Protein In Urine: 12 Causes With Treatment
Protein in urine is also known as proteinuria. This is a condition when the quantity of protein present in your urine is above the normal range. Proteinuria is a common problem that usually occurs when the body cannot fully digest protein from food. The undigested protein from food then passes through the kidneys and filters into the urine.
If you see red or brownish-yellow color in your urine, it is a sign of excess protein in the body. This article explains what protein in urine means and the potential causes and treatment options.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
It can be difficult to know when it’s time to see a healthcare provider about proteinuria because the symptoms are often so vague . Even if you have foamy urine, you might figure that it was “something you ate” if you are otherwise feeling healthy.
And, that can be a problem. Because not only is proteinuria an indication that you may have kidney disease, it is often a sign that kidney disease is advancing and becoming more serious.
To this end, you need to seek immediate medical care if you experience the following:
- Gradually diminishing urine output
- Swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet
- Extreme tiredness or weakness
- Irregular heartbeat
These are common signs of kidney failure, a condition in which the kidney function has dropped so severely that you may require hospitalization to avoid illness or death.
This is especially true if the symptoms develop over the span of several hours or days. Without treatment, kidney failure is associated with a high risk of death.
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.
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Blood In Urine In Children
Children, like adults, may experience blood in the urine. Blood in urine or hematuria is a medical term describing a situation where blood or blood cells are in urine.
While hematuria is not common in children, it may happen based on numerous reasons. When you notice blood in your child’s urine, you should visit a doctor because it may signal more severe conditions.
There are numerous reasons for hematuria in children. Here are some common reasons for hematuria in children.
What Happens During A 24
A 24-hour urine collection may be done on an outpatient basis. This meansyou go home the same day. Or it may be done during a hospital stay.Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your healthcareprovider’s practices.
Generally, a 24-hour urine collection follows this process:
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Foamy Urine: Heres Why You Have Bubbles In Your Urine
Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health
Passing foamy urine every once in a while is usually nothing to worry about. There are a number of factors that can make your urine look foamy. For example, urine can foam up if your bladder is full and urine hits the water faster than usual. Or, the foam in the toilet after peeing could be a reaction to chemical residue left over from cleaning.
In some cases, persistent foamy urine could indicate that you have a kidney problem. The foamy bubbles in your urine could be caused by too much protein in your pee. In other cases, urine will tend to foam up if you are dehydrated, under a lot of stress, have diabetes, or suffer from cardiovascular disease.
Usually, foamy urine is nothing to worry about and the foam in your urine should only be a passing occurrence. However, if your urine continues to get foamy and you are drinking enough fluids, you should see your doctor.
In this article, I am going to look at the various reasons for having foamy urine. You will find out in more detail reasons that cause urine to bubble up and what you can do about it.
What Do The Results Mean
If a large amount of protein is found in your urine sample, it doesnât 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.
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What Color Is Urine When Your Kidneys Are Failing
When kidneys are failing, the increased concentration and accumulation of substances in urine lead to a darker color which may be brown, red or purple. The color change is due to abnormal protein or sugar, high levels of red and white blood cells, and high numbers of tube-shaped particles called cellular casts.
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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Protein In Urine Treatment
Proteinuria a sign of another illness. So treatment depends on figuring out what caused it. You might not need treatment if proteinuria is mild or lasts only a short time. But itâs crucial to treat kidney disease before it leads to kidney failure.
Your doctor might prescribe medication, especially if you have diabetes and/or high blood pressure. Most people will take one of two types of blood pressure medicine:
What Happens When The Body Is Under Stress
- Compressor urethrae
- Sphincter urethral vaginalis
These muscular structures help control the flow of urine through the urethra. There is a passive and active component to the contraction of the sphincters. The passive component involves transmitting intra-abdominal pressure to the urethra which mainly regulates the pressure at the neck of the bladder. The active component mainly controls the pressure distal to the bladder neck, which is important for urethral closure during stress conditions. The active component involves the reflexive contraction of external sphincter muscles. Thus, physical stress will increase the contraction via the pelvic stress reflex response which can lead to tightness and weakness of the pelvic floor muscles.
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How To Treat Proteinuria
Proteinuria is not a disease but rather a condition caused by another illness. As such, the treatment is mainly focused on resolving or managing the underlying cause.
For instance, the symptoms of acute kidney injuryâformerly known as acute kidney failureâwill usually clear once the underlying condition is treated. In most cases, the kidney function will return to normal with no permanent damage to the kidneys.
With chronic kidney disease , the focus is placed on improving the function of the kidneys to slow the progression of the disease. With respect to proteinuria, lifestyle measures will help control diabetes and high blood pressure as ways to slow progression of the disease.
In addition, medications like ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers help reduce urine protein levels.Statin drugs, used to reduce cholesterol, appear to have similar benefits in people with CKD.
Ending An Active Stress Response
When frequent urination is caused by inflammation, which in turn is caused or aggravated by not urinating regularly, urinating according to a schedule can prove helpful. Periodically clearing the bladder can help reduce and prevent UTIs and the inflammation associated with them.
When frequent urination is caused by anxiety and the accompanying stress response changes, calming yourself down will bring an end to the stress response and its changes. As your body recovers from the active stress response, this anxiety symptom should subside.
Keep in mind it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major stress response. But this is normal and shouldnt be a cause for concern.
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Testing For Protein In Urine
The only way to diagnose proteinuria is through a urine test, which measures the amount of protein in your urine.
The test takes place in a doctors office. During the procedure, you urinate into a specimen cup. The doctor places a dipstick, or a small plastic stick coated with chemicals, into the urine sample. If it has too much protein, the stick will change color.
The rest of the urine will be sent to a lab, where it will be examined under a microscope.
If the doctor thinks you have kidney concerns, theyll repeat the urine test three times in 3 months. This helps them rule out temporary causes of proteinuria.
A doctor might also use the following tests to determine whats causing your proteinuria:
- 24-hour urine protein test. In this test, the doctor collects multiple urine samples over 1 day and sends them to a lab.
What Happens When Kidney Disease Or Another Condition Is Suspected
If your healthcare provider suspects you have kidney disease, youll repeat a urine test three times over three months. If your urine samples test positive for the presence of proteins each time, you likely have a chronic disease. The earlier the diagnosis, the greater the chance your healthcare providers can slow kidney disease and stop it from progressing.
Additional tests may include:
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Question: What Is A Normal Level Of Protein In Urine
What Is The Normal Range For Protein In Urine
Urine testing is the most common way to monitor the progress of the disease and your response to treatment. Urine testing will show if you are losing protein in your urine.
Normal protein levels in urine range between 0 to 8 mg/dL. The average protein value in your urine is usually less than 150 mg for a 24-hour urine collection. This level may vary slightly from one lab to another. You can consult your doctor to know the results correctly.
What is a dangerous level of protein in urine? A dangerous level of protein in urine is one that is significantly higher than the normal range. This can be indicative of a number of serious medical conditions, such as kidney disease, and should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.
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What Does It Mean To Have Proteinuria In The Urine
Proteins, which help build muscle and bone, control blood fluid levels, fight infection, and repair tissue, should be kept in the circulation. If they are not, these functions become impaired. The body’s response to this problem is to remove more protein from the blood into the urine.
Renal impairment can cause protein to leak out of your blood vessels and into your urine. This can lead to severe kidney disease if left untreated. Proteinuria is also seen with many other conditions, such as:
High blood pressure – In people with hypertension, there is increased demand on the kidneys to filter salt and water from the blood. This high demand can lead to chronic injury and scarring of the kidney tissues, which may result in proteinuria.
Diabetes mellitus- People with diabetes often have high levels of glucose in their blood. To reduce blood glucose levels, they must pass more sodium and water through their kidneys. This increased demand can lead to proteinuria.
Heart failure- With heart failure, the heart cannot pump enough blood into the circulatory system. This leads to fluid buildup in the legs and lungs. The kidneys respond by trying to eliminate more fluid via the urine.
Signs Your Kidneys Could Be In Danger
20th July 2020
The following blog post was written by our guest editor, Jenny Hart, who is a Health and Wellness Writer with a focus on ageing and travel. She has also obtained a Bachelors Degree in Health Administration from Monroe College-New Rochelle.
The kidneys act as the bodys primary filtration system. Blood flows into the kidneys, where it is filtered and cleansed of excess fluids and waste products. After the blood is filtered, it returns to the bloodstream, while the toxins are passed out of the body through urine.
If there is too much waste in the blood from poor diet, pre-existing kidney damage, diabetes or for any other reason, the kidneys likely cant filter it out efficiently. This can cause even more damage. Eventually, untreated kidney damage can develop into more serious conditions like chronic kidney disease . If your physical health begins to impact your daily life, it may be time to talk to your doctor about how to prevent or treat health concerns, such as kidney failure.
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