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The Discerning Brute is excited to welcome Dr. Garth Davis as our medical expert who can answer some serious questions. Dr. Davis is medical director of the Davis Clinic at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, and starred on the hit TLC show Big Medicine. He is also the author of “Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat Is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It

 

Today, a letter came from Alex:

I was wondering if you could help me. I have been vegetarian for close to 11 years, 5 of those vegan. I have huge cravings for red meat. Something that I have never had before in my life ( I never really liked the taste even as an omnivore). I take my b12 and my d as recommended and eat plenty of greens with Vitamin c for iron. I take adequate calories and plenty of all variety of whole foods. I am male. Doctors say my blood work is perfect, but I feel very tired all the time regardless of a pretty low stress life and believe I might have adrenal fatigue. I do not drink coffee or tea. Never liked the taste. Anyway, any help would be appreciated.
-Alex

 

Hey Alex,

Funny thing happens when people go vegan.  They get bombarded with a lot of nonsense that can create a nocebo effect, similar to placebo, but negative.

So, people say to you over and over that being vegan is bad for you and will make you weak, and guess what, you feel weak.  Similarly, people tend to blame every possible symptom on the vegan diet.  I had a patient who was hypothyroid and her doctor said it was because of her vegan diet.  Understand how ludicrous this is.  What does the doctor tell all his meat eating patients who are hypothyroid?  There hypothyroidism’s genetic but the vegan’s is because of diet?  Turns out that actual research shows vegan have much lower rates of hypothyroidism.

That is not to say that you may not be low in certain nutrients.  Certainly you need a B12 test and an MMA test is actually more accurate than a B12.  If you need to supplement B12, it is so easy and cheap.  I would also check vitamin D.  I do supplement my patients with vitamin D to get above 50.  I also highly suggest getting 10-15minutes of sun daily, or as often as possible.

Fruits are often avoided by people for some mistaken brief they can make you fat, which is ridiculous.  Fruits are great source of energy.  Apples have quercitin which is great for energy.  I know many people who swear by adding Macca to there smoothies for energy.

Sleep is another area that you really have to look at.  Circadian rhythm is vital to health and energy.  You may want to be checked for sleep apnea.  Make sure you are following good sleep hygiene, and DO NOT use your phone at night in bed!

Finally,  people are working out too hard.  Over training is a real problem.  People don’t realize that growth happens when the body is allowed to recover.  Make sure you are alternating high intensity days with low intensity days and taking days off when necessary.

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