Your kidneys filter waste products from your blood while retaining components your body needs — including proteins. However, some diseases and conditions can allow proteins to pass through the filters of your kidneys, causing protein in urine.
Conditions that can cause a temporary rise in the levels of protein in urine, but don't necessarily indicate kidney damage, include:
- Cold exposure
- Emotional stress
- Heat exposure
- Strenuous exercise
Diseases and conditions that can cause persistently elevated levels of protein in urine, which may indicate kidney disease, include:
- Amyloidosis (buildup of abnormal proteins in your organs)
- Certain drugs
- Chronic kidney disease
- Diabetic hypoglycemia
- Glomerulonephritis (inflammation in the kidney cells that filter waste from the blood)
- Goodpasture's syndrome (disease involving the kidneys and lungs)
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Hodgkin's lymphoma (Hodgkin's disease)
- IgA nephropathy (Berger's disease) (kidney inflammation resulting from a buildup of the antibody immunoglobulin A)
- Kidney infection
- Multiple myeloma
- Orthostatic proteinuria (urine protein level rises when in an upright position)
- Pericarditis (inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sarcoidosis (development and growth of clumps of inflammatory cells in your organs)
- Sickle cell anemia
May 08, 2014
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Proteinuria. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/proteinuria/index.htm. Accessed Jan. 15, 2014.
- Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 15, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 15, 2014.
- Proteinuria. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/proteinuria/. Accessed Jan. 15, 2014.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 4, 2014.