Urine Protein (Dipstick)
Does this test have other names?
Reagent strip urinalysis, urine albumin
What is this test?
This test checks the amount of protein in your urine. Your urine normally may have
a very small amount of protein. Much of this protein is the type called albumin. But
many other types of protein may be found in urine. When your body loses large amounts
of protein in the urine, it can be because of dehydration, strenuous exercise, fever,
or exposure to cold temperatures.
Extra protein in the urine can also be a sign of serious diseases. These include:
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test to see if you have a problem affecting your kidneys. Diabetes
and high blood pressure are 2 common causes of kidney disease. Medicines, certain
chemicals, and illicit drugs can also harm the kidneys. So can certain inherited diseases.
Kidney disease doesn't always cause symptoms, but these may be warning signs that
your kidneys aren't working properly:
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may also take your blood pressure. Your provider may also:
Check for blood in your urine
Measure your glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to see how well your kidneys are working
Check your blood for blood sugar, protein, electrolytes, and cholesterol levels
Test for other diseases, including lupus and cancer
What do my test results mean?
Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used
for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem.
Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.
Healthy adults normally excrete less than 150 mg of protein over 24 hours. Higher
amounts of protein in your urine may mean that you have a health problem. Your healthcare
provider will use the results of this test, along with other test results, to diagnose
your health problem or track its changes.
How is this test done?
This test is done with a urine sample. Your healthcare provider may ask you to provide
a single urine sample or collect your urine over a certain time period, such as 24
hours. For this sample, you must collect all of your urine for 24 hours. Empty your
bladder completely first thing in the morning without collecting it. Note the time.
Then collect your urine every time you go to the bathroom over the next 24 hours.
You will collect it in a container that your healthcare provider or the lab gives
Does this test pose any risks?
This test poses no known risks.
What might affect my test results?
The results of this test can also be affected by:
How do I get ready for this test?
Ask your healthcare provider if any medicines you're taking or health conditions you
have may affect this test. Tell your provider about all medicines, herbs, vitamins,
and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription
and any illegal drugs you may use.