Protein in Urine (Proteinuria)

Protein in Urine (Proteinuria) Testing and health information

Do you have protein in your urine?

If you have proteinuria, it may signify kidney disease. Find out with Ulta Lab Tests the amounts of protein in your urine.

Proteinuria is a condition where there are high amounts of protein in the urine. If you have high levels of protein in your urine, it can signify problems with your kidneys or urinary tract. It may be caused by many different conditions, including kidney disease, which can be serious if left untreated. The only way to know for sure is with a protein in urine test that measures the amount of protein in your urine. The protein in urine test is the only way to know if you have protein in your urine.   

If you want to learn more about Proteinuria and the lab tests that can help you, click on the title of the articles below.

There are many causes for high levels of proteins found in the urine, including dehydration, diabetes, infections, and more. It's important that you get your labs tested to determine what exactly is causing these elevated levels of proteins. You should also be aware that having higher than normal levels of proteins found in the urine could lead to serious health problems such as kidney damage or failure, which can ultimately result in death if left untreated. Please don't wait until it's too late! Get tested today with Protein In Urine (Proteinuria).

At Ulta Lab Tests, we're committed to helping you take charge of your health! We offer discounted lab tests online 24/7, with results from Quest Diagnostics in just 24 to 48 hours for most tests. Plus, we have 2,000 lab tests available and 2100 locations nationwide.

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Proteinuria is characteristic of renal disease and concentrations may be increased with diabetes, hypertension, nephritic syndrome, and drug nephrotoxicity.

Description: A Urinalysis complete test is a urine test that is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases urinary tract infections and kidney disorders.

Also Known As: Urine Test, Urine Analysis Test, UA Test, urine microscopic examination Test, Urinalysis Test, Complete Urinalysis Test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Urinalysis Complete test ordered?

A urinalysis test may be ordered when a person undergoes a routine wellness examination, is admitted into a hospital, will have surgery, or is having a prenatal checkup.

When a person visits a doctor with symptoms of a urinary tract infection or another urinary system ailment, such as kidney disease, a urinalysis will almost certainly be prescribed. The following are some possible signs and symptoms:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Backache
  • Urination that is painful or occurs frequently
  • Urine with blood in it

Testing may also be conducted at regular intervals to track the progress of a condition.

What does a Urinalysis Complete test check for?

A urinalysis is a series of examinations done on urine that are physical, chemical, and microscopic. The tests identify and/or measure a number of elements in the urine, including cells, cellular fragments, and microbes. These elements include byproducts of healthy and unhealthy metabolism.

Urine is produced by the kidneys, two fist-sized organs located on either side of the spine near the base of the rib cage. The kidneys help the body regulate its water balance, filter wastes from the blood, and store proteins, electrolytes, and other molecules for later use. To get rid of everything unnecessary, urine travels from the kidneys to the ureters, bladder, and urethra before exiting the body. The color, amount, concentration, and content of urine will change slightly every time a person urinates due to the varied elements in urine, despite the fact that pee is normally yellow and clear.

By screening for components in the urine that aren't typically present and/or monitoring aberrant levels of specific substances, many illnesses can be caught early on. Glucose, bilirubin, protein, red and white blood cells, crystals, and germs are among examples. They could be present because of the following reasons:

  • The body responds to an elevated amount of the substance in the blood by attempting to remove the excess through urine.
  • There is a problem with the kidneys.
  • As with bacteria and white blood cells, there is a urinary tract infection present.

Three separate phases make up a full urinalysis:

  • The color and clarity of the urine are assessed using a visual examination.
  • Chemical examination, which determines the concentration of urine and tests for roughly 9 chemicals that provide useful information about health and disease.
  • Microscopic inspection that identifies and counts the different types of cells, casts, crystals, and other components found in urine, such as bacteria and mucus.

When abnormal results are found, or if a healthcare provider requests it, a microscopic analysis is usually performed.

It may be essential to repeat the test if the findings of a urinalysis are abnormal, and further other urine and blood tests may be needed to help establish a diagnosis, if the results are abnormal.

Lab tests often ordered with a Urinalysis Complete test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Iron Total and Total Iron binding capacity
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Lipid Panel
  • CMP
  • TSH
  • Urine Culture
  • Bilirubin Fractionated
  • Glucose

Conditions where a Urinalysis Complete test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Pregnancy
  • Hematuria
  • Proteinuria
  • Kidney Stones

How does my health care provider use a Urinalysis Complete test?

A urinalysis is a series of tests that can diagnose a variety of disorders. It can be used to screen for and/or diagnose a variety of illnesses, including urinary tract infections, renal abnormalities, liver diseases, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders, to name a few.

Urinalysis may be used in conjunction with other tests, such as urine albumin, to monitor the progress of treatment in patients with diseases or conditions like diabetes or kidney disease.

What do my urinalysis complete test results mean?

There are numerous ways to interpret the results of a urinalysis. Unusual results are a warning sign that something isn't right and needs further testing.  To connect the urinalysis results with an individual's symptoms and clinical findings and to look for the causes of aberrant findings, other targeted tests must be done, such as a complete blood count, metabolic panel, or urine culture.

It is more likely that a problem must be addressed the higher the concentration of the atypical component, such as noticeably increased levels of protein, glucose, or red blood cells. On the other hand, the outcomes do not inform the medical professional as to what led to the finding or whether it is a transient or ongoing sickness.

A normal urinalysis does not rule out the possibility of disease. Early in a disease process, some persons will not release elevated amounts of a drug, and others will release them irregularly throughout the day, which means they could be overlooked by a single urine sample. Small amounts of substances may be undetectable in very dilute urine.

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A microalbumin test is a urine test for albumin, which is used to screen for and diagnose kidney disease, liver disorders, and evaluate a patient’s nutritional status.

Also Known As: ALB Test, Albumin Test, Urine Albumin Test, Microalbumin test, 24-Hour Microalbumin Test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine with Creatinine test ordered?

According to the American Diabetes Association and the National Kidney Foundation, everyone with type 1 diabetes should be tested annually beginning five years after diagnosis, and everyone with type 2 diabetes should be tested annually beginning from the time of diagnosis. If albumin is found in the urine, it should be confirmed by repeating the test two more times within a 3-6 month period. People with hypertension may be examined at regular intervals, with their healthcare professional determining the frequency.

What does a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine with Creatinine test check for?

Albumin is a significant protein found in the blood. The urine albumin test identifies and quantifies albumin levels in the urine. The presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine could be a sign of renal disease early on. Urine microalbumin or microalbuminuria refers to the presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine. The term "microalbuminuria" is gradually being replaced by "albuminuria," which refers to any increase in albumin in the urine.

The liquid element of blood, plasma, contains a variety of proteins, including albumin. One of the kidneys' many roles is to conserve plasma proteins so that they do not mix with waste materials when urine is generated. Protein does not generally enter into urine due to two mechanisms: the glomeruli form a barrier that keeps most big plasma proteins inside the blood arteries, and the tubules almost totally resorb the smaller proteins that do get through.

Protein in the urine is most common when the kidney's glomeruli or tubules are damaged. The glomeruli can become inflamed and/or scarred, allowing more protein to seep into the urine. Protein can't be reabsorbed if the tubules are damaged.

Albumin is a plasma protein seen in high concentrations in the blood and virtually no albumin in the urine when the kidneys are functioning normally. However, when a person's kidneys are damaged or sick, they lose their ability to store albumin and other proteins. This is common in chronic conditions including diabetes and hypertension, when increased protein levels in the urine indicate worsening kidney function.

Albumin is one of the first proteins found in the urine of people who have kidney disease. People who have tiny amounts of albumin in their urine on a regular basis have a higher chance of developing renal failure and cardiovascular disease in the future.

In persons with chronic illnesses including diabetes and high blood pressure, a urine albumin test is used to check for kidney damage. Small levels of albumin that escape from the bloodstream through the kidneys and into the urine can be detected several years before serious kidney impairment manifests. Albumin and creatinine tests are usually performed on a urine sample obtained at random, and an albumin-to-creatinine ratio is calculated. This is done to give a more precise estimate of how much albumin is discharged into the urine.

Lab tests often ordered with a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine with Creatinine test:

  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Albumin Serum
  • Urinalysis
  • Glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Urine Protein

Conditions where a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine with Creatinine test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Proteinuria

How does my health care provider use a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine with Creatinine test?

The urine albumin test, also known as the albumin/creatinine ratio, is used to assess persons who have chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure, which put them at risk of renal disease. People and healthcare providers can change treatment if they are identified in the early stages of kidney disease, according to studies. Controlling diabetes and hypertension by maintaining tight glycemic control and lowering blood pressure can slow or stop renal disease from progressing.

Albumin is a protein found in large amounts in the bloodstream. When the kidneys are working normally, there is almost no albumin in the urine. Even in the early stages of renal illness, albumin can be identified in the urine.

If albumin is found in a urine sample taken at random, over 4 hours, or overnight, the test can be repeated and/or validated using urine taken over a 24-hour period.

In most cases, an albumin/creatinine ratio is calculated by measuring both albumin and creatinine in a random urine sample. This might be done to detect how much albumin is escaping from the kidneys into the urine more precisely. The amount of liquid secreted in addition to the body's waste products varies throughout the day, with more or less liquid being discharged. As a result, albumin content in the urine may vary.

Creatinine, a byproduct of muscle metabolism, is generally released into the urine at a consistent rate, and its content in the urine is a measure of urine concentration. Because of this trait, creatinine can be used to compensate for urine concentration in a random urine sample. The ACR is preferred by the American Diabetes Association for screening for albuminuria, which indicates early kidney impairment. A high ACR should be done twice within 3 to 6 months to confirm the diagnosis because the amount of albumin in the urine might vary significantly.

What do my microalbumin test results mean?

The presence of moderately elevated albumin levels in both initial and repeat urine tests indicates the presence of early renal disease. Extremely high levels indicate that renal disease has progressed to a more serious stage. Normal renal function is indicated by undetectable levels.

A positive test result may be caused by the presence of blood in the urine, a urinary tract infection, strenuous activity, or other acute illnesses that are not connected to kidney disease. Following the resolution of these situations, testing should be redone.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A microalbumin test is a urine test for albumin, which is used to screen for and diagnose kidney disease, liver disorders, and evaluate a patient’s nutritional status.

Also Known As: ALB Test, Albumin Test, Urine Albumin Test, Microalbumin test, 24-Hour Microalbumin Test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine test ordered?

According to the American Diabetes Association and the National Kidney Foundation, everyone with type 1 diabetes should be tested annually beginning five years after diagnosis, and everyone with type 2 diabetes should be tested annually beginning from the time of diagnosis. If albumin is found in the urine, it should be confirmed by repeating the test two more times within a 3-6 month period. People with hypertension may be examined at regular intervals, with their healthcare professional determining the frequency.

What does a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine test check for?

Albumin is a significant protein found in the blood. The urine albumin test identifies and quantifies albumin levels in the urine. The presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine could be a sign of renal disease early on. Urine microalbumin or microalbuminuria refers to the presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine. The term "microalbuminuria" is gradually being replaced by "albuminuria," which refers to any increase in albumin in the urine.

The liquid element of blood, plasma, contains a variety of proteins, including albumin. One of the kidneys' many roles is to conserve plasma proteins so that they do not mix with waste materials when urine is generated. Protein does not generally enter into urine due to two mechanisms: the glomeruli form a barrier that keeps most big plasma proteins inside the blood arteries, and the tubules almost totally resorb the smaller proteins that do get through.

Protein in the urine is most common when the kidney's glomeruli or tubules are damaged. The glomeruli can become inflamed and/or scarred, allowing more protein to seep into the urine. Protein can't be reabsorbed if the tubules are damaged.

Albumin is a plasma protein seen in high concentrations in the blood and virtually no albumin in the urine when the kidneys are functioning normally. However, when a person's kidneys are damaged or sick, they lose their ability to store albumin and other proteins. This is common in chronic conditions including diabetes and hypertension, when increased protein levels in the urine indicate worsening kidney function.

Albumin is one of the first proteins found in the urine of people who have kidney disease. People who have tiny amounts of albumin in their urine on a regular basis (albuminuria) have a higher chance of developing renal failure and cardiovascular disease in the future.

In persons with chronic illnesses including diabetes and high blood pressure, a urine albumin test is used to check for kidney damage. Small levels of albumin that escape from the bloodstream through the kidneys and into the urine can be detected several years before serious kidney impairment manifests. Albumin and creatinine tests are usually performed on a urine sample obtained at random, and an albumin-to-creatinine ratio is calculated. This is done to give a more precise estimate of how much albumin is discharged into the urine.

Lab tests often ordered with a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine test:

  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Albumin Serum
  • Urinalysis
  • Glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Urine Protein
  • Creatinine

Conditions where a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Proteinuria

How does my health care provider use a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine test?

The urine albumin test, also known as the albumin/creatinine ratio, is used to assess persons who have chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure, which put them at risk of renal disease. People and healthcare providers can change treatment if they are identified in the early stages of kidney disease, according to studies. Controlling diabetes and hypertension by maintaining tight glycemic control and lowering blood pressure can slow or stop renal disease from progressing.

Albumin is a protein found in large amounts in the bloodstream. When the kidneys are working normally, there is almost no albumin in the urine. Even in the early stages of renal illness, albumin can be identified in the urine.

If albumin is found in a urine sample taken at random, over 4 hours, or overnight, the test can be repeated and/or validated using urine taken over a 24-hour period.

In most cases, an albumin/creatinine ratio is calculated by measuring both albumin and creatinine in a random urine sample. This might be done to detect how much albumin is escaping from the kidneys into the urine more precisely. The amount of liquid secreted in addition to the body's waste products varies throughout the day, with more or less liquid being discharged. As a result, albumin content in the urine may vary.

Creatinine, a byproduct of muscle metabolism, is generally released into the urine at a consistent rate, and its content in the urine is a measure of urine concentration. Because of this trait, creatinine can be used to compensate for urine concentration in a random urine sample. The ACR is preferred by the American Diabetes Association for screening for albuminuria, which indicates early kidney impairment. An high ACR should be done twice within 3 to 6 months to confirm the diagnosis because the amount of albumin in the urine might vary significantly.

What do my microalbumin test results mean?

The presence of moderately elevated albumin levels in both initial and repeat urine tests indicates the presence of early renal disease. Extremely high levels indicate that renal disease has progressed to a more serious stage. Normal renal function is indicated by undetectable levels.

A positive test result may be caused by the presence of blood in the urine, a urinary tract infection, strenuous activity, or other acute illnesses that are not connected to kidney disease. Following the resolution of these situations, testing should be redone.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A microalbumin test is a urine test for albumin, which is used to screen for and diagnose kidney disease, liver disorders, and evaluate a patient’s nutritional status.

Also Known As: ALB Test, Albumin Test, Urine Albumin Test, Microalbumin test, Random Microalbumin Test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Microalbumin Random Urine test ordered?

According to the American Diabetes Association and the National Kidney Foundation, everyone with type 1 diabetes should be tested annually beginning five years after diagnosis, and everyone with type 2 diabetes should be tested annually beginning from the time of diagnosis. If albumin is found in the urine, it should be confirmed by repeating the test two more times within a 3-6 month period. People with hypertension may be examined at regular intervals, with their healthcare professional determining the frequency.

What does a Microalbumin Random Urine test check for?

Albumin is a significant protein found in the blood. The urine albumin test identifies and quantifies albumin levels in the urine. The presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine could be a sign of renal disease early on. Urine microalbumin or microalbuminuria refers to the presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine. The term "microalbuminuria" is gradually being replaced by "albuminuria," which refers to any increase in albumin in the urine.

The liquid element of blood, plasma, contains a variety of proteins, including albumin. One of the kidneys' many roles is to conserve plasma proteins so that they do not mix with waste materials when urine is generated. Protein does not generally enter into urine due to two mechanisms: the glomeruli form a barrier that keeps most big plasma proteins inside the blood arteries, and the tubules almost totally resorb the smaller proteins that do get through.

Protein in the urine is most common when the kidney's glomeruli or tubules are damaged. The glomeruli can become inflamed and/or scarred, allowing more protein to seep into the urine. Protein can't be reabsorbed if the tubules are damaged.

Albumin is a plasma protein seen in high concentrations in the blood and virtually no albumin in the urine when the kidneys are functioning normally. However, when a person's kidneys are damaged or sick, they lose their ability to store albumin and other proteins. This is common in chronic conditions including diabetes and hypertension, when increased protein levels in the urine indicate worsening kidney function.

Albumin is one of the first proteins found in the urine of people who have kidney disease. People who have tiny amounts of albumin in their urine on a regular basis (albuminuria) have a higher chance of developing renal failure and cardiovascular disease in the future.

In persons with chronic illnesses including diabetes and high blood pressure, a urine albumin test is used to check for kidney damage. Small levels of albumin that escape from the bloodstream through the kidneys and into the urine can be detected several years before serious kidney impairment manifests. Albumin and creatinine tests are usually performed on a urine sample obtained at random, and an albumin-to-creatinine ratio is calculated. This is done to give a more precise estimate of how much albumin is discharged into the urine.

Lab tests often ordered with a Microalbumin Random Urine test:

  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Albumin Serum
  • Urinalysis
  • Glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Urine Protein
  • Creatinine

Conditions where a Microalbumin Random Urine test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Proteinuria

How does my health care provider use a Microalbumin Random Urine test?

The urine albumin test, also known as the albumin/creatinine ratio, is used to assess persons who have chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure, which put them at risk of renal disease. People and healthcare providers can change treatment if they are identified in the early stages of kidney disease, according to studies. Controlling diabetes and hypertension by maintaining tight glycemic control and lowering blood pressure can slow or stop renal disease from progressing.

Albumin is a protein found in large amounts in the bloodstream. When the kidneys are working normally, there is almost no albumin in the urine. Even in the early stages of renal illness, albumin can be identified in the urine.

If albumin is found in a urine sample taken at random, over 4 hours, or overnight, the test can be repeated and/or validated using urine taken over a 24-hour period.

In most cases, an albumin/creatinine ratio is calculated by measuring both albumin and creatinine in a random urine sample. This might be done to detect how much albumin is escaping from the kidneys into the urine more precisely. The amount of liquid secreted in addition to the body's waste products varies throughout the day, with more or less liquid being discharged. As a result, albumin content in the urine may vary.

Creatinine, a byproduct of muscle metabolism, is generally released into the urine at a consistent rate, and its content in the urine is a measure of urine concentration. Because of this trait, creatinine can be used to compensate for urine concentration in a random urine sample. The ACR is preferred by the American Diabetes Association for screening for albuminuria, which indicates early kidney impairment. A high ACR should be done twice within 3 to 6 months to confirm the diagnosis because the amount of albumin in the urine might vary significantly.

What do my microalbumin test results mean?

The presence of moderately elevated albumin levels in both initial and repeat urine tests indicates the presence of early renal disease. Extremely high levels indicate that renal disease has progressed to a more serious stage. Normal renal function is indicated by undetectable levels.

A positive test result may be caused by the presence of blood in the urine, a urinary tract infection, strenuous activity, or other acute illnesses that are not connected to kidney disease. Following the resolution of these situations, testing should be redone.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A microalbumin test is a urine test for albumin, which is used to screen for and diagnose kidney disease, liver disorders, and evaluate a patient’s nutritional status.

Also Known As: ALB Test, Albumin Test, Urine Albumin Test, Microalbumin test, Random Microalbumin Test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Microalbumin Random Urine with Creatinine test ordered?

According to the American Diabetes Association and the National Kidney Foundation, everyone with type 1 diabetes should be tested annually beginning five years after diagnosis, and everyone with type 2 diabetes should be tested annually beginning from the time of diagnosis. If albumin is found in the urine, it should be confirmed by repeating the test two more times within a 3-6 month period. People with hypertension may be examined at regular intervals, with their healthcare professional determining the frequency.

What does a Microalbumin Random Urine with Creatinine test check for?

Albumin is a significant protein found in the blood. The urine albumin test identifies and quantifies albumin levels in the urine. The presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine could be a sign of renal disease early on. Urine microalbumin or microalbuminuria refers to the presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine. The term "microalbuminuria" is gradually being replaced by "albuminuria," which refers to any increase in albumin in the urine.

The liquid element of blood, plasma, contains a variety of proteins, including albumin. One of the kidneys' many roles is to conserve plasma proteins so that they do not mix with waste materials when urine is generated. Protein does not generally enter into urine due to two mechanisms: the glomeruli form a barrier that keeps most big plasma proteins inside the blood arteries, and the tubules almost totally resorb the smaller proteins that do get through.

Protein in the urine is most common when the kidney's glomeruli or tubules are damaged. The glomeruli can become inflamed and/or scarred, allowing more protein to seep into the urine. Protein can't be reabsorbed if the tubules are damaged.

Albumin is a plasma protein seen in high concentrations in the blood and virtually no albumin in the urine when the kidneys are functioning normally. However, when a person's kidneys are damaged or sick, they lose their ability to store albumin and other proteins. This is common in chronic conditions including diabetes and hypertension, when increased protein levels in the urine indicate worsening kidney function.

Albumin is one of the first proteins found in the urine of people who have kidney disease. People who have tiny amounts of albumin in their urine on a regular basis have a higher chance of developing renal failure and cardiovascular disease in the future.

In persons with chronic illnesses including diabetes and high blood pressure, a urine albumin test is used to check for kidney damage. Small levels of albumin that escape from the bloodstream through the kidneys and into the urine can be detected several years before serious kidney impairment manifests. Albumin and creatinine tests are usually performed on a urine sample obtained at random, and an albumin-to-creatinine ratio is calculated. This is done to give a more precise estimate of how much albumin is discharged into the urine.

Lab tests often ordered with a Microalbumin Random Urine with Creatinine test:

  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Albumin Serum
  • Urinalysis
  • Glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Urine Protein

Conditions where a Microalbumin Random Urine with Creatinine test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Proteinuria

How does my health care provider use a Microalbumin Random Urine with Creatinine test?

The urine albumin test, also known as the albumin/creatinine ratio, is used to assess persons who have chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure, which put them at risk of renal disease. People and healthcare providers can change treatment if they are identified in the early stages of kidney disease, according to studies. Controlling diabetes and hypertension by maintaining tight glycemic control and lowering blood pressure can slow or stop renal disease from progressing.

Albumin is a protein found in large amounts in the bloodstream. When the kidneys are working normally, there is almost no albumin in the urine. Even in the early stages of renal illness, albumin can be identified in the urine.

If albumin is found in a urine sample taken at random, over 4 hours, or overnight, the test can be repeated and/or validated using urine taken over a 24-hour period.

In most cases, an albumin/creatinine ratio is calculated by measuring both albumin and creatinine in a random urine sample. This might be done to detect how much albumin is escaping from the kidneys into the urine more precisely. The amount of liquid secreted in addition to the body's waste products varies throughout the day, with more or less liquid being discharged. As a result, albumin content in the urine may vary.

Creatinine, a byproduct of muscle metabolism, is generally released into the urine at a consistent rate, and its content in the urine is a measure of urine concentration. Because of this trait, creatinine can be used to compensate for urine concentration in a random urine sample. The ACR is preferred by the American Diabetes Association for screening for albuminuria, which indicates early kidney impairment. A high ACR should be done twice within 3 to 6 months to confirm the diagnosis because the amount of albumin in the urine might vary significantly.

What do my microalbumin test results mean?

The presence of moderately elevated albumin levels in both initial and repeat urine tests indicates the presence of early renal disease. Extremely high levels indicate that renal disease has progressed to a more serious stage. Normal renal function is indicated by undetectable levels.

A positive test result may be caused by the presence of blood in the urine, a urinary tract infection, strenuous activity, or other acute illnesses that are not connected to kidney disease. Following the resolution of these situations, testing should be redone.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A microalbumin test is a urine test for albumin, which is used to screen for and diagnose kidney disease, liver disorders, and evaluate a patient’s nutritional status.

Also Known As: ALB Test, Albumin Test, Urine Albumin Test, Microalbumin test, Timed Microalbumin Test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Microalbumin Timed Urine test ordered?

According to the American Diabetes Association and the National Kidney Foundation, everyone with type 1 diabetes should be tested annually beginning five years after diagnosis, and everyone with type 2 diabetes should be tested annually beginning from the time of diagnosis. If albumin is found in the urine, it should be confirmed by repeating the test two more times within a 3-6 month period. People with hypertension may be examined at regular intervals, with their healthcare professional determining the frequency.

What does a Microalbumin Timed Urine test check for?

Albumin is a significant protein found in the blood. The urine albumin test identifies and quantifies albumin levels in the urine. The presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine could be a sign of renal disease early on. Urine microalbumin or microalbuminuria refers to the presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine. The term "microalbuminuria" is gradually being replaced by "albuminuria," which refers to any increase in albumin in the urine.

The liquid element of blood, plasma, contains a variety of proteins, including albumin. One of the kidneys' many roles is to conserve plasma proteins so that they do not mix with waste materials when urine is generated. Protein does not generally enter into urine due to two mechanisms: the glomeruli form a barrier that keeps most big plasma proteins inside the blood arteries, and the tubules almost totally resorb the smaller proteins that do get through.

Protein in the urine is most common when the kidney's glomeruli or tubules are damaged. The glomeruli can become inflamed and/or scarred, allowing more protein to seep into the urine. Protein can't be reabsorbed if the tubules are damaged.

Albumin is a plasma protein seen in high concentrations in the blood and virtually no albumin in the urine when the kidneys are functioning normally. However, when a person's kidneys are damaged or sick, they lose their ability to store albumin and other proteins. This is common in chronic conditions including diabetes and hypertension, when increased protein levels in the urine indicate worsening kidney function.

Albumin is one of the first proteins found in the urine of people who have kidney disease. People who have tiny amounts of albumin in their urine on a regular basis (albuminuria) have a higher chance of developing renal failure and cardiovascular disease in the future.

In persons with chronic illnesses including diabetes and high blood pressure, a urine albumin test is used to check for kidney damage. Small levels of albumin that escape from the bloodstream through the kidneys and into the urine can be detected several years before serious kidney impairment manifests. Albumin and creatinine tests are usually performed on a urine sample obtained at random, and an albumin-to-creatinine ratio is calculated. This is done to give a more precise estimate of how much albumin is discharged into the urine.

Lab tests often ordered with a Microalbumin Timed urine test:

  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Albumin Serum
  • Urinalysis
  • Glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Urine Protein
  • Creatinine

Conditions where a Microalbumin Timed Urine test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Proteinuria

How does my health care provider use a Microalbumin Timed Urine test?

The urine albumin test, also known as the albumin/creatinine ratio, is used to assess persons who have chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure, which put them at risk of renal disease. People and healthcare providers can change treatment if they are identified in the early stages of kidney disease, according to studies. Controlling diabetes and hypertension by maintaining tight glycemic control and lowering blood pressure can slow or stop renal disease from progressing.

Albumin is a protein found in large amounts in the bloodstream. When the kidneys are working normally, there is almost no albumin in the urine. Even in the early stages of renal illness, albumin can be identified in the urine.

If albumin is found in a urine sample taken at random, over 4 hours, or overnight, the test can be repeated and/or validated using urine taken over a 24-hour period.

In most cases, an albumin/creatinine ratio is calculated by measuring both albumin and creatinine in a random urine sample. This might be done to detect how much albumin is escaping from the kidneys into the urine more precisely. The amount of liquid secreted in addition to the body's waste products varies throughout the day, with more or less liquid being discharged. As a result, albumin content in the urine may vary.

Creatinine, a byproduct of muscle metabolism, is generally released into the urine at a consistent rate, and its content in the urine is a measure of urine concentration. Because of this trait, creatinine can be used to compensate for urine concentration in a random urine sample. The ACR is preferred by the American Diabetes Association for screening for albuminuria, which indicates early kidney impairment. A high ACR should be done twice within 3 to 6 months to confirm the diagnosis because the amount of albumin in the urine might vary significantly.

What do my microalbumin test results mean?

The presence of moderately elevated albumin levels in both initial and repeat urine tests indicates the presence of early renal disease. Extremely high levels indicate that renal disease has progressed to a more serious stage. Normal renal function is indicated by undetectable levels.

A positive test result may be caused by the presence of blood in the urine, a urinary tract infection, strenuous activity, or other acute illnesses that are not connected to kidney disease. Following the resolution of these situations, testing should be redone.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: Ceruloplasmin is a blood test that measures that amount of Ceruloplasmin in the blood’s serum. Ceruloplasmin, or Copper Oxide, is a protein that is created in the liver and is used to transport copper from the liver to the parts of the body that need it, including the blood.

Also Known As: Copper Oxide Test, Wilson’s Disease Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Ceruloplasmin test ordered?

When somebody has symptoms that a health practitioner suspects are due to Wilson disease, a ceruloplasmin test may be ordered alone or in combination with blood and 24-hour urine copper testing.

What does a Ceruloplasmin blood test check for?

Ceruloplasmin is a copper-containing enzyme that aids in iron metabolism in the body. The level of ceruloplasmin in the blood is measured with this test.

Copper is a vital mineral that regulates iron metabolism, connective tissue creation, cellular energy production, and nervous system function. The intestines absorb it from meals and liquids, and it is subsequently transferred to the liver, where it is stored or used to make a variety of enzymes.

To make ceruloplasmin, the liver binds copper to a protein and then releases it into the bloodstream. Ceruloplasmin binds about 95 percent of the copper in the blood. As a result, the ceruloplasmin test can be performed in conjunction with one or more copper tests to assist diagnose Wilson disease, a genetic illness in which the liver, brain, and other organs store too much copper.

Lab tests often ordered with a Ceruloplasmin test:

  • Copper

Conditions where a Ceruloplasmin test is recommended:

  • Wilson’s Disease
  • Liver Diseases

How does my health care provider use a Ceruloplasmin test?

Wilson disease is a rare genetic ailment characterized by excessive copper accumulation in the liver, brain, and other organs, as well as low levels of ceruloplasmin. Ceruloplasmin testing is performed in conjunction with blood and/or urine copper assays to assist diagnosis Wilson disease.

Copper is a mineral that plays an important role in the human body. Ceruloplasmin binds about 95 percent of the copper in the blood. In an unbound state, just a minimal quantity of copper is present in the blood.

A ceruloplasmin test may be ordered in conjunction with a copper test to assist diagnose problems in copper metabolism, copper deficiency, or Menkes kinky hair syndrome, a rare genetic condition.

What do my Ceruloplasmin test results mean?

Ceruloplasmin levels are frequently tested in conjunction with copper testing because they are not indicative of a specific illness.

Wilson disease can be identified by low ceruloplasmin and blood copper levels, as well as high copper levels in the urine.

About 5% of persons with Wilson disease who have neurological symptoms, as well as up to 40% of those with hepatic symptoms, especially if they are critically unwell, will have normal ceruloplasmin levels.

The person tested may have a copper deficiency if ceruloplasmin, urine, and/or blood copper values are low.

Anything that affects the body's ability to metabolize copper or the supply of copper has the potential to impact blood ceruloplasmin and copper levels.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: A Creatinine test is a blood test that is used to evaluate the health of your kidneys and diagnose and monitor the treatment of kidney disease.

Also Known As: Create Test, Blood Creatinine Test, Serum Creatinine Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Creatinine test ordered?

During a health assessment, creatinine may be requested as part of a complete or basic metabolic panel. It may be ordered if a person is seriously ill or if a doctor feels that their kidneys aren't functioning properly.

When someone has a known renal condition or a disease that may impact kidney function, a creatinine blood test, coupled with a BUN test and urine albumin, may be ordered at regular intervals. When a CT scan is planned, before to and during some medication therapy, and before and after dialysis, both BUN and creatinine may be requested to assess the effectiveness of treatments.

What does a Creatinine blood test check for?

Creatinine is a waste product created by muscles when a molecule called creatine is broken down. The kidneys eliminate creatinine from the body by filtering almost all of it from the blood and excreting it in the urine. The level of creatinine in the blood and/or urine is measured in this test.

Creatine is a component of the energy-producing cycle that allows muscles to contract. The body produces both creatine and creatinine at a roughly steady rate. Because the kidneys filter almost all creatinine from the blood and excrete it in the urine, blood levels are usually an excellent predictor of how well the kidneys are operating. The amount produced is determined by the person's size and muscular mass. As a result, men's creatinine levels will be slightly higher than women's and children's.

A blood creatinine test's results can be combined with those from other tests, such as a 24-hour urine creatinine test, to produce calculations that are used to assess kidney function.

Lab tests often ordered with a Creatinine test:

  • BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
  • Urinalysis
  • Microalbumin and Creatinine Ratio
  • Cystatin C with eGFR
  • Beta-2 Microglobulin
  • Urine Protein

Conditions where a Creatinine test is recommended:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Proteinuria
  • Hypertension

How does my health care provider use a Creatinine test?

Kidney function is assessed with a creatinine blood test. It's usually requested in conjunction with a BUN test or as part of a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel, which consists of a series of tests designed to assess the operation of the body's primary organs. BMP or CMP tests are used to screen healthy persons during normal physical exams, as well as to help evaluate people who are acutely or chronically ill in the emergency room and/or hospital. Creatinine testing is sometimes done as part of a renal panel to assess kidney function.

Creatinine is a waste product created by muscles when a molecule called creatine is broken down. Because the kidneys filter almost all creatinine from the blood and discharge it into the urine, blood levels are usually an excellent predictor of how well the kidneys are operating.

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs placed on the right and left sides of the back at the bottom of the ribcage. Nephrons are a million microscopic blood filtering units found within them. Blood is continuously filtered by a small cluster of looping blood arteries called a glomerulus in each nephron. Water and tiny molecules flow through the glomerulus, but blood cells and bigger molecules are retained. Each glomerulus has a little tube attached to it that gathers the fluid and molecules that flow through it and then reabsorbs what the body can use. Urine is formed from the residual waste.

If the creatinine and BUN tests are abnormal, or if the patient has an underlying condition that affects the kidneys, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, creatinine and BUN tests may be used to monitor renal functionality and therapy effectiveness. Before some procedures, such as a CT scan, that may necessitate the use of medicines that can harm the kidneys, blood creatinine and BUN tests may be requested to assess renal function.

Creatinine test results can be utilized in calculations to determine renal function.

The estimated glomerular filtration rate, used as a screen to search for signs of early kidney damage, is calculated using blood creatinine readings, as well as age, weight, and sex.

What do my Creatinine test results mean?

Elevated creatinine levels in the blood indicate renal disease or other disorders affecting kidney function.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Creatinine Clearance is used to evaluate the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Clearance is defined as that volume of plasma from which a measured amount of substance could be completely eliminated into the urine per unit of time. Daily creatinine production is fairly constant except when there is massive injury to muscle

Creatinine is the endproduct of creatine metabolism. Creatine is present primarily in muscle and the amount of creatinine produced is related to total skeletal muscle mass. Daily creatinine production is fairly constant except when there is massive injury to muscle. The kidneys excrete creatinine very efficiently and blood levels and daily urinary excretion of creatinine fluctuates very little in healthy normal people. Since blood and daily urine excretion of creatinine shows minimal fluctuation, creatinine excretion is useful in determining whether 24-hour urine specimens for other analytes (e.g., protein) have been completely and accurately collected.

Description: A Creatinine Random Urine test is a urine test that is used to evaluate the health of your kidneys and diagnose and monitor the treatment of kidney disease.

Also Known As: Urine Create Test, Urine Creatinine Test, Random Urine Creatinine Test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Creatinine Random Urine test ordered?

During a health assessment, creatinine may be requested as part of a complete or basic metabolic panel. It may be ordered if a person is seriously ill or if a doctor feels that their kidneys aren't functioning properly.

When someone has a known renal condition or a disease that may impact kidney function, a creatinine blood test, coupled with a BUN test and urine albumin, may be ordered at regular intervals. When a CT scan is planned, before to and during some medication therapy, and before and after dialysis, both BUN and creatinine may be requested to assess the effectiveness of treatments.

What does a Creatinine Urine test check for?

Creatinine is a waste product created by muscles when a molecule called creatine is broken down. The kidneys eliminate creatinine from the body by filtering almost all of it from the blood and excreting it in the urine. The level of creatinine in the urine is measured in this test.

Creatine is a component of the energy-producing cycle that allows muscles to contract. The body produces both creatine and creatinine at a roughly steady rate. Because the kidneys filter almost all creatinine from the blood and excrete it in the urine, blood levels are usually an excellent predictor of how well the kidneys are operating. The amount produced is determined by the person's size and muscular mass. As a result, men's creatinine levels will be slightly higher than women's and children's.

A blood creatinine test's results can be combined with those from other tests, such as a 24-hour urine creatinine test, to produce calculations that are used to assess kidney function.

Lab tests often ordered with a Creatinine Random Urine test:

  • BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)
  • Creatinine
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
  • Urinalysis
  • Microalbumin and Creatinine Ratio
  • Cystatin C with eGFR
  • Beta-2 Microglobulin
  • Urine Protein

Conditions where a Creatinine Random Urine test is recommended:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Proteinuria
  • Hypertension

How does my health care provider use a Creatinine Random Urine test?

Kidney function is assessed with a creatinine blood test. It's usually requested in conjunction with a BUN test or as part of a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel, which consists of a series of tests designed to assess the operation of the body's primary organs. BMP or CMP tests are used to screen healthy persons during normal physical exams, as well as to help evaluate people who are acutely or chronically ill in the emergency room and/or hospital. Creatinine testing is sometimes done as part of a renal panel to assess kidney function.

Creatinine is a waste product created by muscles when a molecule called creatine is broken down. Because the kidneys filter almost all creatinine from the blood and discharge it into the urine, blood levels are usually an excellent predictor of how well the kidneys are operating.

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs placed on the right and left sides of the back at the bottom of the ribcage. Nephrons are a million microscopic blood filtering units found within them. Blood is continuously filtered by a small cluster of looping blood arteries called a glomerulus in each nephron. Water and tiny molecules flow through the glomerulus, but blood cells and bigger molecules are retained. Each glomerulus has a little tube attached to it that gathers the fluid and molecules that flow through it and then reabsorbs what the body can use. Urine is formed from the residual waste.

If the creatinine and BUN tests are abnormal, or if the patient has an underlying condition that affects the kidneys, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, creatinine and BUN tests may be used to monitor renal functionality and therapy effectiveness. Before some procedures, such as a CT scan, that may necessitate the use of medicines that can harm the kidneys, blood creatinine and BUN tests may be requested to assess renal function.

Creatinine test results can be utilized in calculations to determine renal function.

The estimated glomerular filtration rate, used as a screen to search for signs of early kidney damage, is calculated using blood creatinine readings, as well as age, weight, and sex.

What do my Creatinine Random Urine test results mean?

Elevated creatinine levels in the urine indicate renal disease or other disorders affecting kidney function.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.



Description: A Protein Electrophoresis Serum test is a blood test that checks for abnormal and defective proteins in your blood’s serum.

Also Known As: SPEP Test, Protein Total and Electrophoresis Test, Protein ELP Test, SPE Test, Serum Protein Electrophoresis Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Protein Electrophoresis test ordered?

In order to further investigate anomalous results from other laboratory tests or to assess a patient's symptoms, protein electrophoresis may be requested. Electrophoresis may be prescribed periodically after a disease or illness has been diagnosed to track its progression and the efficacy of treatment.

One may request serum electrophoresis:

  • As a follow-up to aberrant results on other laboratory tests, such as elevated urine protein levels, elevated calcium levels, low white- or red-blood-cell counts, total protein and/or albumin levels,
  • when symptoms point to an autoimmune illness, an acute or ongoing infection, a kidney or liver disorder, or a condition that causes protein loss,
  • Look for the presence of a distinctive band in the beta or gamma region when a medical professional is looking into symptoms that point to multiple myeloma, such as bone pain, anemia, fatigue, unexplained fractures, or recurrent infections; if a sharp band is seen, its identity as a monoclonal immunoglobulin is typically confirmed by immunofixation electrophoresis.
  • to observe the progression of multiple myeloma treatment to see if the monoclonal band shrinks or vanishes entirely.

What does a Protein Electrophoresis test check for?

All cells and organs depend heavily on proteins as their building blocks. They make up the structural components of the majority of organs and the hormones and enzymes that control bodily processes. The proteins found in bodily fluids perform a wide range of various tasks, including the transportation of nutrients, the elimination of toxins, the regulation of metabolic processes, and the defense against foreign invaders. These proteins can be divided via a process called protein electrophoresis depending on their size and electrical charge.

When bodily fluid proteins are separated by electrophoresis, a distinctive pattern of bands with varying widths and intensities forms, representing the protein combination present. There are five components of this pattern: albumin, alpha 1, alpha 2, beta, and gamma. The beta fraction may occasionally be further split into beta 1 and beta 2.

About 60% of the blood's protein is made up of albumin, which is produced by the liver. Proteins other than albumin are referred to collectively as "globulins." The majority of globulins are likewise made in the liver, with the exception of immunoglobulins and a few complement proteins.

Lab tests often ordered with a Protein Electrophoresis test:

  • Albumin
  • Urine Protein
  • Serum Free Light Chains
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Allpha-1 Antitrypsin
  • Cryoglobulins

Conditions where a Protein Electrophoresis test is recommended:

  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Kidney Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Malnutrition
  • Proteinuria

How does my health care provider use a Protein Electrophoresis test?

When distinct protein groups are present in blood or other body fluids in unusually high or low numbers, protein electrophoresis is used to detect the presence of abnormal proteins, the absence of normal proteins, and the presence or absence of defective proteins.

The body uses proteins for a variety of functions, such as nutrient delivery, toxin elimination, metabolic regulation, and defense against foreign invaders.

Proteins are divided by protein electrophoresis according to their size and electrical charge. This represents the mix of proteins present in the bodily fluid under evaluation and creates a distinctive pattern of bands on a test medium that are varied widths and intensities. Five parts of the pattern are identified: albumin, alpha 1, alpha 2, beta, and gamma. The beta fraction may occasionally be further split into beta 1 and beta 2.

What do my Protein Electrophoresis test results mean?

A health professional can roughly determine the amount of each protein fraction and whether any aberrant proteins are present using protein electrophoresis assays. Immunofixation electrophoresis is useful for determining whether a specific kind of immunoglobulin is present. An explanation of the findings could be included in the lab report.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


The major proteins seen in the serum are albumin and globulin-the latter being primarily alpha 1 and alpha 2 globulin, beta globulin and gamma globulin. Albumin accounts for more than 50% of the total serum proteins. The albumin to globulin (A/G) ratio has been used as an index of disease state, however, it is not a specific marker for disease because it does not indicate which specific proteins are altered. The normal A/G ratio is 0.8-2.0. The A/G ratio can be decreased in response to a low albumin or to elevated globulins. Total globulins may be increased in some chronic inflammatory diseases (TB, syphilis) multiple myeloma, collagen disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Decreased levels are seen in hepatic dysfunction, renal disease and various neoplasms.



The determination of proteinuria is a well established laboratory procedure for the evaluation of renal disease (glomerular, tubular and overflow proteinuria), urinary tract inflammation, orthostatic proteinuria and preeclampsia (a potential complication of pregnancy). A more rapid clinical assessment of proteinuria using a 12-hour specimen enables a faster diagnosis with subsequent intervention in several of the clinical conditions cited above.

Proteinuria, mainly glomerular, is often a manifestation of primary renal disease although transient proteinuria may occur with fevers, thyroid disorders, and in heart disease. In the absence of renal disease, the degree of proteinuria is slight, usually amounting to less than 2 grams per day. In chronic glomerulonephritis and in the nephrotic syndrome including lipoid nephrosis and in some forms of hypertensive vascular disease, protein loss may vary from a few grams to as much as 30 g/day.

Proteinuria is characteristic of renal disease and concentrations may be increased with diabetes, hypertension, nephritic syndrome, and drug nephrotoxicity.

Total protein is useful in evaluating patients for nutritional status, liver disease, protein-losing renal and gastrointestinal diseases, and many other medical conditions. Elevated concentrations may be observed in patients with monoclonal gammopathies, autoimmune hepatitis, infammation, and other medical conditions


Proteinuria is a medical condition generally described as protein amounts in a person’s urine at higher levels than normal. It’s a condition sometimes witnessed in healthy people, but it’s more often related to abnormalities or various diseases.

Plasma, which is the liquid component of blood, has a variety of different proteins. The human kidneys serve many roles, and one of them is the conservation of the plasma protein, so it doesn’t get eliminated with actual waste products during the creation of urine. There are primarily two different ways the human body typically keeps protein from escaping into a person’s urine:

  • First, the glomeruli offer a barrier that just physically keeps most bigger plasma proteins within the blood vessels.
  • Second, the tubules reabsorb nearly all the smaller proteins which do get through.

Proteinuria happens most often when there is damage to the glomeruli or tubules inside the kidneys. Scarring and/or inflammation of the glomeruli may result in larger volumes of protein leaking into the urine and possibly even red blood cells, or RBCs. Tubule damage can also mean proteins don’t get absorbed back in. This condition might also occur if there isn’t a lot of protein within the blood to start with, and the kidney tubules aren’t able to absorb it all back in.

Healthy individuals can be afflicted with proteinuria in both temporary and persistent forms. This condition might also be related to cold exposure, aspirin therapy, fever, exercise, and stress. Some individuals release more of their protein through urine when they’re standing up as compared to lying down; this specific condition is known as orthostatic proteinuria, but it’s rarely seen in those past the age of 30. On the other hand, when there is a detectable protein level in someone’s urine, it typically highlights the possibility of an underlying condition or disease. Further analysis is typically warranted to ascertain the specific cause.

The most frequent reason for protein levels in a person’s urine is due to kidney damage, which can be the result of:

Diabetes: Proteinuria is often an early sign of kidney function deterioration in those with either type 1 or 2 diabetes.

Hypertension: Proteinuria can also be an early warning signal of deteriorating kidney function in an individual diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Other reasons for kidney damage that lead to proteinuria include but are not limited to the following:

  • Congestive heart failure, or CHF
  • Toxin exposure
  • Infections
  • Trauma
  • Immune disorders like IgA nephropathy, lupus, or Goodpasture’s syndrome, among others
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Other conditions that might result in a case of proteinuria include the following:
  • Intravascular Hemolysis: This is the destruction of red blood cells and the release of hemoglobin within the bloodstream.
  • Pre-Eclampsia: Pregnant and expecting women get screened or tested regularly by physicians, given the presence of proteinuria is related to toxemia of pregnancy or pre-eclampsia. This disorder is specific to pregnancy, and it’s usually when hypertension and proteinuria wind up developing simultaneously. Symptoms might include headaches, nausea, and swelling or edema during pregnancy. In rare cases, it can even cause serious symptoms, like seizures. Pre-eclampsia is potentially hazardous for both mother and child.
  • Multiple Myeloma: This is also known as a cancer of a person’s plasma cells. When proteinuria happens because of Bence-Jones proteins, or excess blood protein overflowing into a person’s urine, then they might have multiple myeloma. Bence-Jones proteins have atypical immunoglobulin light chains, designated as either lambda or kappa, which monoclonal plasma cells produce. Every immunoglobulin has four protein chains; two of them are light chains, and the other two are heavy chains. Bence-Jones protein has a pair of immunoglobulin light chains. Its presence in a person’s urine can be a diagnostic indicator of multiple myeloma when in the proper context of specific other symptoms also manifesting.

Symptoms and Signs

Lab testing is currently the only surefire method of accurately determining the presence of protein in a patient’s urine. Many health organizations even suggest that individuals at risk of contracting chronic kidney disease routinely get urine testing. Proteinuria often involves no symptoms, particularly in mild situations. High protein levels in a person’s urine might create a foamy appearance. If the blood loses a lot of protein, it can impact how capable a body is of regulating fluids. This can result in edema, which is the swelling of a patient’s abdomen, feet, hands, and face. When symptoms show up, they’re typically related to a specific disease or condition, resulting in proteinuria.

Testing

Testing specifically for proteinuria covers several goals. These include evaluating kidney functions, condition detection, screening at-risk individuals, ascertaining underlying causes, and analyzing the kinds and quantities of proteins that are getting released. When proteinuria is officially detected, the patient will go through regular monitoring to watch out for the condition resolving or deteriorating. Proteinuria testing involves both blood and urine tests.

Laboratory Tests

Screening for urine protein can be part of a regular doctor’s appointment or also as part of checking up on any patient known to be diagnosed with the condition that might trigger proteinuria. Some of the potential screening tests can include the following:

Urine Protein: This should detect the presence of all sorts of proteins that might be in a person’s urine. This can be a standalone test using a random sample of urine or part of a broader urinalysis.

Urinalysis: This evaluates a urine sample for multiple substances that might be present in a person’s urine, which includes proteins. This test is sometimes used as a component of a broader health exam.

Microalbumin/Urine Albumin: This is a sensitive test helpful in monitoring diabetes patients for smaller volumes of albumin in their urine. Albumin is the primary blood protein, and diabetes can impact kidney function over time. That makes this test an early warning sign that kidney damage is happening because of diabetes. The American Diabetics Association suggests that those already diagnosed as type 2 diabetic get annual screenings for low albumin levels in their urine. They also recommend that type 1 diabetes patients get their first test within five years of diagnosis, followed by annual testing after that.

A screening test that yields a positive result might involve follow-up urine testing to establish what kinds of protein are getting lost through urine, as well as what volumes:

Urine Albumin 24-Hours: This test measures how much albumin is being lost through urine over a period of 24 hours. This test can provide a healthcare practitioner with a good idea of how much kidney damage is happening.

Urine Albumin/Creatinine Ratio: This test can use a random urine sample instead of gathering up all urine for a full day. Creatinine is an additional measurement in this scenario. Creatinine is released into a person’s urine at a usually steady rate of flow. When a random sample is analyzed for both creatinine and protein, then it’s possible to compute the albumin/creatinine ratio of the urine at that time. This calculation corrects for how creatinine there is in a random sample, which offers more precise insight into how much albumin is being lost through a person’s urine.

Urine Protein 24-Hours: This day-long test measures how much protein gets released into a patient’s urine over 24 consecutive hours. It offers higher accuracy levels in measuring proteinuria than random urine tests.

UPCR: The urine protein/creatinine ratio measures creatinine and protein in the same random sample before correcting the creatinine volume. This is very similar to the tests for urine albumin/creatinine ratio.

Urine Protein Electrophoresis: This test is helpful in ascertaining the various kinds and associated volumes of proteins that are present within a person’s urine. This urine test effectively determines the presence of the Bence-Jones protein, meaning it’s occasionally employed if a medical provider suspects multiple myeloma.

When any protein electrophoresis demonstrates the presence of an abnormality, then an immunofixation test might be the follow-up that quantifies any abnormal proteins, along with an immunoassay evaluation to look for free light chains.

On top of urine testing, a handful of other tests are useful in analyzing kidney function and/or evaluating the specific nature of a protein that is in a person’s urine. Such tests might be done as follow-ups or simultaneously to urine protein screening. These tests can include:

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) And Creatinine: These blood tests are effective ways of evaluating kidney functions. Both creatinine and urea are waste products that contain nitrogen; healthy kidneys will move these from a person’s blood into their urine. When kidneys aren’t working right, then creatinine and urea stay in a person’s bloodstream, meaning that their levels go up. It should be noted that while creatinine can get measured through urine samples, blood samples also go through measurement for an inclusive evaluation.

Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR): This combines blood creatinine levels, age, and gender and ethnic variables to estimate a urine filtration rate. Progressive kidney damage lowers a person’s eGFR rate.

Creatinine Clearance: This measures creatinine levels in a 24-hour sample of urine, as well as a blood sample. The objective is calculating how much creatinine has been removed from a person’s blood through the urine. The known rate of excretion of creatinine from a person’s body is insightful in how well a person’s kidneys are functioning.

TP (Total Protein): This blood test can measure the totality of protein in serum.

Albumin: This blood test is a measurement of how concentrated albumin is.

Serum Protein Electrophoresis: This ascertains the kinds of related volumes of protein in a blood sample. Medical experts compare it to a urine electrophoresis pattern to see if a person’s bloodstream is the cause of urine protein.

SFLC (Serum Free Light Chains): This blood test can assist in the diagnosis and monitoring of conditions related to higher production levels of free light chains, as can happen with multiple myeloma.