Proteinuria means that you have protein in your urine. The important protein to remember is Albumin which is made by the liver. It’s the kidney’s job to make sure that albumin doesn’t spill out into urine.
Think of albumin as sealant for your blood vessels. It keeps them watertight, so if we lose too much albumin from our urine, water will leak outside our blood vessels. This is bad news!
Excess water in your body can become uncomfortable and even dangerous. In the absence of albumin, leaking water can make your legs and feet swell, or it can collect in your stomach/lungs to create shortness of breath. We want to avoid these things at all costs!
How much protein SHOULD my urine have?
Up to 150 mg / day is normal. A condition called nephrotic syndrome causes some people to spill out thousands and thousands of milligrams. This extra protein can cause:
- Puffy Eyes
- Swollen Face
- Swollen Legs
- Distended Abdomen
- Shortness of Breath
If you have any of these symptoms, book an appointment with Dr. G today: (714) 435 • 0150
Ok I get it, but what else does this mean?
- Proteinuria can be the first sign of kidney disease. It also means that you officially have stage 1 CKD (even with a normal creatinine level!).
- It’s a risk factor for heart disease and mortality
- Even teeny tiny amounts of albumin in urine increases the risk of a heart attack stroke, vascular disease and death
Are there any other tests I need to do?
Your doc may order more blood tests and a 24-hour urine collection. Since some causes of proteinuria can be treated, a kidney biopsy may be ordered as well.