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A slight concern

I know the protein topic was brought up a million times, and we always say ‘well there isn’t really such a thing as protein deficiency, you don’t need that much’ etc etc.

Here’s a pickle: I just got a blood test and the doctor told me I’m protein deficient. He was actually terribly worried.

I’m not sure exactly if that’s what the results meant, I generally don’t trust doctors to be too educated about anything. Basically the levels of UREA are too low for me. I can’t entirely figure out what that means, from what I have dug up it just might indicate a too low protein intake. I’m not sure what to do with this though. I thought I was doing fine, I eat a lot of greens (though I have them mostly in this horrible city where everything is deficient of everything so who knows) and hemp.

Anyone got any ideas?

Comments

  • What test did he give you? Ask him to give you a copy of the read-out.

  • I have a copy of the blood test. It shows the UREA levels to be slightly lower than normal range. Like I said, he was extremely worried when he was telling me this, meaning it’s a big deal (to him?)

  • If that is what he is basing his diagnosis of malnurishment on, I would consider having another doc look at your results.

  • I used to eat a good deal of protein when i ate eggs. I tried doing alot of beans after going vegan… and right around getting probably little protein, I’ve been getting the worse muscle pains, pulls, and sprains…

    it could have nothing to do with that tho.

    ... maybe you should up your legume and grain intake?

    .. or even, that test’s ‘normal’ could be based off of people’s normal intake and not a healthy one?

  • Try eating more nuts and seeds?

  • Morning_Theft, I’m suprised that your doctor seemed SO concerned if it was only slightly low the normal range. Did he say specifically what he thought of it and did he have any suggestions? One way to tell for yourself is to see what percentage you’re off the mark by. I was just reading a fabulous book on raw eating and learned about a whole bunch of fruit and vegs that are high in protein I never knew of I’ll post again when I find the list. Do you take any spirulina? I believe it’s an excellent source of B12 which is often the culprit particularly for vegan females. Also do you feel generally well physically?

  • From what I remember of biochemistry, urea results from breaking down protein. I am no biochemist, and this is just a hunch, but because raw vegans mainly get their protein from combining amino acids to make protein, and they don’t ingest animal protein, it could be that higher levels of urea are produced when people ingest animal protein. And this is the base level for medical science. So, raw vegans might not produce as much urea because they make and breakdown protein differently from those who ingest animal protein. Just a hunch.

    Curious to know if anyone with more knowledge on protein mechanisms in humans. From wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urea), blood urea is a marker of renal function, so your doctor was probably freaking out because s/he thinks there might be a kidney issue.

    Again, the high protein diets such as adkins are dangerous because they result in too much urea in the system. Nitrogen is a main component in urea and too much in the system is toxic.

    But, I am skeptical of how medical science sets standards. You might get another opinion and ask the doctor to explain the metabolism of protein and if the fact that you get your protein from the combination of amino acids has anything to do with the urea measures. Or you could just get tested again in a few months, maybe you just naturally have low urea levels in your bloodstream. I naturally have low blood pressure and when I get it measured the meds always ask if it is usually this low. I say yes and there is no cause for alarm.

  • Take the results to a homeopathy doctor and ask him/her for his/her opinion.

  • Proteins are a chain of nine diferent amino acids and in order for us to achive an adecuate intake of protein we need to maintain a variety of green in our diet. The main reason for this is that the amino acids that are low in one plan are high in another. Another excellent low-fat source of protein are beans and legumes when balance with nuts, seeds and grains.

    Hope this info help. = )

  • Last I read, 25 mg should be sufficient and 3 TBS hemp is 12, I think. I keep reading that it really is hard to be proein deficient if you are eating enough food. The Irish ate only potatoes and they were OK as far as protein goes. Other deficiencies would occur, but protein was sufficient. The liver is resonsible for turning excess protein into urea, so if the liver isn’t functioning, the urea tends to be low. This, however, is failure and you’d be one sick puppy!

    This may be a case of overdiagnosing the bloodwork. If you have no signs of protein deficiency then I agree with the above- get another opinion.

    Now if your BUN was hi, well, that would be a different story!

    Let us know how it goes!

  • Oh wow, lots of responses, thank you everyone!

    Alix1962, He also knows that I’m vegan, and seemed to subtly disapprove of it, so it could be why he would automatically assume that I’m horribly malnourished.

    teade, I have been having a lot of sprouted grains this past week, I’ve also been extremely bloated and sluggish. So I’m thinking those won’t be best. They also don’t taste that great unless they’re dehydrated in a fancy manner. I don’t eat what I don’t like. It’s definitely a good suggestion, though. The doctor was stressing legumes too. I’d eat them if I’d like them.

    Renoir, I do eat lots of nuts and seeds, well maybe not lots… As much as I can stomach. Mostly hemp and sesame. I don’t know, maybe not enough?

    lovingraw, the doctor made several suggestions but he was being careful to to sound too critical as he obviously thinks I’m killing myself with ignorance. He said that where I live (a sunless northern winter wasteland) I’m compromising my health just by being here, so I’d need extras from animal sources to make up for it. I tend to agree with that, I’m leaving here in a couple of days to my sunny home and not coming back until it’s warm out. Also, he specifically acknowledged hemp (Said it’s too low in specific amino acids, I can’t remember which) and gojis (he said those are great)

    Spirulina is a great suggestion though, I’d give it a try soon for sure. I haven’t been feeling great, which is my reason for concern- I have very low stamina and a lot of trouble maintaining weight.

    redhouse, I do love your theory! I’m a huge fan, I hope someone could back that up a little more, it makes sense to me from what I know about protein synthesis.

    justbeautiful, I already asked my friend who is a naturopath :c)

  • Oh deborahann, you posted that while I was working on mine :c)

    I did think exactly what you are, this is why it’s such a surprise! I eat at least 2 tbsp of hemp every day, plus a pound of greens (not very varied, it’s hard to get good organic greens around here) I don’t have BUN levels in this printout, however, there are a some more results to come yet, so maybe those are in there. There are liver function results there (AST, ALT) and those are normal, so my liver is probably not completely failed just yet :c)

  • Avocados & raw olives are good for protein, and bee pollen is excellent for protein & vitamin B12. The bee pollen (granules) you can mix into smoothies, desserts, etc. or you can get bee pollen in capsules & just take as a supplement. www.sunfood.com sells the bee pollen granules.

  • I also love bee pollen. It is about 50% amino acids-easily bioavailable and I have read where it would be possible to live on about 1 0z (4 TBSP) per day (although I doubt you would thrive! LOL). I get mine at naturalzing 5 lb at a time!

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