Proteinuria (Protein in the Urine)

Proteinuria (Protein in the Urine) Symptoms & Signs

Medical Author:

Proteinuria refers to excess protein in the urine. While some amount of protein in the urine is normal, excessive amounts of protein in the urine are a sign that the kidneys are not working properly due to a number of different reasons. The main protein in the blood is albumin, and this is also the main protein in urine. For this reason, proteinuria is sometimes referred to as albuminuria. Diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) are two chronic conditions that can cause kidney damage over time, leading to excess protein in the urine. Acute (sudden onset) problems with the kidneys, like acute renal failure, also cause proteinuria. Some conditions can transiently increase the amount of protein in the urine, including emotional stress, vigorous exercise, fever, or exposure to heat or cold extreme temperatures.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/5/2017

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCES:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

McPherson, Richard A., and Matthew R. Pincus. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Laboratory Medicine, 23rd Ed. China: Elsevier Saunders, 2016.

Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Causes of Proteinuria (Protein in the Urine)
    • Amyloidosis Amyloidosis is a group of diseases resulting from abnormal deposition of certain proteins (amyloids) in various bodily areas. The...learn more »
      In This Article
      Amyloidosis Article
      • Amyloidosis facts
      • What is amyloidosis?
      • What causes amyloidosis?
      • What are risk factors for amyloidosis?
      • What are amyloidosis symptoms and signs?
      • What health care specialists treat amyloidosis?
      • What tests do doctors use to diagnose amyloidosis?
      • What is the treatment for amyloidosis?
      • What are complications of amyloidosis?
      • What is the prognosis of amyloidosis? What is the life expectancy for patients with amyloidosis?
      • Is it possible to prevent amyloidosis?
      • Where can people find more information on amyloidosis?
    • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Symptoms, Stages, and Prognosis Congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease,...learn more »
    • Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are...learn more »
      In This Article
      Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Article
      • Diabetes type 1 and type 2 definition and facts
      • What is diabetes?
      • How many people in the US have diabetes?
      • 9 early signs and symptoms of diabetes
      • How do I know if I have diabetes?
      • What causes diabetes?
      • What are the risk factors for diabetes?
      • What are the different types of diabetes?
      • What is type 1 diabetes
      • What is type 2 diabetes
      • What are the other types of diabetes?
      • What kind of doctor treats diabetes?
      • How is diabetes diagnosed?
      • Why is blood sugar checked at home?
      • What are the acute complications of diabetes?
      • What are the chronic complications of diabetes?
      • What can be done to slow the complications of diabetes?
      • What is the prognosis for a person with diabetes?
    • Endocarditis Endocarditis, a serious infection of one of the four heart valves is caused by growth of bacteria on one of the heart valves;...learn more »
      In This Article
      Endocarditis Article
      • Endocarditis facts
      • What is endocarditis?
      • What causes endocarditis?
      • What are the symptoms of endocarditis?
      • Who is at risk for endocarditis?
      • How is endocarditis diagnosed?
      • How is endocarditis treated?
    • Heart Disease Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to...learn more »
      In This Article
      Heart Disease Article
      • Heart (cardiovascular) disease definition and facts
      • What is heart (cardiovascular) disease?
      • Who is at risk for heart (cardiovascular) disease?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of heart (cardiovascular) disease?
      • What causes heart (cardiovascular) disease?
      • How is heart (cardiovascular) disease diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for heart (cardiovascular) disease?
      • What lifestyle changes can a person make to prevent further heart disease or heart attack?
      • What is the medical treatment for heart (cardiovascular) disease?
      • How many people have heart (cardiovascular) disease, and what is the prognosis?
      • Can cardiovascular disease be prevented?
    • Heart Failure Heart failure (congestive) is caused by many conditions including coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Heart Failure Article
      • Heart failure definition and facts
      • What is heart failure?
      • What are the different types of heart failure?
      • What are heart failure symptoms and signs?
      • What are the risk factors for heart failure?
      • What causes heart failure?
      • What are heart failure stages or classifications?
      • How is heart failure diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for heart failure?
      • What diet and lifestyle management techniques helps heart failure?
      • What medications treat heart failure?
      • What procedures or surgery treats heart failure?
      • Which specialties of doctors treat heart failure?
      • What are the potential complications of heart failure?
      • What is the prognosis and life expectancy for a person with heart failure?
      • Can heart failure be prevented?
    • Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis, A, B, C, D, E, G) Hepatitis is most often viral, due to infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D, E, F (not confirmed), and G) or...learn more »
      In This Article
      Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis, A, B, C, D, E, G) Article
      • Viral hepatitis facts
      • Viral hepatitis definition and overview
      • What are the common types of viral hepatitis?
      • Who is at risk for viral hepatitis?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of viral hepatitis?
      • What is acute fulminant hepatitis?
      • What is chronic viral hepatitis?
      • How is viral hepatitis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for viral hepatitis?
      • How is viral hepatitis prevented?
      • Hepatitis Vaccinations
      • What is the prognosis of viral hepatitis?
    • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) High blood pressure is defined as a pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher in the arteries. Genetic factors, high salt intake, and...learn more »
    • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes HIV infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Symptoms and signs...learn more »
      In This Article
      Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Article
      • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) facts
      • What is the history of HIV, and when was HIV discovered? HIV vs. AIDS
      • What tests are used in the diagnosis of HIV?
      • How is HIV spread (transmitted)?
      • What are symptoms and signs of HIV infection and AIDS in men, women, and children?
      • What happens after an exposure to the blood or genital secretions of an HIV-infected person?
      • What laboratory tests are used to monitor HIV-infected people?
      • What are HIV treatments and medications? What are the key principles in managing HIV infection?
      • When should antiviral therapy be started?
      • What is the initial therapy for HIV?
      • What are nucleoside and nucleotide analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)?
      • What are nonnucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs)?
      • What are protease inhibitors?
      • What are fusion inhibitors?
      • What is a CCR5 antagonist?
      • What is an integrase strand transfer inhibitor?
      • What HIV drugs are in development?
      • What are side effects of HIV therapy?
      • What happens if the patient's viral load increases while on HIV therapy?
      • What are the risks of missing doses or stopping antiviral therapy?
      • Should patients with the flu- or mono-like illness of primary HIV infection be treated?
      • What about treatment for HIV during pregnancy?
      • What can be done for people who have severe immunosuppression?
      • What is the future for HIV-infected individuals with regards to treatment simplification and cure research?
      • What is in the future for preventing HIV transmission?
    • Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis) Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) usually is caused from bacteria that have spread from the bladder from a UTI (urinary tract...learn more »
    • Leukemia Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood cells in which the growth and development of the blood cells are abnormal. Strictly...learn more »
      In This Article
      Leukemia Article
      • Leukemia facts
      • What is leukemia? What are the different types of leukemia?
      • What causes leukemia? Is leukemia hereditary?
      • What are leukemia risk factors?
      • What are leukemia symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose leukemia?
      • What is the treatment for leukemia?
      • What are complications of leukemia?
      • What is the prognosis of leukemia?
      • How often does leukemia recur?
      • Is it possible to prevent leukemia?
      • What support groups are available for people with leukemia?
      • What research is being done on leukemia?
    • Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE) Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease....learn more »
      In This Article
      Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE) Article
      • Systemic lupus erythematosus facts
      • What is systemic lupus erythematosus? What are the different types of lupus?
      • What are risk factors and causes of systemic lupus erythematosus? Is lupus contagious? Is lupus hereditary?
      • What is drug-induced lupus?
      • What are lupus symptoms and signs?
      • How do health-care professionals diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus?
      • What specialties of health care professionals treat lupus?
      • What is the treatment for systemic lupus? Is there a cure for lupus?
      • Is there a systemic lupus erythematosus diet?
      • How can a lupus patient help prevent disease activity (flares)?
      • How can systemic lupus erythematosus affect pregnancy or the newborn?
      • What is the prognosis of lupus? What does the future hold for people with systemiclupus?
      • Where can one get more information about systemic lupus erythematosus?
    • Malaria Malaria is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Malaria symptoms include fever, chills,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Malaria Article
      • Malaria facts
      • What is malaria?
      • Is malaria contagious?
      • What is the incubation period for malaria?
      • What causes malaria?
      • What are malaria symptoms and signs?
      • What specialists treat malaria?
      • How do physicians diagnose malaria?
      • What is the treatment for malaria?
      • Can malaria reoccur after treatment?
      • What is the prognosis of malaria?
      • Is there a malaria vaccine?
      • How can people prevent malaria?
    • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system, a vital part of the body's immune system. Symptoms and signs include...learn more »
      In This Article
      Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Article
      • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) facts
      • What is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • What is the difference between non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease (or Hodgkin's lymphoma)?
      • What causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • What are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk factors?
      • What are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma symptoms and signs?
      • What kind of doctors treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • How do physicians diagnose non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • What are the types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and how is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma staging determined?
      • What is the treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • What is the prognosis and survival rate for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • Is it possible to prevent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • What is the latest research on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • Where can people find more information about non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
    • Pericarditis Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardial sac that surrounds the heart. The causes of pericarditis include injury from...learn more »
      In This Article
      Pericarditis Article
      • Pericarditis facts
      • What is pericarditis?
      • What causes pericarditis?
      • What are the symptoms of pericarditis?
      • How is pericarditis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for pericarditis?
      • What are the complications of pericarditis?
    • Preeclampsia (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) Preeclampsia is related to increased blood pressure and protein in the mother's urine. Preeclampsia typically begins after the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Preeclampsia (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) Article
      • Preeclampsia Facts*
      • What Is High Blood Pressure?
      • What Are the Effects of High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy?
      • What Is Preeclampsia?
      • How Common Are High Blood Pressure and Preeclampsia in Pregnancy?
      • Who Is More Likely to Develop Preeclampsia?
      • What Are the Symptoms of Preeclampsia and How Is It Detected?
      • How Can Women with High Blood Pressure Prevent Problems During Pregnancy?
      • Does Hypertension or Preeclampsia During Pregnancy Cause Long-Term Heart and Blood Vessel Problems?
    • Preeclampsia and Eclampsia Preeclampsia is a condition in pregnant women marked by high blood pressure and a high level of protein in the urine. Eclampsia...learn more »
      In This Article
      Preeclampsia and Eclampsia Article
      • Preeclampsia and eclampsia facts
      • What are preeclampsia and eclampsia?
      • What causes preeclampsia and eclampsia?
      • Who is at risk for preeclampsia and eclampsia?
      • What are the symptoms of preeclampsia and eclampsia?
      • How are preeclampsia and eclampsia diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for preeclampsia and eclampsia?
      • What are complications of preeclampsia and eclampsia?
      • Can preeclampsia and eclampsia be prevented?
      • What is the outlook (prognosis) for preeclampsia and eclampsia?
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Article
      • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) facts
      • What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
      • Rheumatoid arthritis vs. osteoarthritis
      • What are rheumatoid arthritis causes and risk factors?
      • What are complications of rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What are rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and signs?
      • What tests do physicians use to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What are the stages of rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What is the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis? What are types of rheumatoid arthritis medications?
      • "First-line" rheumatoid arthritis medications
      • "Second-line" or "slow-acting" rheumatoid arthritis drugs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs)
      • What are newer rheumatoid arthritis medical treatments?
      • Rheumatoid arthritis diet, exercise, therapy, home remedies, and alternative medicine
      • What about rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy?
      • What is the prognosis for patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Is there a cure for RA?
      • What are tips for living with rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Is it possible to prevent rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What specialists treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
      • What new information about RA has come from the 2015 national meeting of the American College of Rheumatology?
      • What research is being done on rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Are there support groups for people with rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Where can people get additional information on rheumatoid arthritis?
    • Sickle Cell Disease (Sickle Cell Anemia) Sickle cell anemia (sickle cell disease), a blood disease which shortens life expectancy, is cause by an inherited abnormal...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sickle Cell Disease (Sickle Cell Anemia) Article
      • Sickle cell anemia (SCD) facts
      • What is sickle cell anemia?
      • How is sickle cell anemia inherited?
      • What conditions promote the sickling (distortion) of the red blood cells in sickle cell anemia?
      • How is sickle cell anemia diagnosed?
      • What are the symptoms and treatments of sickle cell anemia?
      • What is the outlook (prognosis) for patients with sickle cell anemia?
Other Causes of Proteinuria (Protein in the Urine)
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Chronic Renal Failure
  • Cystinosis
  • Fanconi Syndrome
  • Focal Segmental Glomerulonephritis
  • Goodpasture Syndrome
  • Hemoglobinuria
  • Idiopathic Membranous Glomerulonephritis
  • IgA Nephropathy
  • Interstitial Nephritis
  • Macroglobulinemia
  • Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis
  • Minimal Change Disease
  • Myoglobinuria
  • Nephrotic Syndrome
  • Renal Transplant Rejection
  • Uric Acid Nephropathy
  • Viral Infections
  • Wilson Disease
Examples of Medications for Proteinuria (Protein in the Urine)


Symptoms & Signs A-Z List