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Overview

Proteinuria is a condition that causes an increase in the amount of protein excreted in the urine. If you have been diagnosed with this ailment, it is possible that your kidneys have been damaged.

Protein in urine means that kidneys are not functioning properly. If the kidneys are not performing correctly, protein might build up in the urine. Glomeruli, which are small loops of capillaries, are responsible for filtering waste items and excess water from the blood when the kidneys are in healthy condition. They excrete these substances in the urine, however they do not excrete bigger proteins or blood cells. Tubules which are long, thin, tubes found in the kidneys may collect and store smaller proteins that pass through the glomeruli.Other proteins may be seen in the urine, however albumin is the most closely linked to kidney illness.

Proteins will be discharged in the urine if one or more glomeruli or tubules are injured, the protein reabsorption mechanism is impeded, or the protein load is excessive.

Proteins required for muscle and bone development, circulatory fluid management, infection resistance, and tissue repair should be allowed to stay in the bloodstream. If proteins are expelled via the urine, they eventually exit the body, posing a health risk.

Although protein in the urine is normally not visible, it may be identified in specific instances using a simple dip-stick test or more sensitive laboratory testing.

Protein in the urine might serve as an early warning indication of a kidney issue in some circumstances.

Proteinuria might potentially indicate the presence of another illness. As a result, treatment is contingent on determining the cause. You may not require therapy if your proteinuria is minor or only lasts a short period. Treatment of renal sickness, on the other hand, is critical before it progresses to the point of kidney failure.

If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication to help manage the symptoms.

Causes

Proteinuria i.e. presence of protein in urine is often caused by medical disorders that are benign (non-cancerous) or temporary. Dehydration, inflammation, and low blood pressure are some of the conditions associated with proteinuria. It may be triggered by a variety of factors, including physical exertion, mental stress, drug usage, or exposure to severe cold. Proteinuria may also be brought on by the production of a kidney stone in the urine system.

Proteinuria may be a sign of chronic renal illness, which is characterized by a steady reduction in kidney function that may need dialysis or a kidney transplant. Diabetes and hypertension, which are the top and second leading causes of renal illness, both have the potential to affect the kidneys causing too much protein in the urine.

Hypertension: High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, may cause damage to the blood arteries in the kidneys. As a consequence, their capacity to reabsorb protein is hampered, resulting in protein excretion in the urine.

Diabetes: It is a metabolic condition in which blood sugar levels are unusually high. The blood sugar levels rise, forcing the kidneys to filter blood more completely than they should. Kidney damage develops as a result, enabling the protein to leak into the urine.

Glomerulonephritis: Proteinuria may be a sign of glomerulonephritis, a glomerular inflammation. Glomerulonephritis is an autoimmune disease that targets the kidneys. It may result in the presence of blood and protein in urine. Protein is normally reabsorbed by the glomeruli during the blood filtering process. Protein may pass through damaged glomeruli and end up in the urine. Hematuria, or the presence of red blood cells in the urine, is another symptom of glomerulonephritis. Hematuria results in pink colored urine.

Autoimmune illnesses: Antibodies, also known as immunoglobulins, are primarily produced by the immune system to protect against invading invaders. When a person has an autoimmune illness, their immune system produces antibodies that are directed against their own bodily tissues. Autoantibodies are the molecules that cause this reaction. An inflammatory response may occur if the autoantibodies harm the glomeruli. Kidney damage and, eventually, proteinuria happen as a consequence of this. Goodpasture syndrome and SLE i.e. systemic lupus erythematosus are the common diseases associated with the symptom of proteinuria.

Other causes of proteinuria are listed below:

·         Cancer

·         Chronic kidney disease

·         Kidney infection

·         Malaria

·         Amyloidosis (protein buildup in organs)

When to see a doctor

If a urine test indicates that you have protein in the urine, see your doctor determine if more testing is required. The doctor may advise repeating the test the following morning or a few days later since protein is only present in urine for a short period of time.

Protein in the urine that has just developed or is rising in quantity might be the first indicator of diabetic kidney damage. Hence, it is critical to consult the physician.