Protein in Urine (Proteinuria) Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

It is everyone’s dream to live healthily and remain that way for a long time on the earth. But sometimes, it happens otherwise. This teaches us that it is not just enough to dream, some personal and communal efforts need to be put in place. 

Proteinuria is a kidney disease during which there is an increased level of protein in the urine. While this may not directly affect humans, it is a sign of kidney disease. Another indirect effect is that the body loses such essential nutrients as protein which repairs tissues and leads to growth. So, literally, Proteinuria can be referred to as a condition where there is a higher amount of protein in the urine (more than is required). This condition is just a symptom of some other kidney-related disease, it is not a disease. This condition can also be referred to as Albuminuria.


This condition has both short-term and long-term causes. Some short-term causes include:

  1. Dehydration: this is a lack of the required amount of water in the body. This condition is manifested by a feeling of thirst, tiredness, a dry mouth, lips, and eyes, peeing little, etc.
  2. High stress: could be a result of emotional or physical problems.
  3. Fever: some natural events such as teething in children can cause fever. Other unnatural events are food poisoning, extreme sunburn, infections, etc.
  4. Being in a low-temperature environment
  5. Highly intense physical activity: this could lead to a higher breathing rate which would lead to a higher rate of metabolism. High-intensity exercise increases the rate of protein secretion because renal blood flow is reduced, thereby influencing the glomerular filtration rate.

While the long-term causes include:

  1. Kidney disease: this is a malfunction of the kidney, which does not filter well, and causes Protein in Urine.
  2. Acute Inflammation of the kidney: this is another malfunction of the kidney.
  3. Poisoning: exposure to poisonous substances in the environment like cadmium, arsenic, lead affects the kidney. 
  4. Kidney stone in the urinary tract: 
  5. Preëclampsia (during pregnancy)
  6. Diabetes: prolonged high blood glucose level causes proteinuria. Same for high blood pressure.
  7. High Blood Pressure.
  8. Trauma: burn injury was studied for effects on proteinuria, and it was found that there is a high-rate protein secretion into the urine in the days following the injury.  This rate is also affected by the intensity of the trauma/injury.
  9. Immune disorders: autoimmune responses lead to the damage of glomerular, tubular, and vascular structures in the kidney since the kidney is targeted.


Some of the symptoms of this condition include lack of appetite, swelling around the eyes, hands, and face, frequent urination, shortness of breath, muscle cramps especially at night, nausea and vomiting, and foamy urine. 

These symptoms should not be left unnoticed for a long time. Hence, the culture of thorough medical checks is one to be imbibed. Medical personnel make use of medical laboratory services to perform various tests. Since most of these symptoms are usually onset at the later stage of the disease, an early diagnosis of the disease may not manifest these symptoms.


Doctors diagnose this disease by performing a urine test, or a blood test to determine the level of creatinine and urea nitrogen. It could just take the use of some medical laboratory services to analyze the test results, and the health practitioner can further advice based on results. It is said that the earlier the diagnosis, the better the chance of slowing down the rate of progression of the disease.

To treat Protein in Urine,  the cause of the condition must be determined as a first step. For example, if dehydration was the cause, suppressing dehydration would solve the condition of protein-in-urine., or if hypertension was the cause, controlling the blood sugar level, or high blood pressure, is a viable solution.

Periodic protein screening is usually recommended by experts for people at high risk of kidney damage. The categories of such people include Pacific Islander Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians.


Living healthy is a choice, and apart from hereditary illnesses interfering, everyone can pay the price for their health. The kidney, being one of the most important organs in the body, should be well-cared for. Seeking medical help would be proper in this context. Also, eating healthy, maintaining proper levels of hydration, and exercising in the correct amount. Medical laboratory services can test for proteinuria and kidney diseases.

Natalia Webster

Natalia Webster is a creative content creator, the author of Boomerang, Liar’s Poker, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game, and The Big Short, among other works, lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband, and their three children.