Proteinuria can also be a result of overproduction of proteins by the body.
Kidney disease often has no early symptoms. One of its first signs may be proteinuria that's discovered by a urine test done during a routine physical exam. Blood tests will then be done to see how well the kidneys are working.
Risk Factors for Proteinuria
The two most common risk factors for proteinuria are:
Other types of kidney disease unrelated to diabetes or high blood pressure can also cause protein to leak into the urine. Examples of other causes include:
Other risk factors include:
- Age over 65
- Family history of kidney disease
- Preeclampsia (high blood pressure and proteinuria in pregnancy)
- Race and ethnicity: African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders are more likely than whites to have high blood pressure and develop kidney disease and proteinuria.
Some people get more protein into urine while standing than while lying down. That is known as orthostatic proteinuria.
Treatment of Proteinuria
Proteinuria is not a specific disease. So its treatment depends on identifying and managing its underlying cause. If that cause is kidney disease, appropriate medical management is essential.
In mild or temporary proteinuria, no treatment may be necessary.
Drugs are sometimes prescribed, especially in people with diabetes and/or high blood pressure. These may come from two classes of drugs:
- ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors)
- ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers)
Proper treatment -- especially in patients with chronic disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure -- is essential to prevent the progressive kidney damage that is causing the proteinuria.