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Vegetarian with headaches and general lethargy

(9 Posts)
SanityClause Tue 08-Dec-15 15:27:43

DD1 (16) is a vegetarian, and has been for nearly a year now.

She became a vegetarian for ethical reasons, and I am happy to support her in that, although the rest of the family eats meat.

However, she has had headaches and been generally lethargic since she became a vegetarian, although she does supplement with B12 and iron.

Recently, she has been taking Floradix tablets, for example.

She is thin, (not too thin, though) but she eats plenty, and I do try to ensure she has a decent amount of protein.

She says she will give it another year, and see if it improves.

I just think it's a pity to have to give up on something that is important to her, and wonder if anyone has suggestions of how she can overcome the problem, without giving up on vegetarianism.

CultureSucksDownWords Tue 08-Dec-15 15:32:19

Has she had a blood test to check for anaemia/b12 deficiency?

CastaDiva Tue 08-Dec-15 15:42:56

What Culture said. I've been vegetarian for over 20 years, and am healthy as a healthy thing in general (rather to the surprise of my midwife when I had my son at 40, because she kept insisting on iron level checks etc!) BUT there have been one or two stressful times when I've not eaten well, and low iron and B12 can certainly make you feel ghastly.

Plus, if she's seriously deficient, it may take more than Floradix and a B12 tablet to get her back to where she should be - do urge her to see her GP and check it out.

She does need to take responsibility for her own nutritional needs, though - when she leaves home, she should be able to gauge her dietary needs. You can't rely on the odd multi-vit!

SanityClause Tue 08-Dec-15 15:52:27

Thank you for this.

I know its absolutely possible to be a very healthy vegetarian, like you CastaDiva, so I'm sure DD can achieve it, too.

I'll talk to her about a GP appointment. (Could be nothing to do with her diet, as well.)

lorelei9 Tue 08-Dec-15 15:58:20

has this been consistent in the year since she turned veggie - there may be no link. I have been vegetarian and many members of my family are vegetarian so I agree it's perfectly possible to be healthy - I was vegetarian at that age as well.

Does she drink enough water - I have to drink more than the recommended 2l a day to stay hydrated.

has it been particularly bad the last couple of months - many people benefit from Vit D at this time of year.

headaches could be hormonal, atmospheric pressure, too much screen time, eye strain - all sorts of things which have nothing to with food.

I would have a closer look at lifestyle issues before you take her to the GP - sometimes they will be in such a hurry it's hard for them to have time to account for those things so if you look at some possibilities with her, it might help. Hope she gets it sorted.

SanityClause Tue 08-Dec-15 16:26:32

Hmm. I'll ask her about those things lorelei.

Your post has made me wonder if we need to check her glasses prescription. And actually, I think she might not be wearing them as often as she should.

[overlooking-the-bleeding-obvious emoticon] blush

lorelei9 Tue 08-Dec-15 16:55:26

Also just remembered - my sis used to have a lie down after school at that age, so much going on. I had awful periods at 16 and ten days of the month I was knackered because of those. It was only when I went on the Pill at 17 that I realised how awful it had been - you know when you just sit in lessons putting up with it because all you have to do is sit there? But thank goodness I didn't start my working life with it...

sorry, waffling....another thing to check though I appreciate nosey questions about her cycle may not be appreciated.

SanityClause Tue 08-Dec-15 19:32:20

No, all much appreciated, lorelei.

She has been put on a mini pill for painful periods, so it's not that. (That was after she was physically ill during a GCSE geography exam, and we went to the GP for a sick note. You get an extra 1% or something.)

I have suggested some of your points. She is mulling it over. She usually needs a few hours to accept an idea, and then, decides for herself, so I never push things with her. (Which is actually really sensible of her.)

superbfairywren Fri 11-Dec-15 19:23:43

I had horrid headaches at 16 as I needed glasses and I was struggling particularly at school with straining to read different size fonts, and going from screen to book etc didn't help. Definitely get her an opticians appointment then if that gets sorted and the headaches remain get her to a gp for blood tests. B12 supplements are no good if she can't absorb the b12. She might need injections or a different type of tablet.

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