I'm listening to my roommates try and figure out why the vegan is sick
It's kinda funny but sad too. She has been a vegan for 3 years and has had digestive trouble off and on but with increasing frequency.
She has been sick, broken blood vessels in her eyes, vomiting, food "hanging out in her stomach for a long time" etc. general bad feeling stuff.
She went to the doctor and they were asking about food allergies, and based on CW, the doctors were stumped. She eats lots of veggies, pretty clean vegan but that's about it. Everyone is like, "I don't know how you could be allergic to lettuce." "It's a mystery" "no one can tell me whats wrong" She has been tested for giardia and other plesant things. She has been like this for two weeks.
I want to grab her shoulders and yell "please stop! I can hear that Morning Star breakfast patty shredding the lining off your intestines!" But I refuse to get in a food argument with someone who doesn't want to talk. She isn't a cranky vegan either and that makes me even sadder for her. So frustrating.
Maybe it's the paleo way of looking at health but as soon as I hear people complain about how they feel I immediately want to hear about their diet. WHy can't other people see that? What you eat is what you get.
Gluten and soy are two major allergens vegans can eat lots of. Does she consume them?
I know, I know, I feel like this too. It is sad about your vegan friend.
Originally Posted by CaveBug
I know someone who has very poor health. Literally all she eats is pre-packaged meals. This is because she truly is unwell, in a wheelchair etc and is "not allowed" to use the oven or to cook. So she buys these meals and her caregiver heats them up for her. I just cringe, all those additives and no fresh food. No wonder she is sick.
See if she is miserable enough to be willing to read this:
Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! - GNOLLS.ORG
J Stanton explains exactly why she is having issues.
This was an excellent article. Thank you!
Originally Posted by Paleobird
Thanks Paleobird, excellent article and I learned a lot. Unfortunately, no, it's not the sort of thing my friend would manage to read, but I am motivated to take her a nourishing broth.
Wow, can I identify...
I know how she feels... I was vegan for 10 years. I have a nutrition degree and was a personal trainer... and Vegan... for 10 years (I've also been in chronic pain for 10 years, and I've had gastrointestinal issues for about 8, and now at 31, I'm trying Paleo/Primal to address it)
I've just started this whole nutritional approach, so I can't espouse it's virtues just yet (at least not based on my own experience), but I do understand the mind of your friend. I spent my youth agonizing over injustice, in any form... name an activity, food, product and I was probably "against it" for some reason or another. Being vegan was a natural way for me to feel like I was doing good... I mean, how can we hurt these animals, they don't deserve to suffer like this, and I can help prevent it. Instant vegan.
I don't have a recommendation for how to get through to her because I knew how to resist anyone's attempts to do so for me as well. I guess what I would suggest is to be a positive example and if she asks you what you do that keeps you so healthy/energetic... honestly, and non-judgementally tell her that you believe it's something to do with your diet/lifestyle. Always keep in mind that she likely has a righteous certainty in her beliefs, and directly challenging or attacking them will cause her to recoil and affirm her beliefs (this is how I approached telling non-vegans why being vegan was better... ironic). Emphasizing the animal welfare aspect of eating a naturally farmed, grass-fed cow versus a factory farm will likely make it less difficult for her to understand.
Anyway, good luck to your friend, and I hope I find similar results to what I've read around this place lately.
Would she be open to digestive enzymes or supplements?
Paleo Diet Challenges & Solutions II: It’s All About the Gut!
Yes, it's about paleo, but if you scroll down, there's good information on what supplements can aid in various digestive ailments. It might be a start to feeling better, anyway.
She should get tested for gut infections though.
Vegan CAN be done right, but it takes an enormous amount of preparation. Assuming you cannot convert her, I think that is the best approach. A lot of vegans and vegetarians are really BREADatarians. The gluten,soy,and high amount of preservatives is bound to make anyone sick.
I would say it will take an overhaul of the pantry. Go fresh or go dirt napping. All fresh veg and fruit, grilled tofu for protein or quinoa dishes. There is nothing worse for someone than lazy veganism. Confront that there MUST be a lot of effort put into prepping her food, or sickness will be the result.
With that said, petechial hemorrhages in the eyes are indicative of anemic conditions or thrombocytopenia. Also, a basic blood panel (likely already done) as well as GI imaging to detect for celiac, Crohn's, and Ulcerative Colitis (endemic in vegans) should be done. A gastroenterologist is the person to see.
I am an eye doctor. Sorry, that tipped me off
Last edited by TheyCallMeLazarus; 06-10-2013 at 10:45 AM.
^All good points, I assumed this person was "healthy" vegan (I don't really believe it's a completely healthy way to eat). There are still improvements that could be made. She should definitely see a gastroenterologist or naturopath.