A woman in her 50s risked getting paralysed after practising a strict vegetarian diet for over 30 years. This incident happened in Wuhan, China.
According to Oriental Daily, the woman used to be overweight when she was in her 20s. Standing at 160cm tall, she was reportedly weighing about 55kg at that time. As such, she decided to become a vegetarian in order to lose weight.
She got some pretty amazing results from making the switch, and has been able to maintain her body weight at 45kg.
“I stay away from meat and oily food. As such, my body weight dropped to 45kg and I’ve been maintaining this lifestyle for 30 years.”
“Recently, I feel like my feet are uneven while walking, it feels like I’m stepping on some cotton. Plus, both my legs and hands often feel numb,” Tan said.
Worried about her condition, she went to a hospital to seek for medical attention. Shockingly, the doctor discovered that her spinal neurones were damaged on various degrees, which is weird since such condition is usually seen on diabetic or malnourished patients.
Further examinations revealed that she was suffering from severe vitamin B12 deficiency, which is an essential nutrient that is responsible for repairing neurones. In fact, the level of vitamin B12 in Tan’s body is only 10 per cent of an average human.
According to the neurologist at the hospital, vitamin B12 helps protect and support the growth of neurones in the human body. Every food has a different amount of vitamin B12 and meat usually has a higher percentage of it. Get your protein fix guys!
Therefore, vegetarians like Tan are more susceptible to this complication. If the neurones are severely damaged due to vitamin B12 deficiency, the patient may not be able to walk and has to be bed-ridden. Also, muscle shrinkage may occur in certain cases.
A quick search on the internet also revealed that a vegetarian diet is linked to vitamin B12 deficiency, and possibly heart disease. Vegetarians who exclude milk and eggs are especially prone to this condition. You can read up more about it here.
It’s true that a vegetarian diet can help tremendously in losing weight, but it’s not advisable to practise it over a long period of time, the doctor said. Also, vegetarians are encouraged to take vitamin B12 supplements or yeast extract, like Marmite, since they’re not consuming dairy and meat products.
It’s unclear what treatment was prescribed to Tan and how is she doing now, but we sure hope that her damaged spinal neurones would be reversible and that she can recover fully from her condition.
Remember guys, whatever diet you’re currently on, balance is the key.
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