Vegan for 7 months, nauseous for the last 2.
Hey guys, I've been vegetarian or pescatarian for the last 6 years, and decided to cut to veganism for the second try. I was vegan for 2 months a couple years ago, and while I've stuck it out longer this time, it's getting difficult for me.
The main thing is that I get back pain (like it's my kidneys), and nausea. I often throw up after I eat, which of course means I'm hungry all the time. The doctor checked me out, my bloodwork is great, I'm not pregnant, and I don't have anything wrong with my kidneys.
I could be wrong, but I feel certain that it's my diet. I keep telling myself I'll do better, but I just keep getting worse when it comes to cooking healthy. I have bipolar disorder, so sometimes I get super perfect for a while and tell myself I can keep it up, and then I get depressed and don't really do anything, including cooking (I'm very sedentary when I'm not manic). I'm also pretty broke right now, so I can't really afford things like berries (even frozen ones are expensive where I live) or pre-packaged foods other than Ramen.
Just because it's easiest, I eat a lot of raw food. I eat raw spring mix (greens), a banana, and another fruit or two for breakfast. Usually a fruit, a couple servings of beans, and some other vegetable for lunch, and then pretty much junk for dinner - Ramen noodles, vegan patties. I do eat rice and beans, pasta with pre-made sauce, potatoes, and scrambled tofu sometimes for dinner. I also have a couple servings of nuts every day, and at least one serving of whole wheat. That's pretty much what I eat. I also take a vitamin with vitamin B12, D2, C, etc.
(Quick edit - The only foods that don't make me nauseous are foods that are almost entirely fat - like nuts and olives. For some reason avocados still make me nauseous, but I think it might be the texture).
Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to know if anyone else has had issues like this; nausea, vomiting, and back pain when switching to veganism? I'm really committed to staying vegan this time, but these issues are just making it difficult.
When you go from vegetarian to vegan you're just losing animal products. If you have dietary problems it's only logical that you've added things. There's nothing about missing foods that can cause you be nauseous.
Have you started eating more processed foods? Added vegan cheese? Non dairy milks that have carageenan- that causes digestive issues for some people.
You say you've been more raw- is this a change from when you were vegetarian or omni?
You don't say where you are, is it possible to see a dietician?
Healthy foods should not cause nausea, unless you have some sort of food allergy. Whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables are recommended for all people (omnivore and vegetarian).
Is it possible for your physician to refer you to a Registered Dietitian? They can help you to plan a balanced vegan diet, and they can help with identifying any food sensitivities that you might have. Be sure to tell the RD about the medications that you are taking for bipolar disorder.
Nietzscha, please apply for government food assistance! Having enough healthy food is a fundamental human right! You can apply for food assistance through the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) website: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/apply .
I don't qualify for SNAP because I voluntarily left my job and my husband makes "too much money." The reason we're broke is because we were living slightly under our means before I quit (thankfully saving a lot, so at least we've got that), but now we're living above our means and to downsize rent would mean forking over $2200 to get out of our current rental contract. Also, between graduate schools and college loans, we have roughly $14k/year in loans, which is definitely a lot on one income (we are trying to pay them off quickly, so if we really had to, we could get that amount decreased). I feel pretty guilty that I made us broke, but my husband has pointed out the huge positive affect leaving my traditional job has had on my mental health, so I'm trying to figure out little ways here and there to make money.
I do have really good insurance, which I'm sure would pay for a dietitian. Where I live (I live in the South of the U.S.), there aren't many dietitians to choose from, and I would be surprised if any would be willing to allow for veganism. The last dietitian I talked to said, very firmly, that "no one should ever be vegan." I was vegetarian at the time, and she was barely okay with that. It sounds like that's really my only choice though, so I'll try shopping around to see if I can't find a dietitian who would be willing to work with me.
To answer your question, Silva, I don't do processed "cheese" (just can't take the taste of that stuff), and the only "milk" I use is almond or pecan milk I make myself. I am doing more raw just because it's easier, and yes, that is different than when I was vegetarian. Now that I think about it, it is often the raw stuff that I throw up. Hmm... My body is very sensitive to acidity (I've got GERD). I wonder if all the raw fruit is producing too much acid in my stomach? I just looked it up, and most of the fruit I eat have a pH of 3-4. I also use lemon juice on things a good bit, and LOVE vinegar. I'm that person who has six different varieties in my cupboard at all times. Maybe I need to cut down on some of the acidity and eat more of the spinach type alkaline foods. This also makes sense because the lazier I get, the more raw fruit I eat, so maybe it's been the past 2 months or so that I've been eating this much raw fruit.
Thanks guys, I've got some good feedback!
Understood about the SNAP limitations. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
Nietzscha, have you tried looking for a vegetarian-friendly, local Registered Dietitian through the website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics? On their website, you can see a very complete list of your local RD's - with luck, you might find one who accommodates vegetarian/vegan diets, and who also specializes in digestive disorders. Just click on the red "Find An Expert" button, in the upper-right corner of their webpage: http://www.eatright.org
For example, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, there are two Registered Dietitians who specialize in both vegetarian nutrition and in digestive disorders! In Biloxi, Mississippi, there is one RD who specializes in both vegetarian nutrition and digestive disorders! And those places are certainly in the southern United States. Please try the website - you might be surprised by what your city offers.
I've attached images, below, which show the navigation through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' dietitian search:
1. Click on the red "Find an Expert" button:
2. Click on "Search by Expertise":
3. Fill in your ZIP code, and select the "Digestive Disorders" and "Vegetarian Nutrition" (and/or your other preferred) specialties:
4. Click on the "Find an RDN" button.
Ah, I actually did find one, pretty close to me too. Thanks! I'll have to see if my insurance will cover her. If not, I have this weird thing that I'd never heard of before my husband got his job. Basically every year our insurance gives us a debit card with a certain amount of money on it to use on medical bills not covered by the insurance. It's been a godsend with therapy appointments, so I'm sure I can use it for a dietitian! You guys are awesome!
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