While obesity and inactivity are proven to cause health hazards, sometimes trying to overdo fitness and the pursuit of an enviable body may also end in tragedy. The tragic death of a bodybuilder in Australia has highlighted one of the dangers that could potentially damage people who train for hours in the gym to get that perfect body. A 25-year old mother of two died as a result of consuming protein shakes in preparation for a bodybuilding competition she was about to enter.

What really happened?

On June 19, Megan Hefford was found unconscious in her apartment and was quickly taken to the nearest hospital.

Family members revealed that Hefford was on a special diet, which was comprised of protein Shakes so that she could gain muscle mass faster and be ready for an upcoming competition. The excess protein is what caused a fatal reaction in her body.

Doctors revealed that after she was admitted to the hospital, medical tests revealed that Hefford suffered from a serious medical condition called urea cycle disorder. The National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation says that "Adults often go undiagnosed because they have mild urea cycle disorders which allow them to produce enough of the urea cycle enzymes to effectively remove ammonia until a stressor interferes with enzyme function...one of those stressors is excessive protein." This disease had not been diagnosed previously in the mother of two and the discovery was made too late as the immense amounts of protein shake intake had already affected her body.

Just after the disorder was diagnosed, Hefford was pronounced brain dead and passed away within days. Doctors were surprised at just how fast the fit woman's body deteriorated and caused her death. After her death, her mother Michelle White revealed some facts about Hefford. She said that her daughter tended to be lethargic in the preceding days and even said that she felt weird sometimes.

These complaints about her health had even led White to suggest that she take it easy with her training but Hefford did not think anything serious would happen to her. White discovered the containers of protein shakes in her daughter's house after her death, which finally revealed how the massive amounts of protein got inside her body.

Mother blames protein shakes

Hefford's death certificate states that she died as a result of intake of bodybuilding supplements and White believes that if her daughter had not consumed the protein shakes, she might have been alive today. The protein shakes and other supplements are usually considered safe by people, but this case brings to light the dangers of such practices. It is always advisable to consult a doctor before consuming supplements. Although the urea cycle disorder is an uncommon disease, it is still a safer bet to refer to a physician before making big changes to any normal diet.