Limit your protein

Has anyone ever had their doctor tell them to limit their protein intake.

My microalbumin was high so in addition to putting me on blood pressure medication, he said I shouldn't just load up on protein at will. What am I supposed to do/eat? I thought we were supposed to eat lots of protein to substitute carbs.

I frankly would find it surprising that only being diagnosed in April of this year and currently having an HbA1c of 5.6% that you suffering from kidney failure. I’ve had a microalbumin reading that was high, it turned out to be due to exercise before the test. Some people just normally dump a little protein. It would be prudent to see a nephrologist to find out exactly what is going on. If you do have kidney failure then it is throught to be prudent to limit protein.

But understand that most type 1 diabetics have kidney failure after years of elevated blood sugars, not a month or so.

Sorry I should have clarified, I did see a nephrologist and did a 24 hour urine test and it came back at 81. As a result of that, he told me to limit my protein

My microalbumin runs high but I only have one kidney and that atributes to that. Also I was doing no carbs but have added some carbs back into my diet after a bout with gastritis. You can control some what by reducing the read meat and using other sources of protein, chicken, pork, fish. Also stay away from processed meats, hot dogs, bolonia

Yes I need to lower my protein.

How much protein did your nephrologist recommend? I’d see if you could have another test done. Labs do make mistakes. How were your creatinine levels?

Sure your doctor went over this, but some drugs effect test results.

Like Geri asked, what were your creatinine levels? I have had protein in my urine for years – that goes up and down from really high amounts to trace amounts but my creatinine levels are normal. The BP meds will help bring those protein levels down.

I don’t limit the amount of protein that I eat – as BSC said, people with kidney problems do need to limit protein. When I had a foot wound, my protein levels in my blood were on the low side, which is not good for wound healing. They had me using a protein supplement even though they knew I had protein leaking in my urine.

He recommended about 60g a day which is based on my weight with some formula. What do creatinine levels mean? My urine results were 1.9g and my creatinine clearance was 125ml. And my blood results were 5.0g albumin and 27mg of BUN

Really? because of high microalbumin levels?

Does too much protein hurt your (healthy or damaged) kidneys when your blood sugar is high? OR does it only hurt your kidneys if they are already damaged from longterm highs with diabetes?

If kidneys are healthy can you eat a lot of protein?

I was told from day 1 of diabetes to limit protein.

An examination of data from I believe the Nurses Health Study indicated that patients with renal failure may have accelerated kidney decline if they ate high levels of protein. But I have never seen any evidence that patients, diabetic or not have any problem with any level of protein. The fact that you dump protein may or not mean anything, more advanced tests by a nephrologist can make that determination. Over the long-term high blood sugars damage the kidneys, and the protein just pushes by and is not properly filtered.

In any case, if you are seeing a nephrologist, listen to their advice, ask questions, but they are the expert. It would be surprising to find that someone damaged their kidneys enough to cause renal failure from just a short period high blood sugars. Usually, this type of damage occurs over a longer period of time.

I agree with BSC. I have never heard of anyone saying limit protein because they are diabetic. If that were the case, all the Bernstein followers would be in kidney failure.

Having protein in your urine doesn’t not mean you have kidney failure. I have had protein in my urine for about 7 years now and my creatinine levels are normal. I have never limited my protein and am coming up on my 27 year anniversary…

I third what Kelly & bsc said. Once the kidneys are damaged from whatever cause (diabetes, high BP, etc.) protein has to be limited along with other precautions.

Yes, if your kidneys are healthy you can eat quantity of protein.

Some say that too much protein can cause strain on yoru kidneys. I have had diabetic nephropathy for about 4 years nwo, and they have never asked me to cut back.

The way albumen/creatinine was explained to me is as follows:

When your kidneys are damaged from out of control diabetes, the walls of your kidneys transform from being like a t-shirt weave to being like a gauze bandage weave. Healthy kidneys keep albumen (protein) at the right levels, but when the kidneys are damaged, the albumen and can spill through those gaps and the levels will drop. Albumin is a protein in the blood that binds calcium, sodium, potassium, fatty acids and water.

Creatinine is a protein produced by your liver.

If your albumen levels get too low, because your kidneys are spilling the albumen (protein) through into your urine, your liver will create and release creatinine so there is enough protein in yoru blood. A byproduct of producing the extra creatinine is the release of extra LDL cholesterol (the bad one). That is why they check your creatinine levels and cholesterol levels when they are checking kidney function.

I was told that they may restrict protein levels, but I was never told to.

When I was first diagnosed I was told to measure and limit protein. My Kidneys are fine. I have a “Diabetic guide” I got at the hospital many years ago that shows how to measure protein by comparing a size of meat to your fist if you are unsure. I can’t seem to find the guide though. I will talk to doc about this in my next visit. I was always under the impression that when my blood sugar is high and I have too much protein at the same time, then that is what causes kidney damage. I guess that is wrong.
It is the long term highs that damage the kidneys and than once damaged if you have too much protein than it damages it more.
Why would I be told to limit my protein with healthy kidneys?

Damaged kidneys can’t process protein properly. You don’t need to limit protein with healthy kidneys. It’s not a prevention measure. We were all given misinformation in many forms.

I have to limit protein. The meat I eat shouldn’t be more than will fit on to the palm of my hand. The dietitian also wants me to cut back on dairy foods, but since I don’t want to get osteoporosis I am not taking much notice of that. I can’t take blood pressure tablets, they make me really ill, so low salt and low meat help keep my blood pressure down. I also eat as low carb as possible.


It wasn’t women with renal failure,a long way from it

The Nurses Health Study suggested thath there may be an accelerated decline in women with mild renal insufficiency who ate a diet high in animal (non dairy) protein. Mild insuficiency was defined as an eGFR greater than 55 but less than 80.

When I was diagnosed as T1, but (probably LADA and ignored for a while) I had a eGFR in the mid 60s so right in the middle of that bracket At that level you are not considered to have CKD unless you also have another problem or also have microalbuminuria, I think the study would suggest that someone with even a slight loss of function should be prudent with protein intake.

Personally, I don’t stress over protein and count it in the same way as I count carbs but I probably don’t eat excessive amounts either (sterotyping but I get the impression meat/fish portion sizes are larger in the US than here )Five years later and HbA1cs in the 5s, there has been a modest improvement in my eGFR.

Marie, you are correct, I was sloppy in the wording ( It should also be noted that this was a high protein and high carb diet. And you are right, it is prudent to limit protein if you have renal insufficiency. But I am not aware of any evidence that high protein diets are any problem with normal kidney function. I’d be interested in hearing about, particularly as I eat a high protein diet.