Weird symptoms after 2 years of being vegan

Hey guys, I've been getting some pretty weird and kind of scary symptoms for a couple of months now after being vegan for 2 years, and would anyone know about the causes and how I could fix them? My night vision has been decreasing for a while now, and it's been getting progressively worse. Now in dim settings, everything can seem a little blurry. My period cycle has also recently gone a bit weird, and although I know this could just be normal, my cycle has always been very stable with no spotting. Now, I've been bleeding in between periods.

Comments

  • @gabriellita

    Sorry to hear you've been struggling. First, I would recommend seeing your family doctor, given your symptoms. Vitamin A intake is closely linked with night vision, so it's important that you get ample sources. While vegans don't get pre-formed vitamin A as retinol, they are still able to produce adequate amounts in the body from beta-carotene (and there is no evidence that a vegan diet increases degenerative eye disease) . However, you can get your vitamin A levels assessed to ensure adequacy.

    Changes to a women's cycle can occur as a result of weight changes/dietary restriction/excess activity or a medical cause.

    I would also ensure that you are properly supplementing:
    B12 - 50 mcg per day min
    vitamin D - 2000 IU per day
    source of iodine
    500 mg DHA per day

    This article outlines other nutrients you should be paying attention to for eye health (many are naturally found in plant-based foods).

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693724/

    Best of luck!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • Iron deficiency is also a possibility:

    Find this (I can't post links)

    "Iron Status of Vegetarian Adults: A Review of Literature"

  • Quote:

    Vegetarians have a high prevalence of depleted iron stores. A higher proportion of vegetarians, compared to nonvegetarians, had iron deficiency anemia. This is especially true for premenopausal vegetarian women.

  • na7na7
    edited October 2020

    @gabriellita

    My wife and I are raw vegans for 10 years now (80/10/10). Your periods stopped because of B12. It is not "normal" as many vegan "experts" say. We learned it the hard way. My advice is to start regularly taking the following tests:
    1. Blood test for B12 (be aware that if you eat certain seaweeds, the test could show normal levels, but in fact you could be deficient, because the B12 in some seaweeds is different and does not work, although the blood test does not distinguish that)
    2. Blood test 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 (25-OH D3)
    3. Blood test for Hemoglobin
    4. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry for bone density measurement

    I am regularly taking 1000 mcg of B12 (Methylcobalamin from Natural Factors) every day. My wife takes 1000 mcg 2-3 times per week. We determined our doses experimentally, by periodically taking the tests and adjusting the doses. Periods normalized immediately after starting taking B12 supplements at least for two vegan women I know.

    We also taking Vit, D supplements, about 2000 UI per day. We determined dosages individually, by taking the blood test regularly. Be careful with D3 supplements, they say, overdose is dangerous.

    And we recently started taking some Calcium supplements.

    I never took iron supplements, but my wife did.
    Also, there was a case when iron and hemoglobin normalized after taking some medication against Giardia lamblia. There are scientific studies about this association, just ask Google: "lamblia and iron deficiency study"

    I hope it helps someone.

  • Hey guys :) Huge thanks for all the helpful advice but surprisingly the causes were not dietary. After numerous blood tests with fine results and many specialist visits, I finally was able to see a neurologist that revealed that the night blindness was due to migraines and the spotting in between periods was just because of normal hormonal changes. All is good!

  • @gabriellita

    I LOVE that you updated us all. Although your experience was difficult, it's a helpful reminder that sometimes we experience weird symptoms that are beyond our control and are not due to what we are eating. If this is the case, seeking medical help is crucial.

    So happy you got the answer you were looking for!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • I STRONGLY suggest you SEE YOUR DR, rather than asking people here for advice! There are very many ways in which your food intake may effect you in those ways, and even more, concerning, things, unrelated to food, that could be the cause!

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