A mother has spoken out about the risks involved in protein-heavy diet following the death of her daughter. Michelle White, 52, said her daughter Meegan, 25, love for fitness introduced her to dangerous obsession. She had no idea about her urea cycle disorder which meant her body was not able to digest protein properly.
Meegan died in June 2017. She was found unconscious in her bedroom and was declared brain dead after two days. Mum Michelle has now decided to open up about her daughter’s unfortunate incident and urged the health and fitness industry to regulate the sale of protein powder and supplements.
She did tell that she was proud to see her daughter enjoying her work outs, despite being a mother of two.
“She started to become a real fitness fanatic and made sure she had time for herself, as well as being a mum,” she told.
“She spent so much time in her active wear, I always knew what to buy her for Christmas and birthdays!
“I even tagged along with her to the gym to see her in action and was amazed at her weight-lifting skills.
“It seemed like she had the perfect life.”
Unfortunately, things looked different and Meegan started to suffer from post-natal depression after giving birth to her second child, son Liam.
She was prescribed medication, which made her gain weight – prompting Meegan to hit the gym even harder.
“Within a few months, her love of fitness turned into an obsession about her body image,” Michelle said.
“Getting her body in peak condition for them started to take over and soon her diet became more and more restricted.”
Meegan explained to her mother that she was starting to feel drained and eventually took a day off from working out to rest at home. Two days later Michelle was told that her daughter was brain dead, and advised the family that it would be best to turn off life support.
She continued: “Only certified nutritionists should offer advice on dieting, and I urge people to get medical checks before drastically changing their food intake.
“It’s too late for Meegan, but I hope by sharing her story she can save another family from this pain.”
According to reports, Urea Cycle Disorder affects 1 in 1800 people.
“Users may choose to take them before, during and after training to enhance performance and improve recovery, add them to meals to boost their protein, or drink them between meals as a high-protein snack,” says Azmina Govindji, from the British Dietetic Association (BDA).
“But they could get the same benefits from introducing high-protein foods to their diet as snacks or adding them to their normal meals to enhance the protein content.
“Although protein shakes are convenient, not all of them are suitable to be used as a meal replacement, because they don’t have all the vitamins and nutrients that a balanced meal would contain.”