July 12, 2020

2020.07.12

2020.07.12

Not a very productive day.

In the morning I finished reading about leptin, then I had a meeting with friends (online)). I ate lunch, took a walk, and bought a supplement.

Then I sat down to transcribe notes from my work journal but ended up watching [redacted]

I'm glad I eat no meat and next to no animal products, but I'm still shaken.

I ended up getting very little done this weekend.

Written by lays_chips

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elvena_art
Posted On Jul 13, 2020

It's okay, keep going😊🙆‍♀

JustMegawatt
Posted On Jul 13, 2020

I've only seen maybe a few minutes of animals getting slaughtered, and that planted a seed in my mind to eventually stop eating meat. It didn't happen right away, because I was an idiot who thought there wasn't an alternative, but it eventually clicked that hey, I don't need to do this anymore. It's really not hard to do and is just a simple shift of habit that ends up saving so many lives and resources.

Anyway you'll go insane thinking about it too much and trying to convince other people. If you want people to know, my recommendation is to just drop in that they don't need to eat meat at all, like just say "you don't need to eat meat" randomly. I had to do that with my parents for a few years just constantly reminding them, eventually they stopped or reduced it significantly.

Other than that, I recommend just working on your own life, career, and success. Work towards becoming influential enough to have a heavier weight with your opinion because as a nobody you're not going to change much.

lays_chips
Posted On Jul 13, 2020

@JustMegawatt I turned vegetarian 2 years ago for the environment, and sort of just... became vegan at some point. I don't find it difficult as well.
My mom used to be vegan but she has really persistent anemia, so she lost all her hair and became severely anemic when she was vegan. Now she mocks or teases me for eating healthy wherever she sees the opportunity, so I tend not to criticize. I do make vegan treats at home when I cook, and my parents are pescatarian.
I'm going to try not to worry too much, and just keep it to the diet.

JustMegawatt
Posted On Jul 14, 2020

@lays_chips that's pretty interesting story with your mom, how long was she vegan for? Anemia isn't unique to vegans though, and apparently low B12 can cause anemia as well: https://www.livekindly.co/how-to-avoid-anemia-vegan-diet/

I don't even pay attention to getting iron or any other nutrients, like I don't specifically buy foods to get certain nutrients, and yet and everything came back within the healthy range on my blood tests last year which included iron.

lays_chips
Posted On Jul 14, 2020

@JustMegawatt Yes, I am aware of B12. She had a severe B12 deficiency lately as well. I actually wrote a paper on anemia in vegans, so I'm familiar.
Women are much more likely to become anemic, due to the loss of blood. Although anemia prevalence is not a lot higher in vegans, low-normal iron levels are.
My mom was only vegan for a year or two. I think she might have a vitamin absorption problem, and does not take up iron easily. Non-heme iron and the phytates in vegan diets make iron much less bioavailable, so it's recommended vegans get 1.8*the RDA for omnivores.
Also, blood tests don't check for things like B12 deficiency. Keep an eye on the MCV in your blood test. If that increases, it indicates B12 deficiency (megaloblastic anemia).

JustMegawatt
Posted On Jul 14, 2020

@lays_chips You're right, my MCV is a bit high in my blood test taken last year. Apparently different sources state different normal ranges, Medline Plus which is a government site says the range is 80-100 FL, if so, mine is in the correct range: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003648.htm

However according to other sources, normal values for MCV is 80-96, or even 80-98. Mine is at 100 which is out of those ranges and is definitely concerning me. I took my blood test August last year, so I'll do one again next month after taking in more B12. There were probably some weeks and months at a time when I didn't take any B12 at all. But yeah I haven't experienced any of the listed symptoms from megaloblastic anemia:

shortness of breath
muscle weakness
abnormal paleness of the skin
glossitis (swollen tongue)
loss of appetite/weight loss
diarrhea
nausea
fast heartbeat
smooth or tender tongue
tingling in hands and feet
numbness in extremities

It can apparently lead to severe neurological problems such as dementia later on, so that's definitely a cause of concern for me. Also I didn't even have any Iron tested in my blood either, so I wouldn't know if I'm in the normal range or not (I thought I did! I'll ask for Iron tests this year).

lays_chips
Posted On Jul 14, 2020

@JustMegawatt Folate (which is usually high in vegan diets) will mask the symptoms of B12 deficiency as far as anemia and hyperhomocystenemia. This means that neuropathy (death of your neurons) can progress without anemia to warn you first. My mom started losing sensation in her hands and feet - a sign of peripheral neuropathy.

lays_chips
Posted On Jul 14, 2020

@JustMegawatt this is a good overview - https://veganhealth.org/vitamin-b12-coenzyme-functions/#anemia
> If there are large amounts of incoming folate from the diet, the body does not need to rely on the regeneration of folate from the B12 cycle. Instead, it can use the extra dietary folate to produce DNA, thus preventing macrocytic anemia (see the bottom right-hand portion of Figure 1 above). This is why high intakes of folate are said to “mask” a B12 deficiency.

> To add insult to injury, an iron deficiency (which results in small red blood cells from inadequate hemoglobin synthesis) can counteract the macrocytic cells, making it appear as though the blood cells are normal in the face of multiple nutritional deficiencies (7).

JustMegawatt
Posted On Jul 14, 2020

@lays_chips When you mentioned macrocytic anemia I also read about the symptoms for microcytic anemia, and that's from low iron levels (I guess this is what's usually just referred to as "anemia"). So I had an idea that naturally formed that maybe a low iron and low B12 would make MCV appear normal, and you just posted that could be the case. The article says that MMA levels are the best indicators for B12 deficiency which I don't see anywhere on my blood test. RBC is at the normal range, though it is on the lower half.

Here's what I'll ask for when I come in for my next blood test: MMA levels and Iron levels. Anything else I should consider?

Also I could just go in today, last year when I did my blood panel I just walked in and had it done that same day without scheduling or calling ahead of time. The clinic I went to is called PatientFirst, I just walked in, registered my information at the front desk, told them I wanted to do a blood test and they did it that same day without any further questions asked. Maybe you could check it out since you posted about wanting a new doctor.

Also after seeing that my MCV values were abnormal, they did do a B12 panel and saw that my b12 was high normal. But I do remember taking B12 regularly for at least a week before I went in, because I had not been taking B12 regularly before then. Yeah I would skip some weeks or months and not take it once, definitely realizing that mistake now.

lays_chips
Posted On Jul 14, 2020

@JustMegawatt B12 is something rarely checked for. There's quite a number of tests. Since you liver stores around 5 years worth of B12, you could have inadequate intake and dropping levels while having a normal serum level. I'm not sure how much taking the pill regularly right before getting tested would change the result, although restoration of some symptoms of deficiency go away pretty fast.
I can look through stuff I read and post it in my journal tomorrow for you to have a look. It's generally a good practice to take the supplement regularly. Even omnivores can have low levels, and low levels have other symptoms as well.
Also, anemia is just the word for low hemoglobin. IDA is iron deficiency anemia. There's lots of kinds of anemia: pernicuous anemia (inability to absorb B12), hemolytic anemia (death of red blood cells), macrocytic anemia (B12 and folate deficiency), anemia of chronic inflammation (inflammatory signals cause a hormone, hepcidin, to cause iron to be sequestered into cells, preventing its use for red blood cells despite adequate absorption/intake)... but the most common kind is iron deficiency.

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