Community: Forum: Health & Healing

Vegan Health & Nutrition Discussion Forum

Hello lovely happy cow community!

I'm a brand new vegan...four days. I've been a vegetarian for about a month, but the mountain of positive evidence for living a full vegan lifestyle have kept pilling higher and higher, and I finally decided that I couldn't ignore it anymore and needed to make the switch.

In the change to vegan, I not only cut out dairy and other animal products, but also out refined sugars, corn bi-products, and most processed foods. Yesterday and today, I've had stomach pains and pretty severe headaches. Is this just part of the detox process? If so, any guesses on how long it should last?

I drink plenty of water (10-12 cups/day), and I eat a wide variety of healthy, whole foods, so I really can't think of anything specifically wrong in my diet that could be causing these symptoms.

Responses (13)

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    Posted by youngin at 03/10/13 13:09:38

    It's just detox. Your system is just getting used to a vegan diet and that's a natural reaction. Take some painkillers if it gets really bad.

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    Posted by Sua Ren Yong at 03/06/13 22:06:39

    Go for medical check up.

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    Posted by xpressoholic at 03/07/13 04:15:24

    same thing happened to me - had alot of headaches for the first 2 weeks.

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    Posted by Babbo at 03/15/13 04:19:16

    It sounds like your body ajusting to your dramatic lifestyle change

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    Posted by Gabriella251 at 05/23/13 16:00:42

    My friend went vegan and experienced the same thing. It may just be the change in diet causing this, because that's why she experienced it.

  • StephenS's avatar
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    Posted by StephenS at 05/23/13 21:54:38

    So curious as to how you are doing now skf. Hope you are feeling strong and healthy, vibrant and energetic in a continued vegan lifestyle. If not - drop me a line and I'll try to chat you through any questions or concerns.
    For others - these feelings of discomfort and even 'sickness' are just the natural process of your body adjusting to the lack of a 'fix' from quick starches/sugars/carbs, and most likely the chemicals which make you semi dependent with a main stream western diet. Push thru it - it shouldn't last more than a week or so.
    Lots of water, healthy fruits and greens (smoothies), fermented foods (miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, and treat yourself with a square of organic dark vegan chocolate every once in awhile.

  • DC1346's avatar
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    Posted by DC1346 at 05/26/13 09:57:58

    I think you should see a doctor just to be on the safe side.

    When I went vegan (not having been a vegetarian), instead of having any aches, I felt tremendous urges to eat meat. I had late night cravings for chicken fried steak and burgers.

    Since I'm a chef instructor, I dealt with this by creating recipes to make vegan versions of many of my favorite foods. I am now writing a 10 volume vegan cookbook series called The Unintentional Vegan, Vegan Version Recipes of Popular Comfort Foods.

    The first volume of this ten cookbook series, Volume 1: Beef, is available for purchase as an e-book through Amazon. If you're an Amazon prime member, you may borrow my cookbook FOR FREE. Don't worry if you don't have a kindle reader. All e-books may be downloaded to your home computer.

    I must admit that having access to familiar versions of my favorite comfort foods has made going vegan much easier.

    This is not to say that I don't enjoy vegan foods that aren't vegan interpretations of other foods. Last night I made a Lebanese rice pilaf which I've blogged about for Happy Cow. If the article is approved by Eric, the webmaster, a recipe for Mujaddara will soon appear at this site.

    Mujaddara is a simple one pot dish made with garlic and onions that are fried in olive oil and mixed with steamed white rice and boiled lentils.

    Other favorite vegan dishes include Spaghetti with Marina Sauce, bean burritos, Chinese Congee (rice porridge), and vegetable curry.

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    Posted by pps076 at 11/07/13 05:53:12

    Congratulations on becoming a vegan.

    When I became a vegan I did not experience any adverse health effects. I decided to convert from being a meat eater to a vegan over a period of 5-6 months. This is how I did it:

    0-1 months = Dairy breakfast, Vegan Lunch, Meat dinner
    1-2 months = Dairy & Vegan breakfast, Vegan lunch, Meat & vegan dinner
    2-3 months = Dairy breakfast, Vegan lunch, Vegan dinner
    3-4 months = Dairy & Vegan breakfast, Vegan lunch, Vegan dinner
    4-5 months = Dairy (Very Small amount) & Vegan breakfast, Vegan lunch, Vegan dinner
    5-6 months = Vegan breakfast, Vegan lunch & Vegan dinner

    I also took good quality multivitamins and drank lots of distilled water & herbal teas.

    Best of luck


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    Posted by GarrettHnatiuk at 04/18/14 01:43:03

    My girlfriend started getting headaches as she became vegan also it was from an excessive amount of soy, particularly soy milk . She switched to rice milk and felt much better-soy can wreck havoc on your hormones. I'd much like to say for those who provided thumbs down, this was according to real life experience and when you do research on soy , things i say about soy and hormones holds true. If you are over consuming soy , you will get headaches or it may be some other dietary thing , you may have an unknown food allergy. An excessive amount of TV watching shouldn't provide you with a lot of headaches if you aren't laying down all the time, although so if you are a total couch potato, that may be it.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 04/19/14 08:24:52

    The meat and dairy industries have been putting out anti-soy propaganda for several decades. Consider the source.

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    Posted by Helen Woodard at 11/02/14 21:19:36

    I'd guess your body is "de-toxing" and you need to endure it for a while until your body has accommodated to a more healthy lifestyle.

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    Posted by lil.ragdoll.angel at 11/05/14 15:47:56

    Like a lot of people have said here, it sounds like you're detoxing. When I was transitioning to raw vegan from the SAD diet, I felt pretty lethargic and had bad headaches for about a whole month, but i used to be on the SAD diet, so maybe it will be less for you. Just in case maybe see your doctor if it persists for longer or if symptoms start to worsen (like feeling faintish/very weak, could mean you are experiencing deficiencies). Good luck!~

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    Posted by veganola at 11/06/14 16:06:14

    What have you been eating?

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