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Red Days Do what the Doctor says?!

Evening everyone :) hope you're all doing good tonight!

I'm having a bit of a confusing night.

As some of you may know, I'm recently became a vegetarian (well I started properly in January but I've been funny about meat for long before that!) and since then, I've been constantly ill...getting colds, catching bugs etc.

Anyway, I went to see my doctor today as I was feeling really really rough. I've got a constant cough and cold and just feel generally run down. My doctor asked the normal questions about health...do you smoke? etc etc. Then he was like "have you changed your eating habits recently?"

So, I told him about becoming a vegetarian and being on SW and he was like, well done for doing SW and that he can tell I've lost a little bit of weight so far and to keep it up. But then he was like "I've told you this the other week. The reason you're getting ill is because your not getting the nutrients meat gives you". I went to see him the other week as I was really ill. He advised me to eat meat & fish again. I said no to meat but I've started eating more fish (mainly tuna and pollack but it's a start). Now he really advises that I start eating meat again. I can just hear all you vegetarians saying "NO, DONT DO IT!" and I said the same myself. But now I've been thinking it through and I've been wondering whether I should just give it a bash and have some meat. Ughh I just dunno. What would you lot do in my position? I'm sick of being ill all of the time. I really am not a fan of meat, but if it'll make me better than maybe I should just eat it?

Sorry for long post/kind of rant..I'm just so confused and in need of some advice.

GG x

P.s sorry if this doesn't make sense, my brain hurts!!
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I want to be fitter again
i would ask for a blood test to see whether the iron you have in your diet is a) being stored correctly b) is being utelised by the body c) whether your serum iron and haemoglobin are low. It is true that only haem iron can be obtained form animal sources and non haem iron (vegetable sources) is less readily absorbed by the body. But if your bloods show the right levels your body is absorbing what it needs to maintain you at a healthy level.

Sources of non haem iron are :
  • pulses
  • green vegetables such as watercress, broccoli, spring greens and okra
  • bread
  • fortified breakfast cereals
Remember that it's easier to absorb iron from food if we eat it with foods that contain vitamin C, so have some fruit or veg at the same time.
Cutting down on tea and coffee could help to improve iron levels in the body. This is because tea and coffee contains compounds, called polyphenols, which can bind with iron making it harder for our bodies to absorb.
Hope that helps a little xx
I've been veggie my whole life, never eaten meat/fish, I'm 28. And I am rarely ill. I get the odd cold in winter but nothing else. I've been borderline anemic once when I was going through a stressful time in my life.



It has no bearing on your immune system at all, as long as your diet, ANY diet is balanced you should be fine.
Thanks everyone. I'm gonna take it as he really didnt have a clue what he was talking about. Defo thinking about changing Doc's now. And maybe getting some tests done to see why I have a permanent cold/cough/stomach ache etc. Pfffffft...doctors, what do they know?!
It might be worth adding things like Goji berries to your diet - excellent source of vitamin C and iron, very good for boosting the immune system apparently. I work in a health food store and I have customers who swear by them, they get through the winter with no coughs or colds!

Also some nuts are an essential source of nutrients for vegetarians - dried fruits too, apricots for instance contain iron, calcium and protein. It's worth reading up on those sorts of foods if you're a veggie. :)

I must also add though that I know people who've tried to go vegetarian, with the same results as you, feeling ill all the time. They seem to feel fine again as soon as they return to eating meat and fish. It might be that some people just function better with all food groups included in their diet.


I will do this!!!
Im a meat eater, love the idea of being veggie but could't do it when i tried. I understand that you get alot of the nutrients ect ect that your body needs from meat but you also get all from that from fruit and veg too. Sounds like your Dr was passing on his own opinions rather than ones from a Dr! Id do as Brightonrosie said and get your iron levels tested. Hope you feel better soon :)


Silver Member
I also suggest you take some Echinacea tablets to give your immune system a boost, I had something similar the first time I ever did SW, I joined a gym, got to target etc etc but I was so ill, constant colds, stomach bugs, if it was going around I got it, my mum persuaded me to take these & it really did help, I still take them now but I only take them for the month of October and the last time I had a cold was when the last Bond film was released (I remember feeling ill in the cinema & not being able to eat my popcorn....). I know plenty of vegetarians who are perfectly healthy so I would be looking at going to another doctor & asking for blood tests before I went back to meat.

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