Immunity Question - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-09-2017, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 3
Question Immunity Question

Becoming vegan was a gradual transition for me (although I should say not too drastic from my previous lifestyle) that began approximately 2 years ago. Overall I feel many of the typical health benefits of going vegan- lighter, happier, better sleep, mental clarity, stable mood and energy levels, etc. I love this choice and have no desire to go back. But- despite feeling overall happy and healthy, I also feel that my immune system seems to have suffered (not necessarily because of veganism, but the timing is quite accurate and I can't think of anything else in my life that has really changed during this period).

I used to be 'that person' who almost never got sick, never missed a day of work, with no health problems at all.

About 6 months into cutting out all animal products, I began to catch whatever cold or flu was going around quite quickly. I developed a patch of eczema, am dealing with another persistent skin infection, and had a couple warts pop up. I started to feel an irregular heart rhythm and palpitations which I'd never before experienced. I've seen a cardiologist and my doctor and had multiple tests done, but nothing shows as being wrong or deficient. I currently have strep throat for the first time and am off work for a week. A few months ago I had a bad cold that took me off work for a week as well. This is after years of having no skin issues and never being sick for more than a day or two.

My question is whether anyone else experienced a lowered immune system after making a dietary change. I can understand some initial 'detox' symptoms, but mine seem to be getting more frequent.(Although maybe it's just bad luck!) I'm not anaemic, but my iron level is on the lower side, so maybe I will start with supplementing that? I feel that in general I follow a very healthy vegan diet but maybe I am missing something.

Any feedback is much appreciated- thanks in advance!
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#2 Old 07-09-2017, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: gone
Posts: 679

Are you keeping your zinc levels up ? you need a good level of zinc for a healthy immune system.

Oats, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, nuts, soy and bananas are all good sources of zinc. So are legumes and beans etc but these also have phytates in their skin and phytates reduce the absorbtion of minerals.

I just looked this up "Women need a minimum of 9 milligrams of zinc per day, while males need 11." Some people have trouble absorbing some minerals and need to take more to maintain a normal level. I take a 30mg supplement twice a day. If I don't, no matter how much zinc rich food I eat my levels fall off the bottom of the chart. Keep in mind that this is doctor supervised and this is me not you. your zinc might be just fine.

So, if you haven't already, get your doctor to check your zinc and make sure you don't need a supplement.

I your zinc levels are OK then If you find one of David 3's posts you can find out how to find a vegan friendly dietitian in your area.

"The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men." - Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian Painter, Sculptor, Architect, Musician, Engineer, and Scientist

When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. ~Ingrid Newkirk

Last edited by BlueMts; 07-09-2017 at 09:40 PM.
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