Protein In Urine Symptoms
Most people who have proteinuria wonât notice any signs, especially in early or mild cases. Over time, as it gets worse, you might have symptoms including:
- Foamy or bubbly pee
- A family history of kidney disease
- African American, Native American, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander descent
Some people get more protein into their urine while standing than while lying down. This condition is called orthostatic proteinuria.
What Are The Complications Of Having Nephrotic Syndrome
Nephrotic syndrome can lead to serious complications, including2
- blood clots that can lead to thrombosis
- higher risk of infection caused by the loss of immunoglobulins, proteins in your blood that help fight viruses and bacteria
- brief or long-lasting kidney problems, including chronic kidney disease and kidney failure
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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Symptoms Of Protein In Urine
Proteinuria does not have many symptoms, and in the early stages you might experience none at all. As the amount of protein being excreted rises, however, your urine can begin to appear excessively foamy in the toilet. The reduced level of proteins in the body can also affect how water is retained and may result in edema of the hands, feet, abdomen, and/or face. Any other symptoms that may develop alongside proteinuria will depend on the underlying cause.
Incidentally, there is a variant to proteinuria known as orthostatic proteinuria, which is when the protein in the urine only goes when you are standing. This distinction can sometimes matter when it comes to narrowing down a final diagnosis.
When To See A Doctor
If a urine test reveals protein in your urine, ask your doctor whether you need further testing. Because protein in urine can be temporary, your doctor might recommend a repeat test first thing in the morning or a few days later.
Your doctor might order other tests, such as a 24-hour urine collection, to determine if there is a cause for concern.
If you have diabetes, your doctor may check for small amounts of protein in urine also known as microalbuminuria once or twice each year. Newly developing or increasing amounts of protein in your urine may be the earliest sign of diabetic kidney damage.
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What Causes Nephrotic Syndrome
Nephrotic syndrome can be caused by diseases that affect only the kidneys, such as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis or membranous nephropathy. Diseases that affect only the kidneys are called primary causes of nephrotic syndrome. The glomeruli are usually the targets of these diseases for reasons that are not fully understood. In FSGSthe most common primary cause of nephrotic syndromescar tissue forms in parts of the glomeruli. In membranous nephropathy, immune molecules form harmful deposits on the glomeruli.
Nephrotic syndrome can also be caused by systemic diseases, which are diseases that affect many parts of the body, such as diabetes or lupus. Systemic diseases that affect the kidneys are called secondary causes of nephrotic syndrome. More than 50 percent of nephrotic syndrome cases in adults have secondary causes, with diabetes being the most common.
How Is Proteinuria Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will use a dipstick test to help diagnose proteinuria. During a dipstick test, youll pee into a special container at your healthcare providers office or a hospital. Then, your healthcare provider will place a thin plastic stick coated with special chemicals into the container. If too much of a protein is in your pee, the dipstick changes color.
Your healthcare provider will conduct a urinalysis on the rest of your pee. A urinalysis examines your pees visual, chemical and microscopic aspects under a microscope. Your healthcare provider looks for substances that dont belong in your pee. These substances may include red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria and salt or protein crystals that can develop into kidney stones.
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What Is Pediatric Proteinuria
Proteinuria is an excess if protein in your child’s urine. If your child has proteinuria, its often not serious. But sometimes, it can indicate a more serious problem with the kidneys. You should watch for any signs that your childs fluids seem out of balance and check with a doctor.
If proteinuria indicates a kidney disease, your doctor will refer your child to a nephrologist, a doctor who specializes in treating kidney diseases.
Treatment For Protein In Urine At Fastmed
If you experience any a combination of the symptoms listed above, seek medical attention immediately. They may be a sign of kidney disease, which can to lead to chronic kidney failure.
The medical staff at FastMed Urgent Care are ready and able to relieve any anxiety you have about protein in the urine and to manage your condition. Our on-site labs can provide the results of blood and urine analyses quickly and efficiently, and you dont need an appointment to receive care.
Just walk right in at your local FastMed location with any questions or concerns you have about the protein in your urine.
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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.
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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Symptoms Of Proteinuria In Cats
There are usually no clinical signs of proteinuria in cats. It is often diagnosed during routine, annual health examinations, where bloodwork and urine samples are routinely tested. Symptoms are usually the result of the underlying cause of the proteinuria and not the proteinuria itself.
If symptoms are present, they may include:
Blood in the urine
Frequent, small urinations
A strong odor to the urine
In more severe cases caused by underlying chronic kidney disease and/or kidney failure, symptoms may include:
If your vet finds high levels of protein in your cats urine, or levels that remain high for too long, they will likely order additional testing.
Causes Of Proteinuria In Cats
Inflammation or bleeding in the lower urinary tract is most often due to:
Urinary tract stones
Crystals in the urine
Other less-frequent causes of protein in urine include:
Urinary tract polyps
Diagnosis and treatment of these underlying conditions usually resolves the proteinuria.
If the protein in your cats urine is not associated with inflammation or bleeding, then kidney disease or other systemic diseases may be the cause. Your vet will perform additional diagnostic tests to identify kidney disease.
Other chronic and concerning causes of proteinuria include:
Any systemic immune-mediated or inflammatory condition
Chronic renal disease/renal failure.
Chronic causes of proteinuria require long-term or even lifelong treatment to lessen the protein in the urine.
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Too Much Protein In Urine What Causes It And How To Treat It
What does protein in urine mean? Is it dangerous to have elevated protein levels in the urine? Learn all about this condition and see how to treat it!
Not always the presence of protein in the urine means that there is a health problem, strictly speaking. Sometimes this depends on circumstances. But if this condition persists, it means that there is a difficulty in the functioning of the kidneys.
Proteins in urine are sometimes a sign that the kidneys are not working as well as they should. In principle, this condition does not generate any symptoms and is only detectable by a urine test. Therefore, most of the time it goes unnoticed in the initial phases.
We all have proteins in the blood. These play a very important role in the body, since they help to configure the bones and muscles, as well as to control the amount of fluids in the blood and to prevent infections, among others. However, these do not have to pass into the urine.
When there is protein in the urine, abundantly and persistently, it means that the kidneys are making an incorrect filter. They should process and dispose of waste and not proteins. It is an early sign of kidney problems, which you should address immediately.
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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What Factors Promote The Development Of Proteinuria
There are a number of factors that can interact to lead to increased protein in the urine. For example, a whole series of underlying diseases such as diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus, amyloidosis or arterial hypertension can be the cause.
A kidney transplant, certain medications, toxins, and even viruses can also trigger the disorder. Too much protein in the urine can also indicate complications during pregnancy.
How Do Providers Treat Goodpasture Syndrome
Treatments vary depending on the severity of the condition. Providers treat mild Goodpasture syndrome with medications, including:
- Corticosteroids: Such as prednisone, to stop bleeding in the lungs.
- Immunosuppressant drugs: Such as cyclophosphamide, to prevent the immune system from attacking the bodys own tissues.
Providers treat severe Goodpasture syndrome with these medications as well as a procedure called plasmapheresis. In this procedure, blood is removed through an IV and the liquid part of the blood is separated from the blood cells. This plasma, which contains the harmful anti-GBM antibodies, is replaced with healthy plasma from blood donors and returned to your body.
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What Is Goodpasture Syndrome
Goodpasture syndrome is a rare, life-threatening autoimmune disease that affects the lungs and the kidneys. It happens when the immune system mistakenly attacks a protein called collagen because it recognizes it as a foreign substance. In Goodpasture syndrome, the body produces proteins that attach to the collagen in certain parts of the lungs and the kidneys. When they attach to the collagen, these antibodies cause severe inflammation and destruction of those tissues.
Symptoms of the disease include coughing up blood, difficulty breathing, fatigue and anemia. When the disease affects the kidneys, patients may have blood in the urine, swelling of the legs and high blood pressure. If the kidney disease is very severe, patients may notice that they are passing only small amounts of urine and may have nausea and vomiting as well. Treatments include medications and a procedure called plasmapheresis. This procedure removes plasma that contains these harmful antibodies and replaces it with healthy plasma.
Untreated, Goodpasture syndrome can cause inflammation of the kidneys and can lead to permanent kidney failure. The disorder can cause severe bleeding in the lungs, which is the main cause of death from Goodpasture syndrome.
Tests For Diagnosing Nephrotic Syndrome
Urine dipstick test. This simple test checks for albumin in your urine. Having albumin in the urine is called albuminuria. You collect the urine sample in a container during a visit to a health care professionals office or lab. A health care professional places a strip of chemically treated paper, called a dipstick, into the urine for the test. The dipstick changes color if albumin is present in the urine.
To confirm the diagnosis of nephrotic syndrome, your health care professional may order one of these two urine tests
- 24-hour urine collection. For this test, you will need to collect urine samples over 24 hours. Your health care professional will then send the samples to a lab for analysis.
- Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio . The UACR test uses a single urine sample to estimate the amount of albumin lost in 24 hours. The test measures both albumin and creatinine, a waste product of normal muscle breakdown.
Your health care professional may also order blood tests to check for low levels of protein in your blood and other problems linked to nephrotic syndrome.
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How Is Proteinuria In Children Diagnosed
Because you cant see protein in your childs urine, it must be diagnosed with a urine test. For this test, a sample of your childs urine will be collected and sent to a lab for diagnosis.
After the first test, your doctor may want to recheck your childs urine for protein. Thats because the protein will often go away on its own . If the protein is still high on the second test, your doctor may ask you to collect a 24-hour urine sample from your child. This lets your doctor measure the amount of protein in the urine more accurately.
Your doctor may test your childs blood. He or she may also order an ultrasound or CT scan. These two procedures take pictures of your childs kidneys and surrounding area to look for problems. These procedures arent painful.
To diagnose orthostatic proteinuria, your childs doctor will check 2 urine samples. The first is collected in the morning, right after your child gets up. The second sample is collected throughout the day. The samples are kept in separate containers. If your child has orthostatic proteinuria, the morning sample wont have protein in it. But the urine collected during the day will have protein in it.
How Is Nephrotic Syndrome Diagnosed
Urine samples are taken to diagnose people suspected of having nephrotic syndrome.
Nephrotic syndrome is diagnosed when large amounts of protein are found in the urine. The blood protein albumin makes up much of the protein that is lost, though many other important proteins are also lost in nephrotic syndrome.
The presence of albumin in the urine can be detected with a dipstick test performed on a urine sample. The urine sample is collected in a special container in a health care providers office or commercial facility and can be tested in the same location or sent to a lab for analysis. For the test, a nurse or technician places a strip of chemically treated paper, called a dipstick, into the urine. Patches on the dipstick change color when protein is present in urine.
Once nephrotic syndrome is diagnosed, blood tests are usually needed to check for systemic diseases that may be causing the nephrotic syndrome and to find out how well the kidneys are working overall. A blood test involves drawing blood at a health care providers office or commercial facility and sending the sample to a lab for analysis.
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Who Should Be Tested For Protein In The Urine
If you are part of a group that is considered high risk for kidney disease, your doctor will test your urine for protein as part of your regular preventative care. People who are at risk for kidney disease include:
- Those who are 65 or older.
- Those who have a family history of kidney disease.
- Those who have high blood pressure or diabetes.
- Members of certain ethnic groups, including Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians and African Americans.
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:
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