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Almost fainted on the train yesterday...

Low in Iron? ... or just low blood sugar?

11 - 20 of 22 posts   1 | 2 | 3  


Operator Operator QLD Posts: 58
11 27 Oct 2011
When I first went vegetarian, I had a really awful period in the second week, similar to "withdrawal" symptoms. It was apparently my body going into "shock" especially if you usually have a very routined week in terms of "meals" (for example: If you have say, fast food every Tuesday, your body MAY protest when it doesn't get all it's additives, even though it's bad for it!) It did pass though... However if you're fainting, don't ignore it.

Make spinach and lentils your homeboys. Even potatoes have iron in them! So do nectarines (100g has about 8% of an average adult's RDI), cashes, bok choy... The list goes on. Try snacking on nuts throughout the day. Some people are worried this will make you "fat" but you have to remember that being vegetarian, if you're not relying on processed soy like veggie nuggets or veggie hotdogs, etc, and cutting back on dairy (go you!) it's VERY low calorie. You should be getting at LEAST 1000 calories a day ( about 4000 kj, do NOT get the two confused, you'll feel AWFUL only getting 1000kj in a day!) - The recommended calorie intake for adults is anywhere from 1500 to 2000 calories.

Also, if possible, add a berocca effervescent to your morning glass of water. THE FIZZY ONES ONLY are suitable for vegans/vegetarians (the gel caps are coated in gelatine) and contain HEAPS of B12, vitamin C, calcium and a bunch of other stuff. To my knowledge and internet searches, unlike multivitamins, if you intake too much of a certain vitamin from it or your body is already getting enough, it just flushes itself out of your body when you pee (sorry for the TMI, but I couldn't think of a nicer way to put it!)

Most importantly, see and discuss it with your doctor. I was a bit dizzy and it turns out I was used to my "old" diet of 2 big meals a day (I know, so unhealthy!) now I eat about 5 times a day and drink lots of water (I'm also a bandit for green tea.) A simple blood test can show if you're low in iron, b12 and various other minerals. If you are, these can be easily supplemented if necessary.
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Madixoxoxo Madixoxoxo QLD Posts: 31
12 27 Oct 2011
Operator said:
When I first went vegetarian, I had a really awful period in the second week, similar to "withdrawal" symptoms. It was apparently my body going into "shock" especially if you usually have a very routined week in terms of "meals" (for example: If you have say, fast food every Tuesday, your body MAY protest when it doesn't get all it's additives, even though it's bad for it!) It did pass though... However if you're fainting, don't ignore it.

Make spinach and lentils your homeboys. Even potatoes have iron in them! So do nectarines (100g has about 8% of an average adult's RDI), cashes, bok choy... The list goes on. Try snacking on nuts throughout the day. Some people are worried this will make you "fat" but you have to remember that being vegetarian, if you're not relying on processed soy like veggie nuggets or veggie hotdogs, etc, and cutting back on dairy (go you!) it's VERY low calorie. You should be getting at LEAST 1000 calories a day ( about 4000 kj, do NOT get the two confused, you'll feel AWFUL only getting 1000kj in a day!) - The recommended calorie intake for adults is anywhere from 1500 to 2000 calories.

Also, if possible, add a berocca effervescent to your morning glass of water. THE FIZZY ONES ONLY are suitable for vegans/vegetarians (the gel caps are coated in gelatine) and contain HEAPS of B12, vitamin C, calcium and a bunch of other stuff. To my knowledge and internet searches, unlike multivitamins, if you intake too much of a certain vitamin from it or your body is already getting enough, it just flushes itself out of your body when you pee (sorry for the TMI, but I couldn't think of a nicer way to put it!)

Most importantly, see and discuss it with your doctor. I was a bit dizzy and it turns out I was used to my "old" diet of 2 big meals a day (I know, so unhealthy!) now I eat about 5 times a day and drink lots of water (I'm also a bandit for green tea.) A simple blood test can show if you're low in iron, b12 and various other minerals. If you are, these can be easily supplemented if necessary.
Thanks for the tips happy Yeah. I think my new diet shocked my system a lot. Not that I ever at a lot of meat/dairy. Maybe on 2-3 times a week max. My sister is vegetarian, so a lot of our meals were vegetarian anyway. But, the lack of dairy/meat would have plummeted my caloric intake. EEK! Which I'm silly, and didn't even think of. I've had a day full of food happy Haven't felt dizzy or lethargic yet. I am also taking the iron tablets, and I did notice that I was looking super grey under my eyes last night (that's always been a sign that I'm anemic again... it happens easily for me) which is why I just went and got the iron tablets straight away. Made sure they didn't have any gelatin or anything in them either, cause some do. Just had a snack of wholegrain toast with almond butter and strawberries on top happy Best thing ever. I will be putting spinach in my carrot/apple/ginger juice from now on as well. Just to make sure happy Thanks for the suggestions too ecstatic
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DaveQB DaveQB NSW Posts: 287
13 27 Oct 2011
Hey well done on going vegetarian.
If you can, you might want to make it a more gradual thing. But if can't (I understand the mental side) then continue with the reading.

So first off I would like to recommend you use a site like this:
http://caloriecount.about.com

I have been using for a few weeks to get an idea of my diet. It doesn't just count calories but also breaks down you nutrient intake such as VitC and Iron etc etc.

As a side note, everything rates well in my diet except for Calcium and Potassium, hmmm

As for a multi-vitamin, I have this:
http://www.greenedgeonline.com.au/acatalog/Adult_Multivitamins.html

I got it as a "just in case", to help ensure I am covering everything.

HTH
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Madixoxoxo Madixoxoxo QLD Posts: 31
14 27 Oct 2011
DaveQB said:
Hey well done on going vegetarian.
If you can, you might want to make it a more gradual thing. But if can't (I understand the mental side) then continue with the reading.

So first off I would like to recommend you use a site like this:
http://caloriecount.about.com

I have been using for a few weeks to get an idea of my diet. It doesn't just count calories but also breaks down you nutrient intake such as VitC and Iron etc etc.

As a side note, everything rates well in my diet except for Calcium and Potassium, hmmm

As for a multi-vitamin, I have this:
http://www.greenedgeonline.com.au/acatalog/Adult_Multivitamins.html

I got it as a "just in case", to help ensure I am covering everything.

HTH
Oh thanks for that website happy I'm gonna log them and make sure I'm getting enough. Cheers!
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DaveQB DaveQB NSW Posts: 287
15 28 Oct 2011
MadiLovesMerDer said:
Oh thanks for that website happy I'm gonna log them and make sure I'm getting enough. Cheers!
You are welcome happy
I hope it helps.
Feel free to click the thanks on my post wink
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DaveQB DaveQB NSW Posts: 287
16 2 Nov 2011
MadiLovesMerDer said:
Oh thanks for that website happy I'm gonna log them and make sure I'm getting enough. Cheers!
How are you going with this?
I am seeing a few vegan foods appearing in the search when I go to add them to the days list of foods. Is that you adding them in?
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KirstyGirl KirstyGirl TAS Posts: 754
17 2 Nov 2011
Sounds like blood sugar to me. I do this too. But I'm also anemic after being a bad vegetarian for 5 years... there's no way your iron levels can drop that quickly. It takes ages of low iron levels to make you feel that bad and if you'd been eating meat and things one week before there's just no way. Of course there are a million things that could have made you feel that way though. But don't jump on the meat eaters band wagon thinking that going veg has suddenly made you so anemic you're almost fainting! hehe happy
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..1 ..1 TAS Posts: 2265
18 2 Nov 2011
It sounds like low blood sugar to me. Last week I was at work and I got low blood sugar. I couldn't see properly, I was shaking, head aches, dizzy spells, sickness in stomach, even memory issues (I'd do something, and then seconds later forget I'd done it, and then go to do it again) I had to keep stopping and sitting down because I just couldn't function properly. I don't even know how I managed to walk in a straight line. It's the first time it's happened since I went vegan, and I haven't suffered from it since last week. It seemed to be a one-off. The same could be said for you. When I went vegetarian I had no issues at all. And your diet sounds way better than mine was.

I would only be concerned about it being iron if it persists. But don't become an 'iron hypercondriac'. A lot of people get paranoid when they go veg, and think that even the smallest hint of a head ache is anemia.
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Janine Janine NSW Posts: 232
19 2 Nov 2011
Another thing to investigate is your blood pressure. I had the exact same thing happen to me a few years ago. I was still eating chicken/fish at the time tho. I would start to get really hot and sweaty and then would just fall down on the trains. If I sat down I was absolutely fine.
A few months ago I went to the doctor and mentioned it and she checked my blood pressure. When I sat down it was fine but when I stood up it dropped instead of rising.
The dr mentioned that this is a common thing happening to young women and they are not sure what the cause is. She mentioned to have drinks with electrolytes in them or black tea to help.
Since then, whenever I start to feel this come on I get a Powerade and I am completely fine happy
So just thought id mention this incase this is the same thing you have. As a side note, it might be worth getting your bloods tested to make sure its nothing else. I could easily rule out iron as my iron tests have always been fantastic, vegetarian or vegan.
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wild child2 wild child2 QLD Posts: 2638
20 8 Nov 2011
I highly doubt you would notice a drop in iron in just a week of going veg that would result in you feeling faint, I really think it is something else... low blood sugar level is more likely.

There is not that much iron in day to day meat/dairy. A 100g rump steak has approx 3mg and 100g of chickpeas has 3mg, coupled with some vit C you'll probably get more from the chickpeas. Unless you were feasting on livers & hearts of animals previously, your body won't be noticing a huge drop in iron, iron stores can last quite a few months anyway, you'd have to wait longer than a week to notice a difference in a week if there was going to be an issue.
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