How Do I Take Care Of Myself
The best way to take care of yourself is to take your medications as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Other ways to help take care of yourself include:
- Eating less protein.
- Limiting your salt intake, which can lower your blood pressure.
- Eating more fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol and control blood sugar.
- Exercising or moving regularly. Aim for at least two hours of activity every week.
- Regularly checking your blood sugar.
- Quitting smoking and tobacco use.
- Avoiding nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs unless recommended by your healthcare provider. The most common NSAIDs include aspirin , ibuprofen and naproxen .
What Causes Protein In The Urine During Pregnancy
Your kidneys are hard at work during pregnancy . They filter the waste products in your blood all while keeping things, like proteins, that your body needs to thrive. After being filtered, the waste is released into your urine.
If protein makes its way to the urine, thats usually because something isnt functioning quite right in the kidneys.
Outside of pregnancy, protein in the urine may be temporarily elevated due to:
- emotional or physical stress
- exposure to extreme temperatures
But there are other situations where protein in the urine may be a sign of something more.
Before 20 weeks of pregnancy, proteinuria is sometimes referred to as chronic proteinuria.
It may be due to underlying issues with the kidneys or other health conditions that arent necessarily related to your pregnancy, like heart disease. Infections may also elevate the protein levels in your urine and require medical attention.
After 20 weeks, on the other hand, doctors look more closely at protein as a possible indicator of preeclampsia. This condition is marked by high blood pressure and may cause damage to organs, particularly the liver and kidneys.
HELLP syndrome is a similar, yet more severe form of preeclampsia that may develop along with preeclampsia or all on its own.
Without treatment, both conditions may lead to serious complications for both you and baby.
150 milligrams/day pre-pregnancy to up to 300 mg/d during pregnancy.
Other risk factors:
How The Test Is Performed
After you provide a urine sample, it is tested. The health care provider uses a dipstick made with a color-sensitive pad. The color on the dipstick tells the provider the level of protein in your urine.
If needed, your provider may ask you to collect your urine at home over 24 hours. Your provider will tell you how to do this. Follow instructions exactly so that the results are accurate.
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What Else Causes Protein In Urine
Proteinuria causes are linked to other conditions. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of chronic kidney disease , and kidney damage from those two conditions can result in proteinuria. Lupus, arthritis and other immune system disorders can also cause proteinuria. Protein in the urine can even be a warning sign of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
How Do You Prepare For The Test
Its important that your doctor knows all the medications youre currently taking, including over-the-counter and prescription medications. Certain medications can affect the level of protein in your urine, so your doctor may ask you to stop taking a medication or to change your dose before the test.
Medications that affect protein levels in the urine include:
- antibiotics, such as aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, and penicillins
- antifungal medications, such as amphotericin-B and griseofulvin
- penicillamine , a medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis
Its important that youre well-hydrated before giving your urine sample. This makes giving the urine sample easier and prevents dehydration, which can affect test results.
Avoid strenuous exercise before your test, as this can also affect the amount of protein in your urine. You should also wait to take a urine protein test at least three days after taking a radioactive test that used contrast dye. The contrast dye used in the test is secreted in your urine and can affect results.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Pediatric Proteinuria
Your child may have no symptoms while in the earliest stages of proteinuria. As large amounts of protein move from the blood to the urine and out of the body, the following signs and symptoms may occur and may indicate progression of kidney disease.
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling , especially around the eyes and in the hands, feet, and belly
- Urine that appears to be foamy or bubbly because of large amounts of protein
How Long Can Dogs Live With Proteinuria
Those dogs with severe proteinuria, particularly those with azotemia and/or nephrotic syndrome, have a more guarded prognosis, with a median survival of < 60 days in one study. As always, early recognition of disease and intervention as appropriate may help to maximize quantity and quality of life for these patients.
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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.
Recovery And Management Of Proteinuria In Cats
Most cats with proteinuria caused by acute inflammation or bleeding have an excellent chance of recovering. While they are at risk for recurring urinary issues in the future, they often recover completely with therapy.
Cats with renal disease are often placed on a lifelong prescription diet with low protein and phosphorus. Sometimes, your vet may also prescribe probiotics or kidney supplements . It is important to discuss any supplements with your veterinarian before giving them to your cat.
Subcutaneous fluid administration at home can be helpful in maintaining hydration levels, providing electrolyte support, and flushing the kidneys. Your veterinarian can educate you on how to perform this therapy at home, including which types of fluids to use, how much to administer, and how frequently to do it.
In cases of urinary tract neoplasia, or cancer, surgery and chemotherapy are often used to achieve remission and improve quality of life. Unfortunately, most types of cancers in the urinary tract are aggressive, and even with treatment, they are not usually cured.
Chronic kidney disease is usually monitored closely with frequent visits to the vet for examination, weight checks, blood work, urinalysis, and urine protein creatinine ratio and blood pressure testing to help track any improvement and monitor the disease.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Protein In Urine
When a person first begins to have kidney problems, they may not notice any symptoms. This is why a urine test can be essential to detect protein in the urine, which may indicate early signs of kidney disease.
In addition to proteinuria, symptoms of kidney disease can include:
- Foamy or frothy urine
- Trouble concentrating
If you are pregnant, protein in urine can also be a sign of preeclampsia, a very dangerous condition that can cause high blood pressure and lead to hospitalization. Additional signs of preeclampsia can include headaches, vision changes, abdominal pain, nausea, decreased urine output, and shortness of breath.
What Does It Mean If I Have Protein In My Urine
- Severe headache.
- Problems with vision, such as blurring or flashing before your eyes.
- Severe pain just below your ribs.
- Sudden swelling of your face, hands or feet.
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When Is It Ordered
A dipstick urine protein is measured frequently as a screening test whenever a urinalysis is performed. This may be done as part of a routine physical, a pregnancy workup, when a urinary tract infection is suspected, as part of a hospital admission, or whenever a healthcare practitioner wants to evaluate kidney function. Repeat testing may also be done when a previous dipstick has been positive for protein to see if the protein persists.
Specifically for monitoring people with possible kidney dysfunction, the National Kidney Foundation has established a 5-step plan for chronic kidney disease evaluation and referral using random urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio , rather than random UPCR, to screen for and determine the prognosis of CKD, for urine protein is more difficult to standardize.
A 24-hour urine protein may be ordered as a follow-up test, especially in pregnant women with a high pre-screen risk of preeclampsia, when the dipstick test shows that there is a large quantity of protein present in the urine or when protein is shown to be persistently present.
Since the dipstick primarily measures albumin, the health care practitioner may order a 24-hour urine protein test even when there is little protein detected on the dipstick if the practitioner suspects that there may be proteins other than albumin being released.
How Serious Is Proteinuria
However, if you have proteinuria, you may notice urine that appears frothy, or you may experience swelling in the body . Proteinuria is usually detected during a simple urine analysis. Proteinuria is a serious medical condition. Left untreated, proteinuria may lead to serious or life-threatening conditions.
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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
Is There Anything Else I Should Know
A 24-hour urine sample gives the protein elimination rate over 24 hours. It will be accurate only if all of the urine is collected. The protein to creatinine ratio is more of a snapshot of how much protein is in the urine at the time the sample is collected. If it is elevated, then protein is present if it is negative, the amounts or the type of protein released in urine may not be detectable at that time.
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What Can Be Done If The Urinalysis Reveals Proteinuria With Signs Of Bleeding And Inflammation
If the urinalysis reveals inflammation or bleeding, your veterinarian may recommend further testing to look for conditions such as bacterial infection, bladder stones, prostatic disease , vaginitis , and cancer, etc. Following treatment, a repeat urinalysis is recommended to determine if the inflammation, bleeding, and proteinuria have disappeared.
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Diabetes and hypertension are the top causes of kidney disease, so if you have these conditions, your treatment will include getting these under control. For diabetics, this can include managing blood sugar, taking medication, eating healthy, and exercising.
For people with hypertension, doctors may recommend medication as well as diet and lifestyle changes. People with hypertension and proteinuria are also advised that they should keep their blood pressure below 130/80 millimeters of mercury .
People with diabetes and kidney disease or hypertension and kidney disease are often prescribed medications, including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers . These medications may also be prescribed to people with kidney disease who do not have diabetes or hypertension.
If kidney damage is permanent, patients may also require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
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What Accompanying Symptoms Are Particularly Worrisome
There are additional signs youll want to watch that indicate the cause of protein in your urine may be more serious.
Symptoms of preeclampsia include:
- shortness of breath
- lowered urine output
And while its normal to gain weight during pregnancy, be sure to alert your doctor if you experience sudden weight gain. A gain of more than a few pounds in a week or significant swelling in the hands or face are other potential warning signs.
Treatment For Proteinuria In Cats
Once your vet figures out what is causing your cats proteinuria, they will prescribe the best course of treatment. Treatments vary depending on the cause.
Urinary tract infections are often treated with antibiotics and have an excellent chance of recovery.
Inflammation of the bladder without infection is typically treated with anti-inflammatories and pain medications.
Bladder crystals can be treated with diet changes and increased water intake.
Bladder stones are usually dissolved via diet change or are surgically removed from the bladder via a procedure termed cystotomy.
Polyps in the bladder often can be surgically removed via bladder surgery or cystoscopy.
Treating and controlling diseases such as hypertension, hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis, and diabetes may reduce lessen or even resolve proteinuria in cats.
Kidney disease or kidney failure treatment depends on the severity of the disease.
The goal of therapy in cats with kidney disease is to decrease the proteinuria by more than 90%, which may not be possible if the disease is severe.
Treatment may include only a diet change to a low-protein, low-phosphorus diet in the early stages of kidney disease. As the disease progresses, fluid may be administered under the skin. You can be educated on how to perform this therapy at home.
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How Does The Test Work
In the past, checking protein levels in urine was done with an in-office dipstick test. But that test wasn’t sensitive enough, as it couldn’t tell you exactly how much protein was there, just a range from low to high. It was also vulnerable to the daily fluctuations in your protein levels.
Today, Dr. Abernathy says that when she has concerns about a patient’s blood pressure, she prefers to test the ratio of protein-to-creatinine in their urine, and also conduct blood tests to check their liver function. If the protein-to-creatinine ratio comes back high, then she turns to the gold standard: a 24-hour urine collection test.
What Causes Protein In The Urine
Healthy kidneys remove extra fluid and waste from your blood and transform it into urine. Healthy kidneys do not remove proteins and other important nutrients, which pass through and return to your blood. But when your kidneys are damaged, they may let this protein leak into your urine. This causes high levels of protein in your urine.
Anyone can have protein in their urine. You may be more likely to have protein in your urine if you have one or more of the risk factors for kidney disease. There are health problems that can cause long-lasting protein in the urine, and some that can cause short-term protein in the urine.
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Foamy Urine As A Sign Of Proteinuria
While foamy or frothy urine can be a sign of proteinuria, other factors can cause urine to be foamy on occasion. The foaminess should be persistent over time before considering other causes, like decreased kidney function.
If the kidneys have sustained only mild damage, proteinuria may be minimal to moderate, depending upon where in the kidney the damage has occurred. On the other hand, if the loss of kidney function is severe, proteinuria may be a contributor to nephrotic syndrome in which fluids and dyslipidemia present a more serious condition.
Symptoms of nephrotic syndrome include:
What If Proteinuria Is Present Without Inflammation Or Bleeding
If proteinuria is present and there is no sign of inflammation or bleeding, then serious kidney disease may exist. The best test to determine the severity of the problem is the urine protein:creatinine ratio . A protein:creatinine ratio that remains persistently high is a reliable indicator of serious kidney disease and possibly kidney failure. Further investigation is recommended and could include doing blood tests to assess kidney function, testing for bacterial infection or infectious disease, performing an ultrasound of the kidneys and possibly doing a kidney biopsy. Once a diagnosis has been made, effective management of the problem may be possible.
|Contributors: Malcolm Weir, DVM, MSc, MPH Kristiina Ruotsalo, DVM, DVSc, Dip ACVP Margo S. Tant BSc, DVM, DVSc
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How Is Protein In Urine Diagnosed
Testing for protein in urine is typically done via a test called a urinalysis. This simple urine test can detect protein levels in the urine and can be conducted in a doctors office. After your urine sample is collected, it is tested with a dipstick. When your urine has large amounts of protein, the strip of paper will change color. Technicians may also examine the sample via microscope.
If a urinalysis detects protein in the urine, your doctor will likely order an additional urine test or tests to determine if you have kidney disease. Your doctor may also conduct blood tests to measure your glomerular filtration rate , which can tell them how well your kidneys are filtering out waste, as well as other blood tests if needed to help identify the cause of the proteinuria. Additional tests may include an ultrasound, CT scan, or kidney biopsy.
When your urine is tested for protein, the test compares the amounts of albumin and creatinine, an amino acid, in your urine. A urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio higher than 30 milligrams per gram observed more than twice over a three-month period may indicate kidney disease.
If you get an abnormal result that detects protein in the urine, your doctor will also probably want to check your cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and blood pressure to determine what conditions might be contributing to proteinuria.