Symptoms Of Proteinuria In Adults: Causes & Treatment Options

Proteinuria is excretion of abnormal amount of protein in urine. Thousands of years ago Hippocrates was the first person who suspected an association between urine bubbles and renal pathology. When protein is passed more than 150 mg/day, the condition is described as proteinuria. Normally a small amount of protein may pass from urine particularly after adults perform strenuous exercise or due to fever or dehydration etc.

This is temporary but when proteinuria is consistent and at high level for a long period of time, it suggests kidney dysfunction. In fact proteinuria is a common starting point of investigation in adults who are suspected of kidney disease.

Protienuria can also occur in people suffering from diabetes and hypertension.

Protein is an important element in body. It is a building block for tissues and cells. After water, protein is the largest constituent in the body and accounts for 16.6 percent of body weight. Apart from bones, everything in the body has major component made from protein. Hence body does not normally excrete protein that is circulating in blood. Protein gets recycled when the blood passes through filtration system of kidney. But sometime kidneys are not able to retain protein during the filtration of waste.

Protein leaks into the urine, its range can be benign to lethal. Let us know the reasons for the reasons for abnormal excretion of protein in urine.

Causes Of Proteinuria In Adults

There are wide Varieties of reasons that may cause proteinuria in adults. Proteinuria may either result from damage to the glomeruli, it is the basic filtration unit of kidney, decreased reabsorption of protein, or due to overflow of low molecular weight protein. There are several conditions that may cause proteinuria in adults.

  • Diabetes is one of the most common causes of proteinuria in adults. Persistent high level of blood sugar in uncontrolled diabetes damages the filtering units of kidney. Hence the kidney malfunctions and starts leakage of protein in urine. Diabetes is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease.
  • High blood pressure for a prolonged period of time can damage renal tubules, causing proteinuria.
  • Toxins, heavy metals, and prolonged intake of certain type of drugs can cause kidney damage and proteinuria.
  • Kidney infections can cause excess excretion of protein in urine.
  • Acute illness with fever and dehydration can cause proteinuria in adults.
  • Proteinuria in pregnant woman can be one of the sign of preeclamsia.
  • Obese individuals are at high risk of suffering from proteinuria.
  • Strenuous exercise, exposure to extreme cold.

Signs And Symptoms Of Proteinuria In Adults

In majority of cases proteinuria does not present with any symptoms. It is detected on routine urine examination carried out for patients suffering from diabetes, hypertension or people with acute sickness. If there is severe protein loss following symptoms may develop:

  • Swelling on face and eyes.
  • Swelling around the ankles.
  • Swelling in abdomen.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Frothy or foamy urine.
  • Sudden gain of weight due to retention of fluid.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • General feeling of tiredness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Burning in urine or blood in urine.
  • Pain in middle lower side of back and in loin.
  • Reduced or increased urine output.
  • High blood pressure.

Treatment Options For Proteinuria

Proteinuria is a symptom of many underlying conditions. It is an indication that your kidney is not working well. Medical management hence is aimed to correct and treat the underlying cause. For example if patient is suffering from high blood pressure, than measures are taken to control blood pressure.

If diabetes is the causative disease, patient is advised to follow strict diabetic diet, take appropriate prescribed medicines and other measures such as exercise to control high blood sugar. In case if kidney failure is suspected, 24 hours urine is collected to find the range of proteinuria.

Patient suffering from proteinuria must follow certain steps:

  • He must avoid red meat.
  • Include fish in diet.
  • Reduce the intake of salt.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid carbonated water.
  • Restrict consuming alcohol.