Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:
I'm a Type 1 diabetic and I exercise four to five days per week. I do some cardiovascular exercises as well as lifting free weights. I'm trying to gain more muscle mass, but I'm having difficulty doing it. I've started using whey protein as a supplement after I workout. Will this have any effect on my insulin and diabetes. Also, a small amount of albumin was found in my urine and I'm now on Lotensin. Will the protein supplement have any effect on my urine.

A:
The protein supplement may or may not have an effect on urinary protein. There are supplements that are micro-filtered proteins from branch-chained amino acids; they are absorbed more directly into the cells to be utilized by them in the repair and building process. In essence, these proteins are predigested, so the workload on the kidney should be greatly reduced. It is the consumption of flesh and dairy proteins that produce the toughest workload. I would suggest you take low doses, monitoring your urine, then increase gradually if numbers are fine. Heavy weightlifting can warrant this type of supplementation; recreational weightlifting generally would not. Effect on insulin needs will depend on blood glucose levels. Moderate intake commensurate with energy and exertion output should be ok. Check with your health practitioner for "blessings" here.

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