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Kidney Diseases

Is there Treatment for Leaking Kidneys?

11/19/2010

Question:

I am a 52 yo African American female with type II diabetes since 1993. I am over weight (225 lbs, 5`7"). I was told by my doctor`s office that I need to see a nephrologist because my last urinalyist test showed my kidneys are leaking protein. She did not tell me the level of protein leaking. Is there treatment for this,besides diet and exercise? I did go and speak with an nutritionist and was given a diet watching my carbs for my diabetes. I am concerned about dialysis later on, something I do not want to go through.

Answer:

It is possible that you are at the earliest stage of protein leakage, which is called "microalbuminuria" (meaning that a very tiny amount of protein, or albumin, is leaking from the kidneys into the urine).  

This is an early sign of kidney damage, probably due to diabetes.  Your blood creatinine and BUN should also be checked, as these will measure your kidneys' ability to excrete waste products.

Yes, you should definitely be under the care of a nephrologist, to try to prevent further damage to your kidneys.  Important things to achieve as far as helping your kidneys include:

1. Maintain excellent blood sugar control.

2. Take medications to keep your blood pressure well-controlled.

3. Do not smoke.

4. Lose weight down to your ideal body weight -- this will also make the diabetes and the blood pressure easier to control.

5. Take cholesterol-lowering drugs if needed.

When you go to see the nephrologist, be sure to take along copies of your lab results.  It will be very important for the nephrologist to know exactly what stage of kidney disease you are at, and how much protein is leaking.  

See the links below for more information about protein in the urine, and about kidneys in general.  Good luck to you!
 

 

Related Resources:

Basic Information About the Kidneys
Kidney Tests

For more information:

Go to the Kidney Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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