How To Prepare For The Test
Your provider will tell you, if needed, to stop taking any medicines that may interfere with the test results.
A number of medicines can change the test results. Make sure your provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking.
The following may also affect test results:
- A lack of fluid
- Any type of x-ray exam with dye within 3 days before the urine test
- Severe emotional stress
The Main Protein Of Your Blood Is Called Albumin Proteins Have Many Important Functions In The Body Such As Contributing To The Construction Of Bones And Muscles Preventing Infection And Control The Amount Of Liquid In The Blood
Each normal kidney has around one million functioning units called nephrons. Each nephron has a filtering unit called glomerulus, in which the blood gets filtered, and a filtrate is produced. Nephron also has tube like parts called tubules which absorb and secrete urinary components from the filtrate and ultimately urine is produced which is excreted.Protein in the urine called proteinuria is one of the important signs of kidney disease.
Healthy kidneys eliminate excess liquid and waste from your food, but allow proteins and other important nutrients to pass and return to your bloodstream. When the kidneys work as well as they should, they can leave some proteins escape their filters in the urine. When you have protein in your urine, it is called proteinuria . Having a protein in your urine can be a sign of nephrotic syndrome or early development of renal disease.
Anyone can develop proteinuria. You may have a higher risk if you have one or more of the risk factors for renal disease, such as:
- Family history of renal disease
Measuring The Amount Of Protein
The dipstick urine test will show if there is any protein in the urine, but it does not give an accurate measurement.
The following tests are done in a laboratory.
- The urine protein:creatinine ratio compares the amounts of protein and creatinine in the urine. Creatinine is made all the time by muscles and normally removed by the kidneys in urine.
- The albumin:creatinine ratio compares the amounts of albumin and creatinine in the urine.
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How Will I Know If I Have Protein In My Urine
The only way to know if you have protein in your urine is to have a urine test. The test will measure the levels of protein in your urine.
The name of the urine test that measures the level of albumin in your urine is called the urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio . A UACR compares the level of albumin to the level of creatinine . A normal UACR is less than 30mg/g. If your UACR is 30 mg/g or higher, it can be a sign of kidney disease, and you should ask your doctor if you should have other tests of kidney disease.
Why Your Doctor May Test For High Protein In Urine
Proteinuria, or protein in the urine, occurs when your kidneys arent functioning normally, allowing protein to leave your body through your urine. Kidneys with normal function filter toxins out of the blood, while keeping nutrients like protein circulating. Having too much protein in your urine can mean that your kidneys are filtering too much protein out of your bloodprotein that your body needs to build muscles and maintain strong bones.
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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.
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.
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Diet Tips To Lower Your Protein Levels In Urine
Urine is one of the primary ways your body gets rid of things it doesn’t need. However, urine shouldn’t contain high levels of protein. Too much protein in urine, a condition called proteinuria, is a sign of kidney damage. The good news is, you can help reduce the amount of protein in your urine with some changes to your diet.
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Is Protein In Urine Serious
Yes, protein in your urine is serious. Proteinuria may increase your risk of death from heart disease and cardiovascular disease.
Occasionally, proteinuria is an early sign of chronic kidney disease , although you can have CKD and have normal levels of protein in your urine. CKD is a gradual loss of your kidney functions, which may eventually require a kidney replacement therapy, dialysis or kidney transplant. Diabetes and high blood pressure pressure can damage your kidneys. Theyre the two most common causes of kidney disease.
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How Do You Treat Proteinuria
Proteinuria treatment depends on its cause. Each cause requires different treatments.
If kidney disease causes proteinuria, your treatment plan may include medication, diet changes and exercise. Your healthcare provider may prescribe blood pressure medication if you have high blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, you should schedule annual urine tests and blood pressure checks.
If you have diabetes, you may need to control your blood sugar. You should also receive GFR blood tests every year.
Pregnant people with a history of preeclampsia should schedule regular checkups with their healthcare provider. Though preeclampsia is a serious condition, it typically goes away days to weeks after your baby is born.
If you have proteinuria but dont have diabetes, high blood pressure or any other medical condition, your healthcare provider may prescribe blood pressure medication to help prevent kidney damage. Its a good idea to have your blood pressure checked and urine tested every six months to ensure you dont have kidney disease.
If you have mild or temporary proteinuria, you may not need treatment.
How Often Do I Need To Have A Test For Albuminuria
People who are at increased risk for kidney disease should have this test as part of routine checkups by a healthcare provider. Those at increased risk include:
People with diabetes
People with high blood pressure
People with a family history of kidney failure
People who are 65 years or older
Certain ethnic groups including African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians
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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 Are The Causes Of Pediatric Proteinuria
One of the functions of protein in the blood is to help balance the bodys fluid levels. When protein spills into the urine, it causes fluid to leak into the bodys tissues, which results in swelling.
Although proteinuria is often harmless and may result from stress, fever or exercise, it also can be a sign of a serious underlying kidney disease or a disease that started in another part of your childs body. Proteinuria also may be a sign of another condition, nephrotic syndrome, which may indicate an underlying kidney disease.The most common risk factors for proteinuria are diabetes and hypertension, or high blood pressure. Both of these diseases can cause kidney damage and proteinuria.
Risk factors include:
- Family history of kidney disease
- Kidney damage or disease
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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.
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.
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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.
What Is The Treatment For Proteinuria
If you are diagnosed with kidney disease or your kidney functioning is declining, you will be referred by your doctor to a nephrologist, a doctor specializing in diseases of the kidneys. He or she will recommend treatment, which can include medication and changes in your diet and lifestyle. Treatment is tailored depending on what medical conditions are contributing to proteinuria.
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Is Protein Normally Found In Urine
If we take a normal kidney, around 180 liters of filtrate in produced from plasma in a whole day. The amount of plasma filtered to produce 180 Liters of filtrate has around 10 kg of protein. However, only 0.01% or 1 gram of protein passes into the filtrate at the glomerulus. This is because of the filtration barrier inside the glomerulus, which restricts passage of large molecules like albumin in the urine and allows the passage of water and small solvents. Because of the filtration barrier, only small amounts of albumin is passed in the urine. Small molecules called low molecular weight proteins easily pass the filtration barrier into the filtrate. The filtered load of these small molecules is less and ultimately are excreted in even lesser amounts because the LMW proteins are again reabsorbed by kidney tubules. There are also small amounts of proteins in the urine which are not filtered but directly secreted into the urine in the kidney .
Tips To Get Rid Of Protein In Urine
In addition to using the right medications, how to get rid of protein in the urine is by following some tips, such as:
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in fat and low in salt .
- Limit protein intake.
- Reduce the amount of fluids you drink.
- Do not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as: ibuprofen and naproxen, except after consulting a doctor.
- Consult your physician before taking any nutritional supplement or herbal.
- Excess weight loss.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- How do you know I have proteinuria?
- What condition caused me to develop proteinuria?
- What tests do you recommend?
- Do I have mild or temporary proteinuria?
- What medications or treatments do you recommend?
- Should I make any changes to my diet or lifestyle?
- If I dont have proteinuria, what other condition might I have?
What To Do Next If Protein Is Found In Urine
If protein is found on complete urine examination it needs to be reconfirmed by repeat testing. If there is persistent proteinuria found on complete urine examination and transient causes of protein excretion ruled out, then the amount of protein in the urine needs to be quantified and nephrologist consultation to be done for further evaluation and management.
Next steps in the management includes urine examination and microscopy to check for red blood cells in urine and estimation of kidney function along with ultrasound of kidneys and urinary bladder to look for their size and evidence of any infection or stones. Based on the information obtained after the above testing and clinical examination, kidney biopsy may be required for further identification of specific cause of proteinuria, which will guide the treatment further.
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Causes Of Protein In The Urine
Your kidneys, when working properly, filter waste products from your blood. They return protein and other materials that your body needs to function.
Some conditions and diseases can cause the level ofprotein in your urine to rise. Short term conditions that cause protein in the urine can include strenuous exercise, fever, heat or cold exposure and emotional distress. Long term conditions and diseases that can lead to protein in the urine include high blood pressure, kidney infection or disease, heart disease, diabetes, lupus and malaria.If a urine test reveals protein in your urine, your doctor may recommendfurther testing to determine the cause. Test may include a 24-hour urine collection to determine whether the protein in your urine is cause for concern. Your doctor may also follow up with an ultrasound or CT scan to look for issues like kidney stones or a biopsy to see what has caused damage to your kidneys.
What Can You Take To Decrease Protein In Your Urine
What can you take to decrease protein in your urine? There are few natural remedies are discussed below that reduce the amount of protein in urine: Include a lot of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Prefer lean meat than red meat Include fish in the diets Restrict the consumption of salt Restrict the consumption of fats Drink water than carbonated drinks. Indulge in physical activity for half an hour in a day Restrict the consumption of alcohol
What causes elevated protein levels in urine? Causes. Some temporary causes for the presence of protein in the urine include fever and heat exposure. Conditions that cause persistently elevated protein levels in the urine include kidney infections, chronic renal failure, glomerulonephritis an inflammation of the glomeruli and high blood pressure.
How do I get rid of protein in my urine? Urine is a protein stain and fresh protein stains can be removed by soaking and agitating or rubbing the stain in cold water before washing. Never use hot water because it cooks the protein, making the stain harder to remove.
Is protein in urine always a bad thing? Protein in the urine is not just another consequence of CKD, it directly makes kidney disease worse. It leads to further kidney damage, which leads to even more protein in the urine. It might start off as an effect, but it soon becomes the cause as well. Protein is not just a sign of the problem, it is the problem.
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