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Berger's disease and dietary concerns
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An_250453 posted:
short medical history:
When I was a much younger man I had henoch-schonlein purpura and it was causing my kidney function to deteriorate. I was put on a large dose of prednisone and my kidney function was fully restored.

About 8 years later started noticing blood in my urine whenever I have a cold or stomach related problems. Nephrologist today diagnosed me with nonprogressive berger's disease (bloodwork came back good and urinalysis showed no traces of blood or protein).

I'm 6'3 weigh 95 kg. I consume about 150-180 grams of protein each day. I tend to eat 5-6 meals a day with each meal having an equal share of the protein. I usually drink about a gallon of water each day. My blood pressure is usually ~120ish/80.

I'm wondering if switching from eating mostly animal proteins to plant based proteins like soy, tempe etc would be lower the risk of my disease from entering a progressive state. I recently started getting into good shape and would hate to ruin my progress.

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john-skpt responded:
Interesting question. I'm afraid that there isn't a lot of large-scale data collection on dietary shifts from animal to phyto- proteins. (You can imagine that it's hard to collect a few thousand people who make exactly the same changes for exactly the same reasons and have exactly the same blood tests.)

I think that, unless you have some unusual protein requirements, you might be better off reducing protein intake overall to about 90-100g/day. Most Western diets push FAR too much protein through the system. (And despite the lies that muscle-building, weight-gain diets foist off on the public, any amount that you cannot use is just expensive waste. The body can only use so much, no matter how much is available, and getting rid of the excess stresses the kidneys and liver, and increases rates of intestinal cancers.)

Now, with Berger's or IGA nephropathy or any similar disorder, there is often fairly significant protein loss to urine. I'd go by the serum total protein and serum albumin numbers on your blood tests. As long as the amount of circulating albumin is near or slightly below the center of the reference range (35-50 g/L), then I'd think that this is a more than adequate but fairly safe number. Obviously you don't want it to fall below the range over the long term since at that point be body begins to cannibalize itself, breaking down lean muscle tissue to support the albumin in the bloodstream.


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