How do you REALLY feel? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-01-2019, 06:56 AM
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How do you REALLY feel?

Hello,
New member here.
Serious question that if I was asked by a non vegan interested in adopting veganism, I would probably have to lie about.
I'm an ethical vegan of 2 years and 7 months.
My personal activism is my instagram account, over 600 posts mostly about veganism, just reposts really, but trying to do my bit. My sister in law said to me the other day that she is gonna give Veganuary a go because of my instagram activism, which I was bowled over by. Her dad worked in the meat market so it is a big thing for her.
However, I've just seen a post about how you can cure/improve digestive issues on a vegan diet, which I had to comment on because my digestive problems only started when I went vegan.
Prior to that I considered myself having a cast-iron constitution.
I'm an active self employed dog daycarer/walker/boarder and part time gardener(1 day a week).
4 days a week I walk at least 10 miles with the dogs and the 5th day gardening is literally spent on my feet for 8 hours(I even take the dogs along and walk them at lunch time). Been doing this for the last 10 years.
I'm 51, 5'11" 70kg.
Family history of hyper tension(mine has always been borderline, not needing medication).
I also had a thriving online handmade leather items business which I closed down, when I made the shift, which was the hardest thing to do.
6 months into veganism, I was worried about discolouration and swelling of one of my ankles when I spent a long time on my feet, which because of my work was virtually everyday.
A friend mentioned diabetes so I spoke to my GP, had blood tests done, which came back negative for Diabetes but I was told that I had Hypothyroidism and would need to take the synthetic thyroid hormone, thyroxine for the rest of my life, which all came as a bit of a shock.
I had been waiting for the perceived energy boost and general well being that came hand in hand with adopting the vegan diet, but it never happened and now I had been diagnosed as having a life long chronic illness.
I did ask if veganism had caused the hypothyroidism and was told no, but if I'm honest a nagging doubt remains, as I keep on reading about the negatives of soya on thyroid health.
I cook 85% of my food from scratch, don't really like any of the vegan processed stuff I've tried.
I love the diet, and have embraced cooking properly, to the point it has become a passion.
I do use oil and plant based butter as well as salt and drink a beer with my evening meal as I have always done.
Pretty sure I cover all the bases, nutrient wise.
I supplement with B12 and take a tablespoon of ground flaxseed on my oatmeal most mornings.
I follow all the usual suspects on social media and have recently been aware that a few of the main protagonists have been mentioning digestive issues.
I've also been seeing quite a few vegans turning away from the diet because of health problems, although they do mostly seem to be the extremists, who have tried all the various forms of a PBD.
I replied on the instagram post about correcting digestive problems, that my problems only started with veganism and that if I had adopted a plant based diet for health reasons, I probably would have gone back to eating meat by now.
I have tried digestive enzymes and am now trying celery juice, recommended by that Medical Medium bloke(who I think is probably a shill, but I thought for the sake of 50p a day outlay, I might as well give it a go).
What I would really like to know is how do YOU honestly feel eating a plant based diet?
Apart from the digestive issues and hypothyroidism, my hypertension has not improved as expected.
In all honesty I would say my energy is reduced and I feel that I have lost some muscle mass and strength, my weight has remained the same, belly has got somewhat wider.
I was a keen weekend cyclist (not competitive) and saw my performance drop as well.
In the last 6 months I have noticed my joints becoming stiffer and sore, I feel like an old man in the mornings. My leg muscles feel constantly tight, just like they used to after a heavy work out, years ago.
Being concerned, I mentioned all this to my GP when I had to have my yearly blood test for the Hypothyroidism.
I was concerned that perhaps I was having absorption issues.
Results came back everything OK.
I guess, I would just like some honest feedback.
We would all love for the rest of the world to go vegan and use everything in our arsenal to convince people to see the light.
I've actually been considering eating some fish or maybe getting some eggs from my local city farm, just to see if anything is different, even though I've heard all there is to know about toxins and cholesterol.
I wonder if there is something almost magical about meat, eggs and dairy in very small quantities as consumed by the people that live in the Blue zones.
I listen to the vegan podcasts and hear the experts telling me that the data is all there and anything that says that meat, eggs and dairy is good for us is funded by those industries.
I realise that saying anything negative about the vegan diet is pretty much sacrilege, especially on a vegan forum, but I'd really appreciate some honest feedback.
For your information I'm not an investigative reporter or meat eating shill looking to refute veganism.
My Instagram handle is simopco if you'd like to confirm and send me a dm.
Thanks for reading, look forward to any replies.
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#2 Old 01-01-2019, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esarempee View Post
Thanks for reading, look forward to any replies.

Welcome to the forum, though your situation sounds frustrating.

It is likely that your difficulties, if related to the vegan diet, can be remedied by a small, appropriate tweak to your eating habits. I say this not because I've been a vegan for 27 years, but because nearly every reputable mainstream health organization and athletic organization has stated that properly-planned vegan diets are healthy. At the end of this posting are links to support this, and links to help you find a local Registered Dietitian.

Regarding hypothyroidism: The Adventist Health Study 2 - one of the largest-ever population studies of vegetarians - found that vegans tend to have a lower incidence of hypothyroidism: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3847753/ . That doesn't mean that vegans can't develop hypothyroidism, of course! However, it does strongly suggest that a properly-planned vegan is unlikely to worsen the likelihood of developing hypothyroidism.

Regarding hypothyroidism and soy foods: Popular health sites and forums are filled with claims about soy foods - from miraculous to terrifying. However, peer-reviewed studies of soy foods are a lot less dramatic. The U.S. National Institutes of Health published this peer-reviewed article about soy foods and thyroid health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16571087 . This article concludes that soy foods are healthy, even for people with hypothyroidism, as long as people consume enough iodine in their diets.

Regarding joint health: The Arthritis Foundation has stated that vegetarian/vegan diets tend either to have no effect on joint health/swelling, or to have a beneficial effect: https://www.arthritis.org/living-wit...rian-diets.php . Again, this doesn't mean that vegetarians can't get arthritis, but it does suggest that a properly-planned vegetarian diet is likely to be beneficial.



Rather than trying to find nutrition advice from a public forum/podcast, it would be better/safer to consult with a Registered Dietitian who specializes in vegetarian diets.

In the United States, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: http://www.eatright.org . Just click on the "Find an Expert" button, located in the upper-right-hand portion of the webpage.

In the U.K., you can find a local Registered Dietitian on the Freelance Dietitians website: http://www.freelancedietitians.org/

In New Zealand, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through the Dietitians New Zealand website: http://dietitians.org.nz/find-a-dietitian/

In Australia, you can find a local Accredited Practising Dietitian through the Dietitians Association of Australia: https://daa.asn.au/find-an-apd/

In Canada, you can find a local Registered Dietitian at the Dietitians of Canada website: http://www.dietitians.ca/Find-a-Dietitian.aspx .

In the Nederlands, you can find a local Registered Dietitian at http://www.nvdietist.nl/ .



Appendix: Mainstream health organizations have stated that properly-planned vegetarian diets are healthy:

American Heart Association: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Health...appName=WebApp

American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fit...r-vegetarians/

Kaiser Permanente health insurance company: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

American Council on Exercise: https://www.acefitness.org/education...ian-diets-safe

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 01-02-2019 at 06:52 AM.
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#3 Old 01-09-2019, 01:00 AM
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I find that I do feel better whilst eating a vegan diet - my skin in particular really clears up. I tend to lose a bit of weight and my near-monthly migraines improve. I'm not sure why but I was expecting kind of a miracle when it came to making the switch - for some reason I was expecting everything to improve. Now I realise that was completely unrealistic, but for a while I was a bit disappointed.

Is it possible that any of your issues might have been 'triggered'/started before you became a vegan? I'm assuming you are an adult and I know from experience that hypothyroidism can come on either very gradually or very suddenly.
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#4 Old 01-09-2019, 09:48 AM
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I feel just fine, thank you. You just have to face that a vegan lifestyle is not a miracle cure and preventative for everything out there. Vegans get sick, vegans get cancer, vegans get diabetes just like everyone else. Neither plants nor meat/dairy/eggs have any magical ingredients that are going to save you. And there's plenty of people with hypothyroidism who were never vegan one day in their lives. It just happens.

I never believed those claims that becoming vegan turned you into some kind of superhero.
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#5 Old 01-09-2019, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crispinita View Post
I feel just fine, thank you. You just have to face that a vegan lifestyle is not a miracle cure and preventative for everything out there. Vegans get sick, vegans get cancer, vegans get diabetes just like everyone else. Neither plants nor meat/dairy/eggs have any magical ingredients that are going to save you. And there's plenty of people with hypothyroidism who were never vegan one day in their lives. It just happens.

I never believed those claims that becoming vegan turned you into some kind of superhero.

Vegetarians and vegans still get disease, but there's very strong evidence that properly-planned veg diets can help to prevent/treat cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

There have been two very large studies of the comparative health of vegetarians and omnivores: the Adventist Health Study (California, USA) and the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Oxford (EPIC-Oxford, UK). These studies, along with other smaller studies, showed convincing evidence that vegetarians have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. This is summarized in this 2009 peer-reviewed study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2677008/

It's therefore not surprising that mainstream health organizations agree that properly-planned vegetarian diets can help prevent/treat these diseases (see links in my previous post in this thread).

.

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#6 Old 01-09-2019, 12:47 PM
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It can help prevent those things, but it does NOT make you immune to them. Nobody has a perfectly healthy body that never breaks down and never develops a malfunction. It's just the way it is. There is no reason why a vegan diet would eliminate your chances of developing hypothyroidism.
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