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Protein in the urine!
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Protein in the urine!

I'm online and I'm FREAKING OUT!

I have a trace of protein in my urine, and the doctor wants me to see a kidney specialist!

I have had back pain in the past where the kidneys are, and recently I've had quite a bit of liver pain.  Liver Function test was not too good.  (See my other post about that)

I'm worried about it.  On two separate urine tests spaced 1 month apart, they both had a trace of protein in it.  The fact that doctor wrote, "Patient needs to see kidney specialist ASAP" at the bottom doesn't help my fears.

I read that this is a disease of the kidney.  One that ends up with End Stage Renal Failure or something like that.  See them words!?  END... STAGE... FAILURE!!!!  I'm freaking the hell out!

I don't have hypertension, and I'm NOT a diabetic.  

Basically, I want to know... what does this all mean?

Is this curable?

Will I need a transplant?  

Will this kill me?

Am I damaged?  And is the damage reversable?

I'm all alone, guys... please answer my questions. :(

(P.S. I'm 27, and came up positive for TB last year.  Don't know if that helps any)
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963889_tn?1359680934
ok first a trace of protein in the urine is certainly nothing to start thinking about end stage kidney disease !!! i am positive it is a simple precaution but I must say I find it odd that you are being sent to a specialist without even having had kidney function tests done!!! it sounds like a bit of a knee jerk reaction to me!!. i am assuming this wasnt as you havent mentionned anything about your egfr?????   I am in stage 3 of chronic kidney disease and am only just now being sent to one.  and that was only done after many poor and reducing egfr results over 12 months. I am sure if your doctor was really concerned he would have done the egfr, it is the most accurate diagnosis of kidney disease. kidney disease has 5 stages.  Tell your doctor you want your egfr measured.
Even a mild urine infection can cause traces of protein in the urine ie protein is found in blood and with a uti it is common to have a small amount of blood in the urine - hence trace of protein as well. have a urine test done to outrule infection and have your kidney function measured by a simple blood test ;)  re the altter ie blood test, even one poor egfr can also be the result of a uti!!!!! you need to show a steady pattern of poor egfr to indicate ckd.
re your otehr questons, not eeryone that has ckd (chronic kidney disease even progresses to end stage 9which means need dialysis and or trnasplant.
secondly, very often the cause of the disease ccan be eliminated and so no further damage done, thirdly, generally if disease is advanced the damage cannot be undone but progress can be slowed down and in many cases stopped completely.
it is too soon for you to be even asking these questions or getting worried as there is no evidence 9ie a trace of protein alone) that yiouo do have kidney disease. That can only be established by bloods. many people who get stage one or two, never progress and lead completely normal lives, having no idea they even have it.  I am hovering now on stage 4 and only just now noticing the classic symptoms. Mine was caused by a rare problem, I have no bladder, and as such it could not be stopped, it was inevitable.  usually it can!!!!!
See your doctor and get the blood test. Take little notice of the first if egfr is low, it can mean many things. If it is low, have it repeated every few months. if it stqays low or gets lower, then you may need further advice. there is usually no treatment needed until stage 4, just simpole steps with diet and taking care of yiour general health. Keep me posted when have had bloods
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Avatar_n_tn
I've waited so long for a reply to this post and I must say.... it was well worth it.

Thank you so much!  I didn't even mind the "schooling me" tone cause that's what I really want.  Don't get me wrong, I really like my doctor but he's all business.  If he stopped and informed all patients on what the possible numbers mean, then he wouldn't be able to get anything done.  

He has done two blood tests on me, but I don't think they're EGFR.  Actually, I don't know what EGFR even is, but rest assured I'm googling it as soon as I post this.

So far both urine tests have had a trace of protein.  Now, I have been under a huge amount of stress.  And turns out "supposedly" that stress can do this to ya.  Just wish I didn't have the lower back pain, then I'd believe it was stress more. :(

Thanks for the reply, and I will definitely be keeping you posted.
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963889_tn?1359680934
hi had to laugh at the bit about me using "school tone" I am a teacher lol!!!!  egfr is the rate that the kidneys filter, it is the most reliable test of the kidneys function. One abnormal one ie low, does not always mean reduced function. It can be low for a number of reasons.  if it remians low ie over about three tests, then it does suggest kidney disease, epsecially if it continues to fall steadily. There are 5 different stages and you are idagnosed as per whcih stage by the egfr. Stage 1 is normal egfr 90 of above, but with signs of kidney disease. Stage 2 is 60 to 89, with OR without other signs (this is classed as mild disease only, stage 3 (moderate kidney disease) is 30 to 59, stage 4 9severe) is 15 to 29 and end stage is under 15. it is usually at this stage that dialysis or trasnplant is needed.  This can take years to happen (usually does) and not everyone, particularly those in stage 1 or 2, will ever reach this. You need to know your egfr, it is essential.  Remeber though if it is low, it can be due to numerous reasons and shouold be repeated a few months later. Referal is usually only made in stage 4, although I was referred at stage 3 due to speed and severity of the fall in egfr. 5 have no bladder as it had to be surgically removed a few years ago. i went from stage 1 to stage 4 in only 8 months, hence the need for urgent referal.   keep me up to date
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2025033_tn?1328853262
First off, I think it's too soon for you to fly into hysterics. Proteinuria is usually a fairly sensitive indicator that there is something going on in your Kidneys, so your doctor is correct in sending you to see a nephrologist. However! There are a -lot- of things that can cause protein in your urine, and not all of them are progressive, chronic diseases. The amount of protein found in the urine is also very important in diagnosis. 'Trace amounts' doesn't mean that you should be worried about being tethered to a dialysis machine anytime soon! (You can get trace amounts of protein your urine if you've been sick lately, For example, if you had strep throat within the past few weeks, that can cause you to excrete proteins).  Don't panic before you see the specialist! He'll be able to run much more diagnostic tests and give you a better idea of what to do.  
Is there blood in your urine?
How long has this flank pain been going on? Did it just start recently, or has it been a nagging ache for some time?
Does anyone in your family have a history of Autoimmune diseases? (Like Lupus, Sjorgen's, etc).
You said your liver panels have been poor- does your doctor know what's going on with that?
Have you had any fever, chills or weight loss?
Are you on medication for your TB?

There are a LOT of factors to be considered before you can really say what protein in the urine means.
Also- don't put a lot of effort into worrying about eGFR. The Estimated Glomerulofiltration rate isn't always accurate. When it's done purely from blood work, it can be off by as much as ten percent. The Nephrologist should be able to do a much more accurate test to determine exactly what your GFR really is.

Keep your chin up. It sounds like your doctors have you in good hands.  
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963889_tn?1359680934
egfr is an accurate indicator of kidney disease HOWEVER, as i said, do not be alarmed if one is low ie it can be for a numver of reasons.  CKD chronic kidney disease is only considered IF there are a few egfr tests fone over a period of time AND the result stays low or continues to drop
. Of ot os contiunually low or falling, your doctor should order an ultrasound which would show further indication ie I am hovering stage 4 and just had an ultrasound, it showed shrinkage of both kidenys. So dont be fussed over a bit of protein, there are many indicators that, when in combination, are a more reliable picture
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