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 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.
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
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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.
Does Kidney Damage Go Away
In general, it does not. The goal is to detect kidney disease and damage early to minimize the damage and prolong kidney function. If the proteinuria detected is due to a kidney infection or urinary tract infection, the kidneys frequently will return to normal function as the infection resolves. If it is due to a medication, then in most cases the kidneys are likely to return to normal or near-normal function when the medication is stopped.
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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.
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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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 Do The Results Mean
If a large amount of protein is found in your urine sample, it doesn’t always mean that you have a medical problem that needs treatment. Strenuous exercise, dehydration, diet, stress, pregnancy, and other conditions can cause a temporary rise in urine protein levels.
Your provider may recommend other urinalysis tests to see whether you continue to have a high level of protein in your urine over time. If your urine protein remains high, it is likely a sign of kidney disease or kidney damage from other conditions.
The amount of protein in your urine is linked to the amount of kidney damage you may have. But you will need more tests to diagnose what is causing the damage. To learn what your results mean, talk with your provider.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
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What Is The 24
The 24-hour urine protein test checks how much protein is being spilled into the urine, which can help detect disease or other problems. The test is simple and noninvasive.
Urine samples are collected in one or more containers over a period of 24 hours. The containers are kept in a cool environment and then sent to a lab for analysis. Specialists then check the urine for protein.
When higher-than-normal amounts of protein are in the urine, its called proteinuria. This is often a sign of kidney damage and disease.
The test doesnt show what kinds of protein are in the urine. To determine this, your doctor may also order tests such as a serum and urine protein electrophoresis. The test also doesnt show the cause of the protein loss.
Occasionally, proteinuria isnt a sign of kidney damage. This is especially true for children. Protein levels may be higher during the day than the night. Other factors, such as extreme exercise, may also influence the test results.
- preeclampsia screening during pregnancy
The 24-hour urine protein test consists of multiple samples of urine taken over a 24-hour period. Its different from a protein-to-creatinine ratio test, which uses just one sample of urine. The 24-hour urine protein test may be given as a follow-up to a positive protein-to-creatinine ratio test.
How Do Doctors Treat Protein In The Urine
Doctors treat the cause of protein in the urine:
- If you have diabetes, your doctor will help create a treatment plan to keep it under control and slow down damage to your kidneys. They may recommend that you:
- Check your blood sugar often
- Take certain medicines
- Follow a diabetes-friendly eating plan
- Be active most days of the week
Drinking water will not treat the cause of protein in your urine unless you are dehydrated. Drinking water will dilute your urine , but will not stop the cause of your kidneys leaking protein.
If you have protein in your urine, talk with your doctor to choose the best treatment option for you.
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What Is The Most Likely Cause Of Protein In Urine
There is a question about what causes theuria. Non-cancerous or temporary medical conditions are some of the reasons why proteinuria can be caused. Dehydration, inflammation and low blood pressure are some of the symptoms. Aspirin therapy, emotional stress, and exposure to cold are some of the things that can causeProteinuria.
Will Drinking Water Reduce Protein In Urine
Specific Gravity. While urine protein levels may be slightly lower after drinking an unusually high amount of water, this occurs only because the urine has been diluted and the concentration of protein is less. The lower protein level doesn’t mean there is less protein — it simply means that there is more water…. see more
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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.
What Does Protein Look Like Inurine
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How Can You Tell If There Is Protein In Your Urine
If you have kidney damage and protein is escaping into your urine, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Swelling in your face, abdomen or hands and feet.
- Urine that appears bubbly, foamy or frothy.
If you notice either of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about the cause and what the best treatment may be. In some cases, the issue will resolve on its own without further treatment.
What Is The Difference Between Proteinuria And Transient Proteinuria
Transient proteinuria is temporary. Causes typically include intense exercise, stress, fever and prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Transient proteinuria usually goes away on its own.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Proteinuria is high levels of protein in your pee. If you have proteinuria, you may have to pee more often, and your pee may be foamy or bubbly. You may have general feelings of illness, including nausea, vomiting, tiredness and swelling. If you have any of these symptoms for more than a few days, its a good idea to reach out to your healthcare provider. They can help you diagnose a condition thats causing your proteinuria and prescribe treatments that help keep your kidneys healthy.
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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.
Urine Protein And Urine Protein To Creatinine Ratio
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- Urine Protein to Creatinine Ratio
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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.
Can Eating Too Much Protein Cause Protein In Urine
The added stress of a high-protein diet can contribute to kidneys losing their protein-processing powers. It becomes harder for them to keep the protein for your body to use, so more and more comes out in your urine. Protein that comes out in the urine is a reflection of kidney damage, Dr. Calle says.
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Importance Of Proteinuria In Relation To Health And Kidney
- It is one of the important components of workup for CKD, Acute Kidney Injury , hematuria and hypertension in pregnancy
- It is usually an early marker of kidney disease even before any abnormalities of other tests of kidney disease are seen like raise in creatinine value in the blood
- Protein in the urine is associated with hypertension, obesity and heart disease
- High levels of protein in urine can predict rapid worsening of disease in patients with diabetes and CKD
- Filtered protein the urine as such can contribute to the kidney disease worsening
- Protein level in the urine can be monitored as a response to treatment in a variety of kidney diseases
- Therapies which lower protein level in urine can be protective to kidney
Does Proteinuria Go Away
So treatment depends on figuring out what caused it. You might not need treatment if proteinuria is mild or lasts only a short time. But it’s crucial to treat kidney disease before it leads to kidney failure. Your doctor might prescribe medication, especially if you have diabetes and/or high blood pressure.
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Signs You May Have Kidney Disease
More than 37 million American adults are living with kidney disease and most dont know it. There are a number of physical signs of kidney disease, but sometimes people attribute them to other conditions. Also, those with kidney disease tend not to experience symptoms until the very late stages, when the kidneys are failing or when there are large amounts of protein in the urine. This is one of the reasons why only 10% of people with chronic kidney disease know that they have it, says Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, Chief Medical Officer at the National Kidney Foundation.
While the only way to know for sure if you have kidney disease is to get tested, Dr. Vassalotti shares 10 possible signs you may have kidney disease. If youre at risk for kidney disease due to high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure or if youre older than age 60, its important to get tested annually for kidney disease. Be sure to mention any symptoms youre experiencing to your healthcare practitioner.