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  • Juanita Weaver-Reiss

Micro what?

I am continuing with the 9 essential things you need to know if you have diabetes. This is the last item for number 4, what do the numbers mean.

Micro What?

This post is not about a new kind of microwave that is available at the store. It is about the microalbumin test, which is an important test for anyone with diabetes to do to check their kidney function.

This is a urine test. It is used to detect very small amounts of blood protein (albumin) in the urine. It is used to detect early signs of kidney damage. The test is usually done one time per year.

The kidneys are about the size of your fists. They are filtering systems, but so much more. As far as the filtering they do, they filter out waste from our bodies through the urine. They balance the amount of fluids in the body. They release hormones that regulate your blood pressure. They produce an active form of Vitamin D that promotes strong and healthy bones. They also control the production of your red blood cells. In addition to all of these functions, the kidney also plays a role in glucose balance in the body. A new drug class was developed specifically targeting this function to aid with glucose control. These were the Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors.

That is a lot of work done by two relatively small organs in the body.

The filters

Each kidney contains up to a million filters that are called nephrons. A nephron consists of a filtering unit of blood vessels called a glomerulus attached to a tubule.

These filters filter 2 quarts of water every 24 hours. Some of the fluid leaves the body as urine. The rest of it is redirected or filtered back through the body.

The cause of protein in the urine

Normally, protein is not seen in the urine. The filters in the kidneys keep the protein in the blood. The microalbumin test, which tests for protein (albumin) in the urine would suggest that the filtering system is 'becoming loose' or is allowing the protein out of the blood and into the urine.

The 'lossening' of the filter system can be caused by a couple of different factors. If someone's blood pressure is elevated or if the glucose numbers are running high.

Target for Microalbumin

The target for the microalbumin test is < 30.

Action steps:

1. Ask your doctor for your test results.

2. Ask your doctor what your results mean.

3. Schedule an education appointment to talk with your educator about steps to take to get blood pressure and glucose to target ranges.

Wishing you best health,


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