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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

Hello all! About a month ago I went vegan - I did my research to make sure I was getting enough iron, calcium, and protein (and all other nutrients), and was feel absolutely great. Since yesterday, however, I've had a persistent and very painful headache, and I can't help but feel that it may be the result of my diet.

Other details that I've read are relevant:
+ About 1.5 weeks ago I started drinking quite a bit of soy milk, but the headache only started recently
+ Two/Three days ago I started eating veggie burgers, but nothing online seems to suggest that they're the culprits
+ Along with dropping animal products I also dropped caffeine

I've read that overall detoxing (especially the caffeine) is the likely culprit, but I was feeling fine until just yesterday. Does anyone have any explanations or suggestions?

Also, I really try to avoid pain medication, but it's getting pretty unbearable. The pain feels is in the center of the right and left sides of my head.

Responses (3)

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    Posted by happycowgirl at 08/20/12 16:41:05

    First, Congratulations on going vegan! That's awesome!

    Next, I highly doubt your headaches are in any way related to going vegan. Even before I read the part of your post about giving up caffeine, my #1 thought was caffeine. The "caffeine headache" is one of those headaches that can sneak up on you and when it does it hits you hard. When I've given up caffeine before, that horrible caffeine withdrawal headache has lasted me a day or two before it totally goes away.

    Even if it's not due to caffeine withdrawal, make sure you're drinking enough water. Just chug and extra bottle of water even if you think you don't need it. Being dehydrated can give you a headache.

    Next, could it be a sinus headache? You mention pain in the center of the R and L sides of your head and that's a typical sinus headache location.

    Lastly, people often get headaches when their eyesight prescription has changed. Even if your prescription has changed just a little, that extra eye strain can give you a pretty good headache.

    I hope this helps and I hope your headache goes away soon! : )

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    Posted by alexvas at 08/20/12 23:53:59

    Hi Happpycowgirl. Thanks for the suggestions and explanations. Caffeine withdrawl seems to be the most likely culprit, I'm just surprised that it took so long for the headaches to hit - it's been over a month since my last tea/coffee, and I've gone for 1-2 weeks without caffeine before and never felt any negative effects. I don't suppose caffeine is one of those chemicals that's released with weight loss?

    I do have mild summertime allergies, but they've never bothered me too much - I can hardly imagine them playing much of a role. As for eyesight, I am indeed nearsighted and have noticed that when I wear glasses and look at something close I quickly get a light headache. It's a very similar kind of pain, but a hundredfold less severe. I can't imagine putting on glasses right now... haha

    Anyways, it seems like you really hit all the possibilities with your response. I hope the headaches go away soon, too.

    And yes, vegan is certainly the way to go. It's fascinating how much I've learned about store-bought foods as a result of *ahem* reading the ingredients label.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 09/13/12 08:15:12

    There are endless causes of headaches. Stress, environmental toxins, poor posture, lack of exercise, etc.
    You might try reflexology, acupressure or acupuncture. They work!

    Donny Lutz

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