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Side-effects of going vegan...?

I have been off dairy & aaaaaall animal products for several weeks now (FINALLY!--I've been wanting to do this forever, and it's SO fricken EASY & rewarding & exciting now that I've actually decided to do it). :D

So, aside from feeling happier, lighter, "cleaner" (if that makes sense), more energetic, and just plain old excited about my new lifestyle choice... I have also (possibly) been experiencing some negative side effects. I was wondering if any of you experienced things like headaches & facial break-outs at the beginning of your "veganization"?

Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but I have been experiencing a bit of oiliness on my face, as well as some blemishes on my chin & pretty bad headaches. I do break out from time-to-time--but not really on a regular basis, and not with the sensitive, red, hard underground zits that I have on my chin right now! I'm not too worried about it; just kind of curious if this is maybe my body purging all of those built-up toxins from animal products that I've ingested over the years! If so, it's kind of exciting, and I expect to feel better than I ever have (I already do in so many ways)...

Did anyone experience anything like this? Thanks in advance! :)

Nope, that happened to me too.  I was gassy, had terrible breakouts and headaches when I first went vegan.  It all cleared up, hm, within a month or so?  Just give it a bit more time.  I have no idea why it happens either, but it passes.

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funny thing - I'm experiencing headaches, and I've just had a ridiculous acne break out. I don't think it's because I just "officially" became vegan - I've been a vegetarian for years, but hardly ever ate eggs or dairy.

must be just a funny coincidence? I hope... maybe I'm living through your pain with you, or something. sympathy acne.

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i just started farting a lot!  atleast thats not happening to you.  i have found that i get headaches a lot more often since i went vegan 4 years ago as compared to vegetarian.  it just happens when i eat like crap.  a potato and noodle day will do it for me.  now that i think of it.  ive gotten more headaches since moving in with my boyfriend, who eats like crap. 

if i have been eating well and then eat horribly for a day, it throws my body off, it doesnt know whats going on.  it sounds like your body is just adjusting.  and even though people say that going vegan helps with your skin and with zits, i still get zits right before my period.  i dont think anything is as strong as what happens that time of the month.  goodness gracious.

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I did not experience any drastic changes like that, but have heard many stories of others who have.

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I have had a horrible break out that won't go away for seems like....three weeks now...so it goes alone with the timeI started limiting dairy and cutting out eggs as much as practically possible. I know i break out when I have a fatty diet, and i think the nuts and peanut butter I eat to get a variety of protein are doing it.

My family thinks that being vegan must be unhealthy because i am breaking out so bad. :(

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I went from eating steak one night to completely vegan the next about a month ago.  I have been extremely strick about it.  I too have had a few bad headaches now and then, sometimes to the point of dizziness.  I changed my diet a little bit to more nutrient dense and higher calorie foods and have felt fine since.  Other than that I have adjusted pretty well to my new lifestyle.

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The only time I get a headache is because I am hungry. I need to snack constantly in order not to feel tired/headachy & grumpy. I agree with others about not eating processed foods too, they can throw your system for a loop. Make sure to eat whenever you are hungry. I think the vegan diet puts alot of bulky-full feeling foods in your belly so that your dont feel hungry as you used to. I keep veggies & hummus, fruit, nuts & clif bars here at work to grab if I start feeling like its time to eat again. When I have this stuff on hand, i really honestly do not want to donuts & other crap people are always bringing in to share.

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Thanks, all! I have been eating very healthily lately--much more fruits & veggies than normal. Obviously, no cheese or yogurt, and not really very many processed foods, either. I've been making a lot more meals at home (and loving it!) & making sure I'm eating a wide variety of healthy foods in order to meet all my nutrition needs each day. So, I don't think processed foods are the culprit.

I have to imagine that it's partly my diet change, and then probably partly just hormones from my impending period... Who knows? Maybe it's even just this really humid weather we've been having! We'll see what happens as I continue to eat animal-free! :)

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maybe the breakouts/headaches are from an allergy to something you either didn't used to eat or didn't use to eat as often as you do now. Try not having any peanuts for a couple weeks. If thats not it, try not having any soy for a couple weeks. Not really sure what some other common food allergies are

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My guess is that the break-outs and headaches are from your body detoxifying.  I didn't personally have those issues when I switched over, but it would make sense.  I am a vet tech and, coming from that perspective, when you switch an animal from a low-quality food (think kibbles n bits, etc) to a high-quality kibble or homemade food, they often go through a process of detoxification that includes excessive shedding, GI upset, gas, hair loss, etc.  After a few weeks, the new, improved version of themselves starts to emerge.  I would have to assume it would be the same in people.  Hope that helps!

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Could the headaches be from hunger? I know that is usually the only time I get hungry. I would want to make sure you are still eating enough calories.
As for skin, mine cleared up when I went vegan, but often when our bodies detox, our skin shows it. I'll bet your skin will get even better than before if you stick with it! :)

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I went from eating a lot of meat to straight veganism, but had always had a huge acne problem.  It got worse for maybe a week, then I ended up healing at the end of my first month.  I haven't had bad acne in 7 years now, but I do remember the headaches because I never used to have headaches.  I don't get them any more unless I am eating crap, or processed food.  I also had a HUGE gas problem when I first started, but my body got used to it, or I just stopped eating the processed stuff.
Good job though, you are on the right track!  Congratulations on your big step!

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Also, no, I don't think the headaches are from hunger. I have been eating very well-balanced meals, along with a snack if I get hungry, plus drinking lots of water. In fact, I was kind of nervous that going vegan would make me feel hungry & nauseous all the time (such as when I first went vegetarian in high school & sustained myself mostly on grilled cheese), but I haven't felt that at all! I always feel satisfied when I eat, but never too full, like I did while eating meat & dairy. I love that feeling!

I've always been prone to tension headaches, but for some reason, they seem to have been somewhat worse this past week. Today I'm feeling good, though! I was more concerned about my skin & eczema break-out this week. (Eczema is another thing I've always had every now & then--esp. during allergy season like right now--but it broke out this week by the corner of my mouth & it was BAD! However, it seems to be almost gone already! :)

Thanks again for all your input!

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I think my hair loss has been a factor of being vegetarian- I'm scared I'm not going to have any hair left....There are not bald spots but it seems thin...

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It's quite possible that you are experiencing a hormonal imbalance which would account for both the acne and the headaches.  If you have recently upped your intake of soy products this could be a source.  Some strange things happened to me when I began drinking alot of soy milk after dumping dairy.  I now use rice or oat milk on cereal in smoothies and use tofu and tempeh in moderation or rarely.  If you've been a healthy vegetarian then I wouldn't expect a major detox but I suppose it's not out of the question. 

Also, with you skin sensitivities (ie eczema) I would consider a supplemental fatty acid complex with balanced omega 3's and 6's (aka ALA, DHA and EPA, and GLA).  As you are now vegan I won't give you my source but know that you can get EPA/DHA from sea vegetables in a capsule or liquid.  I'd suggest just getting your essential fats from Chia seeds and chlorella but if you are lacking the proper enzymes to make the conversion from ALA to to EPA and DHA then you may want to supplement with EPA/DHA.  These fats are rather complicated but crucial to understand for vegans or vegetarians who are opposed to fish oil.  Remember, these fats are essential for the production of hormones and too much of one can block the conversion of others.  I mentioned Chia as they are fairly balanced with Omega 3's and 6's like flax but don't go rancid- plus I like the taste better.  www.integratedhealth.com is a good source for chia- good price and they are organic.

Hopefully, with the elimination of dairy your eczema will improve and no doubt the acne will ultimately subside as your body gets back into balance.  I do think chlorella improved my complexion significantly a couple of years ago when I was forced off my healthy  vegetarian diet.

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The reason you are breaking out, experiencing headaches and so on, is that your body is getting rid of a lot of waste product.  In all those years you've been eating a poor diet with a lot of meat, milk etc. the waste products accumulate, and now finally your body has excess energy to get rid of it. It comes out of your pores in face and perhaps armpits, and it gives you headaches because it irritates your nerves around your brain.
It is a great thing to be cleansed out.
It is the same that happens when you are ill. The waste products have accumulated in such an amount that your body cannot function normally and needs time and rest to cleanse itself. This is why you are not hungry and feels exhausted when you're ill. Yyour body needs to focus all its energy on cleansing itself.
That is also why a fast can do tremendous things for your health and is extremely important when you have trouble getting well, have allergies or something like that.

Hope this made sense..  :)

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I kinda agree with Mauvia.

I didn't go strict vegan at first, so I didn't experience any different changes. Except for my period. My cycle went from 30 days to 40, and the actual period itself is only 4 days long (used to be a week).

But I've been hard-core strict vegan (diet-wise) for a month, and I have been getting headaches. Now I know it's normal. I know this isn't vegan, but Advil works wonders (the only thing I have in the house at this point).

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