Protein in Urine? Panicked about it? Proteinuria is a condition that can affect anyone. Protein is an essential building block of the human body. So, it is present in the present as albumin. The protein in the blood can help the following:
- Build your muscles and bones
- Control the fluid amount in the blood
- Prevent infection
Therefore, the right amount of protein in blood is beneficial to the body. It assists with the cells growth and repair. The protein entering the urine results in problems. It indicates that you have some severe health issue.
What Does It Mean To Have Protein In Urine?
Your kidneys remove the waste and extra fluid from the bloodstream. It lets the key nutrients like protein to pass through. So, it returns to your bloodstream. Sounds simple! But, if your kidneys do not work perfectly, then the problem arises. It lets the protein, mainly albumin to escape and enter the urine.
The condition of having protein in urine is known as albuminuria or proteinuria. Hence, it indicates some trouble in your body. Mainly it is an early indicator of kidney disease.
Protein In Urine And Life Expectancy
Your urine can give you an idea of how long you will live. Not convinced? The American Journal of Kidney Disease published by the National Kidney Foundation is behind the claim. So, according to the online report, your urine can say about your life expectancy. A strong link exists between the protein in urine and the mortality.
The study conducted on more than 810,000 patients in Canada confirms it. The patients with high levels of protein in the urine (proteinuria) have a lower life expectancy. Men and women have both shown the same results. Therefore, it indicates that the patients have damaged the kidney. It allows the protein to enter the urine.
Who Are At Risk?
Irrespective of the age or gender, anyone can have protein in the urine. But, you may find yourself more at risk to the condition if you have:
- High Blood Pressure
It indicates you can get the disease easily compared to the others.
How To Detect Protein In Urine?
The kidneys never show initial symptoms of distress. So, you may not know the problem with your kidney. The urine looks normal, but a urine test can clear your doubt. You can offer the urine for testing at a lab. The test for protein finds the exact amount of albumin in your urine. It is measured as the albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR).
The comparison of creatinine and albumin is significant in determining the kidney disease. So, the result with more than 30mg per gram (UACR) means you have kidney problems. Ignoring the problem can worsen the issue. It will result in a large amount of protein in the urine.
Therefore, the chronic kidney problem can result in the following symptoms:
- The urine has a frothy, foamy or bubbly appearance
- Swelling in the face, feet, hands or abdomen
The signs may point to a severe kidney damage. Therefore, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Getting the right treatment depending on your condition at the right time can save your life.
Main Causes Of Protein In Urine
The next thing you need to know is the main causes of the condition. The high levels of proteinuria can refer to diverse problems. Let’s check it one by one.
Unlike popular belief, the protein in urine is not always linked to kidney disease. You can detect the proteinuria for a short duration. Therefore, the condition solves itself without getting any treatment. The temporary rise in the protein levels can happen in the following conditions:
- Emotional stress
- Strenuous Physical Activity (like exercise)
- Exposure to extreme cold condition
Diseases And Conditions Causing High Levels Of Proteinuria
Some diseases and conditions in your body can increase the protein levels. But, it can also point towards a kidney disease. So, know the symptoms that put you at risk of kidney problems:
- The buildup of abnormal proteins in the organs (Amyloidosis)
- The use of certain drugs like the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Infections of the inner lining of your heart (Endocarditis)
- Inflammation in waste filtering kidney cells (Glomerulonephritis)
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Reaction to medications
- Trauma Toxins
- Immune system disorders
- Heart problems
Common Cause Of Problem
The common causes of protein in urine are diabetes or high blood pressure. A person suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure must make sure they control the levels.
The disease increases your blood glucose levels. So, you need to control it by checking the sugar levels frequently. You need to take the medicines prescribed by the doctor correctly. The right diet plan, which encourages healthy eating is important. Good physical activity along with diet will keep the sugar levels in control.
High blood pressure is one of the factors affecting your kidneys. Get help from a medical professional to lower the blood pressure. Therefore, it will protect your kidney from serious damage. Take the medication prescribed by the doctor regularly to prevent complications.
Some may experience the high levels of protein in urine when they stand or lie down. The condition referred to as orthostatic is common in teenagers and older children.
Pregnant women need to check their urine frequently to eliminate serious issues. Women at risk of preeclampsia have high proteinuria. So, the high level can detect serious complications. They need to contact the doctor to get the necessary treatment. Therefore, the timely intervention will save the life of the baby and mother.
Protein In Urine In Kids
Children can also see the problem of high-level proteins. It can refer to a grave renal disease or some disorder. Children need treatment immediately to safeguard them from serious health complications.
Other Risk Factors
Some other risk factor can make you vulnerable to the issue. Therefore, the risk factors include:
Older people above 65 years of age have a weak immune system. So, they can get disease faster compared to young people.
Obese people can get diabetes and blood pressure. The excess fat stored under the skin in overweight people increases the cholesterol levels. So, it makes them vulnerable to kidney diseases.
Does your family have kidney disease? Then, you are at risk of getting the disease more compared to others.
Race and ethnicity
African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islander, and Native Americans can develop kidney disease easily. They have increased chances of developing high blood pressure. But, the white people are at less risk.
When To Consult A Doctor?
Now you may wonder about the right time to seek medical help. You may have experienced several symptoms that says something is bad. The signs that you need to look out for are:
- Difficulty in urinating
- Frequent urination (especially at night)
- Vomiting or Nausea
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Swelling feet and hands
So, you can take a urine test to find what is wrong. If the results reveal protein in the urine, then you should see a doctor. The doctor can suggest further tests to find the exact problem. Your doctor may repeat the urine test. Sometimes, the protein in the urine is temporary. So, your doctor repeats the test to eliminate the possibility. The 24-hour urine collection is another test suggested by your doctor. Subsequently, it will detect the underlying problem.
Frequent Tests For Diabetic Patients
Diabetic patients must maintain caution. The medical care provider checks frequently the small amount of protein in the urine. The test known as microalbuminuria will shed light on the health of your kidney. It can find the early sign of diabetic kidney damage.
What Happens During Protein In Urine Test
You need to follow some guidelines for a clean catch sample. You can take the test at home or in a lab.
In the lab, you follow the steps provided below:
- Clean your hands by washing it well.
- Use a cleansing pad provided in the lab to clean the genital area. Women need to clean their labia from front to back. Men need to clean the tip of their genital organ.
- Start urinating in the toilet.
- Take the collection container offered and move it into the urine stream.
- Collect the urine. It must contain at least one to two ounce. The lab requires the amount to test properly.
- Finish urinating.
- Return the sample to the lab as instructed.
At home, you can follow the easy steps:
- Buy the test kit.
- The test kit contains the test strips along with the instructions.
- Follow the instructions carefully for getting the clean catch sample.
You can talk to your doctor for more clarifications. The urine collected during a 24-hour period to avoid wrong results. So, it can detect the protein variations throughout the day. It helps in getting an accurate result. Therefore, you can rely completely on the result.
Preparation For Test
The test for checking the protein in urine needs no special preparations. So, you can drop the worry. Your medical practitioner will give you all the instructions. You just need to follow it.
The 24-hour urine sample needs good storage. Therefore, your doctor will tell you what to do. You need to take and store the samples according to the guidelines.
Treatment Of Protein In Urine
The protein in urine is not a specific disease. It is a symptom of other underlying conditions. So, the treatment depends on the precise condition causing the issue. By, identifying and managing the condition, the proteinuria gets eradicated from the body.
The temporary condition that causes fluctuation in protein levels is easy to manage at home. Follow the steps to ensure good health.
- Changes in diet to focus more on health. So, include more fruits and vegetables.
- Taking medication properly to control diabetes and high blood pressure. Therefore, it can avoid the damage of the kidneys.
- Encompassing physical activity in the daily routine (like exercise or yoga) to stay fit.
- Maintaining a healthy weight to avoid lifestyle diseases.
- Reduce stress levels by taking a hobby.
- Avoid red meat and take more lean meat.
- Restrict the salt intake in your diet.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Avoid sodas or caffeinated drinks.
Proteinuria Treatment For Chronic Kidney Disease
The medical treatment prescribed by your doctor can use the following drugs to eradicate the condition and clear proteinuria.
The doctor may suggest specific anti-hypertensive drugs. It can slow down the progression of the chronic kidney disease. The ACEIs (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors) and ARBs (Angiotensin Receptor Blockers) suggested by your doctor can reduce the effects.
Strict Glycemic Control
People with diabetes need to undergo treatment to control the insulin levels. It will slow the kidney disease. Therefore, it can eradicate the issue of protein in the urine.
The treatment aims to reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood. So, it reduces the triglycerides levels and lowers the bad cholesterol. It can prevent heart disease along with reducing the proteinuria.
Diet To Lower Protein In Urine
You need to check with your doctor to follow the right diet that goes well with your treatment. Your doctor and dietician can come up with the effective diet plan that works well to solve the condition. You can include some items in your diet that has proven effective. So, you can implement the modified diet to see positive results.
Soy Protein has several benefits to the kidney. The researchers have shown a positive effect of the product on damaged kidneys. Soy protein comes from vegetable, so it is not hard on kidneys like animal proteins. The high-quality vegetable protein is effective in reducing protein in the urine. It has an overall positive effect on the kidney function. Therefore, it maintains the health of the kidneys.
The research on rats suggested that the intake of flaxseed reduces the proteinuria levels. But, the results are not verified in humans. So, making a firm conclusion is difficult. The flaxseed has good properties to ensure good health.
Maintaining good health is necessary to lead a happy life. It reduces the distress in the body. Therefore, you can have peace of mind. Checking frequently the protein in urine levels will help detect any issues. So, you can keep track of the issues in your health with ease. Taking right steps at right time will make your life free of diseases.