Does Too Much Protein Damage Kidneys?

A high-protein diet may worsen kidney function in people with kidney disease because your body may have trouble eliminating all the waste products of protein metabolism. This video and article digs deep into an unseen perspective of a high protein diet and suggests how too much protein may eventually lead to kidney damage. 

Some high-protein diets include foods such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, which may increase your risk of heart disease and may trouble your kidneys. A high-protein diet may worsen kidney function in people with kidney damage because your body may have trouble eliminating all the waste products of protein metabolism. 

In August 2020, the Journal of the American Society Nephrology published a study where they stated that the chances of a high protein diet affecting your kidneys were totally dependent on the individual’s condition. 

For someone who has a family history of kidney damage, a high protein diet may promote further damage and accelerate the progression of kidney disease. However, people with no kidney problems should not worry about frequent high protein diets. 

Lots of animal protein is often included in a high protein diet and a lot of them tend to stress the kidneys. A vegetarian diet can be more applicable to someone with kidney disease history. Compared to protein from plant sources, animal protein has been linked with an elevated risk of ESKD––the last stage of chronic kidney disease. This is when your kidneys can no longer support your body’s needs. 

Moreover, it bears reminding that one may have no symptoms at early stages, and especially kidney disease can often be silent killers. High protein intake also means ingesting excess calories and placing strain on your kidneys. Eating too much protein in one sitting over and over again can bother your kidneys which could lead to dehydration. 

People that are at a higher risk of kidney disease should consider avoiding a high protein diet and groups with more severe kidney disease should maintain a low protein diet. 

Diabetes is associated with high blood glucose and high blood sugar levels. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body doesn’t approach insulin the most effective way. Insulin is a hormone that helps in transporting glucose into your cells to give them energy. Without enough insulin in your body, glucose levels in your blood may rise. 

Type 2 diabetes is known to have kidney disease present in a large majority of cases. If you experience mild kidney disease or anything beyond, you should stay away from a high protein diet and modify it. Adding plant-based proteins and some healthy fats may be the way to go. For other alternatives, choose foods with low sodium, low-fat dairy products, and grains. 

Because CKD is often a silent disease, all individuals should undergo a screening serum creatinine measurement and urinary dipstick test for proteinuria before the initiation of such a diet. High protein intake has been shown to accelerate kidney damage in people who have kidney disease. However, higher protein diets don’t adversely affect kidney function in healthy people.

It is a necessity to know that too much protein can put you at a higher risk of kidney damage.

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