Q: Please Dr., how do we treat protein in urine?
A: Protein molecules in blood are typically too large to be filtered into urine so that normally, very trace (very little/low) amount is present in the urine as healthy kidneys do a great job of filtration. So when protein is found in urine, it is abnormal and usually suggestive of the fact that the kidneys may be malfunctioning. This condition is known as proteinuria and the most common relevant protein suggestive of kidney disease is albumin. This can be detected using a dip-stick test. How would you know without this test? Well, the urine could get very frothy if a lot of protein is being passed out in the urine…so that’s something to look out for.
There is a condition known as temporary proteinuria, which occurs in people with high fever and after very vigorous exercise. This is not a problem and as the name suggests, it is temporary. Proteinuria is also common in concentrated urine samples like first thing in the morning and when dehydrated. In some instances, it is found in young children later in the day even when it was not evident in the morning in a condition known as orthostatic hypertension. Again, this is not suggestive of a bigger problem
What diseases can cause this?
- Kidney disease, especially those affecting the filtering units. Diabetes can affect these filtering units
- For more on this, please click here: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/10/23/daily-health-tips-protein-in-urine-during-pregnancy/
- Urinary tract infections
People with proteinuria are more at risk of heart disease and so it is key to monitor blood pressure and ensure one lives a healthy lifestyle.
Treatment depends on the cause. Please be guided by your doctor!
All the best!