Protein in urine is always present in small quantities but when the levels of protein are high this condition is known as proteinuria. A simple urine analysis will give you report of protein content. Kidneys are responsible for excreting waste products collected from your blood which also includes protein. But certain diseases will allow large quantities of protein to pass through the kidneys leading to high protein in urine. The volume of protein content will be high in urine after exercise or sometimes during serious illness.
Exposure to cold and hot climate, stress, exercises and fever can cause increased amounts of protein in urine. Certain illness like heart disease, diabetes, kidney infection, high blood pressure, blood cancer, malaria, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Hodgkin’s disease, Goodpasture’s Syndrome, and pregnancy can increase protein content in urine. Largely protein in urine is high for diabetic and hypertension (high blood pressure) people.
Who are at risk?
Old age, obesity, diabetes and hypertension increase the chance of proteinuria. People with familial kidney problem and diabetes are under risk of getting high protein in urine.
The condition of high levels of protein in urine will not show any symptoms. It is indicative of kidney malfunction or any other illness. Some people may have swelling or edema on their face, legs and arms due to reduced content of protein.
Depending on the amount of protein proteinuria is categorized into 3 types.
Transient proteinuria is the condition I which increased protein content in urine is seen on certain conditions like fever and doing strenuous exercise. This is the most common type of protein presence in urine.
Orthostatic type is the one in which protein discharge is high in standing posture and not when one is lying down. It is seen in adolescents but not present in adults. Both these two types do not require any treatment.
Persistent proteinuria is one in which increased protein in urine is present all the time. This occurs due to underlying medical problem and has to be treated.
The urine sample is collected and observed in a microscope for detecting the level of protein. Your doctor may also order for blood profile and kidney function test for ruling out any abnormal functions of kidney.
Having high protein in urine is not a disease but it is indicative of certain illness like kidney infection or failure. Your doctor will have to treat the underlying medical issues. No treatment is necessary if there is slight increase in protein content in urine since fever and hypertension can induce filtering of high protein in urine.
ACE inhibitors are prescribed for high blood pressure which increases protein in urine. People with chronic disease like diabetes and hypertension need to monitor their blood sugar level and protein level in urine regularly.
Any abnormal levels of protein in urine indicates kidney problem. If left untreated it can cause chronic kidney infection or even failure. It is the glomeruli present in nephrons that removes the waste products in the blood. For people with damaged glomeruli protein substance get leaks out into the urine.
Normal protein level in urine should be 150mg per day. If your levels are more than 150mg per day then you are likely to have proteinuria.