Protein in the Urine: What You Need to Know

a graphic highlighting the kidneys

In the grand scheme of medical conditions, excess protein in the urine may not seem like that big of a deal, but in reality, this excess protein is one of the main factors of chronic kidney disease. Medically referred to as “proteinuria,” protein in the urine isn’t just a side effect of CKD; it can also worsen your kidney disease. In fact, the amount of protein in the urine is directly related to the risk of worsening your kidney disease. To help you gain a deeper understanding of your kidney health, we’re focusing on what you need to know about excess protein in the urine.

What protein in the urine means for your kidneys

Regardless of what is causing your kidney disease, elevated pressure in the kidney’s filtration system is one of the primary factors when it comes to the progression of CKD. Just as high blood pressure can lead to intraglomerular hypertension, elevated protein levels can also affect the overall function filtration system. Medical findings have shown that leaving proteinuria untreated can significantly increase the chances of kidney disease progressing to kidney failure. Fortunately, studies have also found that the worsening of kidney disease can be prevented if proteinuria is treated with medication such as ACE inhibitors or ARBs. These medications not only help to decrease levels of protein in the urine that can lead to intraglomerular hypertension, but they can also help reduce high blood pressure. Reducing both proteins in the urine and high blood pressure can protect your kidneys and promote a healthier future for your kidneys.

What protein in the urine means for the rest of your body

Due to the interconnectivity of our body, excess protein in the urine doesn’t just affect your kidneys; it may also have serious implications for other systems in the body. For example, proteinuria has also been linked to an increased risk for serious cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease.

What to do about protein in the urine

As we previously mentioned, excess protein in the urine is a serious problem that should be treated as soon as possible. Leaving proteinuria untreated leads to an elevated filtration rate which ultimately worsens kidney disease and can lead to other cardiovascular problems as well. Research has allowed for a more detailed timeline when it comes to proteinuria. It has been suggested that serve proteinuria left untreated only takes about six or seven years to progress kidney disease to stage five, also known as the end stage, which would lead to required dialysis or kidney transplant. Contact Durham Nephrology to help diagnose and treat proteinuria early to help prevent the worsening of CKD.

Make an Appointment

At Durham Nephrology, we provide comprehensive care to patients in Durham and Oxford, NC with kidney disease and high blood pressure. Our team is experienced in providing treatment and guidance to kidney patients. The only way to know for sure if you have protein in the urine is by taking a urine test in a medical office. If you have questions about proteinuria, or any other factors relating to kidney disease, call us at 919-477-3005 to talk to a staff member and make an appointment


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