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The kidneys
Apr 13, 2010

I was just reading a question to you about kidney issues. I was wondering what the signs of problems are. I've read one sign is if your urine gets really foamy.

I've only noticed my urine a little bit foamy when I first pee in the morning or when I'm dehydrated. It isn't a mountain of foam or anything--just a little foamy. I've also noticed my urine sometimes smells like cheerios. When I googled that, I read many people in the general public talking about their pee smelling like cheerios sometimes.

I'm just wondering if there is something that we should look for that would be an early sign. Would it be pain with urination? I've noticed on my CBC lab reports that my protein is always high. I was told HIVers usually have high protein on the CBC. Is this the same protein that you look for in urine to check the kidneys or is that something unrelated?

Response from Dr. Henry

Key indicators of kidney problems in the setting of HIV Infection include abnormal blood tests (increases in Creatinine and BUN levels and decrease in calculated GFR). Protein or glucose in the urine are also signs of problems. For many patients those abnormalities are not accompanied initially be symptoms so tracking blood and urine status is key. Urine quality/appearance can change from day to day based in hydration status, amount of exercise, food/dye intake , and many other factors so often difficult to make much from urine appearance day to day. KH

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