How Long Does it Take to Recover from Protein Deficiency?

(deactivated member)
on 12/17/10 11:01 pm
Hello my knowledgable peeps!

Apparently, I need more protein than 80-100g per day and and edema in ankles is starting (I hate my cankles!).  I don't have my labs in front of me, but albumin is trending down.  I'm pushing the shakes and trying to get as much protein as our Kerry!!

Meanwhile, does anyone know how long it is going to take to resolve the edema? I mean on average because I know everyone is unique.  I've done extensive searches on protein deficiency recovery, but there isn't any information on how long it takes to reverse said deficiency.

Anyone have any personal experience?

Thanks to all!
on 12/17/10 11:22 pm - IA
I don't know the answer to that question...but

How much protein are you getting through shakes?
What were your pre-albumin, albumin, and protein levels?

If I remember correctly - it took Lori ALL summer to get her protein numbers back in somewhat sorta line - doing 6 shakes a day - and I THINK they were double scoop.  But hopefully if I am wrong, and even if I'm not, she'll jump in with her 2 cents.

I would get at least 100 grams of protein per day via shakes if I was you.  That is the MOST bioavailable form of protein for us, and that means you will absorb more of it...which is exactly what you need.  And then eat as much protein as you can handle.  I do 3 double scoop protein shakes a day for a total of 138 grams of protein - and that's before a morsel of food touches my lips!  My pre-albumin was trending down so I added that third shake in and started eating eggs for breakfast again..hopefully I will see good results from my labs in January.

Good luck!
(deactivated member)
on 12/17/10 11:33 pm
Thanks! I was trying to remember who was adding way extra than the basic formula and I had that it took 3-6 months to get protein lab levels to behave themselves.

on 12/17/10 11:28 pm - Forest Lake, MN
From all my research and understanding and it says on vitaladys website that we only can absorb 30g of protein at one time, so wouldn't it be a waste of money besides being pointless to do double scoops of protein... correct me if all my info is wrong. Only professional althletes are able to absorb more than 30g of protein at one time.
This is from vitaladys website.
"Protein is best absorbed in amounts of no more than 30g at one time. Professional athletes can do a little better, but for weight loss surgery patients, 30g would be a good try. More protein won’t hurt, but is just wasted. Unless you are very distal, two drinks of 30g each is an excellent start toward a healthy protein intake."
on 12/18/10 1:11 am - Willow Grove, PA
DS on 05/12/11 with
I've been wondering about this, too. The whole 30g idea is still being debated, but I think it comes down to digestion and absorption. From what I've read on here, a DSer's body only absorbs about 50% of protein ingested. However, if a person can completely digest a double scoop protein shake, that would put their absorption of the actual protein at around 30g, which should theoretically maximize protein absorption. But if a person can only digest around 30g at a time, then yeah, a double scoop would only be a waste. Of course I have no nutritional training so this is just me trying to analyze the possibilities.
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P. Poster
on 12/17/10 11:37 pm
 You won't find concrete answers for this, unfortunately.  There are too many variables.  Degree of deficiency, ability to absorb, protein used and route given, current health status in general (for us especially, this includes other lab deficiencies), ect.  You need to know your current lab values all the way around, and go from there.  If you are getting 80-100g protein now and slipping w/symptoms, I would double that, at least.  Try to get 100g of protein from shakes alone, as Marci mentioned.  It's highly bioavailable, and the easiest to digest- no wasted time, or energy to get the benefit.  Then, eat as much protein as possible- and shoot for the more dense proteins like meat & fish.  The BEST way to get the most use of the protein you are taking in is to use a combination of protein sources in one day.  Here is a good article that breaks it down a bit and explains more about protein bioavailability:
on 12/18/10 2:06 am
It took me about a month for the major swelling, skin breakdown, heart palpitations, shortness of breath mental fog, etc..  ended anywhere from a few days into -few weeks into treatment. It was a very slow process for the fatigue, muscle wasting, lack of balance, weakness, hair loss, skin breakouts, etc...about 3 months for true signs of recovery.

The edema is really a late sign of what's really going on in the body and truly only giving you a peak into the damage being done. I say that because a lot of people stop being as aggressive about their protein supplements once they start seeing an improvement, when the truth is, it's just the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot of re-building and time needed to even break even again.

5'1 HW 298 CW 118

"Making America skinny, one slap atta time!" -Slap Chop Dude

(deactivated member)
on 12/18/10 2:57 am
Thanks Dusty!

Right now it's just barely noticeable edema, but I know! Plus the fact I know that I've been carefully monitoring labs and seeing the trend going down.  I've been focusing so much on the iron tanking despite high supplementation, that I was hoping the iron infusions would help with the fatigue. 

I wanna nip this in the bud before it gets too dire.

Thank you everyone for all your input!
on 12/18/10 2:55 am - South Central, PA
DS on 06/07/10 with
My ankles went down in about 3-4 weeks.  One is still a tiny bit swollen, but the other is normal.  I'm not sure if my actual protein numbers are any better, but I'll find out next month when I get my blood drawn again.  

You are totally on the right track.  The main thing is to continue over time to push the protein.  I've heard it may take 6 months to a year of heavy pushing to get the thing back uphill.  Some people also recommend taking digestive enzymes to help with digestion and nutrition absorption.

Keep us posted.  Cankles...bite.  

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