Healthy kidneys filter waste product from your blood and send it out of your body via urine. Albumin, a protein normally found in blood, helps move particles through your blood vessels and protects them from leaking fluid into your tissues. If albumin leaks into your urine, it means your kidneys are experiencing filtration problems. The microalbumin test is used to determine kidney function status. A moderate increase of microalbumin means you may have early kidney disease; high levels indicate that disease is present. However, you may be able to prevent disease progression or lower microalbumin levels with lifestyle changes.
Get two or three separate microalbumin level measurements over a period of three to six months to properly diagnose your condition. An acute increase in microalbumin level can occur from the presence of urinary tract infection or after a bout of vigorous exercise. If you have a moderate increase in microalbumin from one test, make follow up appointments with your physician to retest and confirm your levels.
Work to lower your blood pressure back to normal range. High blood pressure impacts 1 in 4 Americans; it's the second leading cause of kidney disease, notes DaVita.com. High blood pressure can cause spikes in your microalbumin levels. Go to your local pharmacy to get a free blood pressure check; follow up with your physician to begin treatment of hypertension.
Stay away from alcohol. Consistently high results for microalbumin level tests indicates poor kidney function; in such a situation, stop drinking alcohol immediately. Effected kidneys cannot efficiently filter the toxin ethanol from the alcohol you drink, which increases your risk of continued high microalbumin levels.
Swap your high-protein meats for leaner, low-protein foods. Tofu is a leaner protein source than red meat. Damaged kidneys are unable to process proteins as readily; give your kidneys a break by reducing protein in your diet. A 2002 study in "Diabetes Care" noted that exchanging red meat for chicken in the diet effectively helped participants lower microalbumin levels.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can increase your microalbumin levels. Hydrate with eight to 10 glasses of water daily. Adjust your consumption based on your level of activity to avoid excess fluid loss.
Eat a well-balanced diet of fresh produce, grains, nuts, beans and lean forms of protein to stay nourished and protect your kidneys.
Reduce your table salt intake. A high sodium diet increases your risk of high blood pressure. Manage your weight with healthy diet and exercise, which can help you lower your blood pressure.
The risk of kidney disease increases with poorly managed diabetes. If you have diabetes, follow physician instructions for treatment and care.
Is This an Emergency?
- Lab Tests Online: Microalbumin and Microalbumin/Creatinine Ratio
- Diabetes Self Management; Avoiding Complications; Amy Tenderich, et al.
- "Diabetes Care"; Effect of a Chicken-Based Diet on Renal Function and Lipid Profiles in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes; Jorge L. Gross, MD, et al.; 2002
- Davita.com: Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease