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What does it mean if the results of a microalbumin urine test are high?

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An elevated urine microalbumin level can be a sign of kidney damage, explains Mayo Clinic. Normal values are less than 30 milligrams, and results between 30 and 300 milligrams can indicate early kidney disease. Values greater than 300 milligrams suggest the presence of advanced kidney disease.

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A microalbumin test measures the quantity of albumin present in the urine, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Normal kidneys retain this protein and when damaged they spill it into the urine, causing albuminuria.

The most common cause of albuminuria is kidney damage from diabetes, explains WebMD. Other causes include hypertension, congestive heart failure, metabolic syndrome, nephrotic syndrome and smoking. Urinary tract infections and upright standing are other potential causes, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Kidney disease is one of the most serious complications of diabetes, and the presence of albumin in the urine of a diabetic patient is associated with a rapid progression of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.

The development of kidney disease can be prevented with tight glucose control, smoking cessation, blood-pressure management and adherence to a diabetic diet, explains the National Kidney Foundation. Once albumin is found in the urine, patients are managed with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, which prevent the progression of kidney disease.

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