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Hello,<br><br><br><br>
I am a veg and a journalism student at Drexel University in Philadelphia. I am writing an article on Doctor's advice on veganism. It seems that many doctors attempt to steer their patients away from the vegan diet. I am looking for any vegans who are interested in interviewing about their experiences with doctors, ones who are supportive and unsupportive. You can email me at [email protected] or just reply to my post if interested.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks!!<br><br>
Manna
 

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My "regular" doctor was unsupportive. He seemed to believe the myths about veganism and immediately wanted to test my iron levels. They were fine. While discussing with him, it was obvious that he really knows nothing about nutrition...like doctors in general IMO. (I.e., he said, " you can only eat so much spinach," to which I pointed out that spinach was high in oxalates which actually blocks iron absorption. He seemed stunned that I would counteract his comment!) Then I went to his partner--a woman--at a later date and she just seemed surprised that I was a vegan, but really didn't make any negative (or positive) comments about it other than asking why I became a vegan.<br><br><br><br>
In another example, my mom's heart doctor poo-pooed the idea of her going on a vegan diet for her heart problems, but I think it had as much to do with her age in his mind as the idea of veganism since he said, "at her age I don't even recommend such extreme diets."
 

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Last year, I had a physical done. I told my doctor I was vegan and she replied "you're cohesteral levels must be great!"<br><br><br><br>
Here's an idea. I found a message board for student doctors: <a href="http://forums.studentdoctor.net" target="_blank">http://forums.studentdoctor.net</a> You could consider registering and asking your question on one of the forums (a general one like "All Students Forum" or maybe 'Sociopolitical Issues?'). Just put "veganism" in the subject line, then tell them you're doing an article on doctor's advice on veganism and ask What is your opinion on the vegan diet? Do you believe a person can follow a vegan diet healthfully? Would you reccommend a vegan diet for a patient? How would you react if a patient told you he/she was vegan? Can infants and children safely follow a vegan diet? and so forth. You could also go into the pedeatric forums and ask Are vegan diets safe for children? Would you reccomend a vegan diet for a child? How would you react if a patient told you he/she wanted to become a vegan? and so forth. Similar questions about pregnant women can be asked in the OB/GYN forum. Sure, they're students, but this should help.<br><br><br><br>
ETA: I don't know if non-registeres people can see this, but I found this thread to be interesting (warning: it's pretty anti-vegan): <a href="http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=113837&highlight=vegan" target="_blank">http://forums.studentdoctor.net/show...ighlight=vegan</a>
 

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My doctor wasn't really surprised or anything. She asked what my diet was like, I told her, and she just kind of accepted it like it was no big deal. It was really nice, actually.
 

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I'm a med student so I'll put my 5 cents in from that perspective. In general, doctor's are going to be concerned about the bottom line of the patient's health. If a patient is vegan, then this will not usually be a concern as long as the diet is nutritionally sound (meaning, the patient's specific implementation of veganism is good, not veganism in general). The down-side is that you may need to explain why your diet is ok to your doctor. Doctors aren't trained in alternative diets and they very well may not know anything about it or just know what they've heard from others (and we all know how that goes...).<br><br><br><br>
Having said that, doctor's are just regular people with a lot of education. So, nutrition aside, you're going to find the same mix of opinions that you would anywhere on veganism/AR. Will those opinions enter the clinic? Sometimes, it depends on who the doc is. Some people are just narrow-minded jerks, but a lot of doctors know how to keep their personal opinions to themselves when it comes to patient care (like they should!).<br><br><br><br>
As far as getting blood work on a vegan at a checkup, I think that is warranted. Especially with a new patient or a patient who is new to veganism. It is always better to know that your body is getting all the right nutrients than to assume it.<br><br><br><br>
I looked at that link on SDN. That's probably a good example of how you will find the usual random mix of opinions on veganism in the medical community. And since us vegans are an extreme minority in the US, I'd say this is pretty normal to be mostly on the omnie-side.<br><br><br><br>
As for my personal opinions/experiences. I would certainly have no problem with a vegan patient as long as he/she was knowledgeable and responsible enough to do it correctly (especially important for pregnant women and children) and I have never had any problems when telling my doctors that I am vegan.
 

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I agree that it's important that vegans know about nutrition and follow a healthy diet, as well as having blood levels checked for things like iron and B12. However, that is probably even more important for omnis since often they get less of certain nutrients (phytochemicals, some vitamins--such as vitamin C, fiber, etc) than vegans--iron and calcium are often low in both groups. However, from what I have read about the field of medicine, doctors are given almost no education in the area of nutrition...most medical schools have doctors to be take a class which lasts a few hours on nutrition or (some better medical schools) perhaps a semester-long class or two over the entire training process in nutrition, but even those classes are heavily influenced by the animal agriculture industry (i.e., USDA food pyramids which are heavily influenced by said industry). That's why it doesn't bother me that I have to defend my diet, as maybe that will enlighten my doctor--especially when he's shocked to learn that I have perfect levels<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/idea2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":idea:">
 

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Yea nutrition education could be a lot better. Basically we learn a lot about the metabolism and physiology of nutrients in the body, but little regard is given as to their source. For example we may memorize 100 metabolic reactions requiring amino acids, but we don't discuss where they came from before they hit the mouth. It could be tofu or steak, it doesn't matter as long as enough of the essential amino acids were consumed. So it sucks because the doctor's personal knowledge and opinions are usually what drives diet decisions (in regards to the source of nutrients). It may be different for osteopathic doctors, I don't know, but allopathics definitely don't focus on this.<br><br><br><br>
That would be an interesting comparison, looking at the contrasting views on veganism between DOs and MDs...
 

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My doctor wasn't particularly happy with it, but seemed to accept it. He also gave me advice on foods I could add to my diet that were more filling and satisfying.
 

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I still go to my Pediatrition (how DO you spell that?). At my last physical, my mom tried to get him to talk me out of beign vegan by telling me that it was bad for my health etc. and I shouldn't do it. The doctor instead did the opposite, he told my mom all the reasons why she should give up her meat eating diet and totally supported me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">. My mom wasn't to happy about that, hehe.
 

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I eat a <i>mostly</i> vegan diet, and my doctor couldn't care less. He checked my iron levels, but other than that didn't say anything about it. He is really confused as to why I have high cholesterol though. :p
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tymps</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><a href="http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=113837&highlight=vegan" target="_blank">http://forums.studentdoctor.net/show...ighlight=vegan</a></div>
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Were is the topic on nutrition. Guess it's still all about cure and not prevention. Phamacutical Companies have the Doctors in there back pocket.
 

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Was to my Dr. the other day. Bought him a box of Quinoa. He looked at my chart and said that my colesteral change about a 10 months ago was amazing. I told him it was because I was a Vegan and I guess he forgot because he wrote it down in the chart. Said that he wasn't interested in the Quinoa because he had his steak. I chuckled and left thinking: O'well just another cookie cutter Doctor thay stamp out by the hundreds every year.<br><br>
Kinda Sad.<br><br><br><br>
Ps He gave me the papers to go on my one year anniversary to have my blood work done. Will let you know end of March
 

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I'm mostly vegan, and told my oncologist as an fyi thing. He blew it off as a possible source of trouble, and as to what _was_ causing my issues, said, "If it was anyone else I'd tell them to watch their diet and get some exercise. But you? Pffft!"<br><br><br><br>
In other words, I think it matters how well the doc knows you and trusts your self-care.<br><br><br><br>
The ironic thing is, it sort of _was_ a veg issue. I'd replaced chicken with quorn, and it turns out I'm allergic to quorn.
 

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I get more flack from a co-worker who happens to be a nutritionist than I do from my doctor. Actually my doc didn't even bat an eye when I told her I was vegan.
 

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I've never had a problem with a doctor regarding my veganism. Probably it's because I'm extremely healthy.<br><br><br><br>
My parents are friends with a prominent cardiologist in NYC (he's operated on lots of famous people). They told him I was vegan and his one question was, does she take B12? When they said yes, he seemed satisfied.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>rabid_child</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I eat a <i>mostly</i> vegan diet, and my doctor couldn't care less. He checked my iron levels, but other than that didn't say anything about it. He is really confused as to why I have high cholesterol though. :p</div>
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Your body tends to make enough cholesterol for its needs. If you eat any animal products you are eating cholesterol. Even if you are totally vegan your cholesterol could still be high simply because we still eat stuff with saturated fats, which can cause high cholesterol.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kimmifb</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Your body tends to make enough cholesterol for its needs. If you eat any animal products you are eating cholesterol. Even if you are totally vegan your cholesterol could still be high simply because we still eat stuff with saturated fats, which can cause high cholesterol.</div>
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Cholesterol only comes from 2 places: animals products and your body. It is not in plant-based fats. So you probably have genetically high cholesterol which is not uncommon =)
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mizuko</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Cholesterol only comes from 2 places: animals products and your body. It is not in plant-based fats. So you probably have genetically high cholesterol which is not uncommon =)</div>
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eating trans and saturated fats, which can both be found in plant based foods, raises cholesterol.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mizuko</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Cholesterol only comes from 2 places: animals products and your body. It is not in plant-based fats. So you probably have genetically high cholesterol which is not uncommon =)</div>
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Not totally accurate. Some plant-based fats will raise cholesterol -- generally those that are saturated. One that raises both good and bad cholesterol is coconut oil. Hydrogenated fats, as mentioned in the previous post, raise bad cholesterol.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>froggythefrog</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Not totally accurate. Some plant-based fats will raise cholesterol -- generally those that are saturated. One that raises both good and bad cholesterol is coconut oil. Hydrogenated fats, as mentioned in the previous post, raise bad cholesterol.</div>
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Also corn oil will raise your LDL. Avoid corn oil as much as possible. Has a very bad omega 6 to omega 3 ratio.
 
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