Unwilling vegan

This may sound crazy, but I’m considering going vegan even though I absolutely hate the idea of it. I heart steak and cream sauces and eggs and all of those things. However, I love my kids more.

A little backstory. My thyroid has been hyperactive for years. I’ve never had to take medication for it, it’s never been severe. Unfortunately, it’s gotten worse- and I’m 12 weeks pregnant. It’s also possibly begun to affect my heart- I’m experiencing palpitations and rapid, strong heartbeats. This may be related to a vitamin D deficiency I’m experiencing, but irregardless, my endocrinologist wants me to go on both Taprazole and Propranolol.

These are class D and C drugs, respectively. The class C Propranolol, a beta blocker, has been linked to heart and lung problems in babies. Taprazole, which is class D, has been linked to deformities such as pieces of skin missing from the baby’s scalp, and possibly as severe as the brain failing to develop in areas. Either could possibly lead to me losing my baby. My baby comes first- I’ll refuse the medication as long as it won’t kill me. Of course, I don’t want to end up with heart damage, and hyperthyroidism is dangerous in itself in pregnancy.

I’ve read that a vegan diet may (or may not) be beneficial for hyperthyroid patients. I haven’t read anything that would indicate a problem with beef or poultry- it seems that mainly dairy, eggs, and seafood are the biggest problems. However, I have heard that soy may help decrease my levels. Of course, I’ve also heard the opposite- quite a bit of debate out there.

I’m willing to do anything to take care of my baby. She’s my priority. But how do you go vegan when you’re not really that interested in it? Especially when you’ve got to cook for a family that loves their meat, dairy, and eggs? My twin is vegan, and she seriously only eats tofu or tempeh in a stir-fry, unless it’s a salad or a microwavable meal (like Amy’s, etc.) I am pregnant. This will not work for a pregnant woman (honestly, I don’t know how it works for her, but she really can’t cook).

I hate soy milk. Same for soy cheese and yogurt (only soy things I’ve tried). I do love tofu and tempeh, although I haven’t had them in many different ways. So what in the heck am I supposed to eat?

On top of that, weight loss is not a good thing in pregnancy, period. I’m overweight, and I’m very concerned that such a change in diet, combined with my thyroid being hyperactive, may spur weight loss. What can I do to avoid this?

Don’t get me wrong, if going by this diet is really life-altering, I’ll stay with it even after having the baby. I just know myself- if I obligate myself, I’ll fight it more.

I’m honestly rather desperate- I wasn’t supposed to be able to have children, and this will be my second (and final, considering the health issues in play). Needless to say, I can’t do anything else but make her my priority. Obviously, I want to still be around to take care of my children, but if it would ever come down to a choice, it’s my child, period. I don’t care if they’re 12 weeks old or I’m just 12 weeks pregnant- unless there’s no way to save them, I will choose them, so that option is not on the table.

Does anyone have any advice, tips, anything? Has anyone else had any success with a vegan diet helping hyperthyroidism? How can I have a healthy pregnancy on a vegan diet? Should I consider any other options first or in conjunction? Any help is appreciated.

Hi - This is a really interesting post. I hope you can find a solution to your dilemma :slight_smile:

I go to a “Slimming World” group which runs a healthy eating plan for women who are pregnant, and I can really recommend Slimming World. They are one of the few slimming clubs that promote sustainable healthy eating, and cater for vegetarians and vegans. Although they’re a slimming club, there are a lot of people going there for health reasons and you can be referred there by your doctor in some areas.
slimmingworld.com/health/pol … mbers.aspx

With regard to going vegan, my first thought is that you could probably improve your diet without going completely vegan at first. For example, a vegetarian diet with limited amounts of dairy. This would mean you don’t need to worry about shocking your body or sudden weight loss. However, I don’t know how this would affect the hyperthyroidism :frowning: There are some guidelines on the Vegetarian Society website here:

The Vegan Society is a great resource for everything you want to know about veganism, and if you do decide to go down that route, they have a pregnancy guide, and also some books in their online bookshop.
vegansociety.com/lifestyle/p … nancy.aspx

With regard to cooking - I love big hearty British meals rather than typical vegan stuff :wink: Stuff like stews and casseroles with veggie-sausages instead of meat work well. Jacket potato and beans for lunch, Banana bread, 3-Bean Chilli… I have a huge veggie roast dinner on cold weekends (with nut roast instead of meat, vegetarian gravy, potatoes roasted in vegetable oil, etc.) Ooh, and loads of Italian food with soy-mince instead of minced meat :smiley: I’ve found it surprisingly easy, although you do need to cook a bit more that you might have done before. Your family might find it easier if you don’t change their food too much :slight_smile: You could use it as an opportunity to talk to them about health and nutrition and get them involved with cooking…? And they can always have some meat or eggs on the side if they really want it :laughing:

Soy products are… not always so great… :stuck_out_tongue: not all vegans use them because you can get the nutrition from other sources (check out the nutrients forum) and they can be really high calorie too. Just bear in mind that you may have to keep an eye on your nutrient intake.