One complication of diabetic nephropathy is damage to the kidneys. Microalbumin screening is a tool used to diagnose and detect diabetic nephropathy in its early stages. The screening tests the health of your kidneys by measuring very small levels of albumin, a protein that is important for tissue growth and healing, in your urine. Albumin is normally found in the blood and is filtered by the kidneys. However, when the kidneys are not working properly albumin can leak into the urine, a complication called microalbuminuria.
A microalbumin screening can be performed on a sample of urine collected through any of the three methods below:
Will I live longer if I have this screening?
There is no scientific evidence to support that having a microalbumin screening will lengthen your life. However, the screening may lead to earlier treatment to prevent damage to the kidneys.
Does the microalbumin screening for diabetic nephropathy make my symptoms better?
A microalbumin screening will not make your symptoms better, but test results may encourage treatment to prevent damage to the kidneys.
How safe is microalbumin screening for me?
Collecting a urine sample for microalbumin screening is not a dangerous procedure.
The alternative to microalbumin screening is not practicing prevention or early detection of diabetic nephropathy.
Laboratory cost may vary depending on where the test is performed.
The cost may or may not be covered by your health benefits plan.
The following are off-site links :
American Diabetes Association. (2013, January). Standards of medical care in diabetes – 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2013 from http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/36/Supplement_1/S11.full.pdf+html,
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013, January). Take charge of your diabetes. Kidney problems. Retrieved August 13, 2013 from http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/tcyd/kidney.htm.
Lab Tests Online. (2012, May). Microalbumin and microalbumin/creatinine ratio. Retrieved August 13, 2013 from http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/microalbumin/test.html.
WebMD. (2010, August). Microalbumin urine test. Retrieved August 13, 2013 from http://diabetes.webmd.com/microalbumin-urine-test.
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