Leukocytes and Protein in Urine

Leukocytes and Protein in Urine – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Urine is the by-product through which the metabolic wastes are excreted out of the human body. Thus urine is an important constituent which maintains the healthy balance within the human body by excreting the metabolic wastes from time to time.

Also, a regular urine analysis also provides important hints to individuals about diseases which might be growing within the human body. The urine is usually a composition of various elements including Leukocytes and Protein. Though leukocytes and proteins are found naturally in urine in small quantities, an excess of these in urine can be a cause for concern.

What does Leukocytes and Protein in Urine Mean?

Finding both leukocytes and protein in small quantity in human urine is common and may not indicate any infection. But detection of excess leukocytes and protein in urine can be a precursor to serious health ailments. The normal range of leukocytes which should be present in the urine of an adult human being is typically 2-5 WBCs/HPF (White Blood Cell (WBC) is nothing but Leukocytes) or less.

Detecting high amounts of Leukocytes and Protein in urine indicates kidney ailments and Urinary Tract Infection. Especially high protein in urine levels indicates kidney issues since healthy kidneys do not allow passing of significant amount of protein into the urine. This increased level of protein in urine is known as Proteinuria.

During pregnancy, regular urine checkups are suggested to the pregnant women. This is basically to test the protein and leukocytes level in the urine of the pregnant women. Pregnant women are at a high risk of contracting Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and thus both the levels of protein and leukocytes need to be kept in check or else requisite precautions need to be taken by the woman.

What Causes Leukocytes and Protein in Urine?

Some of the Common Causes of the High Content of Leukocytes in Urine

  • Bladder Infection, Urinary Tract Infection or Irritation
  • Kidney Stones
  • Kidney Infection
  • Urinary System Blockage
  • Pregnancy
  • Holding Urine for long in the bladder
  • Prostate, Bladder or Kidney Cancer
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Consumption of some painkillers or blood thinners
  • Excessive and strenuous exercise regime

Some of the Common Causes of Proteinuria Include

  • Medical conditions such as Diabetes and High Blood Pressure
  • Consumption of Specific Medications
  • Result of some trauma or distress
  • Kidney Infection or malfunction
  • Immune system disorders
  • Eclampsia in pregnancy
  • Congestive heart failure

Leukocytes and Protein in Urine Symptoms

Some symptoms which suggest that the leukocytes levels are high in urine include:

  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Urinating more frequently than normal
  • Pain or a burning sensation while urinating
  • Blood and Leukocytes in urine is a clear indication of Urine infection
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Long-term pelvic pain
  • Shivering and fever
  • Upper back and side pain
  • Pain during sex

Symptoms and the extent of symptoms might vary from person to person. Such symptoms should be referred to a medical practitioner immediately for further diagnosis using various methods such as dipstick test, visual exam, and microscopic examination. At times, the urine test might result in leukocytes and protein in urine but no infection but that is a mere indication of some other infection other than bacterial infection which needs to be examined thoroughly and treated properly.

Usually, the excess amount of protein in the blood cannot be detected without a urine test. However in severe kidney problems, the patient might have foamy, frothy, and bubbly looking urine and the patient might have swollen face, abdomen, feet, and hands.

Leukocytes and Protein in Urine Treatment

Proteinuria is not a specific disease and thus the underlying cause of such condition needs to be first diagnosed in order to prescribe a treatment schedule. Mild and temporary proteinuria might not require any treatment in the first case. However, in the presence of diseases like diabetes medications in the form of drugs are prescribed to the patients. Two classes of drugs prescribed to treat proteinuria in diabetics include angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. Patients suffering from Proteinurea need to check their cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and heart functions.

Similarly, treatment for leukocytes in the urine needs a thorough diagnosis of the root cause. In case of Urinary Tract Infection, relevant antibiotics can treat the disease. For some other cause of leukocytes in urine, more in-depth medical treatment might be required.

Although the mild amount of leukocytes and protein in urine of an adult human individual are normal, however high range of such Leukocytes and Protein in Urine must not be neglected and treated as early as possible. This high range of Leukocytes and Protein in Urine signals the seriousness of some other trouble brewing up in the body of the adult human being. Thus consulting a medical practitioner is advised.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sameer Kumar (MBBS, MS, FMAS, DMAS)Obstetrician & Gynecologist

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