Urine screening tests for small amounts of protein in the urine called microalbumin. Microalbumin in the urine can be an early sign of kidney damage. If it’s caught early, kidney damage can be treated and sometimes reversed.
Everyone with diabetes is at risk for microalbumin in the urine, which is why diabetics should be screened for it every year.
What the results mean
A very small amount of protein in the urine is normal. This is called a negative test. Sometimes larger amounts of protein are found in the urine even when there is no kidney problem. This is called a “false positive” test.
A false positive test can happen when your child:
- Has a fever or urinary tract infection.
- Has exercised a lot before the urine test.
- Has poor diabetes control, which can cause a temporary increase in urine protein
- For girls, the urine test was done during menstruation.
If the screening test is positive, more urine tests will need to be done. The next test is done on the first urine of the morning. This test may be done up to three times. If needed, your diabetes provider will talk to you about going to a kidney specialist, also called a nephrologist, for further evaluation.