Protein in Urine-Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
What does protein in urine mean? Your recent urinalysis may have revealed that you have high levels of protein and want to know what this implies. This article will help you out. Read further.
Proteinuria is the medical term known as protein in urine referring to abnormally high levels of serum protein found in the urine. Protein plays a vital role in balancing bodily fluids, fighting infections and many more. Although a healthy person may normally pass little amounts of protein in their urine, above the normal level implies that damage or inflammation exists on the filtering mechanism of the body – the kidneys. The primary function of the kidneys is to filter and remove the waste and toxins from the bloodstream. Protein in urine excuses no one, from children to adults to pregnant women.
Things you should know about Protein in Urine Diagnostic Test
Urine protein diagnostic test is undertaken to detect the presence of protein in the urine which helps in the assessment and monitoring of kidney function as well as diagnose early damage and disease on the kidneys. Levels of protein are measured during urinalysis and have been part of any regular diagnostic tests either for routine physical or pregnancy checkup, or for ruling out urinary tract infection, assessing kidney function or follow up test if your previous urine protein testing reveals high levels of protein.
What are the causes of Protein in Urine?
There are several causes of protein in the urine and it could be temporary or persistent. Keep in mind that the presence of high levels of protein in your urine suggests that you need to pay attention to the health of your kidneys.
• Temporary Cause
Strenuous exercise can strain your body causing a rise in protein levels in your urine. While emotional stress, fever, over exposure to heat and cold can also increase the levels of protein in the urine.
• Persistent Cause
Polycystic kidney disease, diabetes, urinary tract problems, kidney disease, heart disease, hypertension, leukemia and rheumatoid arthritis can cause a permanent increase in the levels of protein in urine. Moreover, persistent use of some medication drugs may result to high protein levels in the urine. That is why you must talk to your health care provider about the side effects of taking certain drugs for medication prior to starting a new one. Furthermore, drinking insufficient amounts of water is known to cause proteinuria as well.
What are the symptoms of Protein in Urine?
Cloudy or foamy urine is the most common sign and symptom of protein in the urine. Swelling on several parts or entire body is also experienced and is a dangerous indication. Urine examination will verify if the swelling is due to high levels of protein present in the urine. Other symptoms include weight gain, fatigue and eye bags. On the other hand, pregnant women manifest several symptoms such as headache, blurred vision, vomiting as well as pain under the ribs coupled with swelling of feet, hands and face.
Protein in Urine during Pregnancy
Urine protein testing is an integral part of diagnostic test during pregnancy. It is undertaken not just to evaluate kidney function and rule out kidney problems but figure out other health problems such as preeclampsia. Preeclampsia refers to the abnormal high blood pressure or pregnancy-induced hypertension which may advance into eclampsia and foster complications in premature born babies. It may also bring about severe complications on the mother such as liver rupture, stroke, placental abruption, bleeding problems and death. In some cases, severe preeclampsia may result to unusual complications like HELLP syndrome (Hemolytic anemia, Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelet count).
Treatment for Protein in Urine
Treatment for proteinuria is based on the underlying cause including the overall wellness of the patient. However, doctors may suggest particular drugs in treating proteinuria and the commonly prescribed medication includes antibiotics, insulin and Oran anti-diabetic agents. These medications may have side effects, thus, everything that has something to do with the available treatment options must be carefully discussed with your physician. Aside from medication, dietary modification is also recommended like renal diet, a diet low in sodium, magnesium, potassium and protein. Consumption of carbohydrates must also be limited, while fresh veggies and fiber-rich foods prove beneficial but still require doctor’s approval. Proteinuria requires close monitoring by the health care provider while those who have lower proteinuria levels require simple monitoring like periodic urine tests and taking of blood pressure over a certain period of time.
Protein in urine generally does not have any manifestation especially during its early stage. Even if a small amount of protein present in urine is considered normal, high levels of protein require immediate medical attention. If high protein levels in urine are overlooked, chances of life-threatening conditions and kidney failure are likely. Routine blood tests and urine tests are important for early detection of asymptomatic health conditions. With protein in urine result, the doctor will know if your kidney is well or not.