1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Brain Cells Making us Sick? The microglia connection in ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia
Simon McGrath looks at theories that microglia, the brain's immune cells, could trigger and perpetuate the symptoms of ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

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

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

  1. Sallysblooms

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

    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes:
    329
    Southern USA
    Have you had your level tested?
  2. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,025
    Likes:
    2,557
    WA, USA
    My recommendation on diet is:

    to eat what makes you feel better (rather than sticking to any one particular scheme, unless you have a reason of conscience). To reduce or eliminate things that make you feel worse or have symptoms, and avoid or try to avoid (depending on whether it makes you worse or whether you have the luxury of making a benefit:risk determination about the badness of additives and lack of nutrients versus saving energy in preparation) processed foods and if you haven't tried it yet, try avoiding anything with excitotoxins/MSG/MGS-like ingredients (do a search for 'hidden MSG' or 'excitotoxins') and see if that helps, especially if you have IBS or IBS-like symptoms.

    That whole foods are more likely to have a variety of nutrients. And that, as has been mentioned, some people need more meat than others, some need more grain than others, and everyone needs as much variety of fruit and vegetables as they can manage (fresh is preferable; frozen from fresh is next best). Legumes can add variety and help stretch a budget (as well as being good for those who like or need soft foods), but they aren't necessarily all equal (lentils, most beans, and peas might be better than peanuts and soybeans, for instance).
    justy and Ocean like this.
  3. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

    Messages:
    7,219
    Likes:
    4,521
    australia (brisbane)
    i think with our illness we need alot more protein then what a vegan diet can give you, also fat intake could be too low on a vegan diet, we need fats for hormone production and making cells etc. Our illness i think is very catabolic and is always struggling to recover and repair itself. To try and avoid catabolism we need good amounts of protein, optimal hormone levels and adequate sleep for repair and recovery. Oh a cure too if you can find it, lol
    Tito, xchocoholic and Sallysblooms like this.
  4. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,176
    Likes:
    254
    U.S.
    Sally was that in reply to me by any chance? If it was my levels are normal but I thought that the tested level wasn't always reflective of a true deficiency. Maybe I understood that wrong though.
  5. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,108
    Likes:
    638
    NY
    "Vegan" diet is more a political construct than a health construct. As I think I said elsewhere, people have done fine for millennia on Mediterranean and Japanese diets, which both include meat and fish. I'd be wary of any fad diets like vegan/vegetarian, which appear to be based more on ideas than on the reality of the human body and how it functions.
  6. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,176
    Likes:
    254
    U.S.
    Actually there are some conditions that don't do well with meat and dairy and eggs. Some people need to avoid these foods for their health or their body's constitution. Not everyone is the same.
  7. Sallysblooms

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

    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes:
    329
    Southern USA
    Yes, sorry, that question was for you. I wondered if you had tested your level. :) My level is good, but I take the sublingual methyl B12.
  8. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,176
    Likes:
    254
    U.S.
    Thanks Sally. I know some take hydroxy I think but I really don't know what the difference is. I may just start with the methyl B12 too.
  9. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,108
    Likes:
    638
    NY
    When you start eating a "vegan" diet and feel worse, that's a big clue that it's not for your constitution. ;-)
  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,183
    Likes:
    11,242
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    The best B12 to take? That is highly debatable. Its easier to say what not to take: cyanocobalamin. This is the most widely used but the worst. Bye, Alex
  11. HowToEscape?

    HowToEscape? Senior Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes:
    75
    After a lot of confusion, I learned that diet does not have a one formula solution.
    What works for you may not be what works for someone else.
    What works for you now may not be what worked for you when healthy.

    I think there is one reliable guidline:
    Make no sudden changes while you are sick.

    And one peculiarity of many, but not all people with this disease: Protein provides us more energy than other food types, even though we're not exercising enough to make good use of it. That's not the case for healthy folks.

    I have found that having half a can of tuna, for example, often brings me up from a crash. But not always, and I don't recommend that as a constant diet. I understand that some (many?) of us have a basic energy cycle defect which causes us not to use fat and carbs well, and those are the normal sources for energy.

    You could get the protein from chick peas or similar, but maybe not the same effects. I find that there's a stimulant effect from animal protein; I have to balance that against my perception (ok, a guess) that animal foods are not a good match for someone who's lying in bed most of the day.

    I would keep all portions small and try to keep body fat % somewhere near what you'd have when physically fit. More than a little extra fat isn't benign, it's a burden on every system in your body. Good luck, I'm going backwards on that one.
  12. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,046
    Likes:
    904
    Oregon, USA
    First of all, I think people should eat whatever they like. I would never tell anyone what they should eat. I have no idea what's best for anyone else. I can barely figure out what suits me!

    But I don't think it's correct to call a vegetarian diet a "fad" diet. The tradition of eating a vegetarian diet goes back thousands of years in India. I think it was mentioned in the vedas.

    My husband is 61 and he's a lifelong vegetarian. His family has a vegetarian tradition going back for many generations. (not vegan -- the vegetarian tradition in India usually includes lots of dairy and no eggs, but there may be exceptions that I don't know about)

    You may not agree with with eating vegetarian foods. And I have no desire to convert anyone. But if a vegetarian diet is a "fad" then it must be the very longest fad in history! ;)

    Actually, the "fad" in India seems to be the new fast food places like KFC and Subway. They didn't exist 20 years ago. All the kids love them--so much more fun and hip than the "old fashioned" vegetarian food that they would get at home. It's just funny to me that in Western countries it is vegetarian food that is seen as a fad.

    PS for Sasha - Sorry that my post went off on a tangent--I didn't mean to hijack your thread! I would definitely advise listening to your body so you can try to find out what foods suit you. I would say talk with a doctor but, yeah, right, that's probably a waste of time. Very few doctors seem to know anything about food or nutrition, sadly. Maybe you could find a nutritionist or naturopath or something?

    What's important is to find a diet that suits you. What works well for one person might be horrible for another since we can all have different allergies, food intolerances, and so on. Good luck!
    November Girl and justy like this.
  13. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

    Messages:
    2,395
    Likes:
    2,820
    Couchland, USA
    This is offensive to my fad, which has lasted for 35 years :angel:

    This reminds me of the point I meant to make, and forgot, in my previous post which is this:
    animal foods slow cleansing, most grain foods as well, and plant foods encourage a cleansing process.

    Switching suddenly from a diet based on slowing, stagnating foods (especially if you are also avoiding grains for gluten reasons) to a vegan diet, you can feel crappy for a while, because it upticks a cleansing/detox process.

    Still and all, we all have different constitutions, and I am pretty certain that after 35 years, veg is the diet for this ol' skinsuit. There are all kinds of diets, and they are ALL based on ideas. We go with what works best for us individually, at any particular stage of life.
  14. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,108
    Likes:
    638
    NY
    It probably does. But speaking of ancient India, the Buddha tried all kinds of austerity measures, including vegetarianism, and found they were on the whole too extreme for most people. He advocated a middle way between extremes, which imho makes the most sense for the most people. But sure, there are always exceptions.

    I never told anyone what to eat, btw, if you were referring there to me. Just to clarify that point. I was only giving my opinion, which afaik everyone has the right to do. I would never tell someone that they didn't have the right to express their opinion. ; -)

    It became a fad probably around the 1960s in the Western world, which traditionally has been pretty solidly omnivorous. Might be some sound genetic reasons for the widespread meat eating, would be my guess. .

    Definitely agree with that. But I think genuinely listening to the body instead of trying to conform to the more "new agey" kinds of ideas is also important in that process. : -)
    Sallysblooms likes this.
  15. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,046
    Likes:
    904
    Oregon, USA
    Hi jeffrez!:)

    I probably was not clear because what you typed above is exactly my point. The idea of "fad" depends upon your point of view--where you live, what you're used to, and so on. A new-age "fad" in one part of the world is very long tradition (seen as old fashioned and safe) in another point of the world. For example, to me it seems very weird to eat insects, but there are cultures where this is normal.

    One's own culture plays a large part in deciding what is "normal" vs. a "fad."
    justy likes this.
  16. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,108
    Likes:
    638
    NY
    Absolutely, and that's a good point.

    And speaking of culture, I think a lot of the "vegetarianism" in India came from religious views regarding the sanctity of cows, not necessarily from health concerns. So placing one's health in the hands of millennia-old superstitions specific to a particular culture might not always be the wisest course of action to take thousands of years later from within an entirely different culture. ;- ) Individual differences notwithstanding, of course. ;- )
    penny likes this.
  17. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,046
    Likes:
    904
    Oregon, USA
    Hi again,

    I thought I'd post a gentle reminder to try to be polite when stating disagreement. When you say that the vegetarian diet is based on "millennia-old superstitions" (even with a smiley face) it sounds a bit like you are criticizing anyone who follows this diet. And perhaps even calling into question their mental abilities? I'm sure it was not intentional, of course. But maybe you can see how it might sound that way?

    I do believe that you're actually worried about folks and trying to help. But if you're worried that a vegetarian diet is unhealthy, then perhaps it would be be more constructive to post links to studies or papers that support your concerns? We will never reach consensus on the best diet (or treatment, or anything else!) but I hope we can find ways to disagree politely. :angel:

    As I've said several times, I don't care what others eat. (and I'm not sure why anyone on this forum would care what I eat, either!) But I do care about hurting other people's feelings.

    :hug: HUGS for all... :hug:
    leela and justy like this.
  18. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

    Messages:
    294
    Likes:
    253
    Israel
    My suggestion is that if vegan is making you feel worse, stop doing it.

    There is so little research on diet and M.E that it is very important to listen to your body and do what your body tells you.

    I percevered with a diet that harmed me because I was told it was healthy and good even while I was feeling rotton. I should have listened to my body. Don't do the same mistake I did.
  19. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

    Messages:
    2,311
    Likes:
    1,446
    Tundras of Europa
    I believe that historically, vegetarian based diets started in places where meat was scarce. Then religion stepped in to make it fashionable, the same way that buddism sanctions austerity. When westerners look at vegetarianism in india for example, we get a sense that it is ancient and spiritual, rejecting materialism and consumerism, and that makes it attractive in our eyes. This is however not proof that vegetarianism is healthier than regular diets.

    Vegan diets seem to have come out of concern for animals, again not based on any scientific knowledge that it is healthier. After obtaining any ideological or religious beliefs, people like to sanction their beliefs with pseudoscientific claims, such as vegan diets are more original, ancient or natural. But in reality there is nothing to base the claims that eggs are bad for you, unless you're allergic to them. After all, eggs were evolutionally designed to sustain and develop life.
  20. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

    Messages:
    2,311
    Likes:
    1,446
    Tundras of Europa
    Regarding the argument, that the ancient vegetarian based diet of India is healthy, here is a recent study showing that zinc deficiency is prevalent:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22511891

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page