The Urinary Tract And How It Works
The urinary tract is the bodys drainage system for removing urine, which is composed of wastes and extra fluid. In order for normal urination to occur, all body parts in the urinary tract need to work together in the correct order.
Kidneys. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Every day, the kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine. The kidneys work around the clock; a person does not control what they do.
Ureters. Ureters are the thin tubes of muscleone on each side of the bladderthat carry urine from each of the kidneys to the bladder.
The urinary tract is important because it filters wastes and extra fluid from the bloodstream and removes them from the body. Normal, functioning kidneys:
- prevent the buildup of wastes and extra fluid in the body
- keep levels of electrolytes, such as potassium and phosphate, stable
- make hormones that help regulate blood pressure
- make red blood cells
- keep bones strong
The ureters, bladder, and urethra move urine from the kidneys and store it until releasing it from the body.
What Are The Symptoms Of Protein In Urine
When a person first begins to have kidney problems, they may not notice any symptoms. This is why a urine test can be essential to detect protein in the urine, which may indicate early signs of kidney disease.
In addition to proteinuria, symptoms of kidney disease can include:
- Foamy or frothy urine
- Trouble concentrating
If you are pregnant, protein in urine can also be a sign of preeclampsia, a very dangerous condition that can cause high blood pressure and lead to hospitalization. Additional signs of preeclampsia can include headaches, vision changes, abdominal pain, nausea, decreased urine output, and shortness of breath.
Whats Wrong With Having Albumin In My Urine
One of the main jobs of your kidneys is to filter your blood. When your kidneys are healthy,;they keep important things your body needs inside your blood, like protein. They also remove things your body doesnt need, like waste products and extra water.;
If your kidneys are damaged, protein can leak out of the kidneys into your urine.; Having protein in your urine is called albuminuria or proteinuria.;
You May Like: What Causes High Levels Of Protein In Urine
What Are The Symptoms Of Protein In The Urine
When your kidneys have only mild damage and you have only small levels of protein in your urine, you will not notice any symptoms.
When your kidneys have more severe damage and you have high levels of protein in your urine, you may start to notice symptoms such as:
- Foamy, frothy or bubbly urine
- Swelling in your hands, feet, belly or face
- Urinating more often
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
If you find out you have nephrotic syndrome, talk with your doctor about the cause of your symptoms and what treatment is best for you. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
Don’t Miss: How Much Protein In Keto Diet
Is There Anything Else I Should Know
There are many factors that can affect or interfere with the tests that comprise a urinalysis. If instructed to do so, it is important to follow the directions carefully for a clean-catch sample. Give a complete history to your healthcare practitioner, including any prescribed or over-the-counter medications or supplements you may be taking. If you are a women, be sure to tell your healthcare practitioner whether you are menstruating.
What Is Proteinuria In Children
Proteinuria means theres protein in your childs urine. All children have a little protein in their urine. But too much may signal a problem with your childs kidneys. Kidneys are organs that filter out waste, extra fluid, and salt. These wastes leave the body through urine.
Sometimes older children can have orthostatic proteinuria. Orthostatic means upright. Its called orthostatic proteinuria because protein goes into the urine only when the child is standing up. Children who have this condition have no kidney damage. But for some unknown reason, they lose protein into the urine during the day when they are active. At night, while they sleep, their kidneys dont release protein into the urine.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Protein To Buy
How Is Nephrotic Syndrome Treated
There is no cure for nephrotic syndrome, but your doctor might tell you to take certain medicines to treat the symptoms. and to keep the damage to your kidneys from getting worse.
In The Lab You Follow The Steps Provided Below:
- Clean your hands by washing it well.
- Use a cleansing pad provided in the lab to clean the genital area. Women need to clean their labia from front to back. Men need to clean the tip of their genital organ.
- Start urinating in the toilet.
- Take the collection container offered and move it into the urine stream.
- Collect the urine. It must contain at least one to two ounce. The lab requires the amount to test properly.
- Finish urinating.
- Return the sample to the lab as instructed.
Also Check: Can You Have Too Much Protein On Keto
What Is Normal Urine Protein
Urine protein tests detect and/or measure protein being released into the urine. Normal urine protein elimination is less than 150 mg/day and less than 30 mg of albumin/day. Elevated levels may be seen temporarily with conditions such as infections, stress, pregnancy, diet, cold exposure, or heavy exercise.
What Are The Symptoms Of Nephrotic Syndrome
You may not know that you have nephrotic syndrome until you have routine blood and urine tests at a doctors appointment. The results of your tests can show that you have too much protein in your urine, not enough protein in your blood, or too much fat or cholesterol in your blood. Signs of nephrotic syndrome that you may notice are:
- Swelling in your legs, feet, ankles, and sometimes face and hands
- Weight gain
How The Test Is Performed
A 24-hour urine sample is needed:
- On day 1, urinate into the toilet when you get up in the morning.
- Afterward, collect all urine in a special container for the next 24 hours.
- On day 2, urinate into the container when you get up in the morning.
- Cap the container. Keep it in the refrigerator or a cool place during the collection period.
- Label the container with your name, the date, the time of completion, and return it as instructed.
For an infant, thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Open a urine collection bag , and place it on the infant. For males, place the entire penis in the bag and attach the adhesive to the skin. For females, place the bag over the labia. Diaper as usual over the secured bag.
This procedure may take a couple of attempts. Active infants can move the bag, causing the urine to be absorbed by the diaper. The infant should be checked frequently and the bag changed after the infant has urinated into the bag. Drain the urine from the bag into the container provided by your health care provider.
Deliver it to the lab or your provider as soon as possible upon completion.
Who Should Have Their Urine Routinely Tested For Proteinuria
NICE has suggested that the following people should be considered for a urine test for proteinuria:
- People with kidney function known to be less than 65% of normal. This assessment is made using a blood test for your kidney measurement, called your estimated glomerular filtration rate .
- People with diabetes.
- People with heart and blood vessel disease .
- People with complex diseases which may involve the kidneys – for example, systemic lupus erythematosus or myeloma.
- People with a family history of kidney failure or a family history of inherited kidney disease.
- People found to have blood in their urine.
Recommended Reading: Are Protein Powders Good For Weight Loss
Protein In Urine Causes Symptoms & Treatments
When your kidneys are not working as well as they should, protein can leak through your kidneys filters and into your urine . Protein in your urine is called proteinuria or albuminuria. It is a sign that your kidneys are damaged.
Nephrotic Syndrome: Treatments Causes & Symptoms
Nephrotic syndrome is a group of symptoms that show your kidneys are not working as well as they should. These symptoms include too much protein in your urine, not enough protein in your blood, too much fat or cholesterol in your blood, and swelling.
Don’t Miss: What Plant Contains The Most Protein
Proteinuria In Children Treatment
If tests show your child has orthostatic proteinuria or only small amounts of protein in his or her urine, no treatment is needed.
If tests show a large amount of protein in your childs urine, and he or she has swelling of the legs and eyelids, your doctor may send him or her to a kidney specialist. This doctor is called a nephrologist. The nephrologist may perform a kidney biopsy. During this simple surgical procedure, a small piece of kidney tissue is removed. Your doctor will look at the piece under a microscope. This may help him or her find out what is causing the protein in your childs urine. Once the doctor knows why its happening, he or she can treat the problem.
What Causes Proteinuria
Your kidneys keep you healthy by filtering blood. They have small blood vessels called glomeruli. These structures remove waste, which enters the urine, and reabsorb protein that stays in the blood.
But if your kidneys arent functioning properly, the protein can leak into your urine. The result is high protein levels in the urine, known as proteinuria.
There are different types of proteinuria, including:
- glomerular proteinuria
- overflow proteinuria
- post renal proteinuria
In addition, albuminuria is a type of proteinuria where the excess protein is albumin. Its related to glomerular proteinuria. Glomerular proteinuria is the type being discussed below.
Proteinuria may be related to temporary conditions, like dehydration, or more serious kidney damage. Lets explore the possible causes of proteinuria, along with its symptoms and treatment.
If you have proteinuria, take note of your other symptoms. This will help a doctor identify the underlying cause.
Don’t Miss: What Are Premier Protein Shakes Good For
How Is The Test Used
The urinalysis is a set of screening tests that can detect some common diseases. It may be used to screen for and/or help diagnose conditions such as a urinary tract infections, kidney disorders, liver problems, diabetes or other metabolic conditions, to name a few.
A urinalysis is comprised of several chemical, microscopic and visual examinations used to detect cells, cell fragments and substances such as crystals or casts in the urine associated with the various conditions listed above. It can detect abnormalities that might require follow-up investigation and additional testing. Often, substances such as protein or glucose will begin to appear in the urine before people are aware that they may have a problem.
In people diagnosed with diseases or conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes, the urinalysis may be used in conjunction with other tests, such as urine albumin, to follow treatment.
What Is The Normal Color Of Urine
Normal urine color ranges from pale yellow to deep amber the result of a pigment called urochrome and how diluted or concentrated the urine is. When you take more water, the urine gets diluted and takes a lighter color. On the other hand, when you take less water urine has less fluid content leading to a darker color. However, urine color can vary depending on your choice of foods, health conditions, or medications. Certain types of foods and medications have the ability to change the color of urine.
Urine is basically human waste, filtered by kidneys and removed from your body through the urethra. Urine contains many by-products, poisonous soluble substances, toxins, inorganic salts, hormones, proteins that need to be extracted from your blood. Urines rich structure has been used by doctors for centuries in diagnosing patients health state as it can provide essential data about diseases and diet. Besides, certain visible changes in the urine, such as its color, clarity, consistency or odor can give important information about your body and eventual abnormalities. So it is worth having at least basic knowledge about your urine and be aware of what some changes in it tell you.
Pigments and other compounds in certain foods and medications can change your urine color. Beets, berries and fava beans are among the foods most likely to affect the color. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications give urine vivid tones, such as red, yellow or greenish blue.
Recommended Reading: Which Protein Powder Can You Buy With Food Stamps
Signs Of Kidney Disease
Can Protein In Urine Be Temporary
Transient proteinuria is the temporary excretion of protein and can be caused by strenuous exercise, a high fever, exposure to cold, stress and other conditions. Pregnant women may also excrete more protein in their urine. Transient proteinuria does not involve underlying kidney disease and requires no treatment.
Don’t Miss: What Foods Have Collagen Protein
How Does Protein Leak Out Into The Urine
The kidney’s filter, called the glomerulus is usually very selective. It lets the bad toxins out into the urine. But it holds back the good stuff . However, damage to the kidneys filter can make it lose this selectivity making protein escape. Other factors that can cause this is damage to the kidney’s drainage system or in rarer cases, an excess amount of protein in the blood where it just overflows into the urine.
What If My Kidneys Fail
If your kidneys stop working because of nephrotic syndrome, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live. If you are interested in getting a transplant, you must have a full health evaluation by a transplant team at a transplant center. The evaluation will help the transplant team decide if you are ready for the kidney transplant. If the transplant team decides you are ready, the next step will be for your transplant team to help you find a kidney match. Learn more about the evaluation process and finding a match.
Read Also: Is Pure Protein Powder Good For Weight Loss
Can A Urinalysis Be Done In My Healthcare Practitioners Office
Many healthcare providers offices and clinics can perform the visual and chemical examinations of urine. Some may also be able to provide microscopic examinations. Sometimes, if abnormal results are found on the visual or chemical exams, your urine sample may be sent to a laboratory for the microscopic exam. Alternatively, your sample may be sent to a laboratory for a full urinalysis.
How Do Doctors Treat Protein In The Urine
Doctors treat the cause of protein in the urine:
- If you have diabetes, your doctor will help create a treatment plan to keep it under control and slow down damage to your kidneys. They may recommend that you:
- Check your blood sugar often
- Take certain medicines
- Follow a diabetes-friendly eating plan
- Be active most days of the week
- If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe a medicine to help lower your blood pressure and slow down damage to your kidneys. The types of medicine are:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, which are a group of medicines that lower blood pressure. They widen your blood vessels, help your kidneys get rid of extra water and lower the hormones that raise blood pressure.
- Angiotensin receptor blockers , which are a group of medicines that lower blood pressure. They widen your blood vessels.
- If you do not have diabetes or high blood pressure, your doctor may still prescribe an ACE inhibitor or an ARB to slow down damage to your kidneys.
Drinking water will not treat the cause of protein in your urine unless you are dehydrated. Drinking water will dilute your urine , but will not stop the cause of your kidneys leaking protein.If you have protein in your urine, talk with your doctor to choose the best treatment option for you.
Also Check: How Much Protein Do I Need Per Day