Whats Wrong With Having Albumin In My Urine
One of the main jobs of your kidneys is to filter your blood. When your kidneys are healthy, they 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 your kidneys are damaged, protein can leak out of the kidneys into your urine. Having protein in your urine is called albuminuria or proteinuria.
Treatment For Proteinuria In Dogs
Proteinuria itself is not a condition, but it may indicate a more serious underlying health problem.
If your dog has proteinuria, your vet will first identify the underlying cause. This will likely involve additional tests, along with a detailed history of your dogs health and any changes in their behavior. They may also prescribe medications to prevent blood clots, such as a very low dose of aspirin or clopidogrel, a blood thinner.
Once the underlying cause has been discovered, your vet can develop a treatment plan. Some of the conditions and related treatments that are linked to proteinuria include:
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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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.
What Causes Protein In The Urine During Pregnancy
Your kidneys are hard at work during pregnancy . They filter the waste products in your blood all while keeping things, like proteins, that your body needs to thrive. After being filtered, the waste is released into your urine.
If protein makes its way to the urine, thats usually because something isnt functioning quite right in the kidneys.
Outside of pregnancy, protein in the urine may be temporarily elevated due to:
- emotional or physical stress
- exposure to extreme temperatures
But there are other situations where protein in the urine may be a sign of something more.
Before 20 weeks of pregnancy, proteinuria is sometimes referred to as chronic proteinuria.
It may be due to underlying issues with the kidneys or other health conditions that arent necessarily related to your pregnancy, like heart disease. Infections may also elevate the protein levels in your urine and require medical attention.
After 20 weeks, on the other hand, doctors look more closely at protein as a possible indicator of preeclampsia. This condition is marked by high blood pressure and may cause damage to organs, particularly the liver and kidneys.
HELLP syndrome is a similar, yet more severe form of preeclampsia that may develop along with preeclampsia or all on its own.
Without treatment, both conditions may lead to serious complications for both you and baby.
150 milligrams/day pre-pregnancy to up to 300 mg/d during pregnancy.
Other risk factors:
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Testing For Protein In Urine
The only way to diagnose proteinuria is through a urine test, which measures the amount of protein in your urine.
The test takes place in a doctors office. During the procedure, you urinate into a specimen cup. The doctor places a dipstick, or a small plastic stick coated with chemicals, into the urine sample. If it has too much protein, the stick will change color.
The rest of the urine will be sent to a lab, where it will be examined under a microscope.
If the doctor thinks you have kidney concerns, theyll repeat the urine test three times in 3 months. This helps them rule out temporary causes of proteinuria.
A doctor might also use the following tests to determine whats causing your proteinuria:
- 24-hour urine protein test. In this test, the doctor collects multiple urine samples over 1 day and sends them to a lab.
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.
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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.
How To Treat Proteinuria
Proteinuria is not a disease but rather a condition caused by another illness. As such, the treatment is mainly focused on resolving or managing the underlying cause.
For instance, the symptoms of acute kidney injuryâformerly known as acute kidney failureâwill usually clear once the underlying condition is treated. In most cases, the kidney function will return to normal with no permanent damage to the kidneys.
With chronic kidney disease , the focus is placed on improving the function of the kidneys to slow the progression of the disease. With respect to proteinuria, lifestyle measures will help control diabetes and high blood pressure as ways to slow progression of the disease.
In addition, medications like ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers help reduce urine protein levels.Statin drugs, used to reduce cholesterol, appear to have similar benefits in people with CKD.
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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.
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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.
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What Else Causes Protein In Urine
Proteinuria causes are linked to other conditions. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of chronic kidney disease , and kidney damage from those two conditions can result in proteinuria. Lupus, arthritis and other immune system disorders can also cause proteinuria. Protein in the urine can even be a warning sign of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
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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How Does Protein Enter Your Urine
Glomeruli are part of the filtration system of your kidneys which transport small molecules into the urine but not bigger proteins or blood. Ducts retrieve tiny proteins that pass through glomeruli and retain them in the body.
However, if the glomeruli or tubules are damaged, protein will flow into your urine instead of being reabsorbed by your blood
The amount of protein in your urine is measured by a urine test. Although a modest quantity of protein in your urine is acceptable, levels should not exceed 150 mg per day.
Although proteinuria may be an early symptom of kidney disease, your doctor may examine you again to rule out other factors such as dehydration. Three positive findings in three months or more indicate kidney disease.
What Is Protein In The Urine
The kidneys function to remove waste and excess water and salts from the blood. Small groups of blood vessels called glomeruli filter the blood, removing these waste products and preventing proteins and other substances from being removed from the blood. If the glomeruli are damaged, protein from the blood can leak into the urine, resulting in high protein levels in the urine .
Less than 150 milligrams of protein in the urine per day is normal. More than 150 milligrams of protein in the urine per day is considered proteinuria.
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Protein & Blood In Your Urine
The kidneys are important organs that remove excess fluid and toxic waste products from the body. They do so by filtering the blood and excreting noxious chemicals and molecules into the urine. Under normal circumstances, protein and blood are not found in the urine, as the kidneys retain them within their blood vessels. If you find protein and blood in your urine, it could be a sign of kidney disease.
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.
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What Is The Normal Range For Protein In Urine
Urine testing is the most common way to monitor the progress of the disease and your response to treatment. Urine testing will show if you are losing protein in your urine.
Normal protein levels in urine range between 0 to 8 mg/dL. The average protein value in your urine is usually less than 150 mg for a 24-hour urine collection. This level may vary slightly from one lab to another. You can consult your doctor to know the results correctly.
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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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:
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:
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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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.