Vegan athlete with odd symptoms
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DQuelch posted:
Hi, I've been on a strictly vegan diet now for almost 3 months. I'm also an athlete who is currently in training for an Ironman. Overall I've felt great. My energy levels have been constant which is helped in my training. Also my recovery times have decreased and my performance has never been better.

The odd symptoms that I'm referring to are that almost every night usually some part of my upper body "falls asleep" while I'm sleeping. I'm typically a side sleeper, and I frequently wake up now with my entire arm (the one I'm sleeping on) completely asleep. So much so that I can't even feel it. I'll have to literally pick up my arm with the other hand and drop it over the bed to get the circulation going before feeling returns. Also, some nights when I'm not on my side I'll feel tingling in my hands.

I've been a side sleeper my entire life and this has only started happening in the past 3-4 weeks.

I eat no animal based products. I supplement my diet with a daily multi-vitamin (containing b12 and iron) as well as having a plant based protein shake almost every day. Prior to this diet my last blood test had showed me slightly anemic (which is why I use a multi vitamin w/ iron).

Any ideas?? I haven't gotten blood work done since I went vegan, mostly because it usually ends up costing me about $500 (lame insurance) and rarely tells me much. I'm pretty convinced that it's related to my diet. Blood pressure is around 120/67, resting pulse around 43.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Dennis
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Tomato05 responded:
Hi Dennis

It sounds as if you are in excellent condition - congratulations on your very healthy regimen.

I don't think your symptoms are related to your diet, which sounds healthy and balanced.

Maybe just some nerves that have become sensitized? It could happen as one ages - how old are you?

I have the same problem when I sleep (arm "leaving" my body), but I've had it for many years - nothing new. I have adjusted my sleeping position: still on my side (can't sleep on my back), but with my arm positioned so that it sticks out at the back of my body. My torso basically presses on the forearm/wrist only.

It takes a while and some experimenting - maybe just gradually train yourself to sleep with your arm not being squashed by your body.