Protein in urine — known as proteinuria (pro-tee-NU-ree-uh) — is any excess amount of protein found in a urine sample. Protein is one of the substances identified during urinalysis, a test to analyze the content of your urine.

Low levels of protein in urine are normal. Temporarily high levels of protein in urine aren't unusual either, particularly in younger people after exercise or during an illness. If a urinalysis shows you have protein in your urine, you might have a follow-up test that determines how much protein is present and whether it's a cause for concern.

If you have diabetes, your doctor may check for small amounts of protein in urine — also known as microalbuminuria (my-kroh-al-byoo-min-U-ree-uh) — once or twice each year. Newly developing or increasing amounts of protein in your urine may be the earliest sign of diabetic kidney damage.

If urinalysis or another urine test has revealed protein in your urine, ask your doctor whether you need further testing. Protein in urine can be temporary, so your doctor may recommend a repeat test first thing in the morning or a few days later.

Your doctor may order other tests, such as a 24-hour urine collection, to determine if there is a cause for concern.

May 08, 2014