Protein in Urine (Proteinuria)

What is protein in urine (proteinuria)?

Protein in the urine — known medically as albuminuria or albuminuria — occurs when the kidneys improperly spill protein in the urine. This can be normal if it occurs with exercise or fever, or it can be a signal of kidney disease .


One of the primary coil functions of the kidney is to remove excess fluid and thriftlessness from the blood, which then flows into the bladder as urine. The kidney works by keeping convention electrolytes in the blood, while allowing waste products to flow in the urine. When the kidney allows protein to flow into the urine alternatively of staying in the blood, albuminuria can develop. Proteinuria can be convention if due to gravity, drill or fevers, or it can be a sign of kidney disease .
People are at greater hazard of kidney disease if they have :

  • Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • A family history of kidney disease

Reduced kidney routine can besides be the solution of :

  • Anomalies of the kidneys or urinary tract at birth
  • Damage to the kidneys as a result of illness, extreme dehydration, toxins or immune system disorders (acute kidney injury)

Signs and symptoms

There are normally no physical symptoms of protein in the urine at broken levels. At this stage the problem is typically detected in a urine test .
Proteinuria at high levels may be noticed as :

  • Foamy, frothy or bubbly urine
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, abdomen or face
  • Shortness of breath

Testing and diagnosis

Proteinuria is detected and diagnosed with a urine test to measure the levels of protein in the urine .
Because albuminuria has no forcible symptoms at low levels, and because it can sometimes be associated with kidney disease, regular urine tests are recommended if you or your child are at higher risk for kidney problems .
When a test measures an abnormally high gear level of protein in the urine, that single test is not considered a definitive indication of albuminuria or kidney problems. Protein levels in urine can rise after intense practice or as a solution of illness or dehydration. A positive screen will be followed by extra urine tests to confirm the solution, particularly urine tests done first thing in the morning to make sure gravity is not causing the protein, which is normal ( orthostatic albuminuria ) .
When gamey levels of protein are found in urine, extra tests are normally done to more cautiously analyze kidney problems and understand their lawsuit. These may include :

  • Blood tests to estimate the kidneys’ function (glomerular filtration rate or GRF)
  • Ultrasound, CT scan or MRI of the kidneys and urinary tract
  • Kidney biopsy


When albuminuria or kidney disease are detected, treatment focuses on addressing the induce of the kidney problems.

If diabetes or high blood coerce are causing or contributing to kidney problems, the goal of treatment will be to get these conditions under restraint to prevent far kidney damage. treatment may include :

  • Lifestyle changes to improve diet, increase healthy exercise or lose weight
  • Medications (insulin for diabetes, ACE inhibitors or ARBs for hypertension)

When albuminuria is not detected early or when discussion is ineffective to prevent serious wrong to the kidneys, kidney failure may require treatment with :

  • Dialysis
  • Kidney transplantation


In cases of acute kidney injury, treatment to address the campaign of short-run kidney wrong may result in wide or meaning recovery of kidney function .
In cases of chronic kidney disease, the goal of treatment is to prevent far kidney damage .
When kidney routine falls to levels that cause dangerous health problems, dialysis and kidney transplant may be needed .

Follow-up care

Anyone diagnosed with albuminuria should have regular urine tests and exams, evening after the problem is identified and the causes addressed, to watch for any return of kidney problems or worsening of kidney function.

Why choose CHOP?

The Division of Nephrology at Children ‘s Hospital of Philadelphia ( CHOP ) provides your child with first care for and treatment of kidney diseases. Our part is systematically ranked as one of the top programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Our physicians and staff are known for their ability to diagnose, process and care for children with all forms of kidney disease. here, you ‘ll find brilliant clinical care and an adequate measure of sympathy and compassion. We have experts who focus on the evaluation and treatment of children with protein in the urine and associated chronic kidney disease ( glomerulonephritis or nephrotic syndrome ) .
Our multidisciplinary team — including nephrologists, clinical nurse specialists, social workers, a pharmacist, psychologist, and dietician — provides comprehensive examination aesculapian consultations and evaluations for children with nephritic diseases, electrolyte disorders and high blood pressure .
Reviewed by: Benjamin Laskin, MD

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