Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
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.
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
HIV AIDS Facts: Symptoms and Treatments
What is HIV AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)? Discover myths and facts about living with...
Kidney Disease Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Kidney disease is common. Take this kidney disease quiz to test your knowledge and learn the symptoms, causes and types of kidney...
Lupus Symptoms, Rash, and Treatment
What is Lupus? Learn about lupus symptoms like butterfly rash, joint pain and fatigue. Find causes, diagnosis, and treatments for...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms & Treatment
What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Learn about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Discover rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms,...
Type 1 Diabetes: What Are The Symptoms?
What is type 1 diabetes? Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes? Learn about type 1 diabetes symptoms, warning signs, causes, and...
Causes of Proteinuria (Protein in the Urine)
Amyloidosis is a group of diseases resulting from abnormal deposition of certain proteins (amyloids) in various bodily areas. The...
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,...
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...
Endocarditis, a serious infection of one of the four heart valves is caused by growth of bacteria on one of the heart valves;...
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to...
Heart failure (congestive) is caused by many conditions including coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, and...
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...
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...
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes HIV infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Symptoms and signs...
Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)
Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) usually is caused from bacteria that have spread from the bladder from a UTI (urinary tract...
Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood cells in which the growth and development of the blood cells are abnormal. Strictly...
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease....
Malaria is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Malaria symptoms include fever, chills,...
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system, a vital part of the body's immune system. Symptoms and signs include...
Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardial sac that surrounds the heart. The causes of pericarditis include injury from...
Preeclampsia (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension)
Preeclampsia is related to increased blood pressure and protein in the mother's urine. Preeclampsia typically begins after the...
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...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints,...
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...
Other Causes of Proteinuria (Protein in the Urine)
- Bacterial Infections
- Chronic Renal Failure
- Fanconi Syndrome
- Focal Segmental Glomerulonephritis
- Goodpasture Syndrome
- Idiopathic Membranous Glomerulonephritis
- IgA Nephropathy
- Interstitial Nephritis
- Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis
- Minimal Change Disease
- Nephrotic Syndrome
- Renal Transplant Rejection
- Uric Acid Nephropathy
- Viral Infections
- Wilson Disease
Examples of Medications for Proteinuria (Protein in the Urine)
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter