When To Seek Medical Attention
If you suspect that something is off, it’s important to talk with your healthcare provider sooner rather than later. There are many signs and symptoms to be aware of if you have protein in your urine during pregnancy, says Dr. Wetter. Most of these signs and symptoms are associated with preeclampsia as this diagnosis is generally what we are most concerned about developing.
Signs of preeclampsia to look for include elevated blood pressure detected at home or at your healthcare providers office, sudden weight gain, swelling in your extremities or face, nausea or vomiting, vision changes, upper right adnominal pain, and severe headaches.
Many times, patients have related to me that they just started feeling off without a specific symptom, therefore I implore women to listen to their bodies and if they feel something is wrong, to call their healthcare provider, Dr. Wetter advises.
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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.
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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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 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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What Causes Proteinuria In Children
Sometimes infection or chemicals damage the kidneys. This affects how well the kidneys work. If your child has an infection, his or her proteinuria will go away once the infection is treated.
Protein in the urine also can be associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Tell your doctor if your child has been excessively thirsty, hungry, unintentionally lost weight, or has fruity-smelling breath. These can be signs of type 1 diabetes.
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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When To Get Tested
As part of a routine physical, often as part of a urinalysis urine total protein and urine protein to creatinine ratio have traditionally been used as important indicators of kidney disease and as a follow-up testing for monitoring the disease. However, albumin to creatinine ratio is now the preferred testing for these purposes.
UPCR should still be requested to identify preeclampsia in pregnant women and where the excess urine total protein is suspected to be other than albumin.
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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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.
What Is The Difference Between Micro
Albumin is a type of protein found in large amounts in the blood. Because it is a small molecule in size, it is one of the first proteins able to pass through the kidneys into the urine when there are kidney problems. This presence of small amounts of albumin in the urine is the condition called micro-albuminuria. It is important to note that some physiologic conditions may cause micro-albuminuria, such as an episode of exercising. If your urine micro-albumin is elevated, it would be worth repeating after a day or two of no exercising.
As kidney damage progresses and the amount of albumin in the urine increases, the name of the condition changes from micro-albuminuria to macro-albuminuria or proteinuria.
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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|
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.
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Why Is Finding Protein In My Pets Urine A Cause For Concern
Protein is a precious resource for the body, and the kidneys have an important role to prevent it from being lost in the urine. The presence of protein in urine is called proteinuria, and it may indicate that the kidneys are not working properly. In some situations, it may even be a sign of kidney failure.
Causes Of Protein In Urine During Pregnancy
Having protein in your urine during pregnancy has several different causes depending on whether you’re in early pregnancy or later on in pregnancy . For instance, protein in during early pregnancy could be the result of an underlying condition like diabetes, lupus, or kidney disease. Meanwhile, protein in your urine later in pregnancy could be a symptom of preeclampsia and should be addressed by a healthcare provider right away. Read on to learn more about protein in urine during pregnancy and what you should do.
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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.
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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Protein In Urine Normal Range
The protein in urine normal range is calculated in milligrams per deciliter. Protein in urine normal range is set at 20 mg/dL as the upper limit. The sample for urinalysis is collected randomly or at a time agreed on with your doctor. For better diagnostics, a doctor may order samples to be collected over a period of a day for the 24-hour proteinuria test. The 24 hour urine protein normal range is 80mg/dl in the lower limit.
From random samples and simple testing, it is possible to tell if there are proteins in urine. Though it does not give accurate measurements of the levels of each protein type, the protein in urine 1+ reporting system for proteinuria tests is still in wide use.
There are two tests for identifying proteinuria. They are the 24-hour urine test and the Spot urinalysis. One collects samples over a period of 24 hours while the other utilizes a randomly collected sample. If a randomly collected sample shows a problem with the levels of protein in your urine, your doctor may want you to have the 24-hour urine test.
Results from testing for proteinuria are classified into 24-hour urine analysis results and spot urine results. A further reading centred on the ration of albumin to creatinine is made from analyzing your urine in the laboratory. The 24 hour urine protein creatinine ratio must not exceed 0.15.
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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What Are The Treatments For Proteinuria
Treatment for proteinuria focuses on addressing the underlying cause. Treating the condition causing proteinuria may reduce the levels of protein in your urine.
Your doctor may also prescribe medication specifically to reduce the levels of protein in your urine. This can include:
- angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors
- angiotensin receptor blockers
- calcium channel blockers
You may also require diuretics for moderate to severe proteinuria. This will help your body remove excess fluid and salt.
Your doctor will be able to advise what treatments they recommend for your specific condition.
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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Are There Tests To Diagnose The Cause Of Proteinuria
Proteinuria itself can be diagnosed with a simple dipstick test. This involves dipping a specially treated paper strip into a sample of urine. Results are returned within one to two minutes.
To measure the exact amount of protein excreted in the urine, your healthcare provider may recommend a 24-hour urine collection test. By evaluating the composition of urine collected over 24 hours , the lab can calculate how much protein is passed each day.