This test is performed to evaluate the level of albumin in the urine, especially in diabetes mellitus patients to stop the diabetic renal disease. This test is performed on patients with chronic situation that can lead to kidney disease. Studies indicates that diagnosis at early point of kidney diseases helps patient to accommodate to the treatment. Albumin protein is mainly present in the blood. If kidney is working properly there will be no albumin in urine.
The American Diabetes Association as well as the National Kidney Foundation advocate that individuals diagnosed with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus should have microalbumin urine test yearly. However, if diabetes has not been diagnosed yet the tests returned a positive result, then a retest will be needed twice within a period of three and six months.
Microalbumin test should also be given to hypertensive patients, and because this level also needs to be monitored, regular testing is important.
How to Prepare for a Microalbumin Urine Test?
There are two ways that a microalbumin urine test may be performed: clean-catch random urine sample and timed-urine sample.
For the clean catch, you need to wash your hands and genital area before collecting a urine sample to avoid contaminating it with bacteria, cells, and other foreign contaminants. Once done, start collecting the urine at midstream, not the first or last portion of the urine.
For timed-urine sample which will take over a period of 24 hours, what you need to do is to collect your second urine of the day after you’ve woken up in the morning. However, you need to record the time of your first urine though since it marks the start of the 24-hour period. Collect the succeeding urine in the same container (you may need to store the specimen in a refrigerator to preserve it) until your last urine a few minutes before the 24-hour period is over. This type of test is more accurate than the random sample.
You need to send the urine sample back to the lab within an hour once you’re done.
What the Results Mean?
For clean-catch random urine, the normal value should be below 2 mg/L, and for timed-urine sample, the normal value should be less than 80 mg in adults who are at bedrest and less than 150 mg in adults who can move around.
If the value is higher than normal, it may mean a kidney problem. If the value exceeded 300 mg, it may mean that the kidney problem is far more advanced. A high result could also mean diabetic nephropathy .
Regular monitoring will be done if the result is high, especially if within a period of three to six months, two or more of your tests showed high levels.
Common Microalbumin Urine Test Questions
Are there any differences between these tests: Serum/plasma albumin, pre-albumin, as well as urine albumin tests?
Serum/plasma or blood test microalbumin is oftentimes used to check for liver and kidney problems; while pre-albumin is used to check for protein-calorie malnutrition. Urine albumin test or microalbumin test, on the other hand, is used to check for kidney problems.
How can you avoid microalbuminuria?
You can avoid microalbuminuria by following your doctor’s orders, being complaint with your treatment regimen, and adapting a healthier lifestyle.
What are some of the other causes of high urine albumin levels?
Diabetes is not the only condition that causes an increased urine albumin level. Hypertension and immune disorders may also cause it to increase, so do urinary tract infection , medications that you take, and dehydration .
LabEspy recommends Walk-In Lab, Save On Labs, Ulta Lab Tests for this test.