Mental clarity/memory loss issues?!
I'm extremely poor at the moment and the worst part is I really am not sure if I could function at a job...Although I seem to be doing just fine in my chemistry high school class I'm taking (88 avg. Seems high, but only 9th in class of 20+ people). But like I said, I can't afford to go see a dietitian, my family doctor quit, I have gone to get my blood tested (but only for a few things, I tried to get a more complete blood test, but I believe it only tested B12, iron, RBC, WBC, and protein levels), have yet to see the results, but they told me if they didn't call me back it was a good sign that there was no trouble...I'm just wondering if anyone has any recommendations, or has experienced this themselves? Any help would be very much appreciated, thank you!
I've been vegetarian or vegan for decades, and never experienced that. I did know someone who had similar symptoms. She was 100% raw, a smoker strangely enough, and did not supplement with vitamin B12. Thus, she had a B12 deficiency. This is because vitamin B12 is the only vitamin to come only from microorganisms, and nowhere else. It ends up on animals (like us) because we digest it. And so you'll find it also in other animals. In animals in agriculture, you'll find that many of them have their diets supplemented for vitamin B12 also.
The test your doctor ordered should tell you all you need to know about whether it's your diet. I have no way to know what you're eating. You should focus on getting enough iron into your diet. And you mentioned that you are taking a B12 supplement. Have you taken that the whole time you changed your diet? You mentioned you don't have much money. How are you eating? Are you getting enough food? Maintaining your weight? Not eating all junk?
The basics of nutrition can be counted on one hand-- protein (essential amino acids), fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. If you eat a variety of food, and meet your calorie needs for the day, you're most likely okay for protein. You're eating fats, You're eating carbs. Vitamins are A, the B complex, C, D, E and K. The minerals of concern are calcium, iron, and iodine. Of the vitamins and minerals, I would suspect B12 or iron. Both of these you were tested for.
I went and reviewed your other question. You mentioned that you started taking B12 only after you had symptoms? Usually with a B12 deficiency, it takes a long time for B12 to deplete because it stores in your liver. But it's still important to take daily. After you have symptoms, you may need higher amounts of B12. If it was me, I would take 2,000 mcg of B12 daily until the bottle's empty, then eat a smaller amount. But you were already tested, and if you're low, you'd get a shot from a doctor.
You're eating meat and eggs now, and do not feel any different. Maybe there is something else going on here with your health. You mentioned that you played football for three years. Did you experience any head injuries or a lot of head slams during that time? You also mentioned that you wanted to prepare for possible college football. Have you been working out a lot? Are you on any medications? Are you staying hydrated and getting a tiny bit of salt and potassium into your diet? These are all things to consider.
If you're concerned about a vegan diet, one good website is http://veganhealth.org/ run by Jack Norris, a registered dietitian from Vegan Outreach. He's friendly if you have questions.
Are you getting enough plain water every day? Dehydration can make your mind fuzzy. You might feel better and have a sharper mind if you drink a half ounce of water for every pound of your weight. Do that every day.
You could also try a magnesium supplement - it really worked for me.
If you depleted the B12 stores in your body, it will take a while to build them back up. Eating something that contains a bit of B12 now and then isn't going to do it. And I'd chuck the vegan multivitamins and get normal ones. In my eye anything marked "vegan" is a rip off. Think of how many products over the years have been marked "vegan" only to find out later they weren't. Scam artists are jumping into the "veg*n" market with both feet.
Jack Norris, vegan registered dietitian on B12:
"While true that, at the time they become vegan, some people have enough B12 stored in their liver to prevent overt B12 deficiency for many years, people often misinterpret this to mean that you only need to consume a tiny amount once every few years. Actually, to build up such stores, it takes years of consuming B12 beyond one's daily needs (unless you are using supplements which can build up stores more quickly). Some people do not have large enough stores of B12 to be relied upon even for short periods."
Take time to go to his website and read his recommendations on B12:
And when you get a good supplement, read and follow the directions for dosage. There are several varieties of B12 pills and the dosage on them varies. So read the directions and follow them! This is important stuff. If you mess around and damage your nervious system or even just flunk a class or two because you couldn't be bothered to eat right......
Might no be the answer you are looking for but: EVERYTHING starts with your nutrition. I would look into maybe upping the b12 dose. It definitely can't hurt you so I would try that and just pay a little more attention to what you're eating although you sound like you've got that down pat. Just keep a little closer eye on your diet, up the vitamins, and see what happens. FOODMATTERS is a great documentary on things like this and about holistic/vitamin/nutrition treatments for just about every ailment. It's definitely worth seeing if you havent already it might actually help your situation. I hope you get back to how you were.... I know the feeling of not being 100% like I used to be and it sucks. Best of luck to you :-)