The kidney filters waste products and unwanted substances from the blood. These waste products end up in the urine. Protein is an important part of the blood and is not filtered out. Normally, there is no protein in the urine.
Proteinuria is a condition where some of the normal protein in the bloodstream ends up in the urine. Protein in the urine will show up on a standard urine test.
Protein in the urine can be a sign of serious disease or a harmless temporary condition. For example, heavy exercise can cause temporary proteinuria. This is normal and will go away if the urine test is repeated.
If repeated urine tests continue to show protein in the urine, there may be a more serious problem, such as congestive heart failure, diabetes or kidney disease.
Protein in the blood helps keep fluids from leaking out of the blood vessels and into the surrounding tissues. Mild or temporary proteinuria does not cause any symptoms. However, if too much protein is lost from the body, there may be generalized swelling as fluid leaks from the blood vessels. Swelling may appear in legs, feet and ankles or elsewhere such as lower back, face and eyelids.
If proteinuria persists on repeat testing of the urine, further tests will be needed to determine the cause. If the cause is still not clear, you may be referred to a kidney specialist.
No special home care is needed until the cause of your proteinuria is known.
FOLLOW UP with your doctor or as advised by our staff.
RETURN PROMPTLY or contact your doctor if any of the following occur:
Nausea or vomiting
Severe weakness, dizziness, fainting, drowsiness or confusion
Chest pain or shortness of breath
Unexpected weight gain or swelling in the legs, ankles or around the eyes
Dark colored urine
Decreased or absent urine output