How Does a High Protein Diet Affect the Kidneys?


Quick Answer

A high protein diet, such as the Atkins diet, can put additional strain on the kidneys of people who already suffer from kidney problems, according to WebMD. Some experts say that a high protein diet can increase the incidence of kidney stones. For healthy people, a high protein diet is usually not problematic, especially if the diet is temporary, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

A diet high in protein may worsen kidney function in those who suffer from kidney disease because of the body's difficulty removing the waste products of protein metabolism.

Many people who suffer from diminished kidney function are unaware of the problem, so doctors recommend getting a blood test for creatinine levels prior to beginning a high protein diet, according to Prevention Magazine. High creatinine levels indicate problems with kidney function. Risk factors for kidney disease include middle age, high blood pressure and diabetes.

A study done by the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2003 indicates that an intake of three ounces of animal protein per day is safe for those with mild kidney dysfunction. People on a high protein diet often consume up to eight ounces of protein per day. This contrast emphasizes the importance of visiting a doctor before starting a high protein diet.

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