How is proteinuria tested?

A simple urine test can be done in your doctor’s office to detect protein in your urine.

Does proteinuria mean I have kidney disease?

  • It may be an early sign of kidney disease, but your doctor will check you again to make sure proteinuria was not caused by something else like not drinking enough water.
  • If your doctor suspects that you have kidney disease, other tests will be done including:
    • checking your blood pressure
    • checking your kidney function by a simple blood test to estimate your glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
  • An ultrasound exam of the kidneys.

How often do I need to have a test for proteinuria?

People who are at increased risk for developing kidney disease should have this test as part of routine checkups by the doctor. Those at increased risk include:

  • People with diabetes
  • People with high blood pressure
  • People with a family history of kidney failure
  • People who are older
  • Certain ethnic groups including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans and American Indians.

If I have proteinuria, will I need treatment?

  • If proteinuria is confirmed, your doctor will do other tests and examinations to pinpoint the cause.
  • Your doctor may send you to a special kidney doctor who will help to develop your treatment plan.
  • Your treatment may include:
    • Medications
    • Changes in your diet
    • Lifestyle changes such as losing excess weight, exercising and stopping smoking.

What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

  • Swelling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Needing to urinate more often
  • Hiccups
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry, itchy skin.

Source: National Kidney Foundation

This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only.