Negligent prescription of high-protein diet caused kidney injury...
I am a 61 year old male who was in excellent health up until recently. I never had to stay overnight at a hospital; the only surgery I had in my life was elective. I put an extremely high value on my health and have records to show it.
Two months ago I consulted a Fitness and wellness center called FITFOREVER, that comprises an association of two doctors and a "Fitness expert". They promote, among other things, a strict diet based on high protein intake, supplemented with their own protein shake and other oral supplements, called BOOST. Their idea was to "reset" my metabolism.
After the first consultation I paid $700 and left with two containers of their protein powder, bags of supplemental pills, and a schedule of protein-only diet, with no carbohydrates, vegetables, or fruits whatsoever. No test was done to determine if I was a good candidate for such a strict diet.
Three days into the diet, I developed serious symptoms of dizziness, vomiting, and vertigo. After getting increasingly sick, I was taken to the emergency room of the local hospital. Once they got the results of the initial blood tests, they determined that I developed severe dehydration and my kidneys were too stressed out from the protein intake.
They immediately admitted me for treatment and observation. Needless to say, each of the doctors who treated me expressed concern over this type of diet without regards to the physical condition of the patient to sustain such rigorous protein intake.
It has been two months and I am not out of the woods yet. I feel out of balance at times, weak, and have occasional episodes of vertigo. Unfortunately I have very limited insurance and cannot afford continuous treatment.
I am looking for an attorney willing to listen and look into my case. The hospital health records clearly attribute the problem to the high protein intake and the abrupt shift from my regular diet. Do I have a case? How do I find an attorney to take on a case like this? Any information you can provide would be appreciated.
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ANSWER for "Negligent prescription of high-protein diet caused kidney injury...":
Maurice (Miami, FL):
While it appears you have been through quite an ordeal, you probably don't have a valid personal injury case. Dehydration is not a compensable injury. Moreover, it's very likely that in the consultation you had with FitForever, they stated (either verbally or in print) that you should consult your doctor prior to starting any new diet or exercise regimen. This is a standard disclaimer of most fitness consultants.
The symptoms you experienced are common for a high protein-low carbohydrate diet. A simple internet search can find multiple articles about the side effects of high protein diets. It would be hard for any jury to believe you weren't aware of these effects.
For example, Consumer Reports has an in-depth article on high protein diets and their potential side effects.
When you state you are "...not out of the woods yet," the implication is you may soon find yourself hospitalized for some form of permanent injury. From the facts you present, that is highly unlikely.
While it will likely be extremely difficult to find an attorney to accept your case, there's no downside to meeting with several attorneys in your area. Be sure to bring all evidence related to your injuries and treatment.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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