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Issue with high BUN level

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Recently, I had routine blood work done at a physical. I've been on whole30, very strictly, for 6 months. 

There was a number that my doctor highlighted as being out of the acceptable range. My BUN level was 41 and the acceptable range is 6-24. I have no other health issues, and my doctor said it was caused by too high of a protein intake. I was reading that the consequence of high BUN level could put stress on the kidneys. 


Does anyone have a similar issue or any advice? Thanks!



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I tend to eat a lot of protein - as in 2 palm-size portions per meal and sometimes 4 palm-size portions. I have blood work done every 6 months. My most recent BUN was 14. So eating a lot of protein does not necessarily raise your BUN to high levels. The Mayo Clinic lists a variety of reasons BUN may be high: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/blood-urea-nitrogen/MY00373/DSECTION=results


  • Urinary tract obstruction
  • Congestive heart failure or recent heart attack
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Dehydration, resulting from not drinking enough fluids or for other reasons
  • Shock
  • Severe burns
  • Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and some antibiotics
  • A high protein diet


Are you eating protein according to the meal template guidelines? Maybe you need to be at the low end of the recommendations for protein, but there may be other issues. For example, are you drinking 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day? Many people are chronically dehydrated because they don't appreciate how much water per day we really need.

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Another thing to consider is preexisting medical conditions. Healthy kidneys upregulate their function when exposed to higher dietary levels of protein (for reference, mine was 18 (ref range 6-20) a year ago)...but if your kidneys (or liver, i believe), are compromised by a preexisting condition, they can't ramp as well as a healthy set can.  You may need to modify your protein intake in cases like this. It's beyond the scope of the forum though. A personal consult with the W9 team can point you in the right direction if this sounds like you.

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