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What does elevated protein in your urine mean?

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Quick Answer

Elevated protein levels in the urine usually indicate a disease or condition that affects the function of the kidneys, according to Mayo Clinic. Temporary conditions, such as physical exposure to unusually hot or cold temperatures, fever, stress or recovery from vigorous exercise, can also cause temporarily elevated protein levels in urine.

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What does elevated protein in your urine mean?
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Full Answer

Serious problems with the kidneys, including chronic kidney disease, glomerulonephritis, Goodpasture's syndrome, Berger's disease or a kidney infection, cause chronic elevated protein levels in the urine, explains Mayo Clinic.

Proteinuria, which is the official term for high urine protein levels, can also indicate problems with other areas of the body, notes Mayo Clinic. Conditions that affect the heart, such as pericarditis, heart failure or heart disease, often result in high urine protein levels. Other serious diseases, like Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemia, malaria and multiple myeloma may also cause proteinuria.

If doctors ignore the underlying condition causing the elevated protein, the protein can potentially cause more kidney damage and even lead to kidney failure, according to the American Kidney Fund. However, if doctors diagnose the cause of the elevated protein levels quickly, they can usually prescribe treatment to slow the damage to the kidneys and delay dialysis or the need for a transplant.

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