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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why are so many doctors I talked lately against lacto-vegetarianism?
Ive been on a lacto-vegetarian diet for one and a half years and lately went to a doctor and pass a blood test because I had a bit high blood pressure.
So the only thing I heard from the doctors after mentioning being on this diet was Im not getting protein. This was really unexpected and I didnt know what to say. They said animal protein is different from plant protein and Im basically not getting protein


The tests where fine except of low iodine and abit low albumin levels, though the overall protein level was normal. Hemoglobin level was also normal. Calcium was normal. Doctor didnt even mention B12 and zinc.

Doctors said that the levels can get even lower if I dont give up vegetarianism.

So yeah, WTF
 

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Oh dear oh dear. Which country are you in? Your doctors don't know anything about nutrition apprently.

Here is an article about protein from one of the best websites for vegan information about nutrition:
http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/protein

On a lacto-vegetarian diet you will have even more options for protein, obviously.
 

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I've never had a doctor be anything but supportive of vegetarianism... maybe it comes down to that doctor's own personal opinion?

Like the person before me suggested, try checking out some of the info that's out there about vegetarian/vegan nutrition, and maybe try asking to speak to a different, more sympathetic doctor. I've never heard of someone being protein deficient unless they are malnourished in general, and not getting enough calories.
 

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I've never had a doctor tell me to stop being vegetarian or vegan. But I've also never been found to be in any nutrient. And if a doctor seems hostile to veganism, I just find another doctor.

I think it really depends on the doctor's experience. In the US most doctors don't study nutrition in any depth. But if they're young and have been educated recently then they're more likely to know that vegetarianism and veganism can be healthy. Also, if they're Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, etc then they themselves have a better understanding of diets based on morality so ive found these kinds of doctors to be helpful in accepting my veganism.

Edit to add:
The New 4 Food Groups for vegans and vegetarians (general information, for adults):
GO HERE: http://files.meetup.com/831407/4foodgroups.pdf

10 Tips: Tipsheet for Vegetarians (and vegans):
GO HERE: http://files.meetup.com/831407/USDAV...anTipsheet.pdf
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1445912 View Post

Doctors said that the levels can get even lower if I dont give up vegetarianism.
Of course it never occurs to these wingnuts to advise you to just eat more protein.
Nooooo, that would be too easy wouldn't it.
 

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I think the biggest issue is that doctors get very little education in nutrition. They should be leaving the nutritional advice to those who are trained in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Of course I've read about vegetarian nutrition before giving up meat completely. I wouldn't be a vegetarian if I wasn't sure it was healthy. But it amazes me that ALL the doctors I came across till now seem like they know nothing about this. Ive read the position of the American dietetic association about vegetarian diets, the vegetarian nutrition paper of British nutrition foundation,the positions of US Department of agriculture, British dietetic association and DAA ( dietetic association of Australia).
How can they not know?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceLoveKnit View Post

I think the biggest issue is that doctors get very little education in nutrition. They should be leaving the nutritional advice to those who are trained in it.
This would certainly be better than the current situation, but even better: they should receive more training in nutrition! I'd like to see health care be less about sick care, more about nutrition and fitness and less about drugs and surgery.
 

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Yes, unless you are talking to an RD (and all nutritionists have different opinions, anyways), don't take only your doctor's suggestion. We cannot rely on others to keep us healthy in this day and age (quite depressing, but true). You need to do your own research and make your own conclusions after going through extensive studies. It's a pain in the neck, but I advocate that we should all take our health into our own hands.
 

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Its all about money they are told to tell you not be on vegetarian diet because they know if you go veg they know they would lose you as a patient.
 

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I think it's all about ignorance. My kid's doctor and my doctor never asked one question about our vegan lifestyles. not one. I told them we eat a balanced diet and that was that. Never a problem. As with anyone else, it depends on the actual person and if they're open minded or not.
 

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From my experience, most Dr's would rather just give you a pill than open their minds to the fact that they do not know everything and may even be misinformed about a subject that they should have knowledge about. Not a big fan of Dr's and even less so of the Pharmaceutical companies.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwestbeth View Post

From my experience, most Dr's would rather just give you a pill than open their minds to the fact that they do not know everything and may even be misinformed about a subject that they should have knowledge about. Not a big fan of Dr's and even less so of the Pharmaceutical companies.
yep I agree my mental doctor rather give me a pill then work with me to find the root with the cause .
 

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As a physician and a vegetarian, I find this thread a bit hypocritical. Veg*ns often complain about the comments and treatment we receive from friends, family and even strangers; but yet, this thread does exactly the same sort of generalizing just with a different target group. It is true that we don't get much formal nutrition training in medical school. However given the fact that college is 4 years, medical school is 4 years and residencies are a minimum of 3 years (5 in my case), most of us could not afford to stay in school as long as it would take to study everything that people want us to study. My parents were not wealthy and I'm going to be paying my student loans with social security if it still exists when I get old enough.

I see a broad spectrum of age groups in my practice. I can't tell you how many times I have tried to promote veg*n diets as a way to address chronic health problems only to be told "But doc, I couldn't give up my steak!" And don't even get me started on the smokers. I have had several patients ask for a pill to prevent heart attack and stroke just so they could keep on smoking.

The most sage advice is if you don't have a physician who understands and respects your choices, find a new physician. Physicians don't like generalizations any more than veg*ns do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I didn't mean to offend physicians. I was talking about the doctors I had talked with. If I didn't know better I would go back to my old diet and that would suck. In fact I'm sure many others do...
 

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My longtime gp and a gastroenterologist were the ones that pushed for me to become vegetarian.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pugwrinkles View Post

We cannot rely on others to keep us healthy in this day and age (quite depressing, but true). You need to do your own research and make your own conclusions after going through extensive studies. It's a pain in the neck, but I advocate that we should all take our health into our own hands.
Definitely.


Quote:
Originally Posted by peacefulveglady View Post

Its all about money they are told to tell you not be on vegetarian diet because they know if you go veg they know they would lose you as a patient.
I don't think individual doctors think of it this way, but I've no doubt the system as a whole tends to work that way. There's more money to be made in developing new drugs than there is in looking into prevention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwestbeth View Post

From my experience, most Dr's would rather just give you a pill than open their minds to the fact that they do not know everything and may even be misinformed about a subject that they should have knowledge about. Not a big fan of Dr's and even less so of the Pharmaceutical companies.
I've had the same experience, midwestbeth, and feel the same way about many doctors, and the pharmaceutical industry in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Kris View Post

It is true that we don't get much formal nutrition training in medical school. However given the fact that college is 4 years, medical school is 4 years and residencies are a minimum of 3 years (5 in my case), most of us could not afford to stay in school as long as it would take to study everything that people want us to study. My parents were not wealthy and I'm going to be paying my student loans with social security if it still exists when I get old enough.
I don't think anyone is saying this is doctors' faults, it's really more the system itself. The training in nutrition should be built right into your studies, without any need for you to study longer. IMO, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Kris View Post

I see a broad spectrum of age groups in my practice. I can't tell you how many times I have tried to promote veg*n diets as a way to address chronic health problems only to be told "But doc, I couldn't give up my steak!" And don't even get me started on the smokers. I have had several patients ask for a pill to prevent heart attack and stroke just so they could keep on smoking.
You're one of the good ones, then, Just_Kris. A lot of doctors will just mention healthier eating in vague terms ("cut down on meat" without going into amounts) and won't push the issue at all. There's an increasing amount of evidence showing that if people adopted vegan diets, most of them wouldn't even need to be on pills at all, so why aren't all doctors selling their patients on the vegan diet? You're right that no one can make them but themselves, but they should at least be hearing about their options.
 

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My doctor was not really supportive when I told her I was a vegetarian. She started to sort of lecture me about how difficult it is if not impossible to get the nutrients I need in my diet. I haven't been to her in the few years I've been Vegan so I can't image how she would react to that. I keep meaning to switch my doctor, but I haven't needed to go to one in over 3 years so I just don't think about it.
 

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This problem seems to be a lot worse in some countries where the training seems to be stuck in a bit of a time-warp. I've never had a doctor in my country say anything negative to me about vegetarianism or veganism. They understand that it's not unhealthy. I saw a new doctor today cos mine was on leave to get my regular yearly blood scan done, and when I told her how long I'd been vegetarian/vegan she just said "hmm, that's very good."
 
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