A mum has spoken out about the dangers of a protein-heavy diet following the tragic death of her 25-year-old daughter.
Michelle White, 52, said her daughter Meegan's love for fitness morphed into a dangerous obsession - especially as she had no idea she was suffering from a rare urea cycle disorder that meant her body was unable to digest protein properly.
Meegan died in June 2017 after paramedics found her collapsed on her bedroom floor, having been declared brain dead two days after she was rushed to hospital.
Mum Michelle has now decided to speak out about Meegan's story, calling on the health and fitness industry to regulate the sale of protein powder and supplements.
Michelle explained her daughter, who was a mum of two, was initially proud to see her daughter enjoying working out.
"She started to become a real fitness fanatic and made sure she had time for herself, as well as being a mum," she told the Mirror.
"She spent so much time in her active wear, I always knew what to buy her for Christmas and birthdays!
"I even tagged along with her to the gym to see her in action and was amazed at her weight-lifting skills.
"It seemed like she had the perfect life."
However, things began to change when Meegan started to suffer from post-natal depression following the birth of her second child, son Liam.
She was prescribed medication, which made her gain weight - prompting Meegan to hit the gym even harder.
"Within a few months, her love of fitness turned into an obsession about her body image," Michelle said.
"Getting her body in peak condition for them started to take over and soon her diet became more and more restricted."
Meegan admitted to her mother that she was started to suffer and began to feel drained, and eventually decided to take a day off from working out to rest at home.
It was two days later that Michelle received the call no parent wants to have, and was told by paramedics that Meegan had been found by two people carrying out a rental inspection.
Just days later, doctors declared the young mum brain dead, and advised the family that it would be best to turn off life support.
Two years on from her daughter's death, Michelle is now calling for the regulation on the sale of supplements and protein powders that the health and fitness industry is known for.
She continued: "Only certified nutritionists should offer advice on dieting, and I urge people to get medical checks before drastically changing their food intake.
"It's too late for Meegan, but I hope by sharing her story she can save another family from this pain."
According to the Mirror, Urea Cycle Disorder affects 1 in 8,000 people.
"Users may choose to take them before, during and after training to enhance performance and improve recovery, add them to meals to boost their protein, or drink them between meals as a high-protein snack," Azmina Govindji, from the British Dietetic Association (BDA), says on the NHS website.
"But they could get the same benefits from introducing high-protein foods to their diet as snacks or adding them to their normal meals to enhance the protein content.
"Although protein shakes are convenient, not all of them are suitable to be used as a meal replacement, because they don't have all the vitamins and nutrients that a balanced meal would contain."
For more information on using sports supplements, please read information available on the NHS website.Featured Image Credit: Instagram