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Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes

Diabetic and Microalbumin

11/04/2009

Question:

My question is how long uncontrol diabetic would induce microalbumin. How long if you have high A1c level before microalbumin would show up in your urine. Thank you very much

Answer:

Usually a person has to be diabetic for at least several years before kidney damage occurs.  The less well-controlled the diabetes is, the higher the A1c level, and the more likely it is that kidney damage will develop. 

Remember that, if the microalbumin level is only slightly elevated, this indicates a very early stage of kidney disease.  Elevation of the microalbumin level (which indicates that protein is leaking out of the kidneys) is often treated with meds called "ACE inhibitors" (which include meds like lisinopril, accupril, enalapril, quinapril).  At this stage, careful treatment may actually be able to slow or prevent kidney damage from progressing.

To prevent further kidney damage from diabetes, it is most helpful to keep the diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight under excellent control, and to avoid (or stop) smoking.

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Response by:

Mildred   Lam, MD Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University