Protein in Urine Test. Why Is Proteinuria Tested?
A Protein in urine test is used to detect a range of health conditions. what are the types of this test, when to get tested, and its results?
Table of Contents
A protein in urine test is a screening tool used to detect health conditions, such as kidney and urinary tract infections, as well as other underlying illnesses.
What Is a Protein in Urine Test?
Proteinuria is a condition in which there is an excess of protein in the urine. This can be an indication of kidney disease, as well as other health problems. Normally, the kidneys filter out waste products and excess water, while retaining proteins and other useful components in the body.
When the kidneys are not functioning properly, or damaged, they may allow proteins to pass through into the urine, which can be an indication of kidney damage or other health concerns.
A protein-in urine test is an important diagnostic tool used to detect the presence of a certain type of protein in the urine. The test can be performed on a sample of your urine to help diagnose a range of different health conditions, including kidney and urinary tract infections, liver disease, diabetes, and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. It is important to note that a positive result does not necessarily mean you have one of these conditions.
Why Is Proteinuria Tested?
Proteinuria, or high levels of protein in the urine, is tested to identify abnormal levels of protein in the urine. Proteinuria can be an indication of kidney disease, an infection, or other conditions, such as diabetes and lupus.
A proteinuria test can be done as part of a general health checkup or at the request of a physician when there are symptoms or signs that suggest a person may have a condition involving the kidneys.
Proteinuria testing measures the amount of protein lost in the urine over a 24-hour period and is used to help diagnose the underlying cause of the increased levels of protein in the urine. If the test reveals high levels of protein, it can indicate a serious health issue, such as kidney disease or an infection. Treatment for any underlying condition can be started as soon as possible if proteinuria is detected.
When Should You Have a Proteinuria Test?
Depending on your risk factors and medical history, your doctor may want you to have a urine protein test every six months or once a year. It is also important to have a urine protein test if you have any signs or symptoms that could be caused by kidney disease, such as:
- High blood pressure.
- Puffy eyelids.
- Swelling in your feet or hands.
- Urination increases or decreases.
- Dark-colored urine.
- Bloody or foamy urine.
- Muscle cramps.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- If you are pregnant.
- Loss of appetite.
If you have a high risk of kidney disease, your doctor may order a protein in urine test. If you have any of the following conditions, you are more likely to develop kidney disease:
- A history of kidney disease in the family.
- Blood pressure is high.
- Cardiovascular disease.
Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications can also harm your kidneys. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, for example, can harm the kidneys if taken for an extended period of time or if you have certain medical conditions.
“Related: Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) Test. What Does an Elevated LDH Indicate?“
How Is the Proteinuria Test Performed?
The test will require you to provide a random urine sample. A healthcare professional may provide you with a small container and instructions on how to collect your urine sample using the “clean catch” method. It’s critical to follow these steps urine collection to avoid contaminating the sample with germs from your skin:
- Hands should be washed and dried with soap and water.
- Do not touch the container inside.
- Clean the genital area with a clean wipe.
- Urinate for a few seconds into the toilet before stopping the flow. Begin urinating into the container once more.
- Don’t let the container come into contact with your skin.
- Fill the container with at least an ounce or two of urine.
- Complete your urination in the toilet.
Inform your provider before your test if you have bleeding hemorrhoids or are having your menstrual period.
In some cases, your provider may request that you gather all of your urine within a 24-hour period. Because the protein content and other substances in urine could vary throughout the day, a “24-hour urine sample test” may provide more complete results.
Results interpretations of a Proteinuria Test
Normal Results of a Proteinuria Test
The normal result of a proteinuria test is a low level of protein concentration in the urine. Protein urine dipstick test measures the presence of this low amount of protein.
A more sensitive test may be used if your doctor suspects you have a low level of protein in your urine. The normal range for urine protein is usually between 0-150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
If your results are above this range, it could indicate that your kidneys are not functioning properly and that you may have a kidney disorder.
When the results of a proteinuria test are abnormal, it may indicate an underlying health issue. The most common causes of proteinuria are kidney diseases, such as glomerulonephritis and kidney failure.
Other causes of elevated protein levels in the urine include diabetes, urinary tract infections, and some types of cancer.
In some cases, high levels of protein in the urine may be caused by certain medications or dietary supplements.
If you have an abnormal result on your proteinuria test, it is important to speak with your doctor to determine the cause and any necessary treatments.
Treatment for high protein levels in the urine will depend on the underlying cause. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise modifications. In more severe cases, medications or hospitalization may be necessary to treat the underlying cause.
FAQs About Urinary Protein Tests
When it comes to proteinuria, there are many questions that people have. Here are some of the most common FAQs about urinary protein tests:
Q: What is the difference between albumin and total protein in urine?
A: Albumin is a type of protein that is specific to the kidneys and can be an indicator of kidney damage. Total protein in urine includes all types of proteins, including albumin.
Q: How often should I have a urine protein test?
A: This depends on your individual risk factors. If you have risk factors for kidney damage, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you should discuss this with your doctor who can help determine if you need more frequent testing.
Q: What is the best time of day to get a urine sample for a protein test?
A: Generally, the best time to collect a sample for a urine protein test is first thing in the morning before consuming any food or drink.
Q: Are there any special instructions for providing a urine sample for a protein test?
A: Yes, depending on what type of test you are getting, you may need to follow certain instructions such as collecting the sample at certain times of day or avoiding certain foods and drinks prior to collecting the sample. Your doctor or lab technician will provide detailed instructions if needed.
In conclusion, a protein in urine test is an important tool for diagnosing and monitoring kidney diseases. It is a simple and non-invasive test that can detect significant levels of protein in the urine. So, it can be an indicator of kidney problems such as glomerulonephritis, diabetic nephropathy, and other kidney diseases.