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Can too much protein make my joints hurt?

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Old 11-01-2008, 04:35 AM   #1
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Default Can too much protein make my joints hurt?

I know the thing that would benefit my joints most is losing 100lbs but setting that aside for the moment:

my knees are so painful when I get up in the morning. Going down stairs is hard, because of the bending, so is getting out of a chair. I can best describe it as it feels like my knees are 'full'. They're not especially fat. Considering the rest of me.

I have intermittent problems with my Achilles' tendons.

I have problems with a stabbing pain in the bottom of my heel, which I think is plantar fasciitis.

I have venal insufficiency in my legs. Doctors keep saying, 'varicose veins, that means your legs feel really heavy'. They don't, they feel like in each leg, someone has put a string from inside one calf to the otherside of the calf and is pulling tight; it's like my legs are in a vice. Some days it's agony to walk. I did have heavy duty support sox but they don't make a difference any more.

I'm 53, btw.

So all in all my legs are pretty hellish at the moment - but I did notice that today they're particularly excruciating, and I had a load of protein, specifically fatty meat yesterday. Could that be contributing.

ow ow ow
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:39 AM   #2
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Your heel problem sounds like plantar faciitis. I had this in both heels and it took 3 years to recover. Unfortunately it is coming back in my right heel and I'm scared! I hate the thought of cutting back my cardio.

Your knee pain can have a lot of causes. You may want to google gout and see if the symptoms fit. People who have gout and eat a lot of protein can have increased blood uric acid, which aggravates the gout. You should make an appointment with your doctor ASAP and get a full work up. Let us know what you find out and I hope you feel better soon
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:58 AM   #3
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Checking for gout would be a good idea. I have it from time to time and it can be very painful in any joint. I have to watch my intake of protein and other foods. You can find a list of foods to avoid on the internet if that is what is causing your problems. Drinking a lot of water helps also. You want to flush the uric acid from your body. Good luck with finding out what is causing your pain. Been there and done that! Good thoughts going out to you, Ruth

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Old 11-01-2008, 08:55 AM   #4
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I would also ask your doc about gout. You could certainly be feeling a lot excess fluid retention. Protein in and of itself does not affect the joints after 1 day of eating more than usual.

When you say you had fatty meat, was this out at a restaurant? Did you eat other things that could cause water retention?
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:16 PM   #5
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Protein might not be the cause here - it might be the fatty part. My FIL has gout and he has to be VERY careful about how much fat he eats. Eating something that's high fat at night can affect him the next day.

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Old 11-01-2008, 12:25 PM   #6
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hmm... you know what's interesting, and I'm not sure if you do this already, but my mom's about your age and she has pains in her legs/knees that the doctor still hasn't diagnosed. She's had them for years, but this summer started going on walks with her friends, and the pain is gone! She walks just a little bit every day (20 minutes or so), and it really helps.

Now, I know this won't help with every leg problem, but I thought I'd share her success.
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:45 PM   #7
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thanks for all your help and ideas.

the fatty meat was my own choice - I tried some chorizo sausage, and i really liked it!

Kelly, I Will try the walking. When I first got the heavy duty socks, they were instantly better - but I was in Europe for 8 weeks and doing masses of walking on a daily basis: why be abroad and not sight-see? when I came home, I fell instantly back into my slovenly habits. to be fair, it's hard to make yourself walk when it's hard to do it - but it's getting to the place where it hurts full stop. occasionally (not very often) it even wakes me up!

tomorrow I will walk 20 mins. and I Will research gout too, I'd wondered about that.

I know it's wrong - but I love fatty meat. sorry! I'll try to do better.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:04 PM   #8
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update: I don't think it's gout. I tried the walking. for one day. I'm so idle. I'm still wondering about the meat thing. on Sunday I had a cup of coffee and a large bar of chocolate for lunch. bad. then one of the women from church brought me a bag of provisions - I AM molto busy at the moment, I'm leaving in 5 weeks, got loads of handover stuff to create, as well as packing a house up - so I ate quite a lot of pasta n sauce. and the chocolate orange. a bit later still I ate a pair of kitkats. I expected to feel like hll all over yesterday. I definitely felt queasy - but today! my fluid retention in my legs has gone down, my tendons are ok, the p.fasciitis is barely there and my knees hardly hurt at all! go figure! I deserve to explode after eating all that - but my legs are actually the best they've been in Months! it can only be the absence of meat. (I did have 1 hot dog on Saturday but if you ever ate a British hotdog, you'd know that there's precious little meat in it!)
So today I'm trying meat-free - but reasonable amounts. We'll see.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:12 PM   #9
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Continue to experiment--but I still doubt that it's the meat. Many people find that refined sugar makes joint pain worse. Of course, only you can figure this out, along with help from your physician.

I want to make one big suggestion, however, and that is: SHOES.

If you are wearing old shoes or shoes without decent support, you can easily develop knee pain and plantar fasciitis pain, without even considering your weight. I know this from experience. So, if you are trying to get around in worn-out shoes, or shoes over 6 months old, get yourself some decent ones--and try them on before you buy. If they don't feel right while you walk around the store, then don't buy them. There is no longer a 'break-in period' with shoes.

Also, to help your plantar fasciitis, put shoes on as soon as you get out of bed (those nice supportive shoes that you've just bought). Don't go around barefoot or in no-support slippers.

Good luck!
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:19 PM   #10
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Gout is caused by a build up of uric acide. Foods high in purines, contribute to gout, but these can be animal sources (such as beef and shrimp) or vegetable (asparagus, spinache...). However, vegetable sources are thought to be contribute to gout to a lesser degree than animal sources.

I've never had gout, but my mom has had it, and takes a gout medication and diet to keep it under control. I have pain issues from fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis and a lower carb/low GI diet for me keeps me the most pain free. I take fish oil supplements for the anti-inflammatory effects. I've read several books on anti-inflammation diets. My doctor says there's not much research that these diets work, but I've been taking trying some of the suggestions, and they do seem to help. The anti-inflammatory diets do recommend limiting grain-fed red meat (grass-fed beef has a higher proportion of Omega-3s and is considered better). I don't avoid red meat, but I do try to eat chicken and fish as my animal protein at least as often as red meat.
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:36 PM   #11
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Have you done much research on gout? Or experimented eating like you have gout?
Have you noticed increased pain with any of these foods:

Foods very high in purines include:
hearts
herring
mussels
yeast
smelt
sardines
sweetbreads

Foods moderately high in purines include:
anchovies
grouse
mutton
veal
bacon
liver
salmon
turkey
kidneys
partridge
trout
goose
haddock
pheasant
scallops

This seemed to be informative: http://arthritis.about.com/cs/gout/a/foodstoavoid.htm or http://www.everydiet.org/diet/gout-diet

Hope this helps and you figure out what's causing this pain! Ouch!
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:45 PM   #12
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There seems to be some talk of cherry juice & vitamin C (oranges) relieving the pain. Might want to give that a shot.
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:43 PM   #13
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Could it be the SODIUM in the meats? Causing more inflammation? I would think overall building muscle in your legs, as in strength training, maybe pool exercise would help?
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