Proteinuria in Children: Symptoms and Risk Factors

What is the proteinuria? 

Proteinuria is when protein goes in the urine. As the blood moves through the kidneys, the kidneys filter and remove waste products, excess fluids and salt. These waste products leave the body in the urine. Usually, no protein is found in urine as most proteins are too large to pass through the kidneys.

If your doctor finds protein in the urine of your child, this means that your child's kidneys may not be working as they should, possibly because of inflammation (swelling). Sometimes infection or chemicals damage the kidneys and this makes protein show up in urine.

If only a small amount of protein in the urine, your child probably has a benign (harmless) as orthostatic proteinuria (see below).If there is a lot of protein in the urine of your child a more serious kidney disease could be causing the problem.Proteinuria is painless. But when a large amount of protein present in urine protein level in the blood may drop. This can cause swelling of the eyelids, ankles and legs of your child. High blood pressure is another sign of this problem.

What are the symptoms of proteinuria?

Your doctor may ask you to collect a urine sample from your child 24 hours. The instructions for doing this at the end of this pamphlet. A collection of 24-hour urine allows your doctor to measure the protein in the urine. A special paper strip is dipped into the urine sample for the presence of protein in the urine.This test helps show how well your kidneys are working for your child. Your doctor may also do some blood tests.

What is orthostatic proteinuria?

Orthostatic proteinuria occurs in some older children and adolescents. The word orthostatic means "upright". The condition is known as "orthostatic proteinuria" because protein goes into the urine only when the child is standing.

Children with this condition have no kidney damage, but for some unknown reason, they lose protein into the urine during the day when active. At night, while they sleep, their kidneys do not let any protein into the urine. Your doctor diagnoses this harmless condition by checking two urine samples. The first is collected in the morning, right after your child gets up. The second sample is collected during the day. The samples were kept in separate containers. If your child has orthostatic proteinuria morning sample will not have protein, but the urine collected during the day will have protein in it.


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