Proteinuria

Proteinuria

Proteinuria is a medical condition in which the kidneys are unable to filter the proteins properly and hence significant amount of the same are present in the urine. It usually represents a Kidney disease. A healthy kidney segregates the fluids, minerals and other wastes from the blood and they do not allow protein to pass out in the urine. If it does, then it signifies malfunctioning of the kidneys.

Types and Causes of Proteinuria:
  • Transient proteinuria: It indicates temporary excretion of protein and is caused to vigorous exercise, fever, stress, exposure to cold and other conditions. Usually treatment is not required as it does not imply any kidney diseases.
  • Orthostatic proteinuria: When the person is in vertical position large amounts of protein is excreted and it is commonly found in tall, thin and younger adults who are below 30yrs of age. The kidneys are found to be healthy and no treatment is required.
  • Proteinuria is also caused by other conditions such as malignancy of the plasma cells and multiple myeloma. There is an abundant quantity of protein in the urine because blood is inundated with the same and hence cannot be filtered effectively.
  • Other causes of proteinuria occur due to kidney diseases such as glomerulunephritis, glomerulusclerosis and other systemic diseases that lead kidney damage.
Symptoms of Proteinuria:
  • Edema of face and around the eyes
  • Edema in hands, legs, ankles and feet
  • Swelling in abdomen region
  • Frothy urine
  • Fluid retention and weight gain
  • Loss or poor appetite
  • Increase in blood pressure
Diagnosis of Proteinuria:
  • Urine analysis is done to find out the presence of any abnormal cells or casts which shows underlying kidney problem.
  • Albumin to creatinine ratio in urine is done to check the amount of albumin excreted in 24 hrs.
  • Blood tests to check serum creatinine, albumin, chloestrol and glucose levels indicate kidney damage.
  • If your doctor suspects kidney disease, then he/she might advise tests such as Glomerular filtration rate, ultrasound of the kidneys and biopsy.
Treatment of Proteinuria:
  • Proteinuria is a symptom of an underlying kidney problem and hence treatment for the primary condition must be done such as controlling blood pressure and sugar levels in people who have diabetes and hypertension.
  • Those who are diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome and fluid retention in body must restrict the intake of salt. Also Protein intake must be limited.
  • Drugs such as ACE inhibitors that are used for lowering hypertension are also found to control proteinuria. Hence it is advised for people who do not have hypertension too.

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