Protein in urineBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/protein-in-urine/MY00630
Protein in urine (proteinuria or microalbuminuria) is an abnormally high amount of protein found in a urine sample. A test to analyze the content of your urine (urinalysis) checks for several substances in your urine, including protein.
Your kidneys filter waste products from your blood while retaining components your body needs — including proteins. However, some diseases and conditions can allow proteins to pass through the filters of your kidneys, causing protein in urine.
Low levels of protein in urine are normal. Temporarily high levels of protein in urine aren't unusual either, particularly in younger people after exercise or during an illness. Protein in urine discovered on a microalbumin test may often be the earliest sign of diabetic kidney damage.
Conditions that can cause a temporary rise in the levels of protein in urine include:
- Cold exposure
- Emotional stress
- Heat exposure
- Strenuous exercise
Diseases and conditions that can cause persistently elevated levels of protein in urine include:
- Certain drugs
- Chronic kidney failure
- Goodpasture's syndrome
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Hodgkin's lymphoma (Hodgkin's disease)
- Kidney infection
- Multiple myeloma
- Orthostatic proteinuria
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sickle cell anemia
When to see a doctor
If urinalysis or another urine test has revealed protein in your urine, ask your doctor whether you need further testing. Protein in urine can be temporary, so your doctor may recommend a repeat test first thing in the morning or a few days later.
Your doctor may order other tests, such as a 24-hour urine collection, to determine if there is a cause for concern.
- Proteinuria. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/proteinuria/index.htm. Accessed March 23, 2011.
- Gerber GS, et al. Evaluation of the urologic patient: History, physical examination and urinalysis. In: Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1445/0.html. Accessed March 23, 2011.
- Urine protein (quantitative). In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed March 23, 2011.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 29, 2011.