What test can detect early kidney problems in diabetes?

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Dr. Jack Merendino, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
A simple and useful test for identifying very early kidney problems in diabetes is the measurement of microalbuminuria. This is a simple test that requires only a small urine sample. Albumin is the major protein in the blood; microalbuminuria means small (micro-) amounts of albumin protein (-albumin-) in the urine (-uria). Normally, the kidneys filter blood but don't allow any albumin protein to pass into the urine; a kidney that's been damaged by diabetes allows some of that albumin to pass into the urine. If the amount of albumin in the urine is increased, it signifies kidney damage. You should have a test for microalbuminuria once a year. The ACE and ARB blood pressure medicines will help prevent or reduce urinary albumin excretion.
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