What is proteinuria?
- Proteinuria means you have protein in your urine.
- The kidneys act as filters and keep protein in your body. Very little or no protein normally appears in the urine.
- Protein in the urine may be an early sign that the kidney's filters have been damaged by disease, allowing protein to leak into the urine.
How is proteinuria tested?
A simple urine test can be done in your doctor's office to detect protein in your urine.
Does proteinuria mean I have kidney disease?
- It may be an early sign of kidney disease, but your doctor will check you again to make sure proteinuria was not caused by something else like not drinking enough water.
- If your doctor suspects that you have kidney disease, other tests will be done including:
- checking your blood pressure
- checking your kidney function by a simple blood test to estimate your glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
- An ultrasound exam of the kidneys.
How often do I need to have a test for proteinuria?
People who are at increased risk for developing kidney disease should have this test as part of routine checkups by the doctor. Those at increased risk include:
- people with diabetes
- people with high blood pressure
- people with a family history of kidney failure
- people who are older
- certain ethnic groups including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans and American Indians.
If I have proteinuria, will I need treatment?
- If proteinuria is confirmed, your doctor will do other tests and examinations to pinpoint the cause.
- Your doctor may send you to a special kidney doctor who will help to develop your treatment plan.
- Your treatment may include:
- changes in your diet
- lifestyle changes such as losing excess weight, exercising and stopping smoking.
What are the symptoms of kidney disease?
- shortness of breath
- needing to urinate more often
- trouble sleeping
- nausea and vomiting
- dry, itchy skin.
For more information:
- Speak to your doctor.
- Call the National Kidney Foundation's toll-free number 1-800-622-9010.
If you would like more information, please contact us.
© 2014 National Kidney Foundation. All rights reserved. This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations.