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Health and Fitness

A Female Fitness Model Has Died After Eating Too Much Protein

Pascale Day
by Pascale Day Published on 17 August 2017

When you try something new, it's like stepping into the unknown. No matter what it is, you do it with the mentality that, really, what's the worst that could happen? Unfortunately for Meegan Hefford, her new diet had the worst outcome: her new protein-rich diet proved to be fatal.

Meegan, a 25-year-old bodybuilder from Australia, died when her body couldn't process the excessive amounts of protein she was eating as part of a new diet and fitness regime. The plan saw her increase the intensity of her gym sessions and survive on a diet of protein shakes combined with protein-rich food such as lean meat and egg whites.

She wasn't aware she was suffering with an undiagnosed genetic condition called Urea Cycle Disorder while trialling this new regime. The condition stops the body from breaking down protein properly, meaning that Meegan was experiencing a build up of ammonia in her blood stream and fluid on her brain.

Being strong is the only option right now! #onlyoption #fallbutgetthefuckup #queenofmyownworld #betternotbitter

A post shared by • MEEGAN HEFFORD • (@meeganheff) on Mar 27, 2017 at 2:55am PDT

Urea Cycle Disorder is a fairly rare condition that affects around one in 35,000 people and adults can go undiagnosed for years until they experience a trigger - much like Meegan did.

Meegan's mother, Michelle White, told Yahoo News her daughter complained of feeling "weird" before she collapsed in her flat on June 19 but that she "didn't look sick". After her collapse, she was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead three days later.

"I couldn’t believe what the doctors were telling me, she was dying," her mum told PerthNow. "I said, ‘You have to give her more time’, because she didn’t look sick, she looked beautiful."

It's okay to fall, as long as you get back up again and learn from each mistake 🦄

A post shared by • MEEGAN HEFFORD • (@meeganheff) on Apr 20, 2017 at 12:23am PDT

But Michelle points out that there's no way Meegan could have known that she had the condition. "They don't routinely test for it," she said. "There's medical advice on the back of all the supplements to seek out a doctor but how many young people actually do?"

In fact, Michelle had no idea that her daughter was consuming so many protein supplements until after her death, and is now calling on protein supplements to be more regulated.

Do you have any experience with Urea Cycle Disorder? Let us know! @soFeminineUK

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