Urinary Microalbumin Test:
Albumin is the one of the first proteins to leak into urine when kidneys are damaged. A urine albumin test detects very small amounts of albumin in the urine. This test is used to detect early signs of kidney disease in people with an increased risk of developing kidney disease and is a sign of vascular damage.The test is routinely ordered for patients with diabetes and hypertension.
Factors involved to understand the normal range of Urinary Microalbumin levels:
Normal range of albumin in urine is less than 30mg/dL.
Levels of albumin falling between 30-300 mg/dL indicates a condition called microalbuminuria. It is indicative of kidney damage or disease. Consistently detectable levels of albumin in urine could mean a person might be at a higher risk for heart disease.
Microalbuminuria does not cause symptoms generally. Symptoms only become noticeable once the damage to the kidneys is severe and the levels of albumin are very high. When symptoms occur, they include:
Since microalbuminuria does not cause symptoms, it is important for people with conditions like diabetes to get albumin levels checked regularly. It is established that microalbuminuria is an independent risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure.
Microalbuminuria can be a sign of early kidney damage. Certain conditions and medications can cause an increase in the levels of albumin in blood. These include:
Elevated results may also be caused by some lipid abnormalities and some immune disorders. Albuminuria is often associated with metabolic syndrome, a syndrome of insulin resistance, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and increased renal and cardiovascular morbidity.When the results observed are abnormal, it is important to repeat the test to understand the exact cause.
Lower levels of urinary microalbumin are an indication of normal functioning of kidneys.
If a person has diabetes, it is important to follow the instructions and advices of the healthcare practitioner for maintaining control of the blood glucose levels. This can prevent the chances of kidney damage, and thereby prevent albumin from leaking into the urine. Keeping blood pressure under control is also an effective measure in preventing kidney damage.
Precautionary measures such as good glycemic control, controlling blood pressure, quitting smoking, regular but limited exercise, and healthy and balanced diet should be taken by people with albuminuria. This will help prevent the albuminuria from worsening or can be helpful in reversing it.
Urinary microalbumin test is a simple urine test. It has no risks associated with it.
Positive albumin test is a sign of early kidney disease. The test is repeated again to screen for the exact cause of albuminuria. Three positive tests over three months are an indication of kidney disease.
To confirm the diagnosis of kidney disease or disorder, the doctor may also order glomerular filtration rate (GFR) estimation. Creatinine estimation and Urea Nitrogen tests are also ordered to check for other waste products in the blood. Urine creatinine estimation and albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) are also ordered along with urinary microalbumin test.
Imaging tests such as an ultrasound or CT scan are also ordered to screen for kidney stones or other problems in kidneys and urinary tract. A kidney biopsy may also be ordered in some cases to check the cause of kidney disease and how much damage has occurred. Repeat testing for microalbumin is often recommended when abnormal results are obtained.
Urinary microalbumin test does not require any special preparation. You can eat and drink regularly before the test. Since, certain medications can affect the results of the test, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about stopping any medications before the test. Presence of albumin in urine is generally an indication of kidney disease but it could also be due to several other reasons. Hence, discussing with your doctor what the results may mean for you is important. Vigorous exercise can cause your results to seem higher than they really are.
According to your results, your doctor may suggest repeat testing for confirmation and a treatment plan in cases of elevated results. These changes may include dietary modifications, medications, and lifestyle changes. If you have any questions about your results, discuss it with your doctor.
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