Very sick. In need of advice about veganism

Alicia rose

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Hello all I'm new here. I want to make this as short as possible. I have pernicious anemia finally diagnosed 7 months ago (antiparietal cell antibodies) and I am very malnourished because I don't have enough stomach acid because of the antibodies to absorb my food. I have been ill since toddler years from countless pneumonia cases since a few weeks into my birth and bronchitis yearly after until I was 14.

I am starting to doubt my vegan diet and it makes me really sad.. I have been vegetarian since I was 15 (24 years old now) and vegan for 3 years. All drs tell me my diet is making/going to make me sick because I don't eat animal products. My ex nutritionist told me vegans get sick around 5 years into the diet. Can someone spread some light on this diet. Maybe share how long you've been vegan and how you feel?
 

danceswithcats

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Alicia, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, but are you sure you are eating enough? I am shocked by what your nutritionist said: it is not the scientific consensus among the highly reputable nutritionists whose works I am reading. It is, of course, possible to have a poor diet as a vegan: one of the most frustrating things about Facebook vegan groups is the way they focus on new vegan junk foods at the expense of real food. Replacing crap with crap is not a positive health move.
I wonder whether you might not need the advice of someone who is both qualified and sympathetic to the benefits of plant based diets. The gastric complaint you suffer from sounds like an autoimmune condition; that's a serious situation, so you should be trusting your doctors and relying upon their advice. Could you ask your GP practice whether they know of a vegan-sympathetic doctor in your area? It is a very extreme statement to say that your avoiding animal and dairy foods is making you sick. It does not sound like the thing a reputable doctor would say. Could it be that you need to look at the quality of your diet, rather than the ethics? Is that what they are trying to tell you?
 
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Alicia rose

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Alicia, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, but are you sure you are eating enough? I am shocked by what your nutritionist said: it is not the scientific consensus among the highly reputable nutritionists whose works I am reading. It is, of course, possible to have a poor diet as a vegan: one of the most frustrating things about Facebook vegan groups is the way they focus on new vegan junk foods at the expense of real food. Replacing crap with crap is not a positive health move.
I wonder whether you might not need the advice of someone who is both qualified and sympathetic to the benefits of plant based diets. The gastric complaint you suffer from sounds like an autoimmune condition; that's a serious situation, so you should be trusting your doctors and relying upon their advice. Could you ask your GP practice whether they know of a vegan-sympathetic doctor in your area? It is a very extreme statement to say that your avoiding animal and dairy foods is making you sick. It does not sound like the thing a reputable doctor would say. Could it be that you need to look at the quality of your diet, rather than the ethics? Is that what they are trying to tell you?


Yes I do not eat enough at all but that is because I don't feel well enough to eat. The nutritionist was very concerned about my food diary I wrote down because it wasn't enough food. My naturopath is also concerned. But ever since I could remember even as a kid I can't eat balanced regular meals or I'll get very nauseous and sick to my stomach. I can however eat my favorite veggie burrito loaded with black beans, rice and veggies from my favorite mexican restaurant ha! But because of the disease I have with that he autoimmune condition in my stomach I can't eat much at a time. I have found mainly hot meals temperature wise set off nausea. Mornings lately (this comes and goes and lasts weeks) I am so nauseous and sick in the mornings that I can't eat for hours.

These are specialists and nutritionists actually telling me I can't be healthy unless I'm eating animal products because they "contain all essential nutrients and complete proteins".

My gastroenterologist does not believe I have a real medical condition. He saw my lab results from the naturopath and saw the positive parietal antibodies and said I was too young to have it and scoped me both ends and took biopsies and removed some polyps from my stomach. With research I've read stomach polyps aren't common and form when stomach damage is present (my antibodies) I am waiting on biopsy result but I'm concerned he won't find anything else concerning and send me on my way.

But yes I do not eat enough but that's because food makes me sick. I feel like sticking wth the one dr who understands me is best but he is not a stomach expert he is mainly into neurology as a naturopath and I need a stomach specialist. I could talk wth him about seeing a different naturopath there that knows more about my condition though. He is the only dr that doesn't bash my diet
 

Jamie in Chile

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Being sick after 5 vegan years is a suspicious comment. Many vegans never get seriously ill and certainly not always more than others and not after a specific numbers of years. That comment is dubious.

Studies show some advantages of a vegan diet such as cancer rates, longer lifetime, and lower heart disease, with very few disadvantages, hardly any for a carefully planned vegan diet with supplements as needed. Overall, there is strong evidence that vegan diets are as healthy or slightly more healthy than others. Of course, that is just probabilities. It doesn't tell you with certainty the outcome for one person.

I can tell you that I have been doing this vegan diet for a year and I feel the same or slightly better than before. That's my personal case.

I can't comment on amemia, malnutrition or specific conditions as not that knowledgeable. Perhaps you can try another different professional nutrionist if the first one doesn't work out. It is said that vegans are thinner and may have to work harder to get up to a healthy weight if underweight. I suspect that may be true on average, although not certain or basing this on any studies. However in at least most cases this can be solved without reverting to animal products although I wouldn't like to comment on your specific situation.

Good luck!
 
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Alicia rose

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Being sick after 5 vegan years is a suspicious comment. Many vegans never get seriously ill and certainly not always more than others and not after a specific numbers of years. That comment is dubious.

Studies show some advantages of a vegan diet such as cancer rates, longer lifetime, and lower heart disease, with very few disadvantages, hardly any for a carefully planned vegan diet with supplements as needed. Overall, there is strong evidence that vegan diets are as healthy or slightly more healthy than others. Of course, that is just probabilities. It doesn't tell you with certainty the outcome for one person.

I can tell you that I have been doing this vegan diet for a year and I feel the same or slightly better than before. That's my personal case.

I can't comment on amemia, malnutrition or specific conditions as not that knowledgeable. Perhaps you can try another different professional nutrionist if the first one doesn't work out. It is said that vegans are thinner and may have to work harder to get up to a healthy weight if underweight. I suspect that may be true on average, although not certain or basing this on any studies. However in at least most cases this can be solved without reverting to animal products although I wouldn't like to comment on your specific situation.

Good luck!

Yes I was very doubtful of her comment because I know countless people I followed on instagram showing their body building status being fit and vegan for years and feel amazing. I have to give myself b12 shots for the rest of my life a couple times a week so that helps solve the pernicious anemia, and take iron daily. But yeah it all sounds weird to me how someone could say that. I know a complete protein is something paired with carbs. Like hummus and a pita or a peanut butter sandwich.

I could and will never eat meat again. I've thought about eggs from a friend's chickens but eggs make me sick and they just gross me out anyway to eat them. But I know eggs won't cure me haha. I am 5'6 130 lbs and considered very "small" but I don't lose or gain weight which is nice I guess. Would like to lose a few lbs and tone up my belly.

I have noticed though since going vegan I don't get sick anymore... I will feel crappy but it will never go full blown head cold or flu! And I know that is the diet there

Thank you for your reply
 

danceswithcats

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Yes I do not eat enough at all but that is because I don't feel well enough to eat. The nutritionist was very concerned about my food diary I wrote down because it wasn't enough food. My naturopath is also concerned. But ever since I could remember even as a kid I can't eat balanced regular meals or I'll get very nauseous and sick to my stomach. I can however eat my favorite veggie burrito loaded with black beans, rice and veggies from my favorite mexican restaurant ha! But because of the disease I have with that he autoimmune condition in my stomach I can't eat much at a time. I have found mainly hot meals temperature wise set off nausea. Mornings lately (this comes and goes and lasts weeks) I am so nauseous and sick in the mornings that I can't eat for hours.

These are specialists and nutritionists actually telling me I can't be healthy unless I'm eating animal products because they "contain all essential nutrients and complete proteins".

My gastroenterologist does not believe I have a real medical condition. He saw my lab results from the naturopath and saw the positive parietal antibodies and said I was too young to have it and scoped me both ends and took biopsies and removed some polyps from my stomach. With research I've read stomach polyps aren't common and form when stomach damage is present (my antibodies) I am waiting on biopsy result but I'm concerned he won't find anything else concerning and send me on my way.

But yes I do not eat enough but that's because food makes me sick. I feel like sticking wth the one dr who understands me is best but he is not a stomach expert he is mainly into neurology as a naturopath and I need a stomach specialist. I could talk wth him about seeing a different naturopath there that knows more about my condition though. He is the only dr that doesn't bash my diet

Alicia, he may be a very nice man, but a naturopath is not qualified to make diagnoses, unless he is also an M.D., which is unlikely, as properly trained scientists (which is what doctors are) are unlikely to give naturopathy the time of day. Pernicious anaemia is not something you wave a feather at, but neither should it be chronic, despite the efforts of some drug companies and quack vitamin pedlars to make it so. See a properly qualified Doctor. Your gastroenterologist will be one. Between him and a naturopath, there is no contest. The gastroenterologist is the fact-based practitioner: his skill is working out the truth from observation and tested knowledge. The naturopath is faith-based: his skill is telling you what you want to hear.

Although it's not readily present in plant based food, B12 is not difficult to introduce into your diet, (nutritional yeast or yeast extract in relatively small quantities and some fermented foods will do it) and it persists in the body for a long time, so you need to be eating a very impoverished diet to suffer from b12 deficiency. Pernicious anaemia is popular with quacks at the moment. I know a little about it, because my wife had an undetected internal bleed that made her dangerously anaemic a few years ago, but I am dubious about you needing to have b12 shots for the rest of your life. Is the naturopath selling you anything? How much did he charge for those 'lab' results?

Modern, commercial medicine may have many failings, but it is the best system we have for finding out what is wrong within a human organism, and its practitioners are responsible for their practice to regulatory authorities. Beware a 'doctor' whose main skill is making you feel cared for. That's why we go to counsellors, and it is a separate concern from physical diagnosis, and it should never be confused.

I hope I haven't offended you. I can be clumsy, but I wish you the best. As with all matters, knowledge is power. I recommend The China Study as an introduction to good sense, fact-based vegan nutrition: it has not been widely refuted, even by aggressively anti-vegan commercial forces.

Have a very blessed Christmas and a healthy New Year.
 
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Alicia rose

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Alicia, he may be a very nice man, but a naturopath is not qualified to make diagnoses, unless he is also an M.D., which is unlikely, as properly trained scientists (which is what doctors are) are unlikely to give naturopathy the time of day. Pernicious anaemia is not something you wave a feather at, but neither should it be chronic, despite the efforts of some drug companies and quack vitamin pedlars to make it so. See a properly qualified Doctor. Your gastroenterologist will be one. Between him and a naturopath, there is no contest. The gastroenterologist is the fact-based practitioner: his skill is working out the truth from observation and tested knowledge. The naturopath is faith-based: his skill is telling you what you want to hear.

Although it's not readily present in plant based food, B12 is not difficult to introduce into your diet, (nutritional yeast or yeast extract in relatively small quantities and some fermented foods will do it) and it persists in the body for a long time, so you need to be eating a very impoverished diet to suffer from b12 deficiency. Pernicious anaemia is popular with quacks at the moment. I know a little about it, because my wife had an undetected internal bleed that made her dangerously anaemic a few years ago, but I am dubious about you needing to have b12 shots for the rest of your life. Is the naturopath selling you anything? How much did he charge for those 'lab' results?

Modern, commercial medicine may have many failings, but it is the best system we have for finding out what is wrong within a human organism, and its practitioners are responsible for their practice to regulatory authorities. Beware a 'doctor' whose main skill is making you feel cared for. That's why we go to counsellors, and it is a separate concern from physical diagnosis, and it should never be confused.

I hope I haven't offended you. I can be clumsy, but I wish you the best. As with all matters, knowledge is power. I recommend The China Study as an introduction to good sense, fact-based vegan nutrition: it has not been widely refuted, even by aggressively anti-vegan commercial forces.

Have a very blessed Christmas and a healthy New Year.


The thing is, I've seen "specialists" about 10 qualified doctors and the last few years I've seen maybe 20. All told me I was depressed. I looked like death, ghost white and almost greyish black undereye circles. Constantly falling ill out of no where and having to leave work because suddenly I'd get really pale and sick and get a fever. No matter the doctor I complained to and my severe chronic head to toe pain they all wanted to medicate me on depression meds even though I told them the root cause of why I'm sad is because I have no quality of life.

I see this naturopath after every test run a doctor could think of. This naturopath takes one appt and instantly knows what's wrong and he runs tests to test my ferritin (I didn't even know what ferritin was until him no doctor finds the need to test your IRON STORES) it came back at 5, when it should be in the 100s for a woman. And positive parietal cell antibodies were at a high positive. He didn't sell me anything and testing is under insurance and covered and not near as epensive as other dr labs. He told me although the trying and supplementing with b12 and iron it judt won't absorb because my body creates an antibody and attacks the cells that make b12 and gastric acid ( my food is never fully digested in my stool) he said I'd need b12 shots for life or I won't absorb it. I started b12 shots he sent through to my pharmacy that are covered and a couple months in and taking iron and he ran tests to check my iron 3 months later since taking so much needs to be supervised, and it finally is going up. 7 months into treatment of my own b12 shots and taking a lot of iron everyone I know tells me "wow you look amazing". And I feel so much better my fibromyalgia isnt there as bad as it was (had it since I was 13).

But my stomach and absorbtion problems are still there.

I told my gastro and showed him my parietal cell results and he only seemed to care about my ferritin but said "you're too young to have pernicious anemia you don't have it" and he's a professional. Another dr I said I had it and she laughed and said it's not a dangerous condition.

I am on and off ill recently and no one seems to care or try to help but my naturopath but he even admitted he doesn't know much about the stomach. He helps people MS and stuff but he knew to test me for parietal antibodies after a patient he had he finally tried testing her for that and he found it and had her self inject and months later she felt like a new person