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Proteinuria

Kingwood Kidney Associates

Board Certified Internal Medicine & Nephrology located in Humble, TX

Proteinuria refers to high levels of protein in your urine, an abnormal condition that often signals kidney damage. The board-certified Nephrologists, Sowmya Puthalapattu, MD, and Chinonye Ogbonnaya-Odor, MD, at Kingwood Kidney Associates perform tests to detect proteinuria when your symptoms indicate a kidney problem. To learn more about proteinuria testing, or if you have questions about your symptoms and kidney disease, call the office in Humble, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.

Proteinuria Q & A

What is proteinuria?

Proteinuria is a condition that occurs when you have more protein in your urine than normal. There are several types of tests for proteinuria:

Dipstick urine protein test

This test can be done in the office to quickly diagnose a urinary tract infection and to evaluate kidney function. 

24-hour urine protein test

You receive containers so you can collect and store your urine every time you go to the bathroom over a 24-hour period. Then the containers go to the lab where technicians can evaluate the amount of protein eliminated through your urine. 

Albumin to creatinine ratio test

This urine test involves one random urine sample. Creatinine is a byproduct of metabolism that your urine normally releases at a constant rate. Albumin is a protein that normally circulates in your blood, and only small amounts are eliminated in your urine. Comparing creatinine to albumin provides a more accurate measure of the amount of albumin being released. 

What causes proteinuria?

You can have temporary proteinuria for many reasons. For example, you may have elevated urine protein when you’re dehydrated, under extreme stress, or after engaging in strenuous exercise.

When your urine protein stays persistently elevated, however, it’s a symptom of a serious health condition. Rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma can all cause proteinuria. 

Proteinuria most often signals one of several kidney conditions, including:

 

Your kidneys filter your blood, removing wastes, excess fluids, and electrolytes. However, the kidneys normally return proteins back to your blood so they can stay in circulation. 

When high protein is in your urine, it’s a sign that your kidneys aren’t working properly due to inflammation and tissue damage. 

How is proteinuria treated?

The treatment for proteinuria depends on the underlying cause. A course of antibiotics treats a kidney infection. 

When you have kidney damage, the goal of treatment is to prevent further damage and maintain optimal kidney function. In this case, the two cornerstones of treatment are dietary changes and medications.

Kidney disease seldom has obvious symptoms in its early stage, but if you experience swelling in your feet or hands, fatigue, or persistent itching, call Kingwood Kidney Associates or schedule an appointment online.