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Nephrology & Hypertension serving Middle Tennessee

Proteinuria services offered throughout Middle tennessee

Proteinuria is one of the earliest signs of kidney disease. The highly qualified team at Southern Kidney Specialists, with offices throughout Middle Tennessee, evaluate your symptoms and run a proteinuria test before recommending the next step toward diagnosing the underlying kidney condition and starting individualized treatment. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, call the nearest office or use the online booking feature today.

What is proteinuria?

If you have proteinuria, you have unusually high levels of protein in your urine. A similar condition, albuminuria, refers to high urine levels of one specific protein, albumin. Both conditions are signs of kidney disease.

What causes proteinuria?

Protein levels in your urine can temporarily rise after intense exercise or if you’re sick, dehydrated, or have a fever. Otherwise, proteinuria, and albuminuria, signal a kidney problem, such as:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Glomerular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • IgA nephropathy
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Lupus nephritis

Proteinuria may also be a sign of heart failure.

Does proteinuria cause symptoms?

Proteinuria does not cause symptoms, and in the early stages, you also won’t have signs of the underlying kidney disease. As kidney disease progresses, you experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Blood in your urine
  • Puffiness around your eyes
  • Swollen feet and ankles (due to excess fluid)
  • Excessive bubbles in your urine (foamy)
  • Frequent urination (especially at night)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headaches

Advanced kidney disease causes an accumulation of toxins in your blood, potentially leading to serious problems like heart inflammation and damage to your central nervous system.

How is proteinuria tested?

Proteinuria is routinely tested in the Southern Kidney Specialists office with a urine sample. After you give a sample, your provider uses a dipstick that reveals the level of protein in your urine.

Depending on your symptoms, your provider may ask you to collect your urine at home over 24 hours. Testing a 24-hour specimen provides a more accurate measure of the total protein than can be achieved with a one-time test.

If you need to take a 24-hour urine collection, your provider gives you specific instructions to follow. For example, you need to keep the urine cold, avoid vigorous exercise, and avoid certain foods or beverages for 24 hours.

What happens after a proteinuria test?

If you have high proteins in your urine, your Southern Kidney Specialists provider begins additional blood and/or urine testing to determine the cause of the problem. For example, they may check electrolyte levels and other lab tests that show how well your kidneys are working.

After determining the cause of your proteinuria, your provider creates a treatment plan based on the type of kidney disease, your symptoms, and your overall health.

To schedule an evaluation for kidney disease, call Southern Kidney Specialists or use the online booking feature today.