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A urine dipstick test showed abnormal levels of protein, bilirubin and occult blood. What does that mean and should I be alarmed?

By October 1, 2015 - 12:24pm
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I have been battling with having kidney stones over the last few months. My most recent urine test showed occult blood 3+. I know that is most likely a direct result of the kidney stone. (Although my most recent CT scan didn't show a stone. The doctor said that it may be to small to pick up) But the part that caught me off guard was the PROTEIN 2+ (normal levels are negative) and BILIRUBIN 1+ (normal levels are negative) This is my 3rd ua within the last 2 weeks and this is the only test that has showed the protein and bilirubin. Should I be alarmed?

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Hi Blue Eyed Girl,

Thank you for your sharing your question with the EmpowHER community.

Anytime you have test result, you should have concern for what exactly the numbers mean for you. When doctors test for occult blood, they are looking for blood in your stool that can't be seen with the naked eye. Fecal occult blood can be a sign of a problem in your digestive system, such as a growth, or health concern involving your colon or rectum.

As for the proteins, they are testing for the amount of a protein called albumin in the urine. Albumin is typically the first protein that is seen in the urine when kidney dysfunction begins to develop. Which makes sense since you indicated you are having trouble with kidney stone.

Bilirubin is a waste product that is produced by the liver. If bilirubin leaks back into the blood stream and is excreted in urine, it's definitely something you need to follow up with your doctor on.

Has your doctor discussed your results with you yet?

Whether it be microscopic blood is detected, an elevated protein or signs of bilirubin, it is important for your doctor to determine the source of bleeding and leaking into the urine to properly diagnose and treat the problem.

I hope this helps.

Be well,

October 1, 2015 - 1:49pm
(reply to S Gillette Palmer)

Hello, Thank you very much for the information. No the last 2 tests were done at the hospital which was normal with the exception of the blood in the urine (which I was told was due to the kidney stone) and the other one was done about 4 or 5 days later at the urgent care. And they didn't discuss the results with me. I am in the process of switching doctors offices and have had a little trouble getting in. I will definitely be following up with a primary doctor as soon as they have an opening. In the mean time is there other signs I should watch for to indicate that I should go back into the ER or urgent care? I have recently been having some pain in my upper right tummy area under my ribs and just below that. I am hoping all of this is due to the personal stress I have been under as well as the stress that the kidney stones I have been having. I am also trying to get into a urologist. I have had my digestive system checked via colonoscopy. Everything looked fine in that area.

Thank you
Blue Eyed Girl

October 13, 2015 - 2:14pm
Guide (reply to Blue Eyed Girl)

I would say anytime your existing symptoms change or become more intense is a good time to go to the emergency room. Good luck on getting a second opinion.

October 13, 2015 - 3:24pm
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