Who the Low Protein Diet Is Right for

Medical professionals often recommend a low protein diet because this diet provides specific health benefits for individuals suffering from certain medical conditions. Read below to discover who could benefit from a low protein diet.

A low protein diet is a diet where individuals reduce their intake of protein to prevent the worsening of certain diseases and conditions. Protein is typically found in animal food sources and certain plant foods. Certain medical conditions make it difficult for the body to properly digest protein; therefore this food source is limited or eliminated.

Kidney Disease

For individuals who suffer from chronic kidney disease, your doctor may ask you to limit fluid intake, follow a low protein diet, and eliminate salt, carbohydrates and potassium.

The purpose of this diet is to help your body maintain a balance of minerals and electrolytes while on dialysis. The reason this diet is important is because dialysis does not remove all the body’s waste products and waste can build up between dialysis treatments. By limiting fluids and following a low protein diet, you will be able to avoid some of this excess waste buildup. 

One concern doctors have for kidney patients who are on low protein diets is that they do not get enough calories to remain healthy and avoid the loss of lean muscle mass. Your doctor can help you create a low protein diet that will focus on healthy fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Liver Disease

A damaged or unhealthy liver is unable to process protein adequately. This can cause a build up of ammonia in the bloodstream. To avoid this toxicity, your doctor may prescribe a low protein diet.

This diet is different from the low protein diet followed by patients with kidney disease because it will still include carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are needed because an unhealthy liver is not able to produce as much glycogen from carbohydrates as a healthy liver. To ensure that the body still receives this required energy source, you will want to increase your carbohydrate intake.

Similar to the low protein diet followed by individuals suffering from kidney disease, individuals affected by liver disease will also have to limit their fluid and sodium intake while on this low protein diet. Patients with liver disease are often affected by ascites or the buildup of fluid in the abdominal.

Gout

Gout is a painful joint condition that can be triggered by a substance called purine. When broken down, purine creates uric acid, which can lead to a gout inflammation. Doctors recommended that individuals who suffer from gout go on a low-purine diet or a low protein diet. This can help prevent the formation of uric acid.

Low protein diets have proven to be successful in treating or preventing numerous medical conditions. If you are following a low protein diet, be sure to discuss it with your doctor to ensure that you are still receiving all your necessary calories, nutrients and vitamins.

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