Welcome to the NKI Proteinuria Resource Center
The purpose of the Proteinuria Resource Center site is to provide information on an early warning sign of chronic kidney disease (CKD), proteinuria. Many people are not aware they may be at risk for serious health problems, because there are so few early warning signs or symptoms of CKD. Many of the symptoms are non-specific and even temporary. This is not a diagnostic site, but rather an informational one that is designed to encourage people to have better discussions with their doctors. The NKI Proteinuria Resource Center has been designed to allow patients to enter their own lab data and see if they may have issues requiring medical attention.
What is Proteinuria? (pro-teen-yur-EE-uh)
Proteinuria is the name used by medical professional’s when a large amount of protein, that should remain circulating in a person’s blood, is “spilled” into their urine and eliminated from the body. Proteins are large molecules that our bodies need to function properly. Another name used to describe a lot of protein in the urine is albuminuria. There are different causes of proteinuria and some are more serious than others. Learn more
What are the risk factors for Proteinuria?
The two most common health conditions associated with proteinuria are diabetes and high blood pressure. Both diabetes and high blood pressure can cause damage to the kidneys, which can lead to proteinuria. Kidneys can become damaged in other ways from:
- Immune system disorders
- Rare kidney diseases such as:
- Focal Segmental Golmulosclerosis
- Minimal Change Disease.
Other risk factors include:
- Being over 65 years of age
- Family history of kidney disease
- Preeclampsia (high blood pressure and proteinuria during pregnancy)
- Race and ethnicity
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Proteinuria?
- Swelling, or edema, of the body, especially around the face, hands and feet.
- Foamy or Bubbly urine
- High Blood Pressure
- Feeling tired
These signs of large protein loss indicate the possibility of a kidney problem. Proteinuria can easily be discovered during a routine doctor’s visit through a simple urine sample. Further laboratory testing is the only way to find out whether the protein in a person’s urine is significant.
What can Proteinuria lead to?
If the underlying problem that causes proteinuria is left untreated, a person is at risk for developing more serious kidney problems. The kidneys can loose some of their function or even stop working. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is the last step in the disease process. Long term dialysis or a kidney transplant are the only treatment options to replace lost kidney function.
What is Nephrotic Syndrome and how does it relate to Proteinuria?
Nephrotic Syndrome is the name medical professionals give to agroup of symptoms that suggest a serious kidney problem. Nephrotic Syndrome is not a disease, it describes a a collection of symptoms, that can be caused by any one of several diseases. Proteinuria is one of the most important signs (or laboratory findings) that suggest a person could have Nephrotic Syndrome.
What can your Test Results Mean?
It is important that you talk with your doctor if you have symptoms or a laboratory test result that may suggest you have Proteinuria. Testing can help a doctor make a correct diagnosis, but you need to manage your own health care actively.
NephCure Kidney International (NKI) is a patient advocacy organization and is not licensed to practice medicine. The information on this site is intended to be educational and not diagnostic or recommended treatment. Consult with your doctor if you learn anything that might alarm you or if you have any questions.
NephCure thanks Questcor Pharmaceuticals for its support of the Proteinuria Resource Center.