Help me find a vegan doctor?
I've been nearly vegan for over 4 years now and in this time I've had periods of very low energy, fatigue, inability to focus, confusion, and general crappyness to cover whatever I may have missed.
It's certainly not always been so bad. But this last year saw me getting progressively worse until I snapped mentally and made a huge shift in my diet.
My diet was mostly stuff like Stir-fry with lots of Broccoli, almonds and tofu, or soy milk and cereal, or black bean burritos, or garlic mushroom pasta. I didn't have much in the way of produce outside of the stir-fry. And I didn't eat hardly any fruit at all. I was running 2 miles a couple times a week, doing an active yoga routine a couple time a week, and a little bit of resistance work here and there. Overall, I thought all this was a good enough mix.
But I still felt like crap. So I got the book by Brendan Brazier called "The Thrive Diet" which is supposed to be a guide to maximizing your vegan diet for high energy and low stress. It was exactly what I needed if it worked. I went out and got $400 worth of nuts, berries, grains, beans, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and oils and I jumped right into the 12 week diet plan.
It was a bit of a shock to the system. But my energy did go up. I was no longer napping, or wanting to at any point of the day. I was feeling rested and alert an hour before I normally got out of bed. And my stamina on my runs seemed to improve.
Then one day, the day after I did a hard run where I breathed through my nose the whole way, I got a random gushing nose bleed. I had never had a nose bleed before in my life. Sure, a little dried blood occasionally, but never a drip, drip, drip like a leaky faucet bleed. It scared me. And I noticed that the blood seemed to stay red and somewhat translucent for a lot longer than I remember my blood doing.
After I finally got it to stop 30 minutes later on my way to the ER to get it cauterized, I decided it was probably from that hard run with nose breathing. I dried it out or something and it cracked. One time thing right? Nope. 3 weeks later, last week, I was just sitting down a few minutes after getting out of bed and it started dripping badly again. I got it stopped more quickly. But this time there was no ready explanation.
So I got on the internet and did a lot more research. And it seems that the most likely cause is hypertension! Me? High Blood Pressure? But I'm eating the healthiest food in my life and I'm not all that stressed, and I exercise! It can't be. But I seem to have all the symptoms. The nose bleed happened again 3 times over the weekend. It's more than an inconvenience. I work with people most of the day and I can't just be talking and randomly spring a leak as seems likely. Plus, the hypertension comes with some other no so nice symptoms like headaches, fatigue, diarrhea and so on.
So I decided to buy some individual insurance since I'm not in a company that provides any. And now I'm looking for a doctor.
I don't blame the diet for the newly found problems. It's mostly likely something that's been present for a while and the diet raised my energy levels enough for my blood pressure to peak even higher and cause the bleeding. I expect that after a transition period my body will adjust. But in the mean time I need to deal with the underlying problems. And I want to make sure I'm headed the right way with my diet to not aggravate the problem.
Now the Question:
I've got a widely accepted health insurance plan now. And I'm living in North East Wisconsin near Green Bay. I'd love to find a doctor I can go to and tell them I'm vegan and I am having these troubles. Quitting Veganism isn't on the table. Check my blood and whatever and tell me what I need to change.
My insurance company offers a list of doctors and their practice area. But "General Practice" is about as specific as it gets. And Nutritionist isn't an option. Evidently they aren't often MDs.
How can I find a Vegan or Vegetarian doctor without calling a bunch of them and asking? Or if I can't find one in this rural area dominated by dairy farms, what questions should I ask and tests should I insist on?
Thanks for taking the time to read my verbose rendering of this simple inquiry. :-)
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