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What do the test results mean?

Test results should be available after a couple of days, depending on the lab schedule. A normal test result shows less than 150 milligrams of protein per day. Test results may vary slightly between laboratories. Ask your doctor about the exact meaning of your test results.

Protein in the urine may signify kidney damage or disease. Protein levels may also rise temporarily due to factors such as infection, stress, or excess exercise.

If the protein is caused by kidney damage, the test results will help to determine the extent of that damage. The protein amount can also be used to monitor any disease progression or measure your response to therapy.

Proteinuria is associated with many other conditions. These include:

  • amyloidosis, an abnormal presence of amyloid proteins in organs and tissues
  • bladder cancer tumors
  • congestive heart failure
  • diabetes
  • urinary tract infection
  • use of medications that damage the kidneys
  • Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, a rare plasma cell cancer
  • glomerulonephritis, inflammation of the blood vessels in the kidneys
  • Goodpasture syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease
  • heavy metal poisoning
  • hypertension
  • kidney infection
  • multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells
  • lupus, an inflammatory autoimmune disease
  • polycystic kidney disease

Your doctor may order more tests to make a diagnosis.