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Switched to vegan diet - feeling worse - should I switch back?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Sasha, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    About three weeks ago, I switched to a vegan diet, having read Joel Fuhrman's Super Immunity, in which he argues that a vegan diet is more micronutrient-dense and so better for your health. He warns that you might feel worse for up to a couple of weeks and have an upset stomach (check) while your gut flora readjust.

    However, I've been feeling pretty low-energy since I started it and am feeling a bit shakey today. I used to get hypoglaemic a few years ago while I was still in remission and saw a nutritionist (who specialised in ME) who recommended me to reduce my carbohydrate intake and make sure that I was eating animal/fish protein four times a day to stablise my blood sugar. It worked, and that's the diet I've been on ever since. She said that a lot of PWME struggle with vegan or vegetarian diets because of the blood sugar issue.

    I'm always a bit borderline in terms of being able to take care of myself and don't have much margin to play with. Now that I'm going wobbly I'm struggling with food prep and wondering whether to jack this diet in today and go back to my former diet.

    Any views? Any ideas whether I'd be likely to get an improvement if I stuck with it for a bit longer? I'd have thought my body would have adjusted to the new diet by now.

    Incidentally I take b12 (as a sublingual spray) so this isn't a b12 issue.
     
  2. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Hi sasha,

    I believe dr myhill is right on this one. Afterall she's seen thousands of pwcs and she specializes in
    using an integrative / functional approach to chronic illnesses. She has to have seen which patients
    improved and which ones didn't. And she knows most of us have chronic hypoglycemia. She's
    one of those doctors who continues to learn too which to me means she's open minded.

    Having said that I do better with a paleo / wahls type diet. I need meat but not 1/4 lb at each meal
    like we've heard recommended by nutritionists for years now. I tried going vegan last year and felt
    too weak ti contine. I've been on the wahls diet since jan and have found that I can go
    a day or two without meat now but that's it.

    Tc .. X
     
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  3. Tito

    Tito Senior Member

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    Just a thought: many ME patients have fructose intolerance.
     
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  4. adreno

    adreno on the beach

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    There isn't much evidence that vegan diets are any healthier, even though they are heavily promoted in alternative health circles.
     
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  5. Marlène

    Marlène Senior Member

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    Biologically we need proteins to function so I have never really understood the sense of vegan diets.

    Tip: google: My experience with copperheads, artlma
    It explains how vegan diets lead to adrenal exhaustion etc.
     
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  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi X - I'd forgotten about Dr Myhill.

    Here's her diet, for people unfamiliar with it - she recommends the Stone Age Diet, which includes meat. About meat, she says:





    Argh! So many contradictory claims about diet out there. Fuhrman seemed to have a good research basis for what he was saying but I'm hardly in a position to be able to judge and of course nobody has done any CFS-specific research.

    That's interesting that you also felt too weak to continue. I've come back to this thread having slept for two hours. I had to go back to bed after breakfast and slept for an hour then. My OI is worse and I'm getting temperature disregulation.

    Time to get back to my original diet. Oh well. :ill:
     
  7. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Sasha - sorry your new diet is making you feel worse. For me personally i dont push through anyhting thats making me feel worse. If the other diet made you feel better then i would go back to it - as they say 'if it aint broke, don't fix it!'

    For me persoanlly i dont buy the vegetarians being malnourished thing. Ive been a vegetarian for 23 years and my mito results where no worse or better than the meat eaters. She suggested i eat meat (not going to happen but i manage fish once or twice a week now) but was happy for me to go dairy and grain free, making me a gluten free vegan (very challenging, did it for a year - no better, no worse) I dont agree with her that its hard work to get all needed in diet without meat. I controlled my hypoglycaemia by not eating refined carbs or sugar - worked fine.

    All 4 of my children have been vegetarian from birth and now i have a grandaughter who is fully second generation veggie - all very healthy and nourished etc.

    I imagine if you are used to a regular meat diet - straight to vegan could be taxing on the system - especially creating a lot of wind which i often see in my friends who come to stay and eat veggie for a few days - but we are all used to it.

    There is so much conflicting info out there about what to eat, what not to eat - even the paleo thing has been overegged (no pun intended) Although it may be hard for others on here to hear, some of us are just not improved by diets, no matter which doctor sanctions them or which health guru. The candida diet helped my candida and common sense should tell PWME not to consume lots of junk food and alcohol and caffeine etc, but other than that it akes sense to eat what works for you.

    Take care, Justy.x
     
  8. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    I agree that there's no one diet that's best for us. I felt good on a low-carb diet very similar to Dr. Myhill's, but my cholesterol shot up. I'm eating low-fat vegan at the moment to see what happens to the cholesterol. I still feel stable as long as I keep carbs fairly low and avoid my allergens (gluten, dairy, chocolate).

    Some of us get a lot of benefit out of dietary changes, but for me, it's all been trial and error. Lots and lots of error.
     
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  9. caledonia

    caledonia

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    If you've ever studied Stone Age cultures (or watched shows like Les Stroud's SurviviorMan or especially Beyond Survival), you will notice that a human's natural diet ranges all over the place, (from an almost total meat/fat diet to a mix of animals, insects and plants) but there is no such thing as a vegetarian diet.
     
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  10. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks, all - it's dinnertime now so prawns for me!

    All very difficult, this diet stuff. According to the nutritionist I saw years ago, any change in diet will make you feel bad for at least five days or so because your body is adjusting what chemicals it produces to deal with your new diet so even if it's going to do you good in the long run, you might feel awful initially. Just so hard to know what to do for the best. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
     
  11. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    I have been a non-ovo vegetarian for 35 years. I repaired hypoglycaemia with relatively high-dose melatonin and either 5htp or tryptophan (this is particular to the person, and changed from one to the other over the course of treatment for me.) I now don't even take those supps, and rarely have blood sugar issues any more.

    I cycle in and out of eating dairy (sometimes I just feel I need it)-- raw goat products are the only digestible ones for me.

    There is protein in all food, so no thank you on the argument that meat is the only source of protein. It is more a matter of having the enzymes to digest whatever proteins you are eating to make them accessible. I was seriously athletic before I came ill, strong and muscly.

    My own case aside, I would say any time you switch suddenly from one anything to another anything, the body will take time to adjust. The size of protein molecules is an issue (grains, for instance, have been hybridized and geneticaly modified to have proteins so big they are largely indigestible--hence so much wheat intolerance) so you might try finding the correct enzymes to aid your body in digesting the size and kind of protein molecules you are eating now.

    Everyone needs to eat according to their own bodily system. Here is a little video just for fun, since the meat and dairy industries have really done some major propaganda around animal protein. Personally, I say eat what feels right to you. But enjoy this cute little song anyway:
     
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  12. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Some do ok for a while. Hard to tell how they would feel if they ate meat. I was veg. for years. Boy, what a terrible mistake. I would take it back in an instant if I could.

    I sailed along then it caught up with me. My reserves ran out. SO very ill. My nutritionist and doctor helped me understand what we were actually meant to eat. That was the beginning of my healing. A varied diet, meats, lots of fruit and veggies, sea veggies. Paleo, Wahl's type. No gluten, no refined sugar, only good carbs. Hubby and I are foodies, we have enjoyed learning new ways to make wonderful food.
     
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  13. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

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    Hi Sasha,
    The next time you start a vegan diet, first make sure that it contains enough aminoacids lysine and cysteine, vitamins A, E, B12 and fats. Well there's no vegan food which contains b12, so maybe it has to be taken as a supplement. Having said that, 1 month of vegan diet shouldn't do any harm on you, even if you do it "wrong".
     
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  14. Marlène

    Marlène Senior Member

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    This is a normal process.There is a fundamental difference between people who are vegan from birth and people who would like to become vegan when they're adult.
    That's why people in India would not be able to digest our daily meals with meat.
     
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  15. Marlène

    Marlène Senior Member

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    There are two kind of people; those who thrive on meat and those who thrive on grains.
    You can notice this with the acidity of your body.

    People who thrive on meat will less easily become acidic from eating it then people who thrive on grain.
    People who thrive on grain more easily digest grain than meat.
     
  16. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I was eating lacto-vegetarian for a while, vege and yoghurts. I got worse. The protein requirements for us are very high. Its not impossible to meet them using vegetable sources, but its very hard - and usually involves eating lots of soy or textured soy protein (tofu etc). Also several vitamins in vegetables have to be converted to be used by animals (CoQ9, folinic acid). If you cant do that well then it can lead to deficiency. In addition its very hard to get B12 from vegetables - mushrooms apparently contain some, but I am not sure how much. Also if you have a tendency to low iron status, even if you eat high iron vegetables you might not absorb much iron because its in the wrong form. Vegetarian/vegan diets with ME or CFS need to be handled very carefully. In the end I decided that for me it is not worth the effort. A stone age diet or similar is a better choice, or even a regular balanced diet, for many if not most PWMEs. Bye, Alex
     
  17. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks, Alex - I have a tendency to anaemia so that can't have been helping. I was trying the diet in the hope that it would be more nutrient-dense and might improve my health so if it can't provide the nutrition I need and requires lots of supplements it's not the diet for me.
     
  18. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Sasha, one thing to note is that there are lots of nutritional factors in fruit and vegetables that don't qualify as vitamins or minerals. They do contain a lot of good stuff. Many of these are antioxidants. Fruit and vege are a good thing, just not sufficient for all our needs. Bye, Alex
     
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  19. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    My understanding, I can't remember where I read this because it was years ago, is that we don't have the necessary enzymes to break up the foods in the vegetarian diet. In my case, I've found that I have reactions to gluten, dairy,
    soy, egg whites, nuts, seeds, high oxalate fruits and veggies, grains and legumes which are staples of the vegetarian diet.

    I'm assuming dr myhill is familiar with all of our intolerances so to sum up how we should eat, she recommends the
    Paleo diet. Well I do that anyways. Lol... Most of the time, instead of explaining my intolerances and that these are the common food
    intolerances because they're overused in our foods, I just say I'm on the paleo diet. Even then I will say that the paleo diet is just organic meats, fruits and veggies. I'm not interested in arguing over what
    Paleos actually ate. I'd have eaten anything I could've. I figure if anyone is really interested, they'll google it.

    tc .. X
     
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  20. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    Which type of B12 is best to take, any ideas? I don't eat meat so I want to try adding this.
     

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