A urine protein test is often used to screen for, help evaluate, and monitor kidney function and to help detect and diagnose early kidney damage and/or disease. However, the test can also help screen for several other conditions that can cause proteinuria.
In most cases, proteinuria has no symptoms and is detected during a routine screening in people with high blood pressure or diabetes. If protein loss is severe, swelling or edema can occur. Edema can be present in the:
It is necessary to treat the underlying condition that is causing proteinuria. For example, when diabetes or hypertension is present, treatment involves controlling blood pressure with the use of an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE-I) inhibitor, like captopril (capoten). Ace inhibitors prevent the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, a substance that normally causes the veins to constrict. The result is a reduction in blood pressure. The goal is to reduce blood pressure below 130 systolic and 80 diastolic. After bun, creatinine, and potassium are monitored for 7 to 10 days, ace inhibitors are gradually increased to avoid side effects. The degree of proteinuria is checked periodically and typically improves with every dose. It is necessary to monitor blood sugar, salt intake, diet, and exercise.
Because proteinuria is a symptom and not a disease itself, medical care focuses on treating the underlying condition, such as normalizing blood pressure in people with hypertension or controlling blood sugar levels in those with diabetes.
People with nephrotic syndrome and fluid overload should restrict salt in their diet. The nephrologist may also recommend a mild restriction in protein intake.
ACE inhibitors are medications used primarily for the treatment of hypertension, but they're also very effective in reducing proteinuria regardless of whether the patient has hypertension or not.
A person with the following symptoms should get this test done: In most cases, proteinuria has no symptoms and is detected during a routine screening in people with high blood pressure or diabetes. If protein loss is severe, swelling or edema can occur. Edema can be present in the: