BRUISES that take a long time to go away. WHY WHY WHY???

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BRUISES that take a long time to go away. WHY WHY WHY???

Postby tyzzy72 » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:12 pm


I am a female brazilian jiu jitsu fighter and I have an embarassing problem that makes me have to wear long sleeves and pants all the time so that I don't show all the bruises (black and blues) that I have in my arms and legs. But at training people see them and today my boxing instructor told me 'you are like that because you are vegan!!!'. I was wondering if there is any supplement or anything that can help the bruises go away. Not even arnica works. My skin is fair (light olive), so that makes the bruises more evident than if I had a dark tan. Any ideas??? Thanks!!!! Tiziana
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Postby Gelert » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:13 pm

Hi Tiziana,

How much iron and vitamin B12 are you getting in your diet. I don't have empirical evidence to hand but if you have deficiencies in these nutrients, then healing of bruises is slower.
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Postby Pete » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:21 pm

I go along with it's likely to be diet, maybe not iron or B12, could be a number of things. They are 2 common reasons iron is often lower in vegan women than it should be & B12 is a problem you can cure with a simple pill.

Also are you getting your EFA's, zinc?

Let's start from the top:

First off you are taking a multi vit/min daily?
Next you are eating little & often & getting a good balance of fresh green leafy veg, other veggies & fruits EVERYDAY?
Third, you are drinking enough water?
EFA's, are you taking something like Udo's oil, or making up a seed mix?
Are you taking a B12 (either grinding a pill or opening a capsule) & either putting it in a drink, in food or under your tongue a few times a week?
Try having Vit C with any high iron foods, that'll increase your intake of iron (Vit C is in oranges, kiwis etc you don't need a pill, but up to you)
Gentle massage towards the heart can aid bruise recovery.
Finally, genetically , some people just do heal slowly. It might be the case that you're unlucky & are a slow healer (were you a slower healer as a child?).
Sorry, I couldn't offer more, hope you can sort out your problems, but I can say that your instructor is wrong, there are many fine vegan martial artists (a few on this board!), they are living proof that eating a vegan diet doesn't cause any problems with healing & recovery. Infact, it's often shown that vegans have better cardio vascular health than meat-eaters, that could imply that we'd actually heal more quickly as our blood circulation is better than the meat eaters, so would facilitate better recovery & repair (somehting for the boffins to check out one day I hope).
Hope that's been of some help...
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My blood tests and my diet....

Postby tyzzy72 » Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:15 am

Hello. Thanks for the replies. I recently did a blood test to take to my vegan doctor (who works as a nutricion specialist in two hospitals) and here I am copying the results of the B12 and Iron results.

Vitamin B12 result :753,6 pg/mL - reference values are 197 A 866 pg/mL

Seric iron (iron in blood) result: 126,9 ug/dL – reference values are 25,0 a 156,0 ug/dL for women

I'll see my doctor next week and see what's his opinion on this.

My diet includes Flax Seed Oil, lots of organic vegetables, beans, seitan, etc. It is very varied and complete. The multi-vitamin I am currently taking is EmergenC. But it does not have enough Zinc....Maybe I'll add that separately. I eat 4x a day. I don't drink enough water....I know that!

By the way, my cholesterol is quite low :) 136 mg/dL (any number below 200 is considered excellent); LDL is 50 mg/dl; Triglicerides 54 mg/dl and so on.......

Will keep you posted... :)
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Postby infenix » Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:24 pm

In my Chinese martial arts training, we have our own traditional "secret recipes" for healing bruises. Without the ointment ("fall and hit wine/oil"), massaging the bruise (painfully) will get fresh blood pumping through the bruise, clearing it up. The Wise Ones (TM) say to massage away from the heart.

They also say that bruises should be treated because the ones you see hide the deeper ones around the bones that you can't. Think about it: when you impact something on the skin, you have the collision between the skin and the foreign object and then you have the mashing of the bone into the intervening flesh... A lifetime of damage around your bones is thought to cause arthritis in martial artists. Many people don't realise that your bones are as alive, trainable and susceptible to harm as muscles, ligament and sinew.

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Postby surfchic » Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:42 pm

Hi Tiziana

I cannot speak with medical experience, nor theoretical referenced material to back up my opinions on bruises - only my personal experience. That said here's what I've figured out for myself.

I was very low on iron. Not anaemic, I was low in ferritin (had no idea until I had a blood test tho) - so it wasn't showing up as the regular anemia - however my symptoms were exactly the same. I ended up having to have 2 iron infusions - not fun! But it helped my energy level significantly. I was sooooooo tired before, didn't have energy for anything - even fun stuff.

Anyway, I noticed a pattern. When I was low in iron (ferritin) I bruised very easily. I got better shortly after the first infusion and then as time progressed and my iron levels got low again (altho I didn't know yet until I had another blood test) I was bruising alot again and thought to myself that it was likely I was low in iron again.

I researched natural iron supplements cos I didn't like the idea of continual iron infusion (the Dr told me that the norm is perhaps once for a person, or once per year if they have chronic iron problems, so two iron infusions in the space of about 6 months was not cool in my books!) Anyway I found out about Spirulina. I only take the tablet form at this stage cos I couldn't stomach the powder (but there's others here who do the powdered spirulina) It's mega rich in iron - sorry don't have stats. But has helped me tremendously.

Hope your Dr can help.

Let us know how it goes.

PS. I do understand how embarassing it can be with the bruises - I didn't do any martial arts of any kind, but understand from my friend how easily you can bruise with that. I just had bruises from knocks and such - or friends grabbing my arm too excitedly to tell me stuff etc, people used to think I was being abused - not good. :(
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