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Kidney Diseases

Elevated Microalbumin in Urine

10/04/2011

Question:

I am a healthy 23yold female. Had a check up because of abdominal pain. Blood test was normal, but urine test showed a microalbumin level of 1742 (told normal 0-17) and microalbumin/creatinine ratio 1119.5 (normal 0-30) told to consult a nephrologist. I am not diabetic, don`t have HTN, don`t having swelling or any of the things I have read about. Could this test be flawed or a false reading? What could explain these results? Could my abdominal pain be associated with this? (increased pain when I eat)

Answer:

This is unlikely to be a false result.  It indicates that you have protein leaking from your kidneys, which can happen in several disorders (of which diabetes is only one).  You should definitely see a nephrologist as soon as possible, and you'll need to undergo a number of tests (blood tests, urine tests, imaging such as an ultrasound, and possibly a kidney biopsy).  When you see the nephrologist, be prepared to supply information such as:

- any medical conditions for which you have been or are currently being treated.  It is possible, for instance, that your abdominal pain is related to a kidney problem. 

- a list of medications that you take (including over-the counter meds and recreational drugs).

- any diseases that are known to run in your family, especially your immediate family.

In the meantime, you can learn a little about protein in the urine by reading the links below, which cover basic kidney information and info about kidney tests.  And please do not hesitate to write again if you have more questions, even if before you actually see the nephrologist. 

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