Trace Of Blood And Protein In Urine What Does That Mean
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Tests You Have To Take
As you might have already guessed, Preeclampsia can be worrisome. If increased blood pressure coupled with protein in the urine is visible, it might suggest Preeclampsia. It may cause premature birth, organ damage, fetal growth restriction, organ damage, and other serious conditions.
So, it is highly likely, that the doctor will ask you for a urine test. The dipstick test is common it is the procedure to check the level of protein in the urine by dipping a strip inside the urine. The chemical patches used in the dipstick test react to the presence of protein inside the urine.
Usually, doctors dont prescribe a protein test from the urine. However, if you have different health issues, such as diabetes, and high blood pressure, then there is a chance of developing Preeclampsia. Usually, 150 milligrams to 300 milligrams of protein is common in the urine. During pregnancy, it might increase.
The test result for urine tests is between + to ++++. However, if your result is above normal, doctors will ask for 24 hours of urine protein test. They usually exempt the morning urine. If the result comes with a high amount of protein, it suggests kidney and other health issues.
What Happens If You Have Proteinuria
Protein gets into your pee if your kidneys arent working correctly.
Glomeruli are groups of tiny blood vessels in your kidneys. They perform the first stage of filtering waste products and excess water from your blood. The waste products and excess water leave your body through your pee. Glomeruli dont allow passage of larger proteins or blood cells into your pee. If smaller proteins sneak through your glomeruli, then long, thin tubes in your kidneys recover the proteins and keep them in your body.
Proteins may flow into your pee if theres:
- Damage to your glomeruli or tubules.
- A problem with the reabsorption process of the proteins.
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Risks Of Protein In Urine During Pregnancy
The risks of protein in urine during pregnancy depend on what is causing the elevated levels. Some of the causes are less serious than others, or easier to treat and resolve.
Most of the causes of protein in urine in early pregnancy do not have serious risks. If protein is found in your urine before 20 weeks, it is less likely to be a concerning symptom, says Maggie Bolton, CNM, ARNP, clinical director of Quilted Health. However, it should still be evaluated.
Increased protein in urine after 20 weeks is where there may be serious risks to you or your baby, especially if coupled with elevated blood pressure, and symptoms like blurred vision, swelling, and shortness of breath. In this case, you may have preeclampsia, and you will need to be monitored and treated.
Preeclampsia is a progressive disorder which can affect many body systems, Bolton describes. It is caused by the placenta and the pregnant persons vascular system and in most cases, it resolves quickly after the birth. Your provider will want to monitor you very closely, and may even recommend induction depending on the severity of the condition.
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How Is Blood In The Urine Diagnosed
Your doctor will review your medical history and do a physical exam. Other tests may include:
- Urinalysis. Urine is tested for various cells and chemicals, such as red and white blood cells, germs, or too much protein.
- Blood tests. Blood is checked for high levels of waste products.
If these tests arent clear you may need other tests, such as:
- Intravenous pyelogram . A series of X-rays of the kidney, ureters , and bladder is done after a contrast dye is injected into a vein. This is done to look for tumors, kidney stones, or any blockages, and to check blood flow in the kidneys.
- Ultrasound. An imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to make images of the organs of the urinary tract on a computer screen.
- Cystoscopy. A thin, flexible tube and viewing device, is put in through the urethra to examine the parts of the urinary tract for structure changes or blockages, such as tumors or stones.
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What Do The Results Mean
If a large amount of protein is found in your urine sample, it doesn’t always mean that you have a medical problem that needs treatment. Strenuous exercise, dehydration, diet, stress, pregnancy, and other conditions can cause a temporary rise in urine protein levels.
Your provider may recommend other urinalysis tests to see whether you continue to have a high level of protein in your urine over time. If your urine protein remains high, it is likely a sign of kidney disease or kidney damage from other conditions.
The amount of protein in your urine is linked to the amount of kidney damage you may have. But you will need more tests to diagnose what is causing the damage. To learn what your results mean, talk with your provider.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
How Is A Urine Test Done
A simple urine test can be done in your doctor’s office. You will be asked to pee into a clean cup called a specimen cup. Only a small amount of your urine is needed to do the test. Some of the urine is tested right away with a dipstick a thin, plastic strip that is placed in the urine. The rest is examined under a microscope.
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How Is Proteinuria Treated
If your child has orthostatic proteinuria or only small amounts of protein in the urine, no treatment is needed. Sometimes your doctor will check your child’s urine again after a few months. Your doctor wants to see if the amount of protein in the urine goes down. If the amount of protein in the urine doesn’t change or if there is more protein, your doctor will send you and your child to a kidney specialist . The nephrologist may perform a kidney biopsy. When your doctor finds out what causes the protein in your child’s urine, he or she can find the best way to treat the problem.
No matter what caused the kidney problem, a few simple things can help your child. Eating less salt can reduce the swelling. Medicine can control the inflammation of the kidneys that may be causing protein to get into the urine. The medicine is usually given in a high dose at first, and in a lower dose later on. Some children take a low dose of medicine for months, or even years. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions about taking the medicine. It’s also important to visit the doctor for regular checkups.
If I Have Albuminuria Does It Mean I Have Kidney Disease
It may be an early sign of kidney disease, but your doctor will check you again to make sure albuminuria is not caused by something else, like not drinking enough water. If your doctor suspects that you have kidney disease, the urine test for albumin will be repeated. Three positive results over three months or more is a sign of kidney disease.
You will also be given a simple blood test to estimateGFR. GFR stands for glomerular filtration rate. Your GFR number tells you how well your kidneys are working.
You may also be given:
Imaging tests. . This produces a picture of your kidneys and urinary tract. It can show whether your kidneys have kidney stones or other problems.
A kidney biopsy. This can help find out what caused your kidney disease and how much damage to the kidneys has happened.
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How To Prepare For The Test
Different medicines can change the result of this test. Before the test, tell your provider which medicines you are taking. DO NOT stop taking any medicine before talking to your provider.
The following may also interfere with test results:
- Dye if you have a radiology scan within 3 days before the urine test
- Strenuous exercise
Whats Wrong With Having Albumin In My Urine
One of the main jobs of your kidneys is to filter your blood. When your kidneys are healthy, they keep important things your body needs inside your blood, like protein. They also remove things your body doesnt need, like waste products and extra water.
If your kidneys are damaged, protein can leak out of the kidneys into your urine. Having protein in your urine is called albuminuria or proteinuria.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Proteinuria
You may not have any symptoms in the early stages of proteinuria. In advanced stages of proteinuria, symptoms may include:
- Swelling in your face, belly, feet or ankles.
- More frequent urination.
- Congestive heart failure.
What level of proteinuria is concerning?
A normal amount of protein in your pee is less than 150 milligrams per day. If you have more than 150 milligrams of protein in your pee per day, you have proteinuria. The upper limit of normal can vary a bit between laboratories.
If you have 3 to 3.5 grams of protein in your pee per day, you have nephrotic-range proteinuria. Nephrotic syndrome is a relatively rare condition that causes your kidneys to release an excessive amount of protein in your pee.
Why The Test Is Performed
Although small amounts of protein are normally in urine, a routine dipstick test may not detect them. A urine microalbumin test can be performed to detect small amounts of albumin in the urine that may not be detected on dipstick testing. If the kidney is diseased, proteins may be detected on a dipstick test, even if blood protein levels are normal.
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Definitions And Measurement Methods
Macroscopic hematuria is characterized by the presence of blood in the urine in sufficient quantity to be visible to the naked eye. Grossly bloody urine may appear pink or red but may also be tea-colored or dark cola-colored with glomerular etiologies. As little as 1 mL of blood per liter of urine can induce a visible color change, and as little as 2 to 3 RBCs per high-power field can make the urine dipstick positive. To our knowledge, there are no published data that correlate the number of urine sediment RBCs with the dipstick result 03+.
On the other hand, microscopic hematuria is hematuria in the absence of visible color change in the urine, detected only by urine dipstick and confirmed by microscopic examination of the spun urine sediment. The definition of microscopic hematuria varies from 1 to 10 RBC/HPF however, based on previous studies in schoolaged children, we define microscopic hematuria as greater than 5 RBC/mm3 in uncentrifuged urine or greater than 5 RBCs/HPF in centrifuged urine on at least 2 to 3 different occasions. Microscopic hematuria that might undergo further evaluation should be independent of trauma, exercise, menstruation, or sexual activity .
Approach to a child with microscopic hematuria. Caution items warrant urgent consultation with a nephrologist. AKI=acute kidney injury BP=blood pressure BUN=blood urea nitrogen CKD= chronic kidney disease Cr=creatinine ESRD=end-stage renal disease HTN=hypertension UA=urinalysis.
How To Reduce Protein In Urine
This article was co-authored by Robert Dhir, MD. Dr. Robert Dhir is a board certified Urologist, Urological Surgeon, and the Founder of HTX Urology in Houston, Texas. With over 10 years of experience, Dr. Dhirs expertise includes minimally-invasive treatments for enlarged prostate , kidney stone disease, surgical management of urological cancers, and mens health . His practice has been named a Center of Excellence for the UroLift procedure, and is a pioneer in non-surgical procedures for ED using his patented Wave Therapy. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Georgetown University and was awarded honors in pre-medical studies, urology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. Dr. Dhir served as chief resident during his urological surgical residency at University of Texas at Houston / MD Anderson Cancer Center in addition to completing his internship in general surgery. Dr. Dhir was voted Top Doctor in Urology for 2018 to 2019, one of the top three Best Rated Urologists in 2019 & 2020 for Houston Texas, and Texas Monthly has named him to the 2019 & 2020 Texas Super Doctors Rising Stars list.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 88% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 256,129 times.
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How Is The Test Used
Urine protein testing is used to detect excess protein in the urine . A semi-quantitative test such as a dipstick urine protein may be used to screen for the presence of protein in the urine as part of a routine urinalysis.
A urine protein test may be used to screen for, help evaluate, and monitor kidney function and to help detect and diagnose early kidney damage and/or disease. However, the test can also help screen for several other conditions that can cause proteinuria.
If slight to moderate amounts of protein are detected, then a repeat urinalysis and dipstick protein may be performed at a later time to see if there is still protein in the urine or if it has become undetectable.
If there is a large amount of protein in the first sample, repeat testing will be ordered. If increased levels of urine protein are observed in follow-up specimens, then a 24-hour urine protein may be ordered along with certain blood tests. Since the dipstick method primarily measures the protein albumin, and if follow-up, repeat urine samples are positive, a 24-hour urine test also may be ordered to obtain more detailed information.
Either a 24-hour urine protein or a random protein to creatinine ratio may be used to monitor a person with known kidney disease or damage. A dipstick urine protein and/or a protein to creatinine ratio may be used to screen people on a regular basis when they are taking a medication that may affect their kidney function.
Symptoms Of Protein In The Urine During Pregnancy
When you have protein in urine during pregnancy, you will not see many symptoms unless you face a UTI. But conditions like Preeclampsia come with different symptoms worth noting down. The main part of it is an excessive protein in the urine. Here are some signs you should look for
- Retaining more water than usual.
- Increased blood pressure.
- Lowered urine output.
- Shortness of breath.
It is common to gain some weight during pregnancy. However, you may also gain more weight due to the swelling in the face and the hands.
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How Is Pediatric Proteinuria Diagnosed
If you or your childs pediatrician suspect that your child has proteinuria, a condition in which protein leaks from the blood into the urine, the doctor will recommend a urine test.
In the past, a 24-hour urine collection was required to diagnose proteinuria. The patient would collect urine in a single container from the first visit to the bathroom in the morning through the first visit on the next day. This test may still be used, but most of the time, a simple urine test can be done in a doctors office to test how much protein is in your childs urine. A chemically-treated paper dipped into the urine sample will change color if protein levels are high.
If your child has no symptoms and a urine sample collected first thing in the morning indicates no protein or only trace amounts, the doctor may suggest that your child be tested again in a year. If protein is discovered in the urine, another first morning sample should be tested and also examined under a microscope, and further urinalysis the physical, chemical, and microscopic testing of a sample of urinewill be necessary. If the urine tests reveal excess protein and urinalysis results are abnormal, your child may need further evaluation because if the proteinuria persists, it can mean that your childs kidney function is declining.
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Please note: This information was current at the time of publication but now may be out of date. This handout provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone.
Am Fam Physician. 1998 58:1158-1159
See related article on proteinuria.
Proteins are essential in our bodies. Normally, proteins move around in our blood, carrying food, hormones and medicine to all parts of the body. They also help keep water inside tiny blood vessels.
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Symptoms Of Protein In Urine During Pregnancy
Unless you are dealing with a urinary tract infection, most of the time that you have protein in your urine during pregnancy, you will not have many obvious symptoms. However, if you are experiencing preeclampsia, you may have some noticeable symptoms, along with an elevated amount of protein in your urine.
Early signs of preeclampsia may include retaining more water than usual, increased blood pressure, along with protein in your urine. You may notice rapid weight gain along with swelling. Other signs of preeclampsia may progress to headaches, blurry vision, stomach pain concentrated on your right side, dark spots in your vision, and shortness of breath.
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