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High protein diet side effects

Protein is an integral factor of any healthy diet, mainly because it is instrumental in the formation of the building blocks of your immune system, blood, muscles and other parts of your body. People who restrict their intake of fat and carbs for weight loss purposes encourage their bodies to take on protein as a form of fuel, which can be burnt to perform basic bodily functions. Several fitness experts and body builders tout the advantages of a high protein diet. If the body is deprived of the adequate amount of protein, it can lead to several health complications. One of the dangers of the deficiency of protein is that it can cause a condition that is known as kwashiorkor.
This condition leads to stunted growth, loss of muscle mass, weakening of the respiratory and circulatory systems as well as impaired immunity. Therefore, protein is absolutely essential for the proper functioning of the human body.

However, in case you are considering a switch over to a low carb and high protein diet, it is important for you to get as much information as possible about the high protein diet side effects. These diets are popular because they expedite weight loss, in spite of the consumption of foods that are generally high in fat and are therefore excluded from other diets. While it is not likely that you can cause your body too much harm by following a high protein diet for a short while (say around 3 to 4 months), it is still important for you to know about the side effects of too much protein before you consider this type of a diet.
High protein diet symptoms

There is an ongoing debate on how much protein is healthy and when does the intake of protein become excessive. The amount of protein required by you is directly proportional to your weight. Therefore, the required protein intake differs from person to person. Studies indicate that the average American consumes almost twice the amount of protein that is recommended everyday. These studies also state that people who follow high protein diets tend to consume almost 4 times more protein than what is suggested. This could cause some severe health conditions and side effects in a person. Given below are some common symptoms of too much protein:

•    Bad breath and body odor, which occurs due to the accumulation of ketones in the body.
•    Aches, pains and inflammation in the joints that is caused by the excessive build up of uric acid. This ailment is also known as gout.  
•    Constipation, which results from the decreased intake of foods that are high in fiber
•    Fatigue, due to the loss of muscle tissue. This also leads to muscular atrophy and difficulty in movements.
•    Dehydration, which is characterized by dryness in the mouth, headaches, thirst, dizziness, reduced frequency of urination and a rapid heart beat.

High protein kidney stones

Kidney problems are some of the most common dangers that have been associated with extended high protein diets. High protein kidney problems include the body’s inability to eliminate all the waste products in the right way. This could further lead to kidney stones.

Some people adopt such high protein diets just by looking at a friend or acquaintance that shed a lot of pounds in spite of eating foods that are otherwise considered fattening. However, everybody’s body requirements and tolerance levels are different. Therefore, before altering your lifestyle to include a high protein diet, it is important to check with a fitness expert, as well as a doctor, especially for people who are already suffering from existing medical conditions.

Submitted on January 16, 2014