Kidney question

So, I go to the Doc this morning for a blood work up and urine sample and they said they were referring me to a Kidney specialist because my numbers weren't right.  My albumin was 179 and my creatine was something like 4. 

I'm really confused and admit that I don't know anything about what these numbers mean or what will happen when I get to the specialists office... 

If anyone can help educate me on this, I would greatly appreciate it....  Kristi

hey Kristi,

albumin is a form of protein.  Your kidneys should not be passing protein.  If they are passing protein then the lower the number the better.  Creatine is supposed to be in your urine, but an "out of whack" number means more investigation is necessary.  I am sure your doctor will help you and answer all your questions.

do not panic.  =)  I know it's harder than it sounds - but you will suffer far more from your imagination than you will in real life.

Do you take an ACE inhibitor (blood pressure med)?  There are older ACE inhibitors that can stop kidney disease.  I take Vasotec which is now a 10 year old bp med (generic is called enalapril).  Take care and best of luck to you on your visit with the specialist!

Hey Kristi, 

I actually had the same problem a year or two ago. I went in for routine blood work with my doctor and was told that I had high levels of microalbumin and creatine. I went and got further tests which turned up nothing abnormal and every test since then has been great! Perhaps these things happen sometimes? I never really got an explanation (or perhaps I never asked for one) as to why my levels were higher back then...

I hope that makes you feel a bit better, and that your next tests turn up normal as well! 


There are many things that could cause kidney problems. Most likely, since you have been diabetic for so long, you are experiencing a complication from diabetes.

Microalbuminuria means you are spilling small protein cells into the urine. This means the barrier between the kidneys and some of the waste products (protein) isn't properly filtering, and it is letting small protein cells slip through. Creatinine also has to do with the breakdown and filtration of protein. If your GFR (glomerular filtration rate) is normal, you can reverse the damage to your kidneys and not suffer any long term effects. Once your GFR starts to deteriorate, the damage has become permanent. No worries though--this takes a long time to happen!

I began spilling protein into my urine 11 years ago. I began taking an ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor drug and it reversed the damage to my kidneys (only minor damage, which would be similar in your case). ACE inhibitors are used for blood-pressure lowering. While you may not have elevated or high blood pressure, this drug will help lower the pressure running through your kidneys, in turn protecting them from further damage and helping repair the damage they have already sustained.

Kidney damage can also be caused by acute (short, severe) illness. For example, when my kidney disease came about, I had been in the hospital for several months with a very severe infection outside my lungs, resulting in 13 operations. It nearly killed me. The extra strain on all your organs, especially your kidneys, can cause them to over-exert themselves, increasing the likelihood of temporary damage. Your kidneys and your liver are your main filtration system for your entire body--they are breaking down all the medicines you take and the waste products your body creates. Typically, kidney disease caused by acute illness will be reversed on it's own with careful monitoring. If not, it can be cleared up through medications, regular testing, and careful monitoring.

For me, I did 24 hour kidney function tests once a month for 4 years (you just pee in a jug for a solid day and they record how much protein is in your urine). Then I went to every three months, then every 6 months, then once a year, and now only as needed. My kidney tests are nearly normal (still tiny amounts of protein). My blood pressure has always been normal and with careful control of my diabetes, I don't have to worry about further damaging my kidneys.

I wish you luck, Kristi! You are such a positive person. This experience will only make you stronger. Stay positive and keep us informed.

Thanks Joe ~

Yes, I take an ACE inhibitor and you are right about letting my imagination get away...  I'm thinking too much

Thank you

Thanks C ~  you gave me exactly the information I was looking for...  I need to relax.  I think I've worked myself up worrying about it more than I should.   Thank you, thank you, thank you soooooo much.  Kristi