ZocdocAnswersI had high micro albumin-creatinine levels in urine. Is this indicative of a problem?

Question

I had high micro albumin-creatinine levels in urine. Is this indicative of a problem?

elevated microalbumin levels (7x from normal cutoff) in urine but normal protein levels (creatinine, albumin etc) in blood. is this indicative of a problem?

Answer

Elevated microalbumin levels in the urine indicate that your kidneys are leaking protein. There are many conditions that can cause this, and for all of these it is really important to speak to your doctor about this result. The most common causes of elevated protein in the urine is diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension). If you have these conditions and now have protein in the urine, that suggests that these conditions may be causing damage to your kidneys. Since your creatinine is normal right now it suggests that your kidneys are functioning well, but over time these conditions can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys. If you have diabetes or hypertension, it is important to speak with your doctor about controlling them and making sure that you are the best medical regimen to protect your kidneys. Certain blood disorders can cause your body to make too much protein which then gets secreted into the urine. These disorders can include some blood cancers (multiple myeloma and some lymphomas) as well as a condition called amyloidosis. There are also some disorders of the kidneys themselves that can cause them to leak proteins and would also cause other abnormalities in your urine that can be detected by looking at it under the microscope. Finally, elevated protein in the urine can sometimes be caused by heart disease, and can be an early sign that you need to make sure your cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors are being treated. That being said, there are also some benign causes of elevated urine protein, including vigorous exercise and a condition called 'postural proteinuria' which means your kidneys leak proteins depending on your position. Some people will also intermittently leak protein without it meaning that anything is wrong with their kidneys. Because the list of possibilities is broad, and because some of them are quite serious, it is really important that you discuss this with your doctor. Having an abnormal test result can be scary, but as I mentioned it is possible that the result in your case is either totally normal or a chance to treat other conditions early before they progress. I would start by talking with your primary care doctor, who can start the work-up and decide whether you need further referral to a specialist.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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