To understand how too much of protein in a diet is harmful, we have to first understand how it plays a key role in helping our systems function. Protein helps in building muscle, and aiding the immune system while regulating blood circulation. If the body doesn't get its sufficient dose of good fats and carbohydrates, it leans on protein to fulfill the role instead, of supplying fuel. Therefore striking a balance between various nutrients is crucial.

Even hair and nails are made up of protein, where it sustains the bones, skin and cartilage as well. There's only a limited amount of protein that the body requires. It does need a lot of this nutrient for certain functions, but going overboard by eating a lot of protein-rich foods, can have a negative impact on the body. That is why it is important to eat it in moderation.

There are three kinds of this problem that occur; transient (temporary case), persistent (a recurring ailment), and orthostatic (happens when one sits / stands / lies down). The first kind, transient and the last, orthostatic - doesn't require treatment in most cases, with possibly no long-term side effects. Those who have persistent proteinuria on the other hand, may eventually suffer from kidney ailments that will need immediate treatment.. Here we discuss the effects of excess protein in a diet, and how to balance portion intake.

Effects of Excess Protein in One's Diet

When there is too much protein in a person's diet, side effects subsequently occur, altering your overall bodily system. When there is a presence of protein in the body that is way too much for it to handle, it shows up on tests after one has a checkup done, or is experienced through its effect on the body.

Once the damage starts due to excess protein, symptoms arise that one will notice over a period of time. Our bodies send us certain signals that we mustn't ignore, especially if they are persistent. Medical experts say that the symptoms do not occur immediately in a person suffering from proteinuria, where if left unattended and overlooked, it can eventually be experienced. Thus going for regular checkups to keep an eye on one's health, is wise.
  • If one has liver / kidney disease, high protein traces are likely to pose as a problem. The rise of acids in the urine's pH level, is caused by the kidney's inability to regulate acid-base levels.
  • Can increase the risk of colon cancer.
  • Increases one's chances of having a cardiovascular disease.
  • Too much protein in the system eats away at calcium from the bones, since this mineral is required for digestion. So if you haven't had enough calcium intake, the body takes it from the bones as a substitute. This in turn makes bones brittle.
  • Acts as an irritant towards allergies, making them worse.
  • Formation of kidney stones
  • Increases the risk of getting diabetes (high levels of ketones).
  • Can lead to gout.
  • Excessive perspiration takes place. This is because the more protein one eats, the more likely it is for he / she to lose a lot of water from the body. Due to this, it is advisable to drink a lot of water to make up for what the body has lost through urine and sweat.
  • Cataracts
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Excessive urea in the kidneys will tend to cause a lot of lower back pain. This is because protein has amino acids in them, and when the body breaks it down, it converts it from ammonia to urea, causing one's lower back to hurt.
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Feelings of malaise
  • Hypertension
  • Nausea, since the body uses the excess protein for energy, due to a lack of either carbohydrates / fats.
  • Acid amounts in blood increase.
  • Extreme discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
Protein Rich Foods to Eat in Moderation

Balancing food portions is something one should always keep in mind about, like a constant mantra, while eating protein rich meals. Ask a dietician to chalk out a diet plan with the right amount of protein, that is safe for your body to consume:
  • Ham
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Turkey
  • Soya milk
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Tofu
  • Lamb
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Beef
  • Dairy products (low or full)
  • Protein shakes
  • Veal
  • Nuts and Seeds (watermelon, almonds, peanuts, squash, and pumpkin)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
How Much Protein to Take

The ideal amount of protein that the body needs to absorb in a day is, 10 gm/day for babies, 52 gm/day for teen boys, 46 gm/day for teen girls, 56 gm/day for grown men, and 46 gm/day for grown women. Lactating women need to have 71 gm of protein a day, because of deficiency and baby-development requirements.

Accordingly spread out your protein intake over the course of a number of days, as opposed to eating it all at once within a single day. Too much of protein can prove to be quite harmful as you now know. A monitored diet combined with light to moderate exercise, will help you keep off the extra protein. Have a healthy tomorrow.