A few days ago I was busy in the kitchen. Since I am a chronic multitasker, in addition to cleaning, cooking and playing with Sprout, it was time to catch up on some shows, especially since I never have time to watch TV (I do not even have cable!). I googled the show I wanted to watch (yes, the only way I watch TV is on my PC ;)), which happened to be on abc.com and went to doing my chores. Suddenly I noticed that Sprout, who was rolling around in her walker, stopped. I followed her gaze to see what got her attention. It turned out to be an animated commercial… for an antidepressant. Oh, no! What is my kiddo seeing at her tender 12 months of age?! Worse yet, what was she hearing?
While “sad-to-happy, miracle drug” story unfolded in front of our eyes, I paid attention to the babbled off disclaimers of possible side effects. The voice-over was going through them so quickly, I thought I was hearing an auctioneer chant: “Going once, going twice… sold to that lady with a sad face… Lady, you bought yourself happiness, but you have to know that as happy as you will get, you might also end up with some severe side effects, including death, more depression, or even commit a suicide. But lady, don’t you worry about it, because you have a chance of feeling normal.”
image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
If you’ve been here long enough you must guess what I did next… yes, I actually pulled up a complete list of side effects for THIS DRUG. I will not bore you with all details, since it is not the point of today’s article (and neither is discussing the cause of depression in everyone ;)), but I will give you a quick list:
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors in adolescents and young adults
- Patients being treated should be observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior. Worsening symptoms include symptoms of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, andsuicidality.
- Hepatic failure, sometimes fatal, has been reported in patients treated with THIS DRUG.
- THIS DRUG should be discontinued in patients who develop jaundice or other evidence of clinically significant liver dysfunction.
- Orthostatic hypotension and syncope have been reported with therapeutic doses of THIS DRUG.
- Development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome has been reported. Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, delirium, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, dizziness, diaphoresis, flushing, hyperthermia), neuromuscular symptoms (e.g., tremor, rigidity, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, incoordination), seizures, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Monitor patients for the emergence of serotonin syndrome.
- THIS DRUG may increase the risk of bleeding events.
- Severe skin reactions, including erythema multiforme and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, can occur with THIS DRUG.
- In clinical trials THIS DRUG was associated with mean increases in systolic blood pressure and in diastolic blood pressure.
- THIS DRUG has been associated with cases of clinically significant hyponatremia that appeared to be reversible when THIS DRUG was discontinued.
- Elderly patients may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia THIS DRUG.
- THIS DRUG is in a class of drugs known to affect urethral resistance (urinary hesitation).
Ok, so if you are not dead, feeling worse than you did before taking the drug; if you are not more impulsive, aggressive agitated, sleepless, irritable, your body is failing, your liver is shutting down; if your blood pressure in not sky rocketing; if you are not dizzy, having tremors, seizures; if you are not vomiting, suffering with diarrhea; if you are not bleeding; if your skin is not freaking out on you, if you can still pee without assistance, then by all means, THIS DRUG is for you and you really should feel safe taking it, because, well, what are the chances of you having any or all of these symptoms? Don’t you want to feel better?
*I highly recommend watching this documentary about psychiatric drugs.
Death by Kale
And then I thought about all of the commercials and articles I have come across regarding addressing depression with lifestyle and dietary changes. They too had the DRUG (treatment) of choice–KALE! And the announcer, ever so quickly, also went through a quick list of possible adverse side effects and symptoms.
image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
- Happy thoughts and behaviors in adolescents and young adults are not only possible, they are probable
- Patients being treated should be observed closely for uncontrollable outbursts and shouts of joy, smiles and hugs
- Clinical improvement and unusual positive changes in behavior are likely to occur.
- Improvement symptoms include better mood, bowel movements, digestion, happiness, better sleep, friendliness, impulsivity to eat even more kale.
- Kale should be discontinued in patients who get way too happy and have too good of gastrointestinal health.
- Kale should be discontinued in patients whose skin becomes too glowing, because the might provoke others to jealousy.
- Kale should be discontinued in patients whose liver is suddenly functioning exceptionally.
- Development of a potentially life-giving serotonin levels has been reported. Healthy serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., clarity, happy thoughts, better sleep), autonomic stability (e.g., great blood pressure, desire to fly and float, rosy cheeks), neuromuscular symptoms might include–better coordination, flexibility and occasional tremors from joy. Monitor patients for the emergence of happy serotonin levels. We would not want them to be too happy!
- Kale is known to increase vitamin, mineral and nutrient profile in patients.
- Elderly patients may be at greater risk feeling youthful eating kale.
- Patients, taking kale at least twice a day might suffer from possible outburst of anger at the fact that they did not know about all of these side effects sooner.
Oh, wait! That would never happen! Farmers growing kale do not have mutil-billion budgets to get on ABC, CBS, NBC or any other alphabet soup networks. No!
Vegan Diet Side Effects?
Instead, however, more and more dumb articles about the possible dangers of a vegan diet are surfacing, in spite of more studies and educational material available to show otherwise. This morning alone, while searching for THIS DRUG’s side effects, I came across at least 10 uneducated, poorly, but convincingly presented articles about possible side effects of eating vegan. Some of dangers listed are: not enough calcium, zinc, B12 and… protein! I rolled my eyes, and, while I normally do not even click through to “the land of ignorance”, today I could not hold back and actually left a couple of comments. What can I say? I was simply suffering from the side effects of the kale smoothie I had this morning. It provoked me to reasonable thinking and made me more alert to stupidity.
Kale (and the plethora of greens, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts–too many to list each one by name for anyone on a SAD diet to even know what each one is) induced rational thinking in my brain. My eyes were opened about 7 years ago and I knew that vegan diet is anything but dangerous. Within ONE month of going vegan Hubby was taken off statin meds by his doctor; as we continued our vegan voyage I reversed hypothyroidism, anterior knee condition, dry eye syndrome, B12 deficiency, which I developed while on SAD (Standard American Diet, although in my case it was MUCH better than SAD, even my doctor told me that I am doing everything I could to be healthy) [thankfully going vegan educated me about the importance of B12!]; my hair stopped falling out, my skin is glowing, depression, which plagued me for years before that, was gone without medication (!)and, oh, yes, I was finally able to conceive and have a baby. Yes, I see how dangerous a well rounded vegan diet can be! It is absolutely threatening to bad health, poor mental clarity, infertility, nutritional ignorance, or thinking that vegan diet is low in quality proteins. Somehow eating too much kale, chard, beets and spinach made me all too aware of where truth lies, and I am that much better off for it.
New to Vegan?
If you are new to the whole idea of plant based living, do not fret, do not worry! You will have plenty of protein, healthy fats (not oils!), vitamins, nutrients and minerals to keep you abnormally healthy. You should only ask one of my Boot Campers, who was able to come off 10+ prescription medications (including antidepressants!) since going plant strong. If you hang around here long enough, you will see just how simple it is to be a healthy vegan (we follow common sense nutrition rules here ;)). My site, and many others on the web, are filled with health and life giving, joy inducing, taste bud dancing recipes. You can also check out BODY BY PLANTS program, which offers not only 130+ recipes, menu planners, group support and personal accountability on the vegan-learning journey, but also education on nutrition topics needed for healthful vegan living.
To prevent death by ignorance, I also highly suggest you stop reading biased, poorly researched and even worse written articles, trashing plant based living–most, if not all, lack proper research, scientific backing, and common sense. Authors, who write such articles, have never done vegan, or done it right. They are not authority to speak on the topic!
Have a Cup of Kale on Me
It is sure to make you feel much happier this morning!
Creamy Kale Green Smoothie Recipe
Makes ~ 50 oz
- 2 cups water
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp dulse flakes
- 1 bunch of kale, remove thicker part of the stem
- 2 cups fresh/frozen strawberries
- 2 tbsp raw honey or 4 dates, if needed for sweetness
Blend ingredients 1-6 until smooth (use a high speed blender when possible), then add ingredients 7-8 and blend. Enjoy!
Read about Kale Benefits in this post.
What’s Your Take?
You know I am going to ask you a question now ;). What is your take on vegan vs. the world? Did a plant based diet help you improve your health? What symptoms were you able to cure with healthy living? If you are just starting out on your vegan path, what do you hope to address by eating and living better?
C’mon over and tell me all about it on the blog. Share your wisdom with other health seekers.
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