The protein we consume has amino acids. Our body needs these acids in order to build tissues; this includes hair, bones, nails, and muscles. In addition, the protein helps protect the body from infections, regulates the fluid present in the body, and makes hormones.
Our kidneys have many functions, one of them being getting rid of waste products from the blood and leaving protein for the body to use. Therefore the excess amount of protein is seen as a dangerous sign.
This is known as proteinuria. Read on to find out more about excess proteins in the kidneys.
Excess Proteins in the Kidneys – What We Should Know
People who have proteinuria actually have urine that contains an abnormal amount of protein. This is a condition that is seen as a symptom of kidney disease.
Healthy kidneys don’t permit a notable amount of protein to pass through the filters. However, filters that are damaged by kidney disease might allow proteins like albumin to leak from the blood into the urine.
Also, proteinuria might occur due to the overproduction of proteins. Often, kidney disease has no early signs. As a matter of fact, one of its early symptoms might be proteinuria which is usually discovered thanks to a urine test during a routine physical exam.
Next, a blood test is done to check the working of the kidneys.
Signs of Proteinuria
Most people don’t suspect having kidney disease until they test their urine. Potential indicators are swelling of the face, hands, feet, and abdomen and also foamy urine.
The presence of protein in the urine impacts the ability of the body to balance fluids, and it leads to a build-up of fluids, known by the name edema.
Risk Factors for Proteinuria
The most common risk factors are hypertension – high blood pressure and diabetes. Both conditions can lead to kidney damage which can cause proteinuria.
Other kinds of kidney disease which are unrelated to the two conditions can also make protein leak in the urine.
Such examples are:
- Immune system disorders
Moreover, increased production of proteins can cause proteinuria. Such cases are amyloidosis and multiple myeloma.
Other risk factors are:
- Ethnicity and race: Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Native Americans are more likely to have proteinuria, kidney disease, and blood pressure.
- Also, some individuals get more protein in their urine while standing. This is in comparison to while they are lying down. This is known by the name orthostatic proteinuria.
Diagnosis of This Condition
In order to diagnose kidney disease, we should do urine and blood tests. A physician is able to determine a glomerular filtration rate according to age, blood creatinine, gender, and race to evaluate the degree of the progression of the disease.
Creatinine is actually a waste product of the activity of the muscle which can build up in our bloodstream in case our kidneys aren’t working correctly.
Moreover, blood urea nitrogen is a waste material that occurs from the failure of protein by metabolism or in foods. This might be impacted by diet. However, usually, it increases due to the lowered function of the kidney.
Many drugs, this includes antibiotics might interfere with the test results. Also, urinary tract infections and dehydration might interfere with test results.
Treatment of This Condition
Bear in mind that when it comes to proteinuria, the severity of the damage dictates the treatment plan. Drug therapies would be started right away.
Also, the diet might be changed to have less protein. There may be additional restrictions on minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and sodium in order to put less damage to the filtering process of the kidneys.
And, when it comes to the end stage of kidney disease, dialysis on a regular basis or an organ transplant might be needed in order for the kidney to function normally.