What Does The Test Result Mean
A negative test result means that there is no detectable amount of protein in the urine at the time of testing.
Protein detected in a random urine sample may be temporary due to an infection, medication, vigorous exercise, pregnancy, diet, cold exposure, or emotional or physical stress. Testing should be repeated after these conditions have resolved.
Protein in the urine can also be a warning sign of a serious condition and usually warrants further investigation. Typically, three positive urine samples over a period of time without other significant symptoms will often be followed up with additional tests, including a 24-hour urine.
Persistent and/or an increased amount of protein in the urine may indicate kidney damage or disease. With kidney disease, the amount of protein present is generally associated with the severity of the damage. Increasing amounts of protein over time indicate increasing damage and decreasing kidney function. The most common cause of protein in the urine is kidney damage resulting from:
- Diabetes proteinuria is one of the first signs of deteriorating kidney function in people with type 1 and 2 diabetes.
- High blood pressure proteinuria in someone with high blood pressure is also a first sign of declining kidney function.
Proteinuria may also be seen with many other diseases and conditions. A healthcare practitioner may order other tests and take into account those results to help determine the cause. Some examples of these causes include:
The Best And Worse Foods To Eat In A Type 2 Diabetes Diet
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.
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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What Are The Complications Of Nephrotic Syndrome
When you have nephrotic syndrome, an important protein called albumin leaks into your urine instead of getting filtered by the kidneys as it should. Albumin helps your body get rid of extra fluid. When you do not have enough albumin in your blood, fluid can build up in your body, causing swelling in your legs, feet and ankles. You can also have other problems such as blood clots and infections.
With nephrotic syndrome, cholesterol also builds up in your blood. When you have too much cholesterol in your blood, clumps form inside your veins and arteries, which can cause a heart attack or a stroke.
Nephrotic syndrome can also cause other serious health problems such as:
What Causes Nephrotic Syndrome
Nephrotic syndrome happens when you have a disease that damages the filters in your kidneys causes them to not work as they should. There are primary and secondary causes of nephrotic syndrome.
Primary causes of nephrotic syndrome are diseases that affect only the kidneys.
The most common primary cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults is a disease called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis . The only way to know for sure whether you have FSGS is to get a kidney biopsy. Even when treated, most people with FSGS will eventually develop kidney failure and will need to start dialysis or have a kidney transplant to live. After transplant, there is still a chance that FSGS will return and that you may lose your new kidney.
In children, the most common primary cause of nephrotic syndrome is minimal change disease.
Secondary causes of nephrotic syndrome are diseases that affect the whole body, including the kidneys.
Most of the time, nephrotic syndrome happens because of secondary causes. The most common secondary cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults is diabetes.
The most common secondary cause of nephrotic syndrome in children is diabetes.
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Talk To Your Social Worker
Social workers can provide strategies to help you manage the challenges you are facing in your life. If your dialysis clinic has a social worker, they are the person you can turn to when you are struggling with mental health. Social workers are trained to connect you with the proper resources in your area. They are there to help you. Social workers also help communicate your mental health needs with your doctor.
Urine Protein Spot Test For Urine Protein Microalbuminuria
- A random urine sample can be used.
Types of proteinuria
Kidney role in the urine protein excretion
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How Do Doctors Treat Diabetes
The goal of treatment is to control your blood sugar and keep it in a healthy range. Doctors treat diabetes with medicines and a diabetes eating plan:
- For type 1 diabetes, insulin shots are the main treatment. They replace the hormone your body is not able to make.
- For type 2 diabetes, doctors use different medicines. These medicines work to lower your blood sugar. Sometimes is it possible to reverse type 2 diabetes by losing weight.
- For both types, to control your blood sugar, doctors and dietitians help you create and follow a diabetes eating plan and be active.
To know if your treatment is working, you will need to have tests to check your blood sugar often.
Which Circumstances May Interfere With The Results
The protein urine test may cause false-positive readings in case of:
- Highly pigmented urine
- Contamination of the sample with detergents
- Contamination of the sample with antiseptics
- High specific gravity
The protein urine test may cause false-negative readings in case of a high presence of proteins different of albumin, as previously mentioned, or in case of microalbuminuria.
Medically reviewed by our Medical staff on 30-11-2021
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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 .
How Does Diabetes Cause Kidney Disease
High blood sugar from diabetes damages the group of tiny blood vessels in your kidneys called glomeruli. These blood vessels clean your blood. When the glomeruli are damaged, they cannot filter out waste from your blood. Over time, this causes kidney disease. Kidney disease caused by diabetes is also called diabetic kidney disease or diabetic nephropathy.
If you have diabetes, you are more likely to get kidney disease if you:
- Have had diabetes for a long time
- Often have high blood sugar levels
- Have high blood pressure or heart disease
- Have a family history of kidney disease
- Do not follow your diabetes eating plan every day, exactly as it says
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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.
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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Why You Should Get Help For Mental Health
When you are having trouble coping with difficult situations, you may not seek help. Why is this? If you are physically injured, you will see a doctor for help. But why is it difficult to seek help from a professional when you are having trouble with your mental health?Attitudes and beliefs about mental health differ across cultures. Some of these attitudes and beliefs can be negative and lead to stigma. Stigma is when a person is labeled by their illness and are no longer seen as an individual but as part of a stereotyped group. Negative attitudes and beliefs toward this group create prejudice. This may lead to negative actions and discrimination.Stigma around mental health can make you feel bad about yourself and prevent you from getting the help you need to feel better. Here are some common reasons you may not ask for help when you are struggling with your mental health:
- It is hard to admit you cannot handle this on your own
- You think you are being a bother
- You feel weak and that you should be able to tough it out
- You believe the problem will eventually just go away on its own
- You believe this is just the way it is and there is nothing that can be done about it
- You believe mental health professionals are for crazy people
- You do not realize you are having a problem
- You do not know where to go for help
- Getting help from a professional costs too much
- No transportation to get to appointments
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Is There A Way To Prevent Protein In The Urine During Pregnancy
Since protein in the urine in early pregnancy is associated with preexisting conditions, some of which are genetic, you cant necessarily do anything for prevention. Theres no current evidence to suggest anything clear-cut that will prevent preeclampsia.
However, its always a good idea to take certain preventative measures before becoming pregnant, especially if you have preexisting conditions. Check in with your doctor about what a healthy weight is for you, try to maintain a diet with plenty of lean protein and vegetables, and make sure your blood pressure is well managed.
And if youre already pregnant, doctors do suggest a couple of methods to potentially lower your risk of developing preeclampsia:
- Taking low-dose aspirin if you have a history of preeclampsia, pregnancy with multiples, chronic high blood pressure, or other health issues, like kidney disease or diabetes. The recommended dosage is 81 milligrams starting at week 12 in pregnancy. However, since aspirin is available over-the-counter, we do need to add: Dont do this without your doctors guidance.
- Taking calcium supplements if you have a calcium deficiency may also prevent preeclampsia. However, its rare in developed countries to have a deficiency severe enough for this method to provide a notable benefit.
Remember: If this is your first pregnancy, youre at a higher risk of developing preeclampsia. And you may be more likely to experience this complication if you had it in a previous pregnancy.
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Advice From Patients And Professionals
Elle Lee, LCSW began her career as a licensed therapist after experiencing kidney failure from IgA Nephropathy in 2009. While on peritoneal dialysis, she experienced worries, stress, and emotional struggles that are common among people with kidney failure, which motivated her to become a therapist to help people cope better.
Elle joins AKF to share tips on how people living with kidney disease can better safeguard their mental health.
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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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Whats Wrong With Having Albumin In My Urine
One of the main jobs of your kidneys is to filter your blood. Your kidneys 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 kidneys are healthy, you should have very little protein in your urine or even none. But if your kidneys are damaged, protein can leak out of the kidneys into your urine.
Can I Lower My Protein Levels
There’s no real way to reduce levels of protein in urine while pregnant, says Dr. Abernathy, and the protein itself is an issue in and of itselfit’s a symptom of potential problems. That is to say that it is not something that is treated directly. Your health care provider is more likely to keep an eye on your levels and consider delivering the baby earlier if preeclampsia occurs. If your provider suspects that your protein increase is not pregnancy related, they may monitor you after delivery.
It’s important to remember that preeclampsia is a fairly random occurrence. There’s not much a pregnant person can really do to prevent the condition itself. “So many people who have preeclampsia are just prone to developing hypertension, and they’re going to have high blood pressure issues when they’re older,” admits Dr. Abernathy.
If you have a history of high blood pressure, your provider might recommend taking a baby aspirin, which has been shown to be beneficial for people at risk for developing preeclampsia. Otherwise, they will routinely screen for it throughout your pregnancy.
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