Presence of too much protein in urine is characteristic for the condition known as proteinuria or albuminuria. Albumins are proteins soluble in water, commonly found in the blood and therefore the name albuminuria for excess amount of proteins.
Human kidneys filter waste products of our metabolism from the blood and then excrete the waste through urine. Protein molecules are usually too big to pass through the glomeruli (filters) of the kidneys. That means that large amount of protein can be found in the kidneys only if there is something wrong with the filter system of the kidneys themselves.
People suffering from too much protein in the urine don’t have to experience any symptoms in early stages. However, high amounts of proteins in urine usually cause bubbly or foamy urine, especially when it comes into contact with the air. Later, progressed stages of the disease can lead to removal of large amount of proteins from the blood and development of edema and swelling of the abdomen, hands and/or feet.
What Can Cause Protein in Urine?
Small amount of protein in urine is not a reason for concern, but if urine test shows large amount of proteins there is something happening inside your body. Infections and diseases of the glomeruli can provoke proteinuria and this is often the first sign of such problem. Also, kidney diseases are known to be associated with too much protein in urine, so it is something that can be seen or expected in kidney failure or chronic kidney diseases. Urinary tract infections, diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) may also lead to the same medical problem.
Consummation of high protein diet may be seen as too much protein in the blood and consequently also in urine. One should know that eating too much protein can cause harm to the kidneys or even lead to development of gout.
Pregnancy is another condition characterized by elevated amount of protein in urine. If this happens in early stages of the pregnancy it might suggest problems with the kidneys, while in later stages of pregnancy it can raise an alarm for preeclampsia. Dehydration and some medications can also provoke transient elevation of protein in urine, as well as the fever, too much physical activity and exposure to cold or heat.
Recommended Treatment Options
Proteinuria caused by various infections is usually treated with antibiotic medications, while other causes require proper diagnosis and appropriate therapy. Consistently high amount of protein in urine indicates possible health problems, so visit your doctor as soon as you can to avoid complications such as damage to the kidneys or kidney failure.