I am leaking protein should I be concerned? - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

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I am leaking protein should I be concerned?

MGNKF profile image

I am a little bit confused. I started leaking protein about a year ago. I believe I have a kidney problem however my PD says its normal for a person my age (73) to start having kidney failure which is slow. He claims that as the individual ages every year you lose kidney function. I do have blood work done once a tear for my annual physical. Should I insist on seeing a Kidney specialist. How normal is it to leak protein in the urine?

35 Replies

Depends on how much protein your leaking, but BP meds help lower the protein leaking, the ace inhibitors and ARB BP meds in particular. Do blood work once a month and check your creatinine and GFR levels, if there is kidney disease present the objective would be to stabilise your blood work numbers, BP meds, eating healthy etc will help.

Have you had a urine test, is there blood visible in the urine, or did they analyse to check if there was blood at a microscopic level, a urine test will measure protein loss and confirm and blood in urine.

MGNKF profile image
MGNKF in reply to

Hi cobrakai, thank you for your reply. My last blood work showed no blood in the urine, the creatine was 89.0, Microalbumin 160.1, the Microalbumin/crest ratio 105.2. I haven't had a GFR test. What I notice thou is that day by day my urine seems to be more foamy, thus more protein leaked right?

in reply to MGNKF

Foamy urine could be a lot of things only a urine test will determine how much your leaking, the objective is to keep your gfr and creatinine stable, your gfr is 77 based on what I calculated, which is promising. If your urine test does show protein leakage discuss with your doctor treatment options.

MGNKF profile image
MGNKF in reply to

Thank you for your advice, its very much appreciated. I am planning to have a blood/urine test again this coming week and then seriously discuss it with my PD. I have done it before but he keeps saying its just a part of aging. I much rather be proactive and talk to a nephrologist, Again thank you for taking the time.

in reply to MGNKF

I wouldn’t worry about it too much because you can limit the protein leakage through healthy eating and meds, the only thing I would be concerned about is has your gfr dropped due to your age, was this just natural or is something else causing your gfr drop, your creatinine looks normal which is good, that’s why I said the urine test will show any protein leakage, if there isn’t protein leakage after your urine test results then you have nothing to worry about.

MGNKF profile image
MGNKF in reply to

Let's hope you are right. My last urine test showed protein= trace

Bet117 profile image
Bet117NKF Ambassador in reply to MGNKF

Hi MGNKF,

My thoughts; if you are leaking protein, I would see a nephrologist. He/ she will evaluate you and run specific labs and tests which are part of their expertise and see what the reasoning for the protein spilling as well as how best to address it which will benefit your health.

Limiting protein and salt in your diet certainly is healthy, but may not be the answer in your specific case as we are all different. Age does not always play a role in this.

I would be proactive and see the specialist.

Please reach back and let me know the outcome.

Bet

MGNKF profile image
MGNKF in reply to Bet117

Hi Bet, thank you for your advice. I am going to be more assertive and ask my Dr for a referral to a nephrologist and a renal dietitian. He seems to think that kidneys start losing their function as we get older thus I should just accept it. I am not, I am going to find out the reason for my CKD..

Raclette profile image
Raclette in reply to MGNKF

Same unhelpful reply from my Dr - I am going to write a letter

Chance15 profile image
Chance15 in reply to

Hi there I recently told ckd stage 3.

My question to u and others please wud b most helpful MGNKF MENTIONED LEAKING PROTEINS WHEN HE HE WEED.

How does he know he leaking protein leakage.I don’t understand how he knows.I must be a bit slow understanding it.

Chance.

in reply to Chance15

Sometimes urine can be bubbly and foamy, but this doesn’t mean it’s always protein leaking you need a urine test which will confirm if your leaking protein it will also give you the amount your leaking.

Chance15 profile image
Chance15 in reply to

cobrakai2029.

Thanks for ur reply I often have bubbly or foamy urine.Not ad a urine tested just blood tests over 7 months showing ckd.

Just told by doctors ckd no explanation. When I asked about do I need to go on special diet no was the ansa.

MGNKF profile image
MGNKF in reply to

Hi Chance15. My Dr mentioned the foamy urine is protein leaking. Cobrakai2020 I called the lab and they sent me the latest report which indicates that my urine results are Creatine 61.0, Albumin 59.3 and Alb/Creat Ratio 97.2 which is high...according to the chart normal is <30, Albuminuria 31-300 (my case), and clinical albuminuria is >300. I also found my GFR is 72...right on target what you calculated. Thanks!

Mickymoo profile image
Mickymoo in reply to MGNKF

Funny i have recently been having foamy urine and took a sample to health centre. They dipped it and said protein was present. I am 43 with suspected heart failure. They were to look into the protein matter but have heard nothing for weeks. No blood test or sample to send off. Think most things are being put on the back burner due to covid! My cardiologist sent word via health centre yesterday that he wants 1st urine sample of the day took in. Will do that today. Do you think its anything to worry about?

Jason2233 profile image
Jason2233 in reply to Mickymoo

I kinda sorta have similar problem. I am 34 years old. I get foamy urine. It was less after I got put on ace inhibitors due to high blood pressure. For about 3 months I rarely had foamy urine, but now it’s back. Do you think my body is now resistant to the med?

Mickymoo profile image
Mickymoo in reply to Jason2233

I wouldn't know to be honest but you can request your bloods done for kidneys and a sample sent away. Would put your mind at rest if nothing else. Im supposed to have my kidney bloods checked regularly as im on diuretics but thats not happening! Think we should both be a bit more assertive and push for things to get done. Good luck x

Calvin18 profile image
Calvin18 in reply to Mickymoo

I also had traces of protein in my urine and it was due to high bp. Once I started taking meds for it the protein went away.

Mickymoo profile image
Mickymoo in reply to Calvin18

My blood pressure is always spot on. Im thinking more kidneys as im on diuretics (and recently had to double them a few times from 80mg a day to 160mg a day, due to bad odema), i take immunosuppressonts (for psoriatic arthritis), and 60mg omeperozole daily (for peptic ulcers). Hope its not the kidneys as ive enough to deal with at present lol. X

Bet117 profile image
Bet117NKF Ambassador in reply to Mickymoo

Mickymoo,

Until your doctor says it's so, it isn't so. Ring him/ her up and see them and ask what could be causing this.

If you can print out a copy of your labs, watching creatinine, GFR, albumin, BUN and protein/ albumin ratio. Check off any areas that flag high or low based on the ranges next to your results and be sure to ask about them and other concerns.

You are already on an immunosuppresent, diuretics and have edema and take medication for ulcers.

Please express your concerns to your doctor as they are the first line of communication and can explain how your medical and drug combinations may be effecting you.

Let us know what is said.

Stay positive!

Bet xx

MGNKF profile image
MGNKF in reply to Calvin18

It seems that many of us have that problem leaking protein. If it’s foamy urine most likely it’s protein. In my case probably the result of taking BP meds fir many years. Filters in our kidneys get damage. I’m going to be by more assertive with my PDr and ask for a referral to a nephrologist and a renal dietitian.. Good luck to all..

Bet117 profile image
Bet117NKF Ambassador in reply to Calvin18

Medications for high blood pressure are the first line drug to try to lower or extinguish the Proteinuria ( protein spilling).

ACE Inhibitors such as Lisinopril or Ramipril are very widely prescribed as are ARB drugs such as Losartan. Dosage can vary by person as they often perform 3 jobs; lower blood pressure, reduce pressure on kidneys and thus protein and to protect the kidneys.

Diabetics generally take BP medication to reduce any protein and protect the kidneys.

Bet117 profile image
Bet117NKF Ambassador in reply to Jason2233

Jason,

Ask the doctor about the foamy urine. If you are still spilling protein, the doctor may up the dose of the BP medication.

Sit tight....may be nothing.

Call!

Chance15 profile image
Chance15 in reply to

Thanks 4ur reply.

Bet117 profile image
Bet117NKF Ambassador in reply to Chance15

Her creatine to albumin urine test can determine it as well as a medical dip stick test.

Jason2233 profile image
Jason2233 in reply to Bet117

Not sure if I mentioned above but my urine completely stopped foaming when I first started taking losartan. Now it’s back to the way how it used to before taking losartan. I wonder if they can alter with meds and see any changes. I moved from one town to a different so establishing a new doctor here. Appointment is scheduled next week. Do you think it’s ok to wait till next week or should I go to the urgent clinic if it’s causing further damage to my kidney.

MGNKF profile image
MGNKF in reply to Jason2233

Hi Jason, how long did you have foamy urine before starting on Losartan? I take Losartan 12.5 Mgs and still experience protein leakage. I will have new blood work on the 30th and immediately follow with a Dr visit to demand a referral to a Nephrologist and a Renal Dietician..good luck in your case..

Jason2233 profile image
Jason2233 in reply to MGNKF

I had it for about a year then I started noticing it more before I brought it up to my pcp. I am currently taking 50mg lasartan. My dad had kidney issues and his creatinine was high. So I feel like I am heading towards a dangerous path.

MGNKF profile image
MGNKF in reply to Jason2233

I agree with you. My PCP doesn't seem to be that concerned but I believe it is serious and will cause damage to my health unless I address it seriously now. Keep in touch and let us know your next steps.

Bet117 profile image
Bet117NKF Ambassador in reply to Jason2233

Hi Jason, At this point, I would wait to establish with your new doctor and bring this and all concerns to this new person as the BP med and foamy urine may be totally unrelated. I would, however, bring in copies of the last 2 sets of labs. If your former doctor had you run a 24 hour urine catch be sure to bring them with you. If you have run labs for your new doctor, print them out and check off anything that may flag out of the given ranges. I would also make a list of questions for your new doctor in a notebook and be sure to ask. If you have a family member that can attend the appointment with you, that's great as they can scribe for you as to allow you to better focus on the discussion. Your notebook will have your vitals that day and the answers to look back on and serve as a base for your next appointment.

It works well for me. I also brought a brief list of the foods I regularly eat to the first appointment with my present nephrologist and PCP. Both were appreciative.

It is all going to work out; sit tight.

Please reach back and share the outcome. You are among friends!

Bet

Jason2233 profile image
Jason2233 in reply to Bet117

So I went to the doctor and have my protein checked. No protein. Even though my urine was bubbly. But weird enough a week ago I went to the urgent clinic and they had found a trace of protein. Soo I can’t wrap my head around this. Do you think the urgent care clinic could have a false result or the visit at the pcp could have a false result. Also, I feel like the machine they use at the doctors office is more reliable than the ones used at the urgent clinic. Any feedback would be appreciate. The doctor suggested to go back in three months and she will recheck.

Bet117 profile image
Bet117NKF Ambassador in reply to Jason2233

Hi Jason,

Glad that you saw your own doctor and the results were relieving. I know the thought of having proteinuria, or spilling protein, can be mind boggling.

Bubbly urine CAN be a sign of protein, but remember that everyone is different, which is why it is so important to discuss your concerns with your own doctor and note the response that she gives you.

How are your creatinine, GFR, BUN and Anion Gap? Ask her about these tests as well as your albumin, protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorous and calcium in addition to your creatinine to albumin ratio.

Before your next appointment, print out a copy of your test results and check off any areas which may flag under or over the ranges next to your results and ask her. I usually note my last appointment results next to my current ones to identify a pattern or change.

Note questions and answers. Don't leave unless you are clear; that's her job.

I keep the results with my questions on my lap and take notes so that my doctors and I are looking at the same lab pages to discuss.

I usually ask my husband to join me at my nephrology appointment and scribe the discussion and my vitals for me in a notebook. If you have a family member who can join you; fantastic.

During this covid, I have had to go solo, so I note everything on the lab results and transfer discussion into my notebook after. Just a few tricks to keep a running record and to refer back to after I leave.

Yes, lab results can vary based on the time of day, food, fasting, hydration, whether or not you have exercised prior, or the lab who is spinning them.

Labs from different hospitals have a different set of ranges/ criteria.

My PCP and nephrologist are associated with two different hospitals, so my results may be close but not exacting.

Did you bring the results from Urgent Care to your last doctor's appointment? What did he/ she tell you?

Most importantly, your doctor is aware of your concerns, monitoring you carefully; the fact that she will see you in three months to check on this tells me that she is on top of things. Be positive!

In the meantime, drink your water, avoid dark colas, NASID' s like Advil and eat healthy; watch the sodium, no red meat and add in more fruits and vegetables.

Know that I am here to talk at any time. Stay safe and please feel free to reach out at any time.

Bet

Jason2233 profile image
Jason2233 in reply to Bet117

She didn’t feel the need to run blood work because i had them done 2 months ago and everything was normalIn the blood report. So she said that she will do my blood work in three months as well as urine. Sometimes it’s mind boggling that I don’t always get the answers for the issues I am having. She said she checked the protein and micro-albumin which apparently shows if the kidney is stressful. Do you know what that could be?

Bet117 profile image
Bet117NKF Ambassador in reply to Jason2233

Hi Jason,

Every three months sounds about right for a full set of her own labs and a check in.

Right now it appears that your doctor is being thorough and checking on the protein spilling, as it has been your concern as well as the fact that there is a history of kidney issues in your direct family.

You are doing the right thing for having it checked - I applaud you!

In answer to your question, urine microalbumin is a tiny almost undetectable amount of the protein albumin, so small that it is detectable under a microscope. It can leak into your urine when your kidneys aren't working as they should.

These tests are all part of a kidney workup and a thorough doctor.

Honestly, your doctor should be your first line of communication and the best person to explain this or any statements that she makes to you, in simple terminology, so you don't walk away in doubt.

Great questions for the office and to note.

Now, I would send your doctor a note on your patient portal or give her a call and ask her about theses two tests and what she meant by a strain or stress on the kidneys in regard to YOU and your case. Ask and any other questions that you may have.

A good doctor will listen to you and speak to you in basic terms as to what they are doing and why, as well as communicate with the other members of your medical team.

I know that the whole thing blows your mind, but remember that until your doctor tells you that there is a problem, don't go there. Right now you were told by your doctor that no protein was detected. Take the gift and go with it.

Send the note and let me know what she says.

It will all be good!

Bet

BE CONCERNED. Yes, and get on a bp med even if you don't need one. When you look at the research, protein is the #1 factor for an early demise. And things can go south fast.

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