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Low Carb diet = protein overload of kidneys?

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by PWCalvin, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Patrick*

    Patrick* Formerly PWCalvin

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    Like others here, I switched to a low carb diet, and it seems to help my ME. My Candida antibodies were very high when last tested. I'm not excessive about the diet -- I probably get about 35-45% of my macronutrients from protein -- up from maybe 10% before the diet.

    But now my urine is foamy every time I urinate. According to Google, this means that there is protein in my urine. But it's difficult to get a sense of whether this is harming me (especially my kidneys) or not. Sources are conflicting. It doesn't foam excessively, like beer, but a single layer of noticeable bubbles forms. It could almost go unnoticed, but I'm certain I've never seen it before.

    Can anyone shed any light on this? Should I be concerned? I don't want to have to choose between Candida and kidney damage. (I would choose Candida, BTW).

    P.S. To anyone who may remember that I posted in another thread about having kidney-area pain, this pain predated the foam by about 6 months, so it's not clear that there's any connection.
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi PWCalvin, I have no hard evidence about this as I have not reseached the literature. However I have heard stories of bodybuilders who developed kidney problems from too much protein. The point of low carb is not to eat massive amounts of protein. Maybe someone with more knowledge of paleo diets and low carb diets would like to comment? Bye, Alex
  3. Tony Mach

    Tony Mach Show me the evidence.

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    If you suspect protein in your urine, you could get urine sticks to test for it. In that case a visit to the doctor would be well advised.

    But if you changed you diet, your body is probably adapting and this might go away.

    I had kidney-area pain that was similiar to what you describe, plus I had a high urinating frequency. After I went on a Atkins diet (carb-free), these problems went away.

    I am now on a Paleo/Primal type of diet and I think it is not the carbs, that are the problem, but usually carbs are either grain-products, milk-products or potatoes. All three contain substances that can be bad (gluten, wga, alkaloids, etc.). There are some sources of carb that should be safe, like plantains and sweet potatoes/african yam. Other sources like rice are OK for some, but I try to minimize it. Search for "safe starches".

    If you are healthy going very low carb (VLC) for some time can be OK, but in the long term one should find out what ones personal "safe starches" are.

    One more thought: I try to get my protein from animal products (meat, fish, eggs) and try to avoid plant-products rich in protein like soybean. Soybean contains substances that can mess up the hormone system
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I dont have any links but have read that if u have prexisting kidney problems that high protein diet can cause further problems but if kidney function is normal then low carb diets with reasonable protein amounts are ok. They say most people need a gram of protein per kilo of body weight so a 100kg man could eat 100grams a day plus i would think abit more if no carbs are consumed, say 150-200grams of protein which isnt rediculus, is alot of food. If u read the atkins diet web site they have many studies backing up low carb high protein diets.

    cheers!!!
  5. Patrick*

    Patrick* Formerly PWCalvin

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    Thanks everyone. The knowledge base here is impressive.

    I made an appointment with a Nephrologist, just to be safe. In mean time, I'll redistribute the balance of my diet to more of a Paleo/Primal diet, which suits my caveman personality anyway.
  6. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

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    I have tried to work a paleo diet around a genetic kidney disease which makes me a stone former. I like the paleo diet stuff, but think it is based on a faulty reading of how we have evolved, and the archaeological record. I agree totally about the dangers of processed foods, diary, gluten etc, but feel we didnt evolve eating largely meat, whatever the guy in the book claims. I have become suspicious of most large claims when it comes to diet
  7. Abha

    Abha Abha

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    Hi PWCalvin
    My urine was very foamy just before I had a tumour removed(hyperparathyroidism)in 2006.I'm not sure if it was related to that or not but have it checked.See parathroid.com....All the info on that is there...Take care...
  8. Abha

    Abha Abha

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  9. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Iv'e been paleo for about 4 years now and just figured out that I was eating too much meat. I was trying to eat a 1/4 lb per meal but figured out that i feel better with 1/2 that. Too much meat was forcing me to lay down after each meal. Meaning it was just too much for my stomach to handle. I'm doing much better now that i've cut that in 1/2. My acid home test showed that I could only handle one betaine a day without getting gerd so i don't think that's the problem.

    I had my first ever episode of foamy urine last month but I can't for the life of me remember what I linked it too. I just mentioned this becuase despite eating too much meat, I never had this problem. I kinda sorta maybe think it was related to a new supplement i tried. Benfotamide (active thiamine) .. I cut my dosage in half and it's less irritating to my bladder now. I may need to cut this further tho cause my urine wreaks of this right after I take it ...

    Eating more greens is helping me with my energy and mental clarity now. Dr. Wahls info has helped me realized the importance of more veggies, fruits, etc ...


    tc ... x
  10. Patrick*

    Patrick* Formerly PWCalvin

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    Thanks abha and x!

    I checked my health chart and realized that the foam started the day after I began taking probiotics. Further Googling revealed about 15 threads from Candida websites where people reported experiencing foam in their urine after starting probiotics. The consensus was that the foam is indicative of the killed yeast being expelled from the body through the kidneys.

    I think that's my new leading theory, but I still plan to visit the nephrologist next week and ask him about all of the possibilities mentioned in this thread. So thanks again!
  11. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I think many of these different diets actually come from the minimal processing of the foods that are recommended. If u eat food with minimal processing then it only really leaves foods like meat, fruit and veg. Bread is out and other types of processed foods which are normally low carb, so a non/low processed diet is going to turn out to be a low carb diet i guess.

    cheers!!!
  12. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Based on my experience, Azo with probiotics should help you with this too. It's a cheap yet effective treatment for utis. Even if you don't have a uti, your urinary tract will thank you ..
    Foamy urine irritates our urinary tracts ..
    Walmart, target, cvs, walgreens, etc
    all carry it here. Or you can get it online. Walmart and target are cheaper. It has to be the one with probiotic tho.

    Fwiw, imho, I'd skip seeing a doctor for this. He won't know about probiotics or candida and
    if you take the azo, you'll probably be symptom free by the time you see him.

    Tc .. X
  13. Patrick*

    Patrick* Formerly PWCalvin

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    You were right, X. The Nephrologist didn't know anything about probiotics or Candida. It was basically a waste of time, although he did order a couple of tests just to make sure I don't have proteinuria (very doubtful). I guess I had to make my mistakes on my own.

    Anyway, I decided to try your suggestion of Azo with probiotics. Thanks for that suggestion.
  14. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    i hear you .. When I first started learning about my health, I tried talking to several traditional md's about holistic things but realized I was
    wasting my time. I was upset at first, but then realized that they were good at their jobs and I
    should direct my holistic medical questions to my integrative dr. In fact, most if my traditional
    doctors know my integrative doctor so they recommended I ask her.

    On the azo, I can take 2 at a time on an empty stomach now but you may want to start with
    taking one with food. If you're ok after a couple of hours, you can take more. No more than 4 in a day. I just wanted to mention this because my gut was
    super sensitive in the beginning but your's may be ok.

    Good luck .. X
  15. Patrick*

    Patrick* Formerly PWCalvin

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    Thanks X. I just started the Azo today and I think it may already be working. No stomach problems yet, but I took it with food both times. How long did/do you take it before you start feeling better?
  16. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Kewl .. I usually feel better within 24 hours but continue for 3 days ..
    Tc .. X
  17. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    I've just noticed that I have foamy urine too, and spotted it the other day as well. I'll bring it up with my GP. In my case I'd be surprised if it were excess protein, since my diet is not all that high in protein (especially not over the last few days) and contains no animal products whatsoever. On having a quick Google, apparently one cause of foamy urine is bilirubinuria. Considering that I have an unhappy gallbladder and probably an unhappy liver as well (thankfully blood was taken for a liver function test a couple of days ago), that would be my guess. Oh joy.

    ETA: And now it's looking as if my foamy urine was caused by one of the most common factors: the toilet cleaner! That's a relief.
  18. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Not necessarily. Those who eat a lot of potatoes, corn and bananas etc may still have quite a high diet in carbs.

    Comparison of some carbs...
    slice of bread = 12g carb
    1 medium raw banana = 27g carb
    1 cup of plain milk 12g carb

    1 orange =15g carb
    1 cup of of Orange juice unsweetened= 24g carb

    1 sweetcorn 18g carb
    1 cup of chickpeas has a whooping 54g carb (a non processed chickpea salad can have higher carbs then a sugary bun)

    So whether a person is getting less carbs by cutting out processed foods, all depends on precisely what foods they exchange the processed foods for as they could actually end up eatting more carbs depending on what they get into the habit of eatting instead.

    There are many unprocessed foods that a person who has a carb issue just cant eat or eat very cautiously.

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