What causes protein in urine during pregnancy?

I am pregnant but after some tests, my urine had traces of protein. Should I be worried? Also, my husband recently took our children for a DNA test but the results showed that the one child who has an uncanny resemblance to him is not his. How could this be?  Anna

Dear Anna,
Normal people may have some little or trace amounts of protein in their urine but this may increase during pregnancy, even when it is not due to an illness affecting the mother-to-be. However, protein in the urine (proteinuria) may be due to certain diseases, including preeclampsia where there may be high blood pressure as well.

Preeclampsia, which happens in women who are 20 more weeks pregnant can be suspected in such a woman if her blood pressure is high, say 140/90 mmHg or more and has protein in urine apart from other symptoms such as swelling of the feet, among others. 

Preeclampsia may go away after delivery or miscarriage, but it can have serious effects on both the mother and baby sometimes with fatal results for both if not treated early and effectively.

Since your urine was found to have traces of protein, this may be normal but you require to go for you antenatal appointments more often so that you can be monitored better for, among others, preeclampsia, urinary tract infections, fevers and kidney disease, which diseases are common during pregnancy.

In the past, likeness was used to determine paternity. However, this was inaccurate since people may resemble out of coincidence or may resemble close relatives who are dead and, therefore, not available for comparison.

DNA paternity tests, which are more accurate, require an input of both the supposed offspring and the alleged father. It is likely that the DNA results are right and should be trusted more than the resemblance. Therefore, the test should be repeated this time between the child and the alleged father and with your participation since you 

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Why am I weak, sleep too much towards my period?

I usually sleep very little at night but when my period is about to start, I want to sleep all the time. I also feel weak during this time. What could be the cause? Annet

Dear Annet, 
A week or two before one’s period starts, due to cyclical changes in the body’s female hormones or chemical changes in neurotransmitters such as serotonin in the brain, a woman may suffer from certain unusual symptoms collectively known as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).

The symptoms may include, among others, mood swings, pain in the breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and sleeping problems. 

Women with PMS may experience lack of sleep at night but instead sleep more during the day to make up for the missed sleep hours at night as well as the fatigue associated with sleeping during the day. Although anyone may get PMS symptoms, they are more noticeable when a woman is in her late 20s or early 30s and may stop two to three days after the period starts.

Unfortunately, a woman may feel weak and sleepy if she bleeds too much, is stressed or has unhealthy eating habits during her period. 

Much as the said symptoms may usually happen, causing one to think that they are normal, you require an investigation by a doctor to rule out other causes of your symptoms so that proper treatment is given. Also, if the said symptoms are severe or last longer than necessary, you should be investigated for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe form of premenstrual syndrome, and an underactive thyroid, among others. 

Also, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, improve your sleep quality by getting at least eight hours of sleep per night, and engage in physical exercise.

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