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Zajvhal's avatar

Does a vegan diet improve chronic health problems?

Asked by Zajvhal (314points) February 15th, 2010

I’ve had pretty severe asthma, allergies, and eczema my entire life and have tried many different things to help these conditions. For moral reasons I’ve been a vegetarian for 16 years, but recently I have heard that a vegan diet may help with allergies and related issues. I tried it for a month and didn’t notice anything really…does anyone else have experience with this?

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22 Answers

kevbo's avatar

You might look into consultation for an Ayurvedic diet. My friend’s wife offers that service and cured his allergies by modifying his diet. (He is vegetarian but not vegan.) During a period when he lapsed from his diet, his allergies returned.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Vegetarian diets do little to alleviate existing conditions.
It is true though that some foods can exacerbate allergic reactions.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

You also might want to look into the Gerson diet. I have heard that it can cure chronic problems. Also, have you ever tried gluten free?

Zajvhal's avatar

@kevbo What I am wondering is how long after switching to the healthier diet can you expect to see a change?

Cruiser's avatar

Try going whole foods and organic. I have heard great things about whole foods. My son has allergies and we switched to Organic fresh foods and milk, cut back his wheat intake…major improvement. Tearing out the carpeting is next.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

I have heard that an allergy to MSG can disguise itself as other food allergies because they literally put MSG in everything. It may be worth looking at.

Judi's avatar

Maybe you have a wheat alergy.

Zajvhal's avatar

@Judy and @tragiclikebowie I’ve considered wheat or other food allergies, but I had tons of allergy tests as a child and none of that ever came up. I do eat a pretty organic, healthy diet for the most part and avoid preservatives and stuff as much as possible. I feel like if it were a wheat allergy it would be more obvious…but maybe not.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

Not just wheat. Gluten. Anything under “Natural flavors” in ANY food could possibly be gluten. Do some research, you’d be very surprised.

Oxymoron's avatar

Vegan diets are just as bad as eating meat and preservatives. It isn’t good for your body. The best thing to be is vegetarian.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

The problem with vegan and vegetarian is you have to know how to keep the balance. My mom was a vegetarian but she tends to me anemic so she got very, very sick. You can make up for nutrients missing in vegan diets through many other avenues, it is possible.

kevbo's avatar

@Zajvhal, couldn’t say.

gemiwing's avatar

First I would recommend going to the doctor and having another round of allergy tests done. Allergies can change over the course of a lifetime so having an updated set of tests could help.

Then, evaluate what to do after your results return.

ubersiren's avatar

If it continues, you could always to go an allergist. He can see which foods (if any) are the culprits.

SeventhSense's avatar

Hardly. Take a look at much of India.

Zajvhal's avatar

@SeventhSense Most Indians are far from from Vegan, milk and cheese are a large part of their diet….

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@Zajvhal And don’t forget yogurt. Plus, their drinking water is also far from clean.

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes that’s true I guess I wasn’t strict enough in my estimation.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m pretty sure it would take longer than one month to start having a positive effect. Be sure you are very careful to get enough information to maintain the proper nutrition. Perhaps it would be a good idea to visit a certified nutritionist who specialized in Vegan.

philosopher's avatar

I agree that is how I eat Cruiser.
I have heard that Vegans have been cured of many diseases.
I eat only organic or minimally processed chicken, wild fish, tons of vegetables and fruit. I maintain a low glycmeric index.

Adagio's avatar

I would suggest asking the question on the forum at Vegweb, nothing like asking those with some experience of being vegan.

thriftymaid's avatar

Only if the health problem is too much protein.

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