What If We Don’t Get Enough Protein?


Here are some of the more common symptoms:

  • Edema – A collection of fluid under the skin, which most commonly affects the legs, feet, and ankles, but can occur anywhere on the body.
  • Thinning or brittle hair, hair loss
  • Ridges or deep lines in finger and toe nails
  • Skin becomes very light, burns easily in the sun
  • Reduced pigmentation in the hair on scalp and body
  • Skin rashes, dryness, flakiness
  • General weakness and lethargy
  • Muscle soreness and weakness, cramps
  • Slowness in healing wounds, cuts, scrapes, and bruises
  • Bedsores and other skin ulcers
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headache
  • Nausea and stomach pain
  • Fainting
  • Depressed immune system, increase susceptibility to infection and illness
  • Loss of  muscle tissue
  • Heart damage (eventually)
  • Crankiness, moodiness
  • Severe depression
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of energy, no desire to do things

There are a couple of these to pay special attention to right after surgery.

When we have RNY, our stomach is sliced open.  Lots of tissue is damaged and needs to heal.  It will not heal well without protein.  Some docs recommend patients do not begin protein drinks for a couple of weeks after surgery and I personally think that is unwise.  We need EXTRA protein to heal from major surgery, not less protein.  If your doc recommends clear liquids right after surgery, we can use clear protein drinks.

Some of these symptoms are pretty common after RNY even if we do get enough protein, like some nausea, fatigue, weakness, hair loss and depression.  But not getting enough protein can make those things a whole lot worse.

It’s important to understand that we need protein for the amino acids.  If we don’t consume protein, we start to break down our muscles for the amino acids we need.  It’s kinda like we eat our own muscles.  And our heart is a muscle.  And, well, eating your own heart is not a good thing.

And because we need protein for the amino acids, those protein shots that contain mostly collagen protein are a bad choice for us.  They are missing some of the essential amino acids so they don’t do us much good.

How much protein do we need?  The ASMBS suggests 1.1 grams protein per kilogram of ideal body weight, which works out to about half a gram per pound of your ideal weight.  Doesn’t matter what you weigh now, base your protein goal on your ideal weight.  If you work out a lot, you may need a bit more than that.

Categories: Uncategorized
This post was written by , posted on July 3, 2012 Tuesday at 6:18 am

Comments are currently closed.