What side effects did you have when first going vegan? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-18-2016, 12:26 AM
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Post What side effects did you have when first going vegan?

Firstly, hello! I'm new here to this board. I've been a vegetarian for over five months and am taking the plunge to be a vegan after researching on the milk and egg industry and the horrendous treatment to cow calf's and chickens.

So far, this is my 3rd day without any dairy whatsoever. I was a big coffee drinker and have now drank soy milk/almond milk instead of usual cow milk and have been getting horrendous headaches and also stomach pains, but I gather that is probably increase in fiber.

Did anyone else have these sorts of feelings when transitioning and cutting out dairy? I would love to know your experiences?

Thanks. I just feel like I need a bit of reassurance right now
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#2 Old 12-18-2016, 01:47 AM
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Can you tell us more about what things you changed in your diet?

For me, going dairy free meant a decrease in symptoms from my Crohns so I have experienced the exact opposite of you. My stomach cramps and pains were and are still becoming less severe since becoming vegan.

My skin has become clearer, I have lost weight and my Crohns symptoms are better.

What sort of symptoms do you experience? Have you had any of these problems before?

Congrats on making the switch, and I'd love to hear more from you!

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#3 Old 12-18-2016, 03:46 AM
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Thank you for your response! It's great to hear how well you are going and how it seems to have helped with your Crohns symptoms!

I thought perhaps it was just my body taking time to adjust without dairy, but I've been having headaches during the night. I've been making sure I drink enough water, though it may be the fact I've somewhat reduced my caffeine coffee intake as well since switching to soy milk. Maybe I'm being paranoid but I feel flu-like symptoms at times too, like my nose feels stuffy so I am not sure if that's the eliminating dairy that's helping as I did have sinus problems in the past? I'd be curious to know if you felt any flu-like symptoms when cutting dairy?

Thanks again for your reply!
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#4 Old 12-18-2016, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by queenofpeace View Post
Firstly, hello! I'm new here to this board. I've been a vegetarian for over five months and am taking the plunge to be a vegan after researching on the milk and egg industry and the horrendous treatment to cow calf's and chickens.

So far, this is my 3rd day without any dairy whatsoever. I was a big coffee drinker and have now drank soy milk/almond milk instead of usual cow milk and have been getting horrendous headaches and also stomach pains, but I gather that is probably increase in fiber.

Did anyone else have these sorts of feelings when transitioning and cutting out dairy? I would love to know your experiences?

Thanks. I just feel like I need a bit of reassurance right now
Check your non dairy milk for carrageenan, it's a seaweed product thats added to things for creaminess, and some people have bad reactions-
http://wilmingtonfavs.org/do-you-hav...eenan-allergy/
Not all do, Silk has omitted it from all their non dairys, and did many store brands. I just checked my Aldi soy and almond milk--the soy milk has it, the almond doesn't.
You don't need to worry about fiber in non dairy milk though, so unless you're adding fiber in other foods I don't think that's the issue.
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#5 Old 12-18-2016, 08:14 AM
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So far, this is my 3rd day without any dairy whatsoever. I was a big coffee drinker and have now drank soy milk/almond milk instead of usual cow milk and have been getting horrendous headaches and also stomach pains, but I gather that is probably increase in fiber.

Are you getting enough calories? And enough protein? Sometimes when people go vegan they don't get enough calories or, even if they do, don't get enough protein. This could be causing some of your problems.

Additionally, it could be coincidence. Three days is not a long time, and you might be getting the headaches and pains for other reasons, unrelated to eliminating dairy.

I can say that I'm not technically vegan. I'm a vegetarian who eats vegan almost all of the time, but I occasionally eat cheese in social settings, which is usually about once a week. However, at times I've gone a month with no dairy whatsoever, meaning I've experienced full month periods eating strictly vegan. In any event, I've never experienced any side effects. I will say that I feel slightly better, just slightly more energetic, than when I was an omni. However, even during the periods when I've gone a month eating strictly vegan, I've never had any side effects or problems. However, I always make sure to get enough protein (for me, getting enough calories isn't a problem!). I also take a vitamin B-12 supplement daily, which is a good idea for anyone on a vegan or near-vegan diet.
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#6 Old 12-18-2016, 09:20 AM
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I thought perhaps it was just my body taking time to adjust without dairy, but I've been having headaches during the night. I've been making sure I drink enough water, though it may be the fact I've somewhat reduced my caffeine coffee intake as well since switching to soy milk.
Bingo. Caffeine withdrawal would explain all of the symptoms you describe. See http://www.caffeineinformer.com/caff...mptoms-top-ten

Quote:
Headache
A caffeine headache usually starts behind the eyes and then moves up the front of the head.

...

Flu-like symptoms
Stuffy nose, blocked sinuses, and sinus pressure have all been reported by people withdrawing from caffeine.
The good news is that if it is caffeine, this should resolve relatively quickly.
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#7 Old 12-18-2016, 06:47 PM
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When I transitioned to vegan from vegetarian, I had zero bad effects. I think a lot of it might have to do with fears that there will be issues (not always of course, but sometimes), but I saw the kinds of videos that you mentioned queenofpeace, and it was a done deal, I was a vegan forever, til I die sort of thing so I just went for it. And nothing bad.
Maybe in your case, it's the drop in coffee (it does the same thing to me if I cut way down suddenly). Or maybe you're just coming down with a flu bug. It is that time of year after all and seems to go through whole communities in waves.

Good luck with the transition. It gets easier (and got really easy when I discovered a Tofutti ice cream bar called 'Marry Me')!
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#8 Old 12-19-2016, 08:13 AM
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Years ago, I used to be a coca cola addict. I drank up to four cans a day.

I quit and was shaking, sweating, and had horrible headaches causing me to see stars during three days. That's what extreme caffeine withdrawal looks like.

If it's anything like that, it's probably the lower amount of caffeine and not veganism
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#9 Old 12-20-2016, 10:07 PM
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You are experiencing caffeine withdrawal. Vegans can still drink coffee. This is not a side effect of veganism. After three days hunger would be the only thing you'd experience IF you didn't know what to eat.
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#10 Old 12-27-2016, 06:23 PM
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I would have to agree that it is probably due to the decrease in caffeine in your diet. I don't consider myself a vegan (like a previous poster I have been through long periods of eating vegan, but have included dairy or eggs back in from time to time), but what I notice when I am eating vegan is:

-I feel lighter (not sluggish in the slightest, I get a "heavy" feeling in my stomach when I eat eggs. It's hard to explain)
-I have less headaches and flu-like symptoms (dairy makes me feel like I'm congested and full of phlegm. Gross!)
-my skin is clearer (turns out dairy is an acne trigger for me, I didn't notice until I had cut it out for two or three months)
-I lose weight (being vegetarian instead of plant-based, I weighed more, easier to keep off the lbs when you omit dairy)
-I am hardly ever bloated (even when I should be due to hormones)
-I have less gas/stomach aches (again, dairy was causing this for me).

I hope that your symptoms alleviate soon. Keep us updated on how you feel!
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#11 Old 12-29-2016, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by queenofpeace View Post
Thank you for your response! It's great to hear how well you are going and how it seems to have helped with your Crohns symptoms!

I thought perhaps it was just my body taking time to adjust without dairy, but I've been having headaches during the night. I've been making sure I drink enough water, though it may be the fact I've somewhat reduced my caffeine coffee intake as well since switching to soy milk. Maybe I'm being paranoid but I feel flu-like symptoms at times too, like my nose feels stuffy so I am not sure if that's the eliminating dairy that's helping as I did have sinus problems in the past? I'd be curious to know if you felt any flu-like symptoms when cutting dairy?

Thanks again for your reply!

Hi I haven't gone vegan yet I am still a meat eater, but the symptoms you are experiencing are the same symptoms my husband had when he tried to get off caffeine (he has high amounts of caffeine in a day though so if you don't drink it often I'm not sure how you would react to stopping), but just from that experience I would imagine it could be that? Also Silk makes this amazing for coffee "creamer" if you want to keep drinking coffee. I got some the other day, the coconut one and I really enjoyed it and this is coming from someone who doesn't even like creamer to begin with (I normally mix half hot chocolate in but that's not vegan so decided to give it a try)
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#12 Old 03-11-2017, 04:34 AM
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I had a numbness in my left thigh for years and a week after I gave up dairy and went vegan the numbness disappeared
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#13 Old 03-11-2017, 11:24 PM
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Nothing like that happened to me, although I had to join a message board (this one), and I'm sure a lot of the long timers will tell you, at first, when I joined, I was a complete idiot about the vegan diet. Now I'm a lot smarter about it.

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#14 Old 04-06-2017, 05:30 PM
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I am also an incredibly new vegan. I only started two weeks ago, overnight, never even been a vegetarian before. The first week was AMAZING. I felt so lean, and so energetic and just couldn't talk enough about how good I was feeling. This week I feel just completely exhausted and run down and foggy-headed. I'm not sure it has anything to do with the transition. I've been eating a good variety of foods, but I'm not sure if I'm getting everything in. I've also lost 3lbs in a week which I was not meaning to happen because I am very careful to eat my maintenance calories. I have no idea why I lost weight eating them, I can't imagine that plant based calories are somehow different, in everything I've read and studied a calorie is a calorie no matter what, just has different nutritional density.
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#15 Old 04-06-2017, 05:49 PM
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I am also an incredibly new vegan. I only started two weeks ago, overnight, never even been a vegetarian before. The first week was AMAZING. I felt so lean, and so energetic and just couldn't talk enough about how good I was feeling. This week I feel just completely exhausted and run down and foggy-headed. I'm not sure it has anything to do with the transition. I've been eating a good variety of foods, but I'm not sure if I'm getting everything in. I've also lost 3lbs in a week which I was not meaning to happen because I am very careful to eat my maintenance calories. I have no idea why I lost weight eating them, I can't imagine that plant based calories are somehow different, in everything I've read and studied a calorie is a calorie no matter what, just has different nutritional density.
Hm... Are you sure you are tracking calories correctly? What does a day of eating look like for you?

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#16 Old 04-06-2017, 05:50 PM
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I am also an incredibly new vegan. I only started two weeks ago, overnight, never even been a vegetarian before. The first week was AMAZING. I felt so lean, and so energetic and just couldn't talk enough about how good I was feeling. This week I feel just completely exhausted and run down and foggy-headed. I'm not sure it has anything to do with the transition. I've been eating a good variety of foods, but I'm not sure if I'm getting everything in. I've also lost 3lbs in a week which I was not meaning to happen because I am very careful to eat my maintenance calories. I have no idea why I lost weight eating them, I can't imagine that plant based calories are somehow different, in everything I've read and studied a calorie is a calorie no matter what, just has different nutritional density.
Calories are calories-what are you using to track your diet?
You're definitely eating less, something must be off.
Could you be inputting things like cooked amounts of grains/beans/legumes as uncooked? Like 1/2 cup uncooked beans would be about 1 cup or more cooked. Maybe your looking at uncooked portions?
3 pounds in a week is a lot! That would explain how you're feeling lately!
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#17 Old 04-10-2017, 01:42 PM
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Calories are calories-what are you using to track your diet?
You're definitely eating less, something must be off.
Could you be inputting things like cooked amounts of grains/beans/legumes as uncooked? Like 1/2 cup uncooked beans would be about 1 cup or more cooked. Maybe your looking at uncooked portions?
3 pounds in a week is a lot! That would explain how you're feeling lately!
I'm using MyFitnessPal, I've been using it diligently for over a year so I haven't made any mistakes as far as the uncooked portions etc, but I actually seem to have evened back out and am feeling really good again. Maybe it was just a weird unrelated bug or perhaps just a drop in water weight as I notice I'm much leaner without any bloating from dairy etc. I do appreciate the response though! Those are good resources.
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#18 Old 04-10-2017, 01:44 PM
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Hm... Are you sure you are tracking calories correctly? What does a day of eating look like for you?
I appreciate the reply! I am feeling better now and am continuing to love this new journey! <3
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#19 Old 05-04-2017, 07:14 PM
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One side effect I recently noticed is how regular I've become.

Sorry to be too graphic, but when I was eating a lot of meat, dairy, and saturated fats a few weeks ago, I wasn't that regular and at times felt constipated especially when I was in my low carb/keto phase.

Past few days I think my body is finally starting to catch up and cleanse myself of all that nasty junk in my system. I had some stomach cramps and was just going to the bathroom a lot.

But overall I feel much better on a vegan diet after one week, than I did in years on a meat/junk food diet.
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#20 Old 05-04-2017, 07:29 PM
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One side effect I recently noticed is how regular I've become.

Sorry to be too graphic, but when I was eating a lot of meat, dairy, and saturated fats a few weeks ago, I wasn't that regular and at times felt constipated especially when I was in my low carb/keto phase.

Past few days I think my body is finally starting to catch up and cleanse myself of all that nasty junk in my system. I had some stomach cramps and was just going to the bathroom a lot.

But overall I feel much better on a vegan diet after one week, than I did in years on a meat/junk food diet.

Yes, such a relief! I was constipated throughout my childhood. When I became vegan, my bowels were so much happier.
.
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#21 Old 05-05-2017, 09:28 AM
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Yes, such a relief! I was constipated throughout my childhood. When I became vegan, my bowels were so much happier.
.
Ridiculous, I literally pooped once a week! Lumpy dry poo. Not comfortable.
By contrast, my OH now claims up to four poops a day... o.O
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#22 Old 05-06-2017, 02:31 PM
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I became more of a Smart @$$ then I was before...
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#23 Old 05-06-2017, 07:40 PM
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The main side effects I experienced going vegan 12 years ago were peace of mind, happiness at finally living my values, and a sense of adventure that this was going to be a huge life-changing event! And it was. And I was a little apprehensive that I could keep it up. Turns out lining up good resources, getting online support, and focusing on the good going vegan would do, I've been able to adjust to any of the initial changes I experienced. Good luck!
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#24 Old 05-07-2017, 07:06 PM
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I guess the side effect is : I don't look well for lacking of protein.
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#25 Old 05-08-2017, 12:45 PM
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I guess the side effect is : I don't look well for lacking of protein.
What are you eating? Protein deficiency is pretty rare!
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#26 Old 05-08-2017, 04:55 PM
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Yes, such a relief! I was constipated throughout my childhood. When I became vegan, my bowels were so much happier.
.
Being regular is so awesome, one of the best 'side effects' of going on a plant based diet.

I'm going on 2 weeks now and don't miss meat at all. No cravings for burgers, fish, etc.

I used to think that going vegetarian/vegan makes you 'weak' physically, and I think it is something that many meat eaters still believe.

I have not experienced any weakness at all. I don't count calories a lot but just try to get in full meals at least 3 times a day and meet my caloric needs. I don't count macros either but my protein intake should be plenty because I do like to eat a lot of legumes (beans, etc.).
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#27 Old 05-09-2017, 02:02 PM
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Physical side effects: more energy, better digestion, some bloating for the first while due to increased fiber.

Emotional side effects: happier, more peaceful, but also experienced some social anxiety and feeling of isolation for the first while as I adjusted to being the odd one out. Then i realized I have ALWAYS been odd, and it got a lot better LOL ^_^
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#28 Old 05-10-2017, 01:09 AM
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My main side effect is spending too much time on the net trying to find substitutes for non-vegan things.

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#29 Old 05-10-2017, 02:54 AM
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I too became much more regular. I used to have chronic nausea and digestive issues and those virtually disappeared when I went vegan. I feel more aligned walking the walk as far as what I value and believe in. I feel more empowered and empowering in the choices I make each day.

I have never lacked a ton of energy in the years of being vegan. I completed school, earned two certifications, biked countless miles, ran a ton, got back into dancing (ballet/modern), still workout regularly and consistently since starting that 10 years ago, work full time, did some animal rights activism for a while.

For the most part all of the labs I have had done as a vegan over the years have either improved or have remained excellent: cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, glucose, magnesium, B12, calcium blood, iron ferritin, hemoglobin, D, potassium. Sodium and glucose recently dipped to bottom of normal but my exercise has increased a lot due to biking 10 miles a day (to gym for more workout lol and then on to work and home). White blood cell count recently trended down as well as neutrophils but this is due to a medication I am on that affects this.

I was a label reader as an omni, just looked for different stuff....calories, fat grams, price lol. Now I look for words like "l cysteine, whey, casseine, cholesterol", D3. I eat very little processed foods so it's not a time consuming effort, however, most of the processed foods I do choose to eat tend to be from vegan companies or those well known for vegan options (Daiya, Field Roast, Hampton Creek, Food for Life, SoDelicious...). Though I still check those labels too.

There are annoyances. For instance, tommorow I have to go to a six hour conference for work that is located in a conference room across town. Food "will be provided" as announced, but this has always meant there is not a single vegan friendly option. Usually it's stuff like pizza and pop, loaded with cheese and meat. So I bring my own food every single time, something small and discreet since I have to bring it into the conference room and eat it cold (no dining services there). It's not a big deal, but of course it makes me stand out since I am the only person in a room of about 50-60 people who is not eating what everyone else is. I am very self concious, but my conscience matter more to me, so I stick to what is more important to me, and just deal with this rare time of discomfort. At least I have been admired by some coworkers for my commitment and "will power" lol. If making an ethical choice can be called that.

Another negative side effect has been the heartache and disappointment when other family members go enthusiastically vegan only to return to meat later, and shove it in your face on top of it.
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#30 Old 05-15-2017, 08:58 PM
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Actually one thing I've noticed a few days ago was that I got a headache on and off throughout the day. I was fine yesterday and today, but not sure what that was about. I'm definitely eating enough calories, take a multivitamin, and stay hydrated, so not sure what happened.
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