Small amounts of protein can appear in your urine and be OK. Above a certain level can be a red flag for kidney disease. This chart will explain what normal amounts of protein may be.

Proteins are one of the most important compounds in your body, helping to repair blood cells and keep your body working properly.

In a test result, this amino acid can appear in your urine in small amounts, but higher levels of protein in urine can be a sign of a more serious condition.

This article reviews how much protein in your urine is considered normal and how much is too much. We also discuss what health conditions can cause an elevated protein level in your urine (proteinuria).

Trace amounts of protein in your urine aren’t usually a cause for concern. Protein can enter your urine for several reasons, and not all are a sign of a serious health problem.

Small amounts of protein can be found in your urine because of:

The albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) test is usually used to get an accurate count of proteins in urine.

Protein amountWhat it means
30 mg/g or lessNormal
30–300 mg/gModerately increased levels and potential chronic kidney disease
300 mg/g or moreSeverely increased levels

A reading of 30 milligrams per gram (mg/g) of protein or less in your urine is considered a normal amount and isn’t usually a cause for concern.

If higher amounts of protein are found in multiple urine tests over time, or the protein levels in your urine are increasing, your healthcare team may want to perform additional testing or check your urine more frequently.

Proteinuria may also be referred to as albuminuria. Albumin is a specific type of protein that is found in the most abundance in your body. Tests for levels of protein in urine usually measure albumin levels, specifically.

Higher levels of albumin in your urine are usually a sign that your kidneys aren’t working properly.

Some people may have proteinuria without realizing it. But some symptoms associated with kidney diseases also cause protein in your urine.

Some symptoms of chronic kidney disease include:

Higher than normal levels of protein in urine are usually a sign there’s a problem with your kidneys.

If you have more than one urine test showing elevated protein levels in your urine, a healthcare professional may want to perform further tests to check how well your kidneys are working.

Protein can leak into urine due to many temporary conditions like a UTI or overexertion. But chronically high levels of protein in urine usually means chronic kidney disease.

Some conditions that can increase your risk of having protein in your urine include:

The presence of proteins in your urine and where your results fall in the above ranges aren’t the only considerations for kidney disease.

Your healthcare team will also ask you about your:

  • personal and family health history
  • ethnic background
  • diet and lifestyle choices
  • medications
  • other health conditions you have

If an underlying condition is to blame for protein in your urine — such as diabetes or high blood pressure — your healthcare team will start by helping you manage those conditions. This could mean regularly checking your blood sugar or taking medications to manage your blood sugar or blood pressure.

A healthcare professional may need to directly address any issues with kidney functioning that:

  • occur more spontaneously
  • are due to other risk factors
  • run in your family

Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet, drinking enough water, avoiding too much salt, and steering clear of certain medications can help you improve your overall kidney health.

However, if you develop chronic kidney disease, a doctor or specialist called a nephrologist will need to regularly monitor your kidney function, and may prescribe you:

  • specific diet changes
  • medications
  • limits on your fluid intake

In cases of severe kidney disease, also known as end-stage renal disease, you may have to undergo dialysis or see if you are a candidate for a kidney transplant.

Protein in your urine can be normal in small amounts, but higher levels found on multiple occasions are usually a sign of kidney disease or damage.

If you are experiencing symptoms of kidney issues, or have risk factors or a family history of kidney disease, talk with your healthcare team about screening. Protein levels in your urine are often measured as part of a wellness or preventive care screening.