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Gone vegan, always ill

Discussion in 'The Vegan Forum' started by spottygiraffe, Jan 21, 2014.

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  1. spottygiraffe

    spottygiraffe Star Member

    Location:
    France
    Hi Everyone

    Sorry I haven't been around for a while, as the title of this thread might suggest, I have been ill!

    I went fully vegan in September and since then I have had one illness after the other. I was previously one of those people who was 'never ill' so it has come as a bit of a shock to me. The pattern goes that I feel well for a week or so and then I get a cold or an infection that lasts for 2-3 weeks. I finished a course of antibiotics last Monday and actually felt on good form for a few days, but then this morning I woke up with another full-blown cold and am feeling really fed up now.

    I think my diet is pretty perfect -I don't eat processed food, sugar or caffeine and I cook everything from scratch. No junk, everything 'whole'. I eat a huge variety of veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and pulses and I take a supplement that includes iron, calcium and B12 just in case.

    One of the reasons I went vegan was for health so I just don't understand what is happening and why it doesn't seem to be suiting me. There is no way I'm going back to eating any animal produce but I could do with a bit of support and to know that I will feel well again one day. Has this happened to anyone else? Is it just my body adjusting or is it not even related to my diet and maybe my immune system is a bit weak for another reason? Any thoughts would be wonderful -thanks in advance.

    Sarah
     
  2. spottygiraffe

    spottygiraffe Star Member

    Location:
    France
    I forgot to mention -my husband and kids are still omni and they haven't caught any of these colds -it's just me!
     
  3. beancounter

    beancounter The Fire That Burns Within

    There could be many reasons why you're catching colds that are just a coincidence to your switch to veganism.

    New stresses, the health of people around you at work, grocery store, old underlying health issues, new health issues, lack of/poor sleep, etc.
     
  4. Moll Flanders

    Moll Flanders Deity

    Location:
    UK
    I felt a bit rough when I first went vegan but I ate a lot of cheese when I was veggie so I thought maybe the switch took a while to get the dairy out of my system.

    I have noticed a lot of people online saying they keep catching colds and bugs so it could just be the winter season. I don't know what the weather is like in France.

    Are you sure you are eating enough? Vegan food is generally lighter and you might need to take in more calories?
     
  5. spottygiraffe

    spottygiraffe Star Member

    Location:
    France
    Thanks beancounter -I am hoping you're right and it's a coincidence and I'm just catching everything that's going round.

    I ate a load of dairy, Moll, so maybe it is a case of getting it out of my system. Incidentally, I can't stand the smell of milk or cheese now:yuck: The weather's been great so I can't blame that and I definitely get enough calories ;) I do lots of sport so I'm very in tune with my calorie intake and blood sugar levels.
     
  6. SummerRain

    SummerRain I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

    Location:
    UK
    It might just be a coincidence. I too rarely get colds. Last year I got cold after cold, chain colds, all through the winter. Sometimes it just happens, colds are easy to catch, and presumably once you have one your immune system is down so it's more likely you'll catch another whilst recovering.

    I agree with this - I think your diet is less likely to be a factor than just coming into contact with people with colds. Even people with perfect diets will get colds and other illnesses sometimes!
     
  7. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    Apart from the colds, how have you found the switch to veganism? Are you enjoying the food, or do you miss the taste of dairy or eggs? How are your stress levels? How is your weight?
     
  8. Blobbenstein

    Blobbenstein .......

    Location:
    UK.
    did you give up caffeine at the same time as going vegan? Not that I know of any connection with health.

    Maybe something else changed at the same time. If your family aren't catching the colds, then I would think they aren't really colds.

    what about zinc?

    I didn't have any problem giving up animal products....but now I take a zinc pill anyway.
     
  9. Calliegirl

    Calliegirl Deity

    I haven't gotten a cold or the flu in years, but there was a time when I seemed to have a cold every week. It was when I was taking care of my granddaughter and she seemed to constantly bring a new strain of cold germs home from school. Are you spending more time around small children?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. thefadedone

    thefadedone Needs a life

    What about sinus infections? Maybe you have some sinus issues that are causing these colds. What does your doctor say about your health?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. peacefulveglady

    peacefulveglady Peacefully Vegan and Proud

    Location:
    Northern IL
    I would get those sinuses checked, i get a lot of them that is why i am adjusting my lifestyle around more and more… Also colds are viral so maybe someone that you encountered the last several weeks or so especially the holidays had one or so, i would go get checked out..
     
  12. beancounter

    beancounter The Fire That Burns Within

    Yes, this is a big one. When my son was younger, we all seemed to catch a lot more colds.
     
  13. Poppy

    Poppy Ankle Biter

    If your diet is as you say, pretty perfect, then it absolutely must be a coincidence. Even if your diet weren't perfect, colds and such are caused by viruses, not eating improperly (although certainly poor diets can make health matters worse). And of course being an omnivore doesn't prevent colds! My suggestion would be to wash your hands even more than you do now and avoid places where there are a lot of kids with runny noses and places where it would be hard to keep clean. Wear a mask over your mouth and nose when you're in public, if you're really fed up with being sick.

    I'm really sorry this has happened to you. I actually became much, much healthier - rarely now a cold, and no more pneumonia or bronchitis - immediately after I quit smoking. If you smoke, or if you're around smokers, that could possibly be comprising your ability to fight infections too. :(
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Amy SF

    Amy SF Dweller in nature

    This.

    Also, keep some hand sanitizer with you when you go out since you won't always have access to hot water and soap, and maybe some alcohol wipes to wipe down anything that might be touched by sick people, such as shopping baskets and carts, hand rails, etc.
     
  15. Clueless Git

    Clueless Git Plant powered

    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Name change to 'snotty-giraffe' untill you get this cold thing beaten, Sarah?

    You said you went fully vegan back in September ...

    Does that mean that the only big dietary change was cutting out dairy products?
     
  16. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    This is maybe a bit unlikely, but if you have a cat or other companion animal, then I'm sure they can be disease transmitters too, if sick people pet them. Danger is everywhere!

    Also ... get a new toothbrush!
     
  17. shyvas

    shyvas Deity Forum Moderator

    It sounds like your immune system is down. I would suggest that you see your GP and have a blood test.
     
  18. spottygiraffe

    spottygiraffe Star Member

    Location:
    France
    Thanks so much for all the replies everyone. I really appreciate it and it's definitely interesting that noone else had the same experience.

    Snotty giraffe -I love that!

    Looks like most of you think it's just a coincidence then or is maybe caused by another change that I've made. I've been training for a marathon since November, which is nothing new but maybe I've been doing too much whilst I've had these colds.

    Just to answer some of your questions -stress levels very low, weight is fine (I think my bmi is 18.5), I gave up meat, fish, dairy and eggs all in one go although I hardly ate any meat at all before. No cravings whatsoever, which surprises me because I loved dairy. Small children -only my own and as I said they haven't had any colds themselves. Sinuses -yes, I had sinusitis over Christmas and needed an antibiotic to clear it up.

    Zinc levels are a new one to me -is that something vegans can be lacking in? What food can zinc be found in?
     
  19. Blobbenstein

    Blobbenstein .......

    Location:
    UK.
    Vegan for Life says that vegans may need 16.5mg(men) and 12mg(women) of zinc per day.


    here is the author(of Vegan for Life) blog on zinc:
    http://www.theveganrd.com/2009/05/getting-enough-zinc-on-vegan-diets.html#sthash.TIjbVBgF.dpuf
     
  20. Blobbenstein

    Blobbenstein .......

    Location:
    UK.
    I gather there is a connection between dairy and mucus(snot), but it is the other way. I have heard that opera singers give up dairy before a performance, so they get less phlegm.
     
    • Like Like x 1
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