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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got another question for all you folks. We've all had someone, at least once, inform us that they had to quit being a veg'n because of 'health issues'. They rarely expand on that statement and although I've tried to do a couple searches to find out more, I'm either using the wrong words or there are no really issues that preclude veg'nism. Does anyone know of any diseases that would make being a vegetarian/vegan impossible or is this truly an excuse?
 

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I know that with eating disorders, doctors will discourage the patient from being a veg*n because it creates rules about food, and they don't want the patient to think of any food as "off-limits".
 

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I wouldn't say that it's an excuse more than someone who didn't do their research and/or ate nothing but chips and cheese pizzas and mac&cheese. If you're gonna do the veg*n thing right, you're going to eat whole foods and a variety of them, not just omit meat from your diet.<br><br>
Other than that, I'm not aware of any diseases that would keep a person from eating veg*n, although I think anything is possible.
 

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Yeah, I had a supervisor tell me that she was vegetarian for 10 (!) years, during which time she ate nothing but rice and vegetables! She admitted that her diet was unhealthy and boring (although she didn't specify HER diet, just a vegetarian diet) and finally quit being a vegetarian. Although to her that meant adding chicken to her usual diet of rice and vegetables. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:"><br><br>
From what I can figure out, she simply left the meat out of her diet and didn't bother to try anything more creative than "rice and vegetables" and probably felt that adding the chicken back was adding protein back into her diet to make it "healthier". Yeah, if all you're going to eat are rice and vegetables, of course it's going to be an unhealthy diet. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:">
 

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A guy who sat with me as a trainer last year for a few weeks, said his daughter tried being either vegan or vegetarian (I can't remember), and within two weeks she was in the emergency room, and she had to start eating animal products again.<br><br>
I know this guy well enough to know he's not BSing me. And, he kept on about his daughter. His responses were emotional, and I truly believe he went through some **** with his daughter in the hospital.<br><br>
I had no idea what to say against all this! It's not like this was a roommate's cousin's ex-girlfriend's best friend we're talking about here, either. This was something he went through with his daughter.<br><br>
The only thing I could think of saying was that maybe the sudden change in diet aggravated a pre-existing condition.
 

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Well, the dialysis dieticians say you can't effectively be a vegetarian or vegan patient on dialysis because there is too much phosphorus in beans and legumes, which would elevate that level too much, and the albumin level would drop too low. There are a lot of restricted foods actually, and then plenty of animal based foods encouraged.....it drives me nuts.<br><br>
if you're on coumadin, then you have to be very careful about the amt of greens consumed; peanut butter has to be limited while on dialysis for some pts.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Hazelnut</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2924387"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
A guy who sat with me as a trainer last year for a few weeks, said his daughter tried being either vegan or vegetarian (I can't remember), and within two weeks she was in the emergency room, and she had to start eating animal products again.<br><br>
I know this guy well enough to know he's not BSing me. And, he kept on about his daughter. His responses were emotional, and I truly believe he went through some **** with his daughter in the hospital.<br><br>
I had no idea what to say against all this! It's not like this was a roommate's cousin's ex-girlfriend's best friend we're talking about here, either. This was something he went through with his daughter.<br><br>
The only thing I could think of saying was that maybe the sudden change in diet aggravated a pre-existing condition.</div>
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Sorry, but that just doesn't make any sense at all. It was coincidental. There's nothing about being vegan that in 2 weeks time is going to make somebody's body break down like that. It's the same foods people normally eat, just taking out the animal products and changing the proportions. I seriously doubt even an anti veg doctor would tell him that that was due to veganism.
 

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As far as I know, there are no specific issues that make being a dietary vegan impossible. However, there are lots of issues that can make it more difficult. On top of that, a number of people go on a fast and instead of saying that they're dieting or anorexic or fasting, they'll say they went vegan. A lot of it is just confusion and misinformation. Like, think about how many people think that bread isn't vegan. They just don't get it. They'll eat only carrots and tomato juice for a week and then complain that they can't get enough protein as a vegan.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2924439"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
how many people think that bread isn't vegan. They just don't get it. They'll eat only carrots and tomato juice for a week and then complain that they can't get enough protein as a vegan.</div>
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^^
 

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Like I was saying in the other thread, a lot of people are under some bizarre and inaccurate assumptions about what a vegan actually is. Some of them were just juice fasting or eating only fruits and vegetables, etc. They either misunderstood or didn't seek out solid medical advice from RD's and probably had a poor grasp on the nutritional needs of the human body.<br><br>
One story I can relay is that the vegan RD I trust the most, Jack Norris, actually became an RD because during his early years of vegan activism he heard from dozens of people who told him they got sick on a vegan diet and he didn't know how to respond to many of their concerns, lacking the proper nutrition training. He's now convinced that a lot of the ex vegans were lacking vital nutrients like B12 or D, which can easily be added to most people's diet. Completely ignoring something like B12 can lead to chronic fatigue or worse, and eventually be fatal. There's a ton of vegans and ex vegans who think or thought they didn't need it for some reason, probably due to well intentioned but ultimately misguided pseudo scientific advice from fringe corners of the vegan community, usually not based on hard science.<br><br>
That's the best reason I can think of that the most people fail to thrive on a vegan diet, but everyone's body is different. If you think you're not as healthy as you should be then see a doctor and get blood work. Find out what specific nutrients you're lacking in and add more of that to your diet. If being vegan is really important to you for ethical, environmental or health reasons then you'll make a strong effort to stay vegan and not use sickness as an excuse to relapse into old habits. Otherwise I'm skeptical of your vegan experiment overall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So far it is sounding like excuses.....and bad dietary habits! I'm thinking in particular of Lierra Keith as she has been quite vocal on her twenty years as a vegan "causing her degenerative spinal problems". Unfortunately omni's seize on her screwy statements and accept it as gospel even when you show them her errors.<br><br>
And Josh, you're right about some vegans ignoring the need for suppliments. Even showing them studies attesting to our need for B12, where it can be gotten (or not) and they persist in doing it wrong. The Lierra Keith's of the future.<br><br>
I guess it isn't too surprising that none of these people ever elaborate.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Josh James xVx</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2924509"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Like I was saying in the other thread, a lot of people are under some bizarre and inaccurate assumptions about what a vegan actually is. Some of them were just juice fasting or eating only fruits and vegetables, etc. They either misunderstood or didn't seek out solid medical advice from RD's and probably had a poor grasp on the nutritional needs of the human body.<br><br>
One story I can relay is that the vegan RD I trust the most, Jack Norris, actually became an RD because during his early years of vegan activism he heard from dozens of people who told him they got sick on a vegan diet and he didn't know how to respond to many of their concerns, lacking the proper nutrition training. He's now convinced that a lot of the ex vegans were lacking vital nutrients like B12 or D, which can easily be added to most people's diet. Completely ignoring something like B12 can lead to chronic fatigue or worse, and eventually be fatal. There's a ton of vegans and ex vegans who think or thought they didn't need it for some reason, probably due to well intentioned but ultimately misguided pseudo scientific advice from fringe corners of the vegan community, usually not based on hard science.<br><br>
That's the best reason I can think of that the most people fail to thrive on a vegan diet, but everyone's body is different. If you think you're not as healthy as you should be then see a doctor and get blood work. Find out what specific nutrients you're lacking in and add more of that to your diet. If being vegan is really important to you for ethical, environmental or health reasons then you'll make a strong effort to stay vegan and not use sickness as an excuse to relapse into old habits. Otherwise I'm skeptical of your vegan experiment overall.</div>
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He has a really good looking book coming out, called Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet, haven't read it yet but pre-ordered it. It seems to largely focus on being a guide for optimal nutrition on a vegan diet. I don't really get why people don't do some research when changing their diet, or when they run in to problems - it's not that people don't have any other options for books on being veg*n and healthy. But perhaps his books helps people when helping/spreading information..
 

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I can understand the Vegan diet being very difficult for some people... although not impossible, just very difficult.<br>
There is a blood condition in my family (called hereditary elliptocytosis) that results in a shortened red blood cell life span... my father had quite bad anaemia for most of his childhood that resulted in fainting spells. I can imagine that it would relatively hard for him to maintain a Vegan diet without nutrient supplementation. I think the same would apply for other blood conditions.
 

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I think there are a few people who would find it very hard or even impossible to be vegan due to health reasons - including some of the examples others have mentioned. But for every one of those people, there are a LOT of people with either generally a poor diet, or with an inaquete understanding of how to eat healthily as a vegan and therefore lacking in something like B12, or even people with entirely psychosematic symptoms (how many "hi i've been vegan for a day and I think I am anemic" threads have I seen?), or have an unrelated illness they attribute to veganism shouting out about how veganism is unhealthy or they "can't" be vegan, etc etc etc.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2924439"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
As far as I know, there are no specific issues that make being a dietary vegan impossible. However, there are lots of issues that can make it more difficult. On top of that, a number of people go on a fast and instead of saying that they're dieting or anorexic or fasting, they'll say they went vegan. A lot of it is just confusion and misinformation. Like, think about how many people think that bread isn't vegan. They just don't get it. They'll eat only carrots and tomato juice for a week and then complain that they can't get enough protein as a vegan.</div>
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If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if I could eat bread...
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Hazelnut</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2924622"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if I could eat bread...</div>
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A good, well meaning, friend of mine once told me that I couldn't eat bread as a vegetarian (let alone vegan) because it had gluten in it. I kind of looked at her with a wtf look on my face and said: "Why wouldn't I be able to eat gluten? It's just the protein in wheat. It's not meat related at all!" She had to think for a minute and she was so sure of herself. We both laughed when we both realized that she meant gelatin! She knew there was no gelatin in bread, but with both words starting with "g", she got the two words confused. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Wednesday_12</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2924538"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I can understand the Vegan diet being very difficult for some people... although not impossible, just very difficult.<br>
There is a blood condition in my family (called hereditary elliptocytosis) that results in a shortened red blood cell life span... my father had quite bad anaemia for most of his childhood that resulted in fainting spells. I can imagine that it would relatively hard for him to maintain a Vegan diet without nutrient supplementation. I think the same would apply for other blood conditions.</div>
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What you describe doesn't make veganism any more difficult. I have hereditary blood cell/iron absorption issue too, and it's no different treating it as an omni than as a vegan. If your problems are severe, you're monitoring and often taking supplements regardless of your diet. I'm assuming he wasn't a vegan as a child and still had these fainting spells. In fact I think my issues are better as a vegan than an omni.
 

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My future roommate claims she cannot be strictly vegetarian and G-d forbid vegan, because of an iron deficiency. I think it's a BS excuse, but I'd never say that to her out loud. Instead I can help stock the kitchen with plant based foods, and hope it has enough of an influence.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>River</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2924701"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My future roommate claims she cannot be strictly vegetarian and G-d forbid vegan, because of an iron deficiency. I think it's a BS excuse, but I'd never say that to her out loud. Instead I can help stock the kitchen with plant based foods, and hope it has enough of an influence.</div>
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Omni's have iron issues, too.<br>
Most do very well with blackstrap molasses.<br><br>
I'm passive aggressive.<br>
I would deal with her by "worrying" over her and constantly trying to feed her accidentally veg*n high-iron foods:<br><br><a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/top-10-iron-rich-foods" target="_blank">http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/t...ron-rich-foods</a><br><a href="http://gotblood.ucla.edu/workfiles/Documents/Iron_Source_PF.pdf" target="_blank">http://gotblood.ucla.edu/workfiles/D..._Source_PF.pdf</a><br><a href="http://www.loveyourbaby.com/iron-rich-food-list.html" target="_blank">http://www.loveyourbaby.com/iron-rich-food-list.html</a>
 

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I get the impression that most "health reasons" are just people eating a crappy vegan diet.
 
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