Urine tests can tell many things about your overall health, from the presence of inflammation to dehydration. Healthy kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood and into the urine so they can leave the body. Important materials such as proteins and nutrients are returned to the bloodstream. If the kidneys are not functioning normally, protein may be detected in the urine, suggesting a kidney problem. High levels of protein found in the urine may indicate the presence of a condition known as proteinuria.
Related: 6 Things Your Urine Can Tell You
What is Proteinuria?
Your blood contains proteins, and albumin is the main one found in your bloodstream. The proteins have several functions such as building muscles and bones, controlling fluid amounts in your blood, and prohibiting infections. Unless you consume so much protein that your body must excrete the excess amounts, proteins stay in the bloodstream so they can do these important tasks. Proteinuria occurs when there are high amounts of protein in the urine, indicating possible kidney disease. There are some conditions that may cause you to be more susceptible to proteinuria, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and a family history of kidney disease.
Causes of Proteinuria
-Using too much aspirin
-Low body temperature
Certain medical conditions may increase the risk of having protein in urine. These include:
-High blood pressure
-Sickle cell anemia
In addition to these factors, having a family history of kidney disease, being above a certain age, and being overweight can also increase the risk of proteinuria.
There are often no symptoms during the early stage of kidney disease so you may not even realize that you have protein in your urine. A simple urine analysis could be the answer to your questions about your kidney health. This test measures the amount of albumin in your urine and compares it with the amount of creatinine found there. If this ratio is high – more than 30 mg/g – you may have kidney disease.
Change Your Diet and Daily Habits
If high levels of protein are discovered in your urine, you might need to change your eating habits. The recommended diet is similar to a generally healthy diet that includes vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean proteins and low sodium. The main difference between this and a kidney disease diet is the limiting of protein intake.
The following dietary suggestions may be beneficial for those with kidney disease:
-Increase your fiber intake by adding more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your diet.
-Reduce your red meat consumption. You can switch red meat with lean poultry or seafood. Try to limit your consumption to 6 ounces, and choose grilled or baked options when possible.
-Minimize the amount of processed food consumed.
-Keep your daily sodium intake between 1500-2300 mg/day.
-Limit your consumption of alcohol.
The symptoms of kidney disease are hard to recognize, but you can minimize the risk by adjusting your diet according to these suggestions.
Daily habits are also important in preventing protein in the urine and reducing the risk of developing kidney disease:
-Drink water in moderate amounts, such as 8-9 glasses per day.
-Exercise regularly. This will help you reach your healthy weight and lower your blood pressure. Be careful not to over-exercise as this will increase the protein amount in your urine.
-Do not use vitamin supplements and herbal extracts in excessive amounts.
-Quit smoking. Smoking damages blood vessels and decreases the blood flow to the kidneys.
-Check your kidney function and urine protein level regularly if you are at risk.
Here are some tips to enhance your kidney health and overall health at the same time.
-Exercise regularly and be active.
Keeping active can control your blood sugar and blood pressure and improve your cardiovascular and kidney health.
-Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight.
Being above your healthy weight will increase the chances of many diseases, kidney disease included. The nutritional content of your diet should be low in sodium and high in vegetables and fruits.
Your kidneys need water in order to keep toxins and sodium out of the body. You should adjust your fluid intake according to your lifestyle, climate, exercise level, and body mass.
Smoking is harmful to your cardiovascular system and affects the blood flow into the kidneys. Giving up smoking will help keep your kidneys healthy.