Community: Forum: Health & Healing

Vegan Health & Nutrition Discussion Forum

So, I'm a vegan, have been for 4 years, and I got a blood test recently. The results came back and said I was not anaemic and not even deficient in anything. However, my doctor told me that being a vegan was "Not how humans are supposed to be" that we're "Not designed to be vegan" and has referred me to a dietician to discuss what I eat. Does the fact that my blood test was perfectly normal not show that veganism is a healthy lifestyle choice?! Does anyone else have this problem with healthcare? Should I complain or something? Help!!

Responses (10)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by savetheanimals at 03/01/13 11:45:49

    You should switch doctors. I know in Maryland they have vegan doctors, but I don't know if they have vegan doctors where you are. Doctors aren't required to have a degree in nutrition and like most humans have been brainwashed by the propaganda the meat and dairy industries put out. Even if you can't find a vegan doctor you should find another doctor. if the doctor can't be persuaded by evidence that your healthy he is to brainwashed to be a good doctor for you. In the case that you can't find a vegan doctor you should try to go to different doctors and find one that isn't so brainwashed. Try to go to them beforehand and ask them there opinion of veganism. If it sounds like they don't have a good opinion of veganism and want you to change your lifestyle find a different doctor. Remember doctors aren't required to have a degree in nutrition so don't let them tell you not to be ethical. Veganism is both an ethical and healthy lifestyle.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by EmilyBurau at 03/01/13 20:55:05

    Im desperately trying to find a vegan friendly general practitionar/general healt doctor in North East, Ohio. Any and all help/suggestions are greatly appreciated. If one more doctor tells me I need to start eating yogurt, drinking milk,and add at least fish to my diet, or decides to call me "extreme", I think I might break down, I am beyond frustrated as to why I cant get unbiased health care. Why doctors are sooooo offended by a vegan, I will never understand. Please Help!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by EmilyBurau at 03/01/13 21:01:34

    @ rach.andtheuniverse. My last doctor had me get blood work done to "prove" to me that a vegan diet was unhealthy. everything came back perfect and the doctor was so dumbfounded by being wrong, that they attacked me personally calling me an extremist, that it is unnatural, and tried to get me to admit that I must eat meat and animal products for my blood work to be so normal. Because being a well educated vegan just doesn't add up or make sense apparently? Since when did being a doctor involve dishing out more personal opinions than facts and caring for a patient based on the doctor's lifestyle choices rather than the patients? I'm so frustrated!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by happycowgirl at 03/02/13 07:43:36

    @rach.andtheuniverse @EmilyBurau The entire medical profession owes you both the deepest apologies. If you have the opportunity, you should both buy a copy of The China Study and Forks Over Knives, give them to your doctor and tell him, "Please educate yourself" and walk out.

    Unfortunately, the medical profession is lagging decades behind in nutritional education. Few medical school even require a course in nutrition. There is hope for the future as *slowly* new medical journal articles are appearing that endorse a vegetarian diet. The American Association of Family Practitioners has a children's book out on healthy eating that promotes eating "lots of fruits and vegetables" and keeping it to a small quantity of lean meat. That's as far as they've come. It's progress at a glacial pace. And with the powerful influence of the meat and dairy industries on every aspect of our society, well, I'm not holding my breath.

    When it comes to our health, we need to be our own advocates. The vast majority of doctors will have no clue about the life saving benefits of a vegan diet. Get your blood tested each year, ask for a print out of the results so you can monitor your levels yourself. B12 is the main thing to be sure u have enough of. And vitamin D - though keep in mind that everyone, even meat eaters, are usually low in vit D.

    If anyone needs a vegan-friendly doctor in the Chicago/Northwest Indiana area, private message me.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 03/25/13 08:42:54

    I met a doctor a few years back that swore his cholesterol went up dramatically when he went vegan.

    I challenged that, and he told me that in med school he learned that plants are also high in cholesterol!!

    I knew better, but went to the Internet anyway to check this out. I found one article that claimed this, with lots of responses proving the claim false. The truth is that there is cholesterol in plants, but generally in VERY minute amounts...

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by modest-eater at 03/25/13 14:34:40

    Doctors are not at all taught Nutrition in medical school - I myself am pre-med and have been constantly disappointed to find that my school-mates are uneducated on the studies done regarding meat and meat-related illnesses. With the dramatic changes is our healthcare, there are also being changes is the med-school curriculum. Hopefully with the new 'preventative medicine' being taught now, students will do more research into nutrition and in turn have more educated discussions with their future patients.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ccahalan at 03/28/13 08:36:31

    Thank you everyone, I am definitely going to read The China Study and Forks Over Knives.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 08/28/13 05:24:44

    Doctors in America are required to take only one or two courses in nutrition as part of their 8 years of schooling.

    This is because medical schools are largely financed by the meat and dairy industries or are combination med/ag schools, like the University of Florida. They are beholden to commercial agriculture, the giant food corporations and the pharmaceutical industries, so they don't always offer much in the way of realistic nutrition education.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by MonicaCarten at 08/29/13 11:21:42

    As a vegan and a doctor, I want to apologize for my colleagues. I speak with my patients about nutrition and I encourage a plant-based diet (knowing that the vast majority are never going to become vegetarian or vegan)for their overall health. In my opinion, physicians and other providers who respond to veganism in the way many of you have experienced are being unprofessional. This is on par with not supporting Muslims who are fasting for Ramadan --its simply intolerance for others beliefs and choices.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by DunkiesandDimeys at 06/18/14 13:00:27

    When I was still a kid, I was lucky to have a pediatrician that supported me with being vegetarian, as long as I was eating properly. My new doctor was also fine with it, especially since I explained to her about how I was allowed to donate blood, which meant I wasn't anemic (my iron levels were actually great while donating blood).
    I'm sorry to hear about your issues. I would be beyond frustrated.
    Unfortunately, doctors don't learn squat about nutrition. It's the nurses and nutritionists that do. I would recommend switching doctors or even seeing a nurse practitioner.

    www.cafepress.com/dunkiesanddimeys