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Protein in Urine - Can Anybody Relate?

4 posts in this topic

Hello, I hope everyone is doing well today -


After several months of morning thirst and some puffiness (my face and ankles), my doctor performed a 24-hour urine protein test and my results came back somewhat high - at just over 500 mg's.(anything above about 200 is considered too high).  I just learned of this and really don't know where this leaves me or what my doctor is going to recommend. A recap of my situation: scleroderma symptoms for about 15 years but no diagnosis of scleroderma. All antibody tests are always negative and I have no skin involvement. I have Raynauds, esophagus dysmotility, reflux, heart arrhythmias, and other "stuff."  On the outside, I look perfectly healthy.  All my damage seems to be completely internal. My disease has always been in extreme "stealth" mode!  :lol:


I have done a lot of research on the internet and see where chronic kidney involvement (including protein in the urine) and slowly declining kidney function in scleroderma is common but has not received much attention over the years because the more severe acute renal crisis is mostly what is talked about and studied.  Anyway, I am wondering after 15 years of disease if finally these "chronic" changes are showing up in my kidney.  At any rate, can anyone else relate to these kidney symptoms - especially protein in the urine?  I'd sure like to hear from you!


All my best,



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Hi Wilson,


Well, you raised an excellent question. Here's a comprehensive article, Proteinuria in Adults: A Diagnostic Approach by American Family Physician.


As you can see, figuring out the cause is quite complicated but it needs to be taken step by step.  There are many things that can give it a false positive, so usually they are concerned about the overall pattern, rather than a single test.


That article includes a flow chart, which is very helpful in sorting out how to proceed with the diagnosis. Scleroderma would be a very rare cause of kidney failure, of course, simply because it is so rare, whereas hypertension and diabetes would be far more common causes.  And, even people with scleroderma can acquire diabetes (etc.), so everything needs to be considered in the beginning.


I hope that your doctors are able to sort it out soon for you!



Warm Hugs,


Shelley Ensz

Founder and President

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099


The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

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Hi Wilson,


Sorry to hear that you've been experiencing worrying renal symptoms.


Thankfully, I've not had the problem of kidney involvement, so can't advise you from personal experience.


I do hope your doctors will be able to help you and sort out an effective treatment for you.


Kind regards,

Jo Frowde

ISN Assistant Webmaster

SD World Webmaster

ISN Sclero Forums Manager

ISN News Manager

ISN Hotline Support Specialist

ISN Chat Host

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Thanks Shelley and Jo,


I appreciate your input.  As it turns out, although my protein amount is abnormal - it is not super-high, so my doctor wishes to just monitor this right now to see if the amount goes up or down in the future.  Still, I am not too happy about this result as protein in the urine is often an early sign of kidney disease.


Have a good day,



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