Protein in Urine: What, How & Why

Proteinuria

 

WHAT IS PROTEINURIA?

The leakage of Plasma Protein in urine is technically termed as “Proteinuria” (pronounced as pro-teen-you-reah). These proteins are NOT the usual nutrient that you obtain from food. These are a different class of Proteins specially made by your Liver.

Plasma Proteins normally circulate in your bloodstream & help with a range of functions essential to keep you alive. Urine samples with Protein tend to be visibly foamy / frothy akin to the kind that you get after dissolving detergents in water. The extent of foam will certainly vary with the extent of protein leakage.

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Healthy Kidneys prevent Blood & Protein in Urine. But how?!

Protein blood barrier

Normally, Urine produced by healthy kidneys is a cocktail of toxic waste products of cellular metabolism, a host of minerals, salts, smelly organic compounds & excess water. (Find the complete normal urine composition here). These components begin to get together to form Urine once healthy kidney micro-filters “strain” our blood through themselves. These micro-filters are uber-selective with what they “let-out” into the urine. This is such that, all blood cells & “plasma” proteins remain in the bloodstream while the wastes & excesses purge themselves out.

But what makes these Kidney Micro-filters that selective against leakage of blood cells & protein in urine?

LET’S DISSECT!

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Urine Colour: Variations in Kidney & Urinary Tract Disease

Urine Colour

“Urine Colour. Just how significant is it?!”

Human Urine – the biochemical masterpiece “manufactured” by our Kidneys as a by-product of all the work that they do  –  is normally a clear, pale / straw yellow to dark (but transparent) yellow in colour. This is attributed to the pigment Urochrome normally found in urine.

In good health, how yellow your urine appears directly relates to your water/liquid intake. The more dehydrated you are, the denser & more concentrated your urine is, and the darker is the yellow colour as depicted in the image below.

Normal Urine Colour
Normal variation in Urine Colour in good health. Healthy urine samples are transparent and vary from a pale or straw yellow to a dark yellow shade.

 

Samples in the image above aptly show the normal variation in Urine Colour in good health. For all practical diagnostic purposes, this urine colour range qualifies as normal. Now, Urine is not a topic that would usually make the cut in any polite conversation in non-specialist social gatherings.

But did you know?

Something as humble and underappreciated as your Urine Colour is a reliable clinical criterion used by physicians to substantiate their clinical opinion on your health status. Continue reading “Urine Colour: Variations in Kidney & Urinary Tract Disease”