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Old 11-16-2004, 01:30 AM   #1
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MMMarie HB User
Causes of protein in urine?

Hi..... Can anyone tell me what causes high protein levels in urine?

Of course I will be seeing my doctor about it next week, but in the meantime, I'm hoping to learn as much about it as possible so that I may at least have some idea what he's talking about when I go in to discuss the results with him...

I have r.a., and therefore get blood tests and a urine sample done a few times a year. My latest lab results for protein in the urine came back at twelve (with the normal range at the lab being between zero and 1.7 ).

I was surprised to say the least, because it has always come back as within normal range.

Tx. for any info. you can provide.

p.s. Is 12 even considered that high? It's certainly far from the normal range, but I guess what I'm wondering is.....if the cause was a u.t.i., would the levels be in the teens, or more likely in the thousands. What approx. range would levels be if the cause was diabetes, lupus, or high blood pressure?

Last edited by MMMarie; 11-16-2004 at 02:14 AM.

 
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Old 11-16-2004, 02:10 AM   #2
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Re: Causes of protein in urine?

Hi..... Just read some messages on this board, and thought I should probably give more info.

I am female, late 40's. No diabetes, no high blood pressure, no pain that might be kidney related, no u.t.i.

 
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Old 11-16-2004, 06:32 AM   #3
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Re: Causes of protein in urine?

Hi there, there are tons of reasons for protein in the urine. I'm not totally sure if the units you're talking about are the same ones we use in Canada, but I'll work with it. Normally, in a 24 hr period, you should have less than 100mg of protein in urine. 150mg is called microalbuminuria, 1-3 grams is overt proteinuria and >3g in 24h is called nephrotic range proteinuria. If your proteinuria is secondary to a UTI or something, it's usually not that much protein, and it's DEFINITELY not in the nephrotic range. When one has nephrotic range proteinuria (i.e. >3g of protein per day) there is usually something wrong with the flitering unit--the glomerulus--of the kidney itself. For some reason or other, the unit becomes leaky and starts to let protein in the urine when it shouldn't.

Given the fact you have RA, which I'm assuming is rheumatoid arthritis, you could have lots of proteinuria secondary to the disease itself or from the medications you're taking. People with Rheumatoid Arthritis often get a disease known as Secondary Membranous Glomerulonephropathy.

You will have to be followed by a nephrologist, and if the large amount of proteinuria persists (which it possibly can) s/he may elect to put you on a drug called an ACE inhibitor which helps to lower protein in the urine. Protein in the urine is not a good thing, because over time, the flow of protein in the kidney where it shouldn't be can damage the kidney's microstructure and lead to kidney failure.

 
Old 11-16-2004, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: Causes of protein in urine?

To answer your other question, re: lupus, diabetes and hypertension.

With diabetes, depending on how bad the kidney damage is you can have tiny tiny amounts of protein in the urine (microalbuminuria) or you can large nephrotic range proteinuria with advanced kidney damage.

Hypertension is similar....it can give you small amounts of protein ranging to very large amounts of protein when the kidney is damaged (usually in a process known as focal segemental glomerulonephropathy).

Lupus is a little bit different. It tends to cause inflammation of the kidney which leads to small amounts of protein in the urine, but it also gives blood in the urine which the other two rarely do. Additionally, the inflammation lupus causes in the kidney can lead to kidney failure much more quickly in a process known as Rapid Progressive Glomerulonephritis.

Last edited by butterflytrans; 11-16-2004 at 06:36 AM.

 
Old 11-17-2004, 07:07 PM   #5
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Re: Causes of protein in urine?

Thank you for the info, butterfly. Much appreciated.

I'm also in Canada, but since I do not have an actual copy of the lab results yet, I don't know what type of unit/measurement the lab uses....... just that it should be between 0 and 1.7 and it was twelve, and significant enough for my doctor to call me at home. He didn't offer alot of info on what the cause could be (I have an appt. with him next week), but said that it could possibly be a bad test/lab error. I've got my fingers crossed...

Yes, r.a. is rheumatoid. However, I don't know anyone with r.a. that is having protein show up in their urine... I was wondering if the culprit could be the meds, but from what I've read, the only 2 r.a. meds that might cause this would be gold or enbrel (which I don't take).

In the interim, he has ordered the 24-hour urine test, which I am now doing. I've always known that I pee'd alot, but now that I'm actually saving it for a 24-hour period, I'm surprised at how much I actually do pee. (It's just over 2000 ml. and it's still several hours before bed.) Mind you, I do drink alot, so perhaps that can be expected. I have had my blood sugar tested a couple times, and it came back okay, so who knows...

Thanks again.

 
Old 11-17-2004, 09:54 PM   #6
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Re: Causes of protein in urine?

RA and other connective tissue diseases in and of themselves can cause a glomerulonephrosis which can lead to the loss of large amounts of protein the urine. It doesn't necessariliy have to be secondary to the drugs, though you're right, gold is often a culprit.

No problem MMarie...let me know how it goes.

Last edited by butterflytrans; 11-17-2004 at 09:55 PM.

 
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