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High Protein Diet/Protein Powders Leading to Kidney Issues?

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  • High Protein Diet/Protein Powders Leading to Kidney Issues?

    Hi guys,
    I've been higher protein than normal lately, around 47%, 25% fat and 28% carbs. Some of my protein comes from Jay Robb's protein powder as well. Last night I had what felt like kidney stones and I went to the ER. The doc thinks it was a kidney stone because of my high protein diet and protein powders combined with not enough water can cause them. The horrible pain lasted two hours and then stopped after I urinated. Anyone suffer something similar from protein powders or overload?

  • #2
    From what I've heard, high protein consumption is supposedly only a problem if you have pre-existing kidney disease. Another possible cause is too much vitamin D relative to K2:

    Update on Vitamins A and D - Weston A Price Foundation

    tldr; one study showed lifeguards in Israel had a 20 times higher incidence of kidney stones when compared to the general population. Vitamin D and K2 seem to work best when they are in balance and can cause some unpleasant effects when they aren't.

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    • #3
      I believe whey protein DOES stress the kidneys. Both my spouse and I are fit, active (running, etc.) people, and we've both experienced strain on the kidneys...though drinking a lot of water helps. But this is another reason why I'm giving up whey protein (see my other post on the subject), beyond the reasons I've previously stated.

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      • #4
        What yodie said about protein.

        I'm surprised the ER doc didn't xray you to verify the stone and its location. Kidney stone pain is not constant and it can take a long time (days, weeks) to pass a stone, especially the first one.

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        • #5
          Thanks to you both. I am definitely going to remove the whey protein and up my water intake and see how that works for me. I cannot endure that pain ever again!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Egerland View Post
            What yodie said about protein.

            I'm surprised the ER doc didn't xray you to verify the stone and its location. Kidney stone pain is not constant and it can take a long time (days, weeks) to pass a stone, especially the first one.
            They gave me a CT scan and can't confirm I had a stone. They found loose physiological fluid, but couldn't confirm I had a stone yet were concerned about my high protein diet and not enough hydration. It was two hours of pain in my lower back extending to my lower abdomen into my groin and then disappeared when I urinated.

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            • #7
              If they don't have a stone to analyze, any thoughts on the cause are being pulled straight out of the azz.

              If you pass a stone, I would keep it and make one of your physicians get the composition for you.
              In God we trust; all others must bring data. W. Edwards Deming
              Blogging at http://loafingcactus.com

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              • #8
                If I did a pass a stone it's in their toilet. I guess there's no knowing exactly what I had, but it was crippling pain for two hours that I never want to experience again!

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                • #9
                  My experience is that you usually feel the stone pop out. There is a unique (and briefly painful) feeling when this happens.

                  Fortunately the potassium citrate tablets I've been taking have pretty much stopped the formation of new stones for some years now.

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                  • #10
                    I was on an extremely high protein, low everything else diet for about 3 months and never experienced any problems. I've never heard of kidney stones being a problem for body builders either, who are surely the highest population of protein eaters out there.

                    I think Mark wrote a post on kidney stones, iirc the take away is that drink water, get enough vitamins.
                    http://lifemutt.blogspot.sg/ - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AMonkey View Post
                      I think Mark wrote a post on kidney stones, iirc the take away is that drink water, get enough vitamins.
                      That's been my experience with it. I eat a high protein diet but usually drink about a gallon of water per day. I haven't noticed any issues.
                      In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

                      This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

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                      • #12
                        Here's the blog post (from 2011):
                        Is Eating Too Much Protein Going to Harm My Kidneys? - Mark's Daily Apple

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