Q&A: Protein in Urine

Q: The doctor told my mother that there’s protein in her urine. What does this mean and how should she take care of it?

A: Albumin is a protein that is usually found in the blood. It is usually filtered back into the circulation by the kidneys when they are healthy. Early kidney damage can be detected before large amount of proteins begin to be found in the urine by a test called the microalbumin test.  ‘Micro’ is used to describe the very small amounts of albumin in the urine. A urine test is performed to detect microalbumin. This can be performed in your physician’s office or in the laboratory.

Here are some general precautions to take when producing a urine sample for a microalbumin test as they may produce what is called a false positive result:

• Do not touch the edge of the cup with your genital area
•  If you are female do not have the test close to or during your menstrual cycle,
• Do not get toilet paper pubic hair or any other foreign substance in the container.
• Also do not have the test performed if you have been ill with a fever,
• High blood sugars may also give a false positive test result.