Protein/vitamin deficiency

Ashleylynn453

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Im seventeen years old and have been vegan for eight months now recently I’ve noticed my hair has turned really dry and frizzy and my nails and skin turned pale. I’m really scared, I’ve been taking vitamins and that helped a bit with the nails but my hair is still a really dry and weird texture I looked it up online and think that it could be a protein deficiency. I’m afraid to go to the doctor because they’ll just tell me to eat animal products, my family doesn’t support me and I can’t work to buy my own food because I’m taking night classes along with regular school to graduate. If I save up money what foods should I buy and how can I fix my hair?
 

amberfunk

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It's very unlikely that you have a protein deficiency. If it's winter by you that can explain the hair. What are you eating if your parents won't buy you food?
 
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Ashleylynn453

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I’ve been reading online and read it’s definatly possible for a vegan to not get enough protein especially someone in my situation where my diet isn’t very diverse. I eat beans every now and then or oatmeal. I mainly eat brown rice, peanut butter, or fruit. I don’t eat bread because of my gluten intolerance and my parents don’t buy a lot of vegetables. Trying to convince my mom to give me some money from child support so that I can at least buy some that will provide me with more nutrition.
 

Jamie in Chile

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Protein deficiency is generally thought to be quite rare for people that get enough calories. If you are at a healthy weight and not losing weight, it's likely that you don't have a protein deficiency. However, it probably won't hurt to increase your protein a little just incase, but you should be considering other possible causes.

Low calcium is more of a concern for vegans than low protein - vegans are more likely to be below reccomended limits for calcium. Also, issues with hair and nails are often said to be possible symptoms of a calcium deficiency and I just googled this and found several articles saying so, (but I couldn't trace this advice back to a reputable scientific study or expert or health organization in the time I had to search for you). I reccomend you google calcium deficiency symptoms for yourself and see whether it seems to match what you are feeling.

Vegans should take specific care to eat specific sources of calcium, such as green vegetables and so on. However, the amounts can often be low. Eating almonds or taking a calcium supplement, or eating tofu with a high level of calcium, are probably good ideas. I suggest you consider a calcium supplement in the short term and see if it makes any improvement.

However, it's fairly unlikely that I can diagnose your condition just from reading a post on a forum. The chances are that it's something else so if you do increase your calcium levels you will still need to try other solutions at the same time probably.

You really need to see a professional ideally, however I appreciate your situation is difficult. You could also try this: https://veganoutreach.org/vegan-mentorship-program/ You may benefit from a mentor, although I'm not sure whether or not they would give nutrition advice.
 
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Ashleylynn453

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Thanks so much for your reply! This is definatly something to consider I’ve been taking multi vitamins but not daily, I’m still new at this so really appreciate the advice;)
 

Nykki

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Is there such a thing as a protein calculator app? I'm trying really hard to find one but everything I'm lookimg at is for non-vegans trying to watch their weight and calorie intake. My boyfriend and I are not eating enough calories and that makes me wonder about the amount of protein we are gatting as well.
 

Forest Nymph

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I would guess you're simply not eating enough. That your parents would not buy vegan food for you is abusive and you could even tell someone your parents don't supply enough food for you.

I've never had any issues like this and what you describe sounds more like starvation than "protein deficiency." You might also need fat that might be why your hair is dry. Try to eat more beans and cook food in vegetable oil (like potatoes and onions, very cheap foods) or get more seeds, nuts, and/or avocado.

Good luck.