eating enough calories. New vegans often complain after a couple of weeks that they're afraid they have low iron or a B12 deficiency (something that doesn't happen for literally a couple of years) when in fact you cannot develop any sort of deficiency that quickly, other than simply being calorie deficient.

People who rely on animal products may not realize how many calories they've removed from their diets. Adding meat back to your diet isn't the answer, it's simply learning to eat properly as a vegan.

What have you been eating?
This, in a nutshell. Not saying the OP's fatigue is definitely this, but I've found it's something to look for first before exploring other possibilities.

I've been vegan now for just over 7 months, and I STILL am working out the tweaks of how much whole food to eat. For example, sometimes after work I feel like I'm famished. Had a decent breakfast and what I thought was a decent lunch. Why am I hungry before dinner? Well, it turns out I just needed to add a few more handfuls of brown rice than I was serving myself at lunch along with veggies. That did it, good till dinner time. I assume I would need even more if I was doing something even resembling strenuous exercise, which, at the moment, I'm not.

Fatigue can have varied reasons, for me it's first checking to see I've got enough whole food. The second (for me) is checking my coffee intake...too much can cause adrenal fatigue.
 

Jane Black

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It takes a lot of time to switch. And it is not good to become a vegan abruptly. Your organism needs time to get used to a new food. You should gradually reduce the amount of non-vegan products in your ration and substitute them with vegan alternatives (I mean vegan products with the same amount of calories).

Good luck! I hope you will succeed!
 
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Emma JC

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It takes a lot of time to switch. And it is not good to become a vegan abruptly. Your organism needs time to get used to a new food. You should gradually reduce the amount of non-vegan products in your ration and substitute them with vegan alternatives (I mean vegan products with the same amount of calories).
I respectfully disagree with your statement it is not good to become a vegan abruptly - the body does not need time to get used to eating whole foods. Unless there is some underlying body issues such as Crohns (too much fibre can be an issue) or IBD (same) the removal of animal products and the increase in starches (fruits, veggies, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, pasta, whole grains, greens, legumes etc) is not likely to cause any issues other than an increase in health.

My spouse and I went cold turkey oops tofurkey a year and half ago and in addition to removing animal products we also removed oils (not fats). The effects were weight loss, increased energy, lower grocery bills, more tasty foods, etc. Switching gradually can be an option to make is easier mentally and emotionally but physically there are few, if any downsides. IMO

We did not use vegan processed alternatives right away, we stuck to whole foods and only after awhile did we add in come Gardein (once every two weeks approx) and now some tempeh and occasionally tofu.

Your body and your taste buds will celebrate!

Emma JC
 
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travis805

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Hi, my name is Travis Roth. I’m 29 and I currently live in Prince George, B.C.

About 14 months ago around August of 2017, my girlfriend, my friend Eric, and I were hanging out in our apartment building when we all noticed we had severe headaches. We assumed it was something we were breathing in that caused was causing it. We noticed that the headaches we were experiencing were no ordinary headaches, but it actually felt like our brains were dehydrated, or exposed to some kind of potent chemical There was no other reason that I can think of for the headaches to suddenly occur. We inspected the apartment suite and could not find any signs of mold, black mold, or mildew.

Anyways, since then we all confirmed that we had some kind of very serious chronic fatigue which is more prevalent in our heads. Now all of us are unable to work or enjoy life as we previously use to. We’ve tried virtually everything to curb the relentless fatigue, basically any natural potential remedies do not seem to work at all. Like vitamins, minerals, spinach, exercise, meditation, ginger, ginseng, apple cider vinegar, and plenty of sleep/water etc.

Now the strange thing is that sleep almost makes the fatigue worse. I’m not kidding, if I feel slightly better one day, as soon as I go to sleep I wake up even more exhausted and I stay like that for most of the day. At night I seem to feel a little better than the morning, very strange. My symptoms are basically: severe chronic fatigue which seems to come from my head, not only do I feel unrested after sleep, but I actually feel worse, I basically feel very tired all the time but can’t sleep, and my head feels like a bowling ball.

I’ve got pretty much every kind of blood test with nil success in finding a culprit. Everything has pointed towards CFS(Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), but I still don’t have all the symptoms for CFS, so I don’t think that is it. I remember that headache, it was the weirdest headache I’ve ever had. Personally, I think I was exposed to a horrible chemical and now some of the important receptors in my brain aren’t producing chemicals.

The only thing that has given me any kind of relief at all is prescription stimulants. They actually work like magic, but the problem is my doctor won’t give me anything. I wish there was some solution to this because my life has spiraled downhill not being able to work. If there is no quick fix that you can think of to this problem, can you please suggest a combination of the most powerful energy supplements, herbs, vitamins that might potentially be equivalent to stimulants? I would like to try and stay away from stimulants but need a combination of something so I can get back to work. I am going to try doing some shopping at GNC to see if maybe that works. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Your feedback is more than welcome.
 

veganDreama

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a B12 deficiency (something that doesn't happen for literally a couple of years)
That depends. SOME people may not suffer from lack of B12 for years but I think other people may do. I guess it depends on how good you are at absorbing B12 in the first place.
 

Lou

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That depends. SOME people may not suffer from lack of B12 for years but I think other people may do. I guess it depends on how good you are at absorbing B12 in the first place.

I wouldn't say years. The liver has the ability to store several months of B12. And some of the B12 we use gets recycled. But even so, some people (especially non-vegans) do turn up with low B12 levels.

And because B12 is easily stored - a B12 deficiency is very easily treated with a large dose of B12. And yes, some people don't absorb B12 that well. But that is mostly because of age or an unhealthy lifestyle.
 
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I would suggest going Vegan slowly, cutting out one non vegan item per week or when you've found a suitable replacement. It's not a race, take your time and do it incrementally.
Also I would strongly suggest looking at your calorie intake. You may not be eating as many calories as you think which is causing the fatigue.
Best of luck brother.
 
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