Protein shakes have been blamed for the sudden death of an ultra-fit mother aged just 25, as her devastated family call for warnings on the popular diet supplements.
Mother-of-two Meegan Hefford was rushed to Fiona Stanley Hospital in Western Australia when she was found unconscious in her Mandurah apartment on June 19.
At the time of her collapse, Ms Hefford had a diet filled with protein-rich foods which she was also supplementing with protein shakes, Perth Now reported.
She was working hard in lead up to a bodybuilding competition, unaware she suffered from a rare genetic disorder which meant her body was unable to properly digest protein.
Urea cycle disorder caused a build-up of ammonia in her blood stream and fluid in her brain which ultimately led to lost brain function.
When Ms Hefford was taken to hospital on June 19, doctors struggled to work out why a healthy, young woman was losing brain activity.
Doctors struggled for two days before they diagnosed her with urea cycle disorder.
The young mother, who was studying paramedicine at Edith Cowan University, died the following day, June 22.
WHAT IS UREA CYCLE DISORDER?
- People with the disorder have an enzyme deficiency
- The disorder prevents protein from properly breaking down
- Ammonia builds up in the bloodstream
- This poisons the brain
- It can lead to brain damage, coma or death
She left behind a five-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter.
Ms Hefford’s death certificate listed urea cycle disorder and the ‘intake of bodybuilding supplements’ as two causes of death. Continue reading…