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Protein in urine, how much is too much?

Rheumy said I had slight protien in urine at my last appointment in December, plus blood tests showing raised levels of disease activity. I have now been asked to provide another sample for retesting, & measurement of creatinine levels.

I would be interested to hear everyone's experiences on this. Can the protein levels fluctuate, like the disease itself does? At what point is treatment altered to address this? I've read the relevant info on Lupus UK & St Thomas's site. But you, my fellow lupies are always so much more helpful, & explain things in plain English.

9 Replies

Protein levels do fluctuate - typically being lowest first thing in the morning. More than +1 of protein is a slight worry. I'm not sure about creatinine levels, but this website maybe of use:

This is a moment in your lupus-life that it would be good to pay close attention to your specialist and GP - and also to take good note of all those things we are supposed to do, like getting lots of rest and not stressing, but which in practice are hard to achieve.

Take it easy and don't panic!

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thank you for this website


Good advice, thanks Maggie. I'm hoping this is just a blip. It is the first time in 14 years of illness, & 5 years of diagnosis, that anything has really shown up in my tests. Other than high positive ANA. So I think the rheumy is covering all the basis with this extra test.

Oh, how lupus likes to keep us on ours toes!


I also had a slight trace of protein in urine in december. But rheumie has not asked for re-testing. I am seeing my rheumie nurse on Tuesday so am going to take a sample with me and ask if she can test. xxx


Good idea megs-tom, it's always better to be sure. I think the reason the rheumy has asked for the extra test, is because my bloods have been showing increased levels of disease activity since September. Which as I said to maggie, above, is new for me.

Hope your test turns out OK. X


Thanks. Yes certainly better to check just incase. I got my bloods done at the same time but have not had the results so think I will ask for those as well. xxx


Also, speaking as a renal patient of more than 30 years, there are many things which can affect urine tests, sometimes just what you had to eat the day before, or if you are a bit de-hydrated, can make a difference.Generally, a trace isn't really significant but obviously your doctor is being sensible and double checking everything.It's probably a good idea for him to check your urine regularly anyway, if you have lupus, as well as regular blood tests, always better to catch things early. I have found that my tests reflect how I'm doing generally, and if I'm not too good levels can go up, but will settle when I'm feeling better.


Hi vonnyrad, thanks for your reply. When you say renal patient, does that mean you have had lupus nephritis for 30 years? Has your kidney disease fluctuated in that time, & what sort of treatments have you had for it?


for years i always thouht i had poor kidney function until i saw a nethrolgist they are the specialist. protien in your urine if its not tested properly can be misleading..

there is for example certain ethnic groups that you have to do the calculation for protien in your urine in different way. its good to see a specialist to put your mind at rest all they deal with are kidneys x


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