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Mskedi 10-10-2003 05:49 PM

So, I had to go to the school nurse for something today, and while I was waiting I saw that she had an area of handouts on various health issues. One of them was on vegetarianism, so I picked it up and was pretty livid about what I read. I'll write to her about it when I get home and have some resources around me. More than anything, I don't appreciate the obvious pro-red meat slant here. Ugh. And should my high school students be curious and read it, they'll be easily swayed by the loaded language. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, at least check out the last paragraph. Please also note the complete lack of references.



Here's the text itself (I tried to keep the spelling and grammar errors intact, though I ended up fixing a few out of habit!):



VEGETARIANISM

If a person chooses to be a vegetarian, they should be aware of some potential health risks.



First and foremost is a relative protein deficiency, especially an amino acid named tyrosine. Tyrosine is a precursor to a neurotransmitter called epinephrine (commonly known as adrenaline). This deficiency does not permit normal functioning of the adrenal glands (which are necessary for life) and the thyroid gland (as tyrosine is the central building block of the thyroid hormone).



The adrenal glands are relatively small glands that sit on top of the kidneys and have many important functions including mineral balance, anti-inflammatory hormones such as cortisone, sex hormones (both estrogen and testosterone in both men and women), adrenalin, and last but not least, cortisol. Cortisol is necessary for raising blood sugar levels when they are low. This last aspect is especially deficient in vegetarians who tend not only to have a relative protein deficiency, but also tend to have an adrenal stress syndrome.



Since the adrenals are not able to respond properly the blood sugar tends to be very unstable. The more unstable the blood sugar is, the more unstable the adrenals become, and on and on and on into a vicious cycle.



Due to a blood sugar/adrenal stress syndrome the patient tends to develop a chronic ileocecal valve syndrome (which is the valve that connects the small and large intestines). This ICV syndrome can lead to numerous far reaching problems in the body.



Vegetarianism tends to lead to vitamin B12 deficiency which is also necessary for adrenal function and an optimally functioning nervous system. A prolonged B12 deficiency can lead to irreversible nervous system damage.



There is a balance in the body between the adrenal and thyroid glands due to the tyrosine (most abundant in red meat) deficiency neither the thyroid or adrenals can function optimally.



Again, with this relative protein deficiency, when the albumin/globulin ratio is off, the body will rob protein from the joint surfaces in order to put it in other areas of the body, which may lead to painful arthritic joints.



All in all in my experience, vegetarians tend to be the poorest responding patients I see. I do everything I can to convince them to eat some lean red meat daily in the rarest form possible. I have seen dramatic improvements in all kinds of conditions from those who comply to what I call a common sense diet.

Loki 10-10-2003 06:02 PM

This leaflet is deficient in:



New discoveries that protein is actually available in plants

Common sense



The article does mention a few "health risks" of vegetarianism. Validly, it does explain B12, but not that you can get it w/o meat in the form of fortified prodiucts. What I'm surprised at is the focus on protein. Your nurse probably hasn't been informed on the protein issue. Shame really, since she did manage to get the B12 thing right.



When it comes to adrenaline, I know not about it in relation to vegetarianism. To be honest, I haven't really thought about it much, aside from one time when i was considering using a friend's adrenaline injection (he's allergic to nuts) to assist me in a psycho rampage on some scallies. (Which I didn't do.) can't help you there. It's not referenced either, which is a little bit annoying.



But the protein myth is there, so I'd easily guess that this is based on some old, old studies. If your nurse has been commited enogh against vegetarianism to produce such a leaflet then it would not be advisable to confront her about it unless you are well informed. It is likely that she has a bias against vegetarianism which cannot be overcome simply through a friendly chat.



But if you wish to confron her, make sure you know your stuff. Especially with that adrenaline issue. That's really weird actually. I can't say i've heard that one before.

American 10-10-2003 06:16 PM

While you all know by know about me and my Omni ways

I can say that i have aways had an understanding of what was printed with in that flyer. however i also know that various suplements can be taken if a sever problem arises, at all. i also know that rice and beans 9and this may be wrong) provide the same amount as lean meat. like i said the suplements are avail if needed.



God imagin if i ate only meat..no grains, no vegies...i wounder how long i could live ehhhh

Mskedi 10-10-2003 07:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki View Post

This leaflet is deficient in:

New discoveries that protein is actually available in plants

Common sense

Yeah, tell me about it.



Quote:
If your nurse has been commited enogh against vegetarianism to produce such a leaflet then it would not be advisable to confront her about it unless you are well informed. It is likely that she has a bias against vegetarianism which cannot be overcome simply through a friendly chat.



But if you wish to confron her, make sure you know your stuff. Especially with that adrenaline issue. That's really weird actually. I can't say i've heard that one before.



The adrenaline thing is new to me, too. I'll do some research.

And I figured a chat wouldn't be too productive. Especially since today was flu shot day and she had a huge line. I figure I'll write a letter and suggest that a more balanced leaflet would be productive -- maybe something that talks about how to become a vegetarian safely rather than scare tactics against it. I was even thinking I could make the flyer myself. And I would actually use references! Sheesh.



When I come up with something I'll post it for approval/revision tips. Meanwhile, suggested references would be appreciated. I've got a decent chunk here, but if I get all my info from vegetarian publications it's likely to look equally biased, just the opposite way.

JLRodgers 10-10-2003 07:10 PM

I hate it when you do searches for things like "vegetarian, adrenaline" and all that comes up is the animal hormones in meat, nothing about a deficiency.



I still find it amusing that most people in my family are supposed to be on a "close to" vegetarian diet for health reasons, and remove the red meat, and minimize the "white" ones. Even a diabetic friend of the family eats only fish and chicken and that alone controls blood sugar levels.

Kurmudgeon 10-10-2003 07:10 PM

Crikey, let us hope she never provides one about veganism.

Lothar M Kirsch 10-10-2003 08:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mskedi View Post

First and foremost is a relative protein deficiency, especially an amino acid named tyrosine. Tyrosine is a precursor to a neurotransmitter called epinephrine (commonly known as adrenaline). This deficiency does not permit normal functioning of the adrenal glands (which are necessary for life) and the thyroid gland (as tyrosine is the central building block of the thyroid hormone).

Tyrosine isn't an amino acid which is deficient in a well balanced veg*an diet. Actuallz there's none deficient. But for tyrosine I'll have to lok up some reference works, which I'll do in a couple of days, as I'm still in Bolivia, hoping to reach my flight despite of road blockings (bloqueados).

soilman 10-10-2003 09:19 PM

"All in all in my experience, vegetarians tend to be the poorest responding patients I see."



Geez, I doubt that is what they thought at the Shouldice Hernia Centre, after they surgically repaired 2 inguinal hernias, and fed me a vegan diet, based on the dietary information sheet I provided for them, for a week, and then observed my post-operative recovery, and my mental attidude toward surgery, and recovery. I was cracking jokes while they were holding my spermatic cord outside of my body with a penrose drain (latex tubing), and was doing situps and deep-knee bends and climbing stairs and using the exercycle and walking all over the place just as soon after my operations, as anyone else whose groin they had just dissected apart and then squished back together. While lots of patients ask how soon they can eat after surgery, I think I was the only patient in their whole 55 years of operation who asked if I could have a snack while I was being operated on.



Also, while "ambulatory surgery" is, in their minds, surgery where you walk in, and walk out, of a "surgery center," on the same day, instead of staying overnight at a hospital, and "rapid ambulation" means getting up and walking soon after the operation, I think I was the only patient who suggested "simulataneous ambulation." Simultaneous ambulation is where you have a team of surgeons who each specializes in only one part of the operation, and becomes an expert at that one part. Each surgeon has his own station, and the patient, like manufactured items on a conveyer belt, moves past the surgeons. The means of conveyence, is the patients own 2 feet. The patient walks to the first station where the first surgeon makes the skin incision. The he walks to the second station where the second surgeon, who is a specialist in incising the external oblique aponeurosis, incises the external oblique, and and ambulates on to the next surgeon wgi dissects the spermatic cord from the internal oblique muscle -- etcetera. The patient walks from station to station, until he gets to the last surgeon who close the outer layer of skin. In order to make sure you get enough exercise, they space the surgeons pretty far apart. They vary the distance depending upon how much exercise they think you need. Sometimes you have to make separate appointments to have different parts of your operation done on different days. I have seen the future of medical specialziation and simultaneous ambulation is it.

epski 10-10-2003 09:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by American View Post

While you all know by know about me and my Omni ways

I can say that i have aways had an understanding of what was printed with in that flyer. however i also know that various suplements can be taken if a sever problem arises, at all. i also know that rice and beans 9and this may be wrong) provide the same amount as lean meat. like i said the suplements are avail if needed.



God imagin if i ate only meat..no grains, no vegies...i wounder how long i could live ehhhh



I grew up hearing the same things, too, but it is old science, as his been pointed out, and you're right that vegetarians can get by without meat. Yeah, true carnivorism... eeehhhhh, indeed.

Quizeen 10-10-2003 09:33 PM

Quote:
I think I was the only patient in their whole 55 years of operation who asked if I could have a snack while I was being operated on.



Hello, crumbs!


soilman 10-10-2003 09:42 PM

Mmm. I also heard the head surgeon commenting to the assistants and the assistant surgeon, that I was "so skinny" and my lack of fatty tissue in my groin made his work easier. Apparently lower amounts of fatty tissue make it easier to identify the ileoinguinal, ileohypogastric, and genitial branch of the genital-femoral nerve, and easier to isolate them, and also easier to identify and isolate blood vessels, and thus makes for less post-operative bleeding and bruising, I guess, and from what I can figure out from their conversation, makes dissecting the hernia sack from the surrounding tissues, much easier, too, which means the whole operation is less traumatic, and the patient heals faster.

Kiz 10-10-2003 09:47 PM

Personally, I would take it to the principal. Your school should not be providing such biased pamphlets on anything like this.



"All in all in my experience, vegetarians tend to be the poorest responding patients I see. I do everything I can to convince them to eat some lean red meat daily in the rarest form possible. I have seen dramatic improvements in all kinds of conditions from those who comply to what I call a common sense diet."



Is she doing this to vegetarians who practice thier lifestyle for religious reasons? That is just not on.

Kurmudgeon 10-10-2003 11:02 PM

I bet she gets a nice little bonus from the meat industry..... someone should look into it.

dvmarie 10-11-2003 05:42 AM

Is this handout written by her? (kind of sounds like it - but maybe not) If it is - I would ask her to state her sources (which are probably old if she has them documented at all).



I don't know what I would do if I were a student, but i know what I'd do if it was my daughter's school nurse. I would ask her if she keeps up with current research etc. I'd probably do some homework to specifically challenge what was written in the handout - and give her some books/websites/etc. to reference.



www.pcrm.org is a good website that I email to people who are "suspicious" of vegetarianism.

Artichoke47 10-11-2003 09:02 AM

Maybe you should ask this lady what makes her think she's qualified as an expert on vegetarianism.



Anyway, I've heard that people who are overcoming certain forms of cancer are advised to eat a vegan or vegetarian diet because the body has just enough of what it needs (instead of loads of extra calories, fat) and the cancerous cells can't survive, don't have enough sustenance.



I think it would be awesome if you "put her in her place."

Scimitar 10-11-2003 10:01 AM

You can live off of entirely vegtables, but you'd have to eat a lot more than you would meat. Here's a scale...

2 steaks=32 broccolis

soilman 10-11-2003 12:13 PM

There's that position statement by the American Dietetic Assoc, that was linked to in another veggieboards thread. The ADA is NOT a veg org, so their position that a properly thought out vegan diet should be quite safe, should carry more weight with nurse than info provided by a pro-vegetarian org.

soilman 10-11-2003 12:18 PM

I read somewhere that NASA has plans for recycling materials into food for astronauts, in outer space, and their plan is completely plant-based. (1) space-limitations make cultivating food-animals abord space vehicles and space stations impractical; it is an inefficient use of resources; (2) they believe a veg diet should be totally sufficient. (3) They are even rejecting animal tissue culture as impractical and inefficient way to create proteins; they are going for entirely plant-provided proteins to feed astronauts, in regard to food produced in space (as opposed to produced on earth and brought from earth to space).

epski 10-11-2003 12:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post

You can live off of entirely vegtables, but you'd have to eat a lot more than you would meat. Here's a scale...

2 steaks=32 broccolis

That's barely enough one broccoli for one meal!

Mskedi 10-11-2003 01:11 PM

Awesome replies, thanks.



I don't know if she is, in fact, the author of the flyer. It isn't signed or anything (in keeping with its complete lack of referecnces), and it's just a typed sheet -- no graphics, etc. This nurse is new to our school and it could very well be a leftover from the old nurse's regime (she wasn't popular ), though I never noticed it before. Either way, she is distributing it in her office and she should be responsible for the information that she gives to our students.



I was planning on pulling info from the ADA, thanks. That was the most respected/unbiased source I could think of. Are there any other organizations, science, or health journals I should be digging through? I'd like to make sure I come across as well-informed rather than, um, pissed. It's been nearly nine years since I went veg, and it's become such a habitual part of my life that I've long-since stopped researching on it, though I do still have books in my home. Hmm.



I read it to my (omni) little brother last night and he just about died laughing. That's pretty much been the response of everyone I've read it to -- I doubt it will be hard to remove the flyer fromt the nurse's office with reactions like that. But I want to make sure it's replaced with something balanced.



As far as telling the principal -- that would depend on the nurse's response. I'd like to start off with a friendly letter. If she chooses to keep the flyer, I'll CC the principal, but I'd rather this not be an attack. Most of her other flyers contain references -- this one certainly sticks out.



I've got to do my real work today, but I'm hoping to have a draft of something tomorrow evening. I'll share when I do. Thanks.

soilman 10-11-2003 07:58 PM

"Due to a blood sugar/adrenal stress syndrome the patient tends to develop a chronic ileocecal valve syndrome (which is the valve that connects the small and large intestines). This ICV syndrome can lead to numerous far reaching problems in the body."



Goodness gracious, yes, ileocecal valve syndrome can be aggravated by perturbations of blood sugar stasis and adrenal stress, but the primary cause of icvs is low-frequency sound waves produced by matter-phase-shifted (and thus not perceptible with normal vision) flying saucers. Kevin Bacon did a lot of research on this, but most of it is classified as military secret, except a small amount that did manage to leak out to the motion picture industry.

Oatmeal 10-11-2003 08:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post

You can live off of entirely vegtables, but you'd have to eat a lot more than you would meat. Here's a scale...

2 steaks=32 broccolis



What does that refer to? Calories? Protein? Fat? Carbs? Calcium?



And who are you answering to? Who said anything about eating vegetables only??

Oatmeal 10-11-2003 08:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by American View Post

While you all know by know about me and my Omni ways

I can say that i have aways had an understanding of what was printed with in that flyer.



Yeah, the but that nurse is supposed to be a professional. She is severely misinformed about something she is paid to be good at.



If I would do my profession like she is doing hers, I'd be out of my job tomorrow.

soilman 10-11-2003 11:06 PM

Oatmeal writes

===============

She is severely misinformed about something she is paid to be good at.

============



Not really. A school nurse is paid to take care of first aid and to recognize serious illness that warrants medical attention, and or sending the student home, away from the school.



Neither school nurses, nor school doctors, are paid to be dieticians. School dieticians, who are on the kitchen staff, are paid to have dietary knowledge. A degree in nursing or medicine requires only minimla dietary knowledge, and very little knowledge of practical matters in relation to diet. Nurses and physicians are taught to recognize and treat disorders, and nurses are trained in caring for people who need help caring for themselves, because they have a disorder; nurses are not educated and trained in how to take care of normal functioning -- such as what to feed people. Tho they often seem to like to make official pronouncements, as if they were. But really this is the area of expertise of dieticians, not physicians and nurses.

Oatmeal 10-12-2003 12:21 AM

Well then she's doing something that she is not paid for, she's not educated in, and therefore something she should not do.

Mskedi 10-12-2003 04:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oatmeal View Post

Well then she's doing something that she is not paid for, she's not educated in, and therefore something she should not do.



Yeah.

But I respect the idea of having a resource for health-related info. She should just be sure that that information is reliable. The flyer on knee injuries that I picked up, for instance, had references and explained causes and had prevention tips. Not a bad thing.



A couple of the students in the club that I sponsor are vegans. I'll have to show them the flyer this week and see what they think. It's likely they'll want to write something, too.

1vegan 10-13-2003 04:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post

You can live off of entirely vegtables, but you'd have to eat a lot more than you would meat. Here's a scale...

2 steaks=32 broccolis





You've got your sources messed up.........

Loki 10-13-2003 04:07 PM

And remember kids, five hamburgers equals two brocollis plus three potatoes and a can of beans, unless you take the integers of each bean to represent a vector on a 3D graph. Then you draw three consecutive cosine curves and note the intersections on each. You then take the mean value of each of these intersections to represent a co-ordinate. You can then take this co-ordinate, subtract six. Divide by two, and then find the cube root. This figure equals the worth of the food in hambergers. Multiply by three to see its worth in steaks.



Now scimitar here forgot to take it down to the lowest common multiple. He represented this equation as a figure of 2 steaks representing 32 brocollis. he should take it to mean that 1 steak eqals sixteen brocollis. Though he is technically right with thirty two, it makes it easier to take it down to the lowest common multiple thingy.



This equation is standard practice. I'm worried that you guys weren't aware of it. It's the standard way for converting values of omnivore foods into vegetarian foods.

Kurmudgeon 10-13-2003 04:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki View Post

I'm worried that you guys weren't aware of it.



It's obviously the lack of meat in our diets.

Loki 10-13-2003 04:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurmudgeon View Post

It's obviously the lack of meat in our diets.



It must be down to a protein deficiency.


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