Community: Forum: Health & Healing

Vegan Health & Nutrition Discussion Forum

So Ive been vegan for a year and a half and my stomach is a mess!!! The worse part is that I have no idea why! I eat a balanced diet and don't eat the same things eveyday. I know I need to just go to the doctor but Im trying to find a natural holistic doctor. Anyways I have diguestive issues after I eat veggies, soy products, ect really anything....and I have been this way since I went vegan. I have always had a bit of a weak stomach but not like this. I'm woundering if anyone else has had problems and if maybe it is just all the fiber?? Any advice from fellow vegans would be sooooo great because I don't know any other vegans besides my boyfriend and I.

Responses (23)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Tatiana at 02/02/09 13:54:07

    It's really hard to say what might be going on, there are so many reasons why someone can have GI issues. I'd recommend going to see a vegan friendly doctor who can maybe check into what might be causing your issues.

    Just a note: this information is solely for educational purposes and is in no way to replace an actual medical visit. This website has a wealth of excellent information from a lot of great minds but please remember if you have any medical concerns or needs please see your medical doctor or healthcare provider.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ampallang at 02/07/09 06:25:32

    I use to have some problems. I did a colon cleanse... maybe you eat a lot of wheat.. or sugar.

    If i eat some processed food my stoamch can be a little bad too. You can always try and stop eating something for a week or two and if it doenst help try something different. It could be the amount you eat or if you drink a lot of liquid with your food?
    Its better to drink before you eat rather than after during your meal or after.

    Hope it might help.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by tankumo at 03/01/09 22:43:16

    Try some ginger. This should help.

    Do you have sesame oil? Heat up the oil and add ginger to it, and this should help.

    Ginger fried rice. Add rice to the oil and ginger you cook, fry it, add some salt, a bit of sugar....

    Let me know how it works out.

    If you are a female, you sure need ginger and sesame oil!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 03/02/09 03:30:42

    Ginger - yes indeed!

    De-natured sesame seeds - fried rice - with added salt & sugar - not for me thanks Tankumo - I am too young to die ! ! ! !

    I will stick with raw & steamed veggies & baked roots!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by tankumo at 03/02/09 12:07:19

    You won't die eating salt and sugar. I am not talking about large amount. In fact, our body needs both. But use brown sugar, white sugar is bad.

    As for oil, sesame oil is good, I think they are cold-pressed.

    Fact is, we need raw food, enzymes. We already eat plenty of those, so a bit of cooked food should be fine.

    I love steamed veggies and roots, don't get me wrong.

    Hey, I want to be healthy too, but taking away salt, sugar and oil is not helpful to our health.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 03/03/09 16:06:49

    From a vegan who has a past w/ his own issues, I would like to think I could lend some personal perspective. However, it is hard to say w/o knowing what you eat. Being vegan, there is still a large discrepancy of food that can be eaten. For example, my issue, I think anyway, stems from spicy foods, like HOT peppers, garlic, and even ginger. So Tankumo, while eating ginger CAN be soothing to some, it can be an awful irritant to others. It sounds like maybe one idea could be to vary the cooking method, that is, if you were steaming a lot, try saute. If you tried both, try roasting. Also, peppermint tea can very helpful. But depending on what your "issue" is, depending on how severe, that is, are you gassy, or are you uncontrollably in the bathroom, you may need to see a doctor, a gastrointerologist (sp), or a GI doc. A good one will work with you in being vegan. I wouldn't work with anyone that didn't honor who you are and your choices. There isn't a medical reason not to be vegan, imo.

    Feel free to pm me w specifics. Sadly, I have a lot of background and have learned how to best deal w my issues.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 03/03/09 18:33:17

    "our body needs both"

    OK Tankumo!

    Personally I would be careful of actually recommending salt, sugar and oil on a prominent website.

    From my experience our tongues certainly really "like" both - our bodies however do not really "need" both.

    You make like to reference "The Pleasure Trap" -

    Here is a fine audio about it -

    Dr Esselstyn speaks very well about oils -

    ....for the sake of balance here is Dr. McDougall recommending some salt intake -

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ampallang at 03/06/09 05:55:58

    actually it is true, but in different forms.

    Sugar doesnt need to bwhiteprocessed sugar, it can be raw fruit, agarve, maple.. even raw sugar.
    oils- olive, hemp, sunflower and nut oils

    salt is not something im so sure of, but I think that some foods have high sodium levels. You can get sodium deficiency but it quit unlikely formost people sincemany things have salt even nautural salt.

    i dont think its so productive to attack someones suggestion, but in all cases its best no to believe all that you rad.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ampallang at 03/06/09 06:00:54

    and to reponse to a bad stomach, ginger is good if youcan handle it. I never was so good with it but ginger with some hot water is quite okay for me.

    i think its a learning expereince, i used to eat a lot of banans and apples because they were easy to have with atuniversity.But of course lots of acid in apples... so I changed to nuts instead. Stopped having problems. Best to look at your diet an try and match foods together that work.

    im no expert so maybe just use your thoughts, maybe if you have a curry make sure there is somethingeg coconut milk to make sure its less stess on the stmoach- only example i can think of quick :)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by CFlatt at 03/06/09 22:21:57

    Not sure if this will help or not but I have often bought the fresh (vegan) acidophilus. It is a runny yogurt-like stuff that you can actually drink. It comes in different flavors so it's not too bad. It helps put the "good" bacterias back into your stomach to help the digestive balance.

    I just looked up and found this great article - very informative!

  • Brenda69's avatar
    Report Abuse

    Posted by Brenda69 at 06/11/09 07:48:34

    I used to have stomach problems and found that I had to eliminate wheat. That made all the difference. I did find that giving up animal products helped a lot but was not enough. I also gave up very greasy and oily foods. I call them "heavy" foods that sit in my stomach - you can feel which foods your body doesn't like. The other thing is that I always eat tofu in small chunks and with other things, like vegetables and a grain. I think if you eat a dish that is mainly tofu that can be too heavy. I followed the advice of and it's been great - the focus is on carbohydrates like potatoes and rice. These are so energizing and I have lost about 2-3 pounds every month following a high carb diet. And so easy on the stomach.

  • jenine1781's avatar
    Report Abuse

    Posted by jenine1781 at 12/21/09 13:39:55

    well i am sorry each of you have these problems but i am glad i m not the only one! ive been vegetarian my whole life (29 years) but went vegan about 6 months ago and have since gained weight and i am always bloated and feeling full even hours after eating... i eat a varied diet and this is pretty constant no matter what i eat :( any tips on finding a vegan friendly dr?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by giddles at 12/22/09 01:17:42

    I have experienced loads of digestive problems and I came to a point in my life where I did not know what to eat, it was a real pain to me and the people that I lived with. I ended up cutting so much out of my diet that I was hardly eating anything at all. I would visit my doctor and I would be given more pills and the problem never really got better. After loads of research and trying lots of different things I got it sorted.
    I learnt how the digestive system works, what foods are easily digestible, and what foods work together. I would like to suggest that you eat very simply eating only one type of food at a time, see how you feel and how well your body digests it. If you research food allergies you will come across something called the elimination diet which may be of some help to you. Hang in there you will get over this.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gr8vegan at 12/23/09 02:35:06

    acidolphilus works wonders for soy allergies, take it after a meal. i highly recommend dr mcdougall' digestive tune up book, too

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by iamvegannow at 10/31/10 03:25:16

    It was suggested by a doctor that I take a natural remedy called Triphala for my stomach troubles. It works great everytime. You can google it to read up on it. Mostly when I have "anxiety" this works wonders for my stomach. I just take it at night and usually I am better by the next evening.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by sabine01 at 11/03/10 02:05:48

    what do you mean your stomach is a mess? do you fart a lot? is there pain in your stomach or intestines? is it noisy? do you burp a lot? i find it hard to imagine what your messy stomach is like and therefore hard to suggest what remedies you may be helped with.
    I know i fart a lot if i eat too much pasta. and also pack the weight on around my middle....

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by dthen at 02/16/11 16:52:09

    I know how you feel, trust me. I'm a vegetarian, and I've been vegan before (courtesy to friends I was staying with). The best thing to do is healthy bacteria. I'd recommend the local doctor here, but I'm sure you live nowhere near Sheridan, Wy. Usually whole-food doctors are helpful and polite, just stay away from large doses of whole-food garlic and other spices. They are /not/ nice to vegan/vegetarian stomachs.
    AND as a side note, eliminating salts and sugars from your diet is a BAD IDEA. For those bickering over it, you would /die/ without sodium and glucose in your diet. Your body stops functioning on a cellular level without salt (sodium transports water across cellular barriers), and you would die within a day of having no glucose in your system. Minimum daily requirement of glucose or other carbohydrate intake is 130 grams, and minimum sodium intake per day is 1500 milligrams. Shriveling up like a raisin-death… Coma-death. Death is not a good thing. Therefore, in moderation, eat sugar, eat salt. Beyond that, fiber isn't easy to digest as a vegetarian, so moderate balancing of high-fiber foods (I know, it's funny, vegans have little choice in the matter) with low- or no-fiber foods also helps.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 02/16/11 17:46:29


    As I read this post by 'dthen' I started singing like Country Joe! -

    + And it's five, six, seven,
    Open up the pearly gates,
    Well there ain't no time to wonder why
    Whoopee! we're all gonna die. +

    Knocking fibre also!

    Perhaps a case of D. I. I. S. aka 'dairy induced insanity syndrome'.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 02/16/11 19:24:35

    Sitting with a friend in - Lock Cha Tea House - - enjoying Lapsang souchong 'smoked tea' & dim-sum.

    My friend comments on this point -

    ~ " me. I'm a vegetarian, and I've been vegan before (courtesy to friends I was staying with)." ~

    - & makes these points / asks these questions -

    1) ' me' - no-one believes a person who says this.
    2) which creatures you torture?
    3) why?
    4) have you set youself a date to stop?
    "Hi, I'm Mel. Trust Me." - by John Alvin (around the coin)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Tatiana at 02/17/11 14:38:46

    Our bodies absolutely need glucose and sodium to survive, but they are so abundant in our diets the chance of someone in a first world country being deficient in either is extremely low. And in fact, most Americans intake of both of those nutrients is much higher than the recommendations. These nutrients are found in a huge percentage of the foods we eat. We usually don't need to seek out foods we think of as containing sugar or sodium to get plenty in our diets every day.

    The following foods all contain some carbs which will turn into sugar in the body: fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, etc etc etc.

    The following small meal/snack contains 465 mg of sodium (nutrition information from
    1/2 whole wheat bagel with 1 tbsp peanut butter
    1 c soy milk getting to the 1500mg (or even the general 2300mg recommendation) is easy even if you don't choose "salty" foods.

    Fiber isn't supposed to be digested well, that's kind of the nature of what fiber is. Unless someone has a medical condition needing a low fiber diet what would be the benefit in choosing low fiber foods?

    Just a note: this information is solely for educational purposes and is in no way to replace an actual medical visit. This website has a wealth of excellent information from a lot of great minds but please remember if you have any medical concerns or needs please see your medical doctor or healthcare provider.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 02/18/11 00:00:46

    fibre aka fiber

    I love it!

    Toilet gazing is my ecstacy!

    Psyllium / Sat Isabgol / Ispaghula / Flea Seed Husk - wonderful when it goes in - wonderful when it comes out -

    Oprah's Poopipedia

    ~ + moderate balancing of high-fiber foods (I know, it's funny, vegans have little choice in the matter) with low- or no-fiber foods also helps...... + ~

    That advice from dthen doesn't 'gel' with me either Tatania!

    Similar topics -

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by jaded_gypsy at 04/13/11 22:11:17

    sorry to rain on you rainbows, jonnysensible, but dthen is absolutely right. i've been a biochemist for quite a few years, and without these items (that can occour naturally in foods) the body will die. prior to this, like several other biochemical deficientcies, you will enter a state of euphoric stupidity, and then shut down. good luck with that!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by NotBuyingIt! at 04/30/11 09:08:06

    Hello Taramaria,

    I used to have what they called an "Iron Stomach" - I could eat anything! I had een vegan for about ten years and then I went vegetarian; at that same time I started having digestive issue (gas and very bad stomach acid). After three years I went back to being vegan and still had the same issues. I had discovered through my TCM doctor that the digestive issues that happened at the same time as me switching my diet was actually caused by years of using asthma medication. The asthma medication had finally begun to eat away at he lining of my stomach. My TCM doctor then gave me some herbal supplements that cleared it right up. So, I agree that you should go to a doctor to decide what is the real culprit. Until then you could try to eat milder foods like cabbage, potatoes, cucumbers or a lot of mild soup. As for sugar and salt: they are just fine if you eat them in their most natural state like grey Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. For sugar try demerara, panela, sucanat or palm sugar. All of the aforementioned sugars and salts have medicinal qualities and a darker color than the white stuff. God luck!

Keep HappyCow Growing Strong!

I would like to support