Health > Albumin in Urine: Symptoms, Causes, Test & Treatment
25th Jun 2021

Albumin in Urine: Symptoms, Causes, Test & Treatment

The presence of Albumin in Urine is a key indicator that the kidneys might not be operating efficiently, suggesting potential underlying health issues.

The primary function of the kidneys is to maintain the body’s health by filtering blood. Within the kidneys, a network of small blood vessels, known as glomeruli, filters waste from the blood while reabsorbing proteins. However, when the kidneys don’t function properly, some of these proteins, especially albumin, may leak into the urine. This condition, characterized by a high quantity of Albumin in Urine, is known as proteinuria.

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Proteinuria is divided in 4 categories:

•    Glomerular proteinuria
•    Tubular proteinuria
•    Overflow proteinuria
•    Post-renal proteinuria

When the protein leaking into the blood is albumin, it’s classified as albuminuria. It is categorised under glomerular proteinuria. The excess quantity of albumin in the urine is not good for health. To understand albuminuria better, let’s start by asking the

Causes and Symptoms of Albumin in Urine

The albumin in urine can be due to one or more or of these causes. Each cause has different symptoms. A person might experience symptoms from various causes and a doctor should be consulted at the earliest. The causes of albumin in urine are:

1.    Dehydration

This is a common and temporary cause of albumin in urine. The body uses water to deliver albumin to the kidneys. Without sufficient water, it becomes difficult for the body to do so. As a result, when the kidneys can’t properly reabsorb albumins from the blood, it ends up in the urine. In return, dehydration can be caused by vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, excessive sweating, and not drinking enough. Albuminuria due to dehydration can have the following symptoms:

•    Headaches
•    Fatigue
•    Increased thirst
•    Dark coloured urine
•    Decreased urination
•    Dry skin or mouth
•    Dizziness

2.    High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure weakens the blood vessels in the kidneys, decreasing the glomeruli’s ability to reabsorb protein, which then flows into the urine. It’s important to note that since blood pressure increases gradually, a person may experience these symptoms for years before receiving a diagnosis of albumin in their urine. In severe cases, high blood pressure can cause significant health complications:

•    Nosebleeding
•    Shortness of breath
•    Headaches

Generally, high blood pressure does not have an underlying cause. It would the best option to consult a doctor when the aforementioned symptoms are frequent.

3.    Diabetes

High blood sugar forces the kidney to over filter the blood. This may sound like a good thing but when kidneys are overworked, they are eventually damaged. As a result, their ability to filter blood immediately comes down greatly. They can filter significantly less blood than what is normal. This results in the excess of albumin in urine. The symptoms due to diabetes vary depending on the severity of the disorder. They include:

•    Blurry vision
•    Frequent urination
•    Unexplained weight loss
•    Increased thirst and hunger
•    Fatigue

4.    Chronic Kidney Disease

The progressive loss of a kidney’s functioning is called Chronic Kidney Disease. This can result in albuminuria in the early stages but it isn’t noticeable because the increase is not high enough to affect the health. Nevertheless, it can show the following symptoms as it progresses:

•    Hiccups
•    Vomiting
•    Trouble sleeping
•    Dry and itchy skin
•    Poor appetite
•    Nausea
•    Frequent urination

5.    Glomerulonephritis

The inflammation of glomeruli in the kidney is called glomerulonephritis. Any sort of inflammation in the glomeruli leads to a series of symptoms called nephrotic symptoms. This includes:

•    Decrease of albumin in the blood
•    Increase of albumin in the blood
•    Increase of fat and cholesterol in the blood
•    Swollen feet, ankles, and legs

Now that you know what causes albuminuria and what the symptoms of albumin in urea, here’s the next thing you should know.

Tests to Diagnose Albuminin in Urea

The best and most prescribed way to test whether a person has a normal albumin level in urine is via the urine test. The patient will get the result within 24 hours and a consultation with the doctor will help to know the best treatment method. The normal albumin level depends highly on a person’s age. Elderly people are at a greater risk of being affected by this disease. This is why it is essential to regularly check albumin levels in the elderly. If you have opted for or are planning to opt for elderly home health care services, make sure that it regularly does urine test for the elderly to ensure their health is fine.

Treatment for Albumin in Urine

A person may not need any treatment if the symptoms are mild since it is temporary in most cases and a slight fluctuation of albumin in urine is normal. However, the doctor may prescribe some lifestyle changes for an underlying condition which may complement the presence of albumin in the urine. These include:

  • Weight Loss: Losing weight can greatly help fix the impaired kidney function.
  • Dietary Changes: The doctor will prescribe dietary changes to improve health if you suffer from diabetes, hypertension, or kidney disease.
  • Diabetes Medication: Doctors may prescribe insulin therapy to control blood sugar levels.
  • Dialysis: Doctors prescribe this treatment in cases of kidney failure and glomerulonephritis to manage fluids and high blood pressure.

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