Less Protein For MY Health

I have changed quite a bit from last year. Mentally, physically, socially, but my health has changed too. But up until recently when I made a trip to an endocrinologist about my hormones (hypothalamic amenorrhea) and just a general blood test, I discovered something I had no clue existed. For starters let me say that my hormone levels came back normal except for my LH being too low. Hence, no menstrual cycle. While discussing this with my doctor on the phone, he strongly suggested birth control and gaining a little more weight. Of course I happen to be a little frustrated because I told him birth control didn’t work on me and that’s not the way I can get a natural period. Doctors are really one-sided and he continued to tell me it’s the only option.

my response…..

So gaining weight it is! Gotcha doc.

eat-all-of-the-food

But he failed to tell me something that could be very important to my health long-term…

my blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (not creatine you gym junkies) were HIGH.

Curious little me did some research. What I learned was…

Urea is made when protein is broken down in the body. This also is an indicator of how your kidneys and liver are working. Causes of a high BUN is heart failure, dehydration, and a high protein diet. Well, I haven’t had heart failure and I drink well around 64 oz of fluids a day. Oh, but I’m sitting there eating a protein bar with yogurt just because “gains” right?

Creatinine relates to BUN as it shows how well the kidneys are working. Having high creatinine is a sign that the kidneys are not working properly.

Well damn.

But it all makes sense. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there that has fallen victim to buying a shit ton of protein bars, powders and supplements because it’s what you need for building muscle, right?! Well…. what about your kidneys?

Yes, it is science that protein consumption increases muscle synthesis. But what if you are over-doing it?

I think of all the other women out there that live their lives everyday not eating protein bars, protein cookies, protein pancakes, and protein shakes for their snacks every single day. They live perfectly fine and they still seem to be in shape and have muscle.

What I get from all this is as long as you are eating a good amount of protein from a variety of whole foods such as beans, meat, yogurt, cheese, etc. then why are we supplementing so much? I am so glad I did my own background research to see what I was doing. And I am surprised he did not mention this to me.

                      

Am I going to completely cut protein bars and powders from my diet? No. I am going to limit them. I will use them if it’s after a workout and I don’t have time to make a full meal. Maybe I’ll have a quest bar if I REALLY crave it, but by no means will I keep eating them day after day. I am going to focus on just eating whole foods and change my snacks up a bit. I am not a “clean” eater by all means but instead of a protein bar, maybe I’ll have an apple with peanut butter… popcorn, trail mix, a REAL non-protein cookie instead.

And I will be just fine. I don’t expect my body to change much from this. If it does, it doesn’t really matter. My overall health is what matters. I would love to have healthy kidneys that last me my whole life.

I really hope that whoever reads this really considers how much extra protein you are eating and what that could do for you in the long run. We are set out to believe it’s the best macro nutrient out there but just like anything else, moderation is key.

I love to hear any thoughts/comments/concerns so hit me up! 😉

emlove814@gmail.com

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. It’s so true that as a “healthy living” community, we stress protein WAY too much. The truth is that we just don’t need as much protein as we’re (generally) consuming. As my professor said about all of us who use protein powder: “You guys have some expensive urine!”
    So glad that you posted about this and that you are finding what is best for YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emmy says:

      Thanks for reading Alison! ❤

      Like

  2. Ashlee says:

    Hey! I actually just found your blog super randomly but i am going through something very similar!!! Though you are definitely way farther along than me. I have really been struggling with gaining weight and can’t get out a low range I have been in for years now. Dealing with extreme hunger, which, when I do eat and satisfy my cravings, I get SO full. and ugh its just awful because I also struggle with purging so altering between that and restricting is a nightmare. Anyway, I am in active recovery and do want to get better. and am seeing improvement and feeling so free lately but I also dont have my period and got my blood tests done and have supppperrr high b12 and folate levels, like off the charts high. my creatine is normal but on the higher end. Also my hormone levels jus absolutely suck. I am so far away from getting my period. Anyway, all that to say thank you for posting! I looked through some of your posts and they are so helpful!!

    Like

  3. superfitbabe says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve never had a protein bar or protein powder in a very long time–probably more than a week!–and I haven’t had any trouble with protein deficiencies at all. I just stuck with the whole foods, ate enough, and I still felt perfectly satiated. In fact, I felt better because I didn’t feel super foggy or sluggish! 🙂 I will still invest in vegan protein powders once in a while, but it should definitely not be the main source of protein in anyone’s diet!

    Like

  4. Pingback: Why I Chose Vegan

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