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SACRAMENTO VEGAN SOCIETY Message Board › Need some vegan advice

Need some vegan advice

Phil V.
user 39895742
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 1
Hi All,
Very happy to be a part of this community and looking forward to meeting some of you. I started a vegan diet about a month and a half ago and I'm having some issues that I hope someone can give me some guidance on.
It seems I have crushed my immune system by jumping into this with both feet. I haven't been sick for about 8 years but ever since I went full on vegan I have literally been sick almost every day. I had the worst chest cold I've ever had for 3 weeks straight. Finally went to the doc and got some antibiotics and got somewhat better for a week or so but now I'm sick as ever. throbbing head, aching muscles and fluids in the chest.
The immune system crash is the only thing I can think of. Could be wrong but has anyone ever experienced this? Going on 5 weeks now. I hope someone can help.
Thank You and I really am excited about being a part of this group.
Phil

Linda M.
Lassen
Group Organizer
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 233
Dear Phil,
Going vegan builds up immune system. Eating animal products weakens your immune system. Emily Barth webber and I can help you. You most likely got the flu that is going around now an also when u change your diet, your body goes through changes and this can make one feel tired at first. Also. You may be experiencing some placebo effect. Our culture tells us that we are not strong unless we eat animal products... And this actually make u feel like you are missing something even though you are not!!! Pls let us know a few days of your food intake! Make sure u eat plenty ofwhole grains, legumes, veggies and fruit everyday!email me, Linda at veganmentor.com.avoid oils that are added... Like olive oil. Canola oil, etc.
Phil V.
user 39895742
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 2
Linda,
Thank You for your response. I just thought maybe putting my system through the shock, (change of diet), that I might be experiencing some initial rejection. 5 weeks is a long time for a flu but I hope you're right. Either way I'm sure it will pass but I just thought someone might have had a similar experience.
I'll follow your advice on the diet and hope things change soon.
Had lunch today at the Loving Hut for the first time. Very good!. Looking forward to more new discoveries.
Thanks Again,
Phil
Bethany D.
user 14154902
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 7
Hi, Phil,
Is it possible that you were coincidentally exposed to something around the time you switched or slightly before, that maybe turned into pneumonia, or mono, or something similar? It is prime season for flu bugs, upper-respiratory, etc. and sometimes these can be more serious: bronchitis, mononucleosis, etc. Just a thought.
Bethany D.
user 14154902
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 8
One more thought...have you possibly been transitioning with meat alternatives such as Tofurkey, Field Roast, Gardein, Chicken-less Chikn, Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs, etc. products? These contain concentrated wheat gluten protein (as does seitan and some types of textured vegetable protein) and can cause immune system issues in sensitive individuals. These products all taste really good, but if eaten frequently or daily, could be a contributing factor if your system is gluten-intolerant or gluten-sensitive. Can contribute to bloating, gas, diarrhea, digestive upset, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain/ arthritis flare-ups, headaches, (even migraines), etc. Also, too much refined sugar (in any diet!) can be problematic/ inflammatory on the immune system. Neither should be causing fever though.
A former member
Post #: 85
Hi Phil,

I have been vegan for twenty years now, converted my hubby before marriage, and we have raised our 3 children vegan since birth. For what it's worth, our medical community (pediatricians, general care doctors, OB/gyns) have been very supportive and impressed, all confident in the benefits of this lifestyle to each of us. We all get colds and other bugs, and that is normal. There are those who say that you will never be sick again as a vegan, and that's just not true. But, other than the standard minor ailments, my vegan family members are all in great health. We always get our "5 a day" and generally far surpass that minimum standard. I think that any drastic dietary change can take time for your system to get used to, but these sicknesses are probably coincidental. We all eat gluten and soy on a daily basis, and we thrive. I hope you start to feel really great soon!!
A former member
Post #: 2
Phil - There's a possibility you may need to take vitamin B supplements. I don't know your age, but as we approach middle age, we lose our capacity to extract B vitamins from our diet. It's about something called the "intrinsic factor," which we lose as we age. I ran into this problem when I first went vegan 20 years ago, at age 40. I wound up going to the doctor, got a blood test, and found I had absolutely zero vitamin B in my body, despite a copious diet of veggies. The doctor gave me a vitamin B12 shot on the spot. I had been stubbornly anti-vitamin supplement for years. I now take a B vitamin mixture: B-complex, plus extra B12 and B1. You should never take megadoses of B vitamins, because some of them can be detrimental in high doses, for example B6. Never take more than 100 mg per day (I take 50 mg every other day). You need adequate B6 for proper function of your nervous system, especially to be able to relax and sleep soundly. You also need adequate zinc for B6 to function properly, so I take a zinc supplement also. For your immune system, B12 is probably the most critical B vitamin, and you can safely take pretty high doses of B12 (temporarily) without detrimental effect, because excess B12 is excreted to the urine. Also, don't take B vitamins at night, take them in the morning.
- Good health to you, Bob.
Phil V.
user 39895742
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 3
Thanks so much to all of you for your responses. I'm hearing about more and more people who are dealing with the same issues as I am. Helps to know I'm not the only one. I'm on week 6 now and am feeling pretty bad today. I know it will pass. Hopefully soon and I'm looking forward to continuing on with this new venture.
I've been reading a book called "The China Study " that also mentions the need for vitamin B12 and just yesterday I went out and got some. Hope that helps.
Thanks Again all. I'll be back in the saddle soon.
Phil
Robert C.
user 37216922
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 1
Hi, Phil,
I came to being vegan for my health first, and although I support animal rights, health is my main concern. I needed to reverse my heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, etc., and I did. I had to make a sudden and complete change in my diet and experienced several weeks of malaise and flu like symptoms. This is pretty common. Joel Fuhrman , MD refers to this as toxic hunger. Doug Lisle labels this as transition symptoms. Dr. Lisle is speaking at the next meeting, and it would be well worth your while to attend. He also addresses this in his his DVD "The Pleasure Trap" and his book of the same name. If you research Douglas Lisle plus The Pleasure Trap, you can view one of his presentations on this subject on Youtube.

As Dr. Fuhrman puts it, the hard thing is that, in order to get better, you have to be willing to feel worse for awhile. And if you choose to feel better by eating the bad foods again, the result is that you get worse.

It is unusual in my experience to be feeling bad for six weeks - that is usually the upper limit. A book that I would recommend to you is "Eat To Live", revised edition, which is also available for Kindle. You could also check the materials at Dr. McDougall's website, drmcdougall.com.

A healthy diet will really improve your immune system dramatically - you might want to read Dr. Fuhrman's book "Super Immunity." My experience with colds was amazing. I used to get several bad colds every year, but since changing my diet have not had a cold in the last 4 years.

Some thoughts -
- It is possible to eat a vegan diet that is unhealthy and can result in disease and overweight just the same as a non vegan diet. A healthy diet has the vast majority of calories coming from whole plant food rather than processed food.

- It's ultra unlikely to be a B12 problem. Your body stores B12 and it is generally after years of being vegan that you might have a problem in not taking supplement.

- If you continue to feel bad, one possibility could be a food sensitivity. Dr. McDougall has a book "Digestive Tuneup" that could help.

- It takes time for your body and internal bacteria to adapt to all the fiber you will be eating now with a healthy vegan diet.

- If you see, say hi. My story is written up here: My medical story

If you want further info, contact me. I am new to this site, but I am sure that there is way to send a private message. I can give you my phone number. You are doing the best thing for yourself that you could possibly do.

Bob
Beatrice S.
user 12389010
Rancho Cordova, CA
Post #: 17
I read your medical story Bob. CONGRATULATIONS! I am so impressed that you took the challenge and followed through. I am a healthy, fit, 63 year old, on a starch based diet, and people ask me about my diet all the time, wanting to be just like me. But nobody ever wants to give up their SAD way of eating.
That's why I love your story, it is very encouraging. You are an inspiration!

Health and happiness!
Beatrice
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