Bodybuilder's Death Caused By Too Much Protein

Meegan Hefford was found in her apartment in June

Mother of two and bodybuilder Meegan Hefford, 25, was stocking up on protein-rich foods as well as protein shakes in order to get in shape for an upcoming bodybuilding competition. The woman was getting ready for a bodybuilding contest.

What she she didn't know was that she also had the rare genetic disorder called urea cycle disorder, which is when you have deficiency of an enzyme that helps you break down proteins, Kathleen Laquale, a professor in the Department of Movement Arts, Health Promotion Leisure Studies at Bridgewater University told CafeMom. The protein build-up resulted in a fatal accumulation of fluid in Hefford's brain.

Soon afterwards she was pronounced brain-dead and passed away.

The family of an Australian mom and bodybuilder is blaming her sudden death on the consumption of protein powder and supplements. For Hefford, the dietary change proved to be lethal.

It was only two days later on June 21 that doctors diagnosed her with urea cycle disorder. In the weeks leading up to her death, Hefford had been telling her family she felt "weird" and exhausted.

Hefford left behind a 7-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. She now wants more restrictions on such fitness supplements, which she says are too loosely regulated. "High-protein diets can put a strain on your kidneys as your body works to remove the waste products from protein metabolism".

Hefford's mother, Michelle White, told the Times that her daughter kept strict diet and often twice-a-day gym regimen as she planned for a bodybuilding competition in September.

"I couldn't believe what the doctors were telling me", White recalled.

Meegan Hefford, 25, was reportedly found unconscious in her apartment by a real estate agent conducting a rental inspection on June 20.

"I said to her, 'I think you're doing too much at the gym, calm down, slow down", White told Perth Now.

"I couldn't believe what the doctors were telling me, she was dying. she didn't look sick, she looked lovely", White said. What's more, "When you minimize intake from fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains, you're missing out on valuable vitamins, minerals, and fiber", she says.

It was only after Hefford's death that White discovered containers of protein supplements in her daughter's kitchen, along with a strict food plan.

While each case of urea cycle disorder is different, for adults, symptoms may include "episodes of disorientation, confusion, slurred speech, unusual and extreme combativeness or agitation, stroke-like symptoms, lethargy, and delirium" from the uncontrollable amounts of ammonia being produced.

Health experts said taking supplements was risky, even for people who did not have a medical condition.

Related News: