Protein in Urine and high A1C

Hey guys a couple of days ago I had some lab work done and the results came out saying that I had protein in my urine and A1C of 9.9. Can someone explain to me what this means. I know what the A1C is but I’m just a little confused about the protein in urine. Please help with any advice even if you’re not sure. Thanks!

Hi Jazz,

Did your doctor discuss the test results with you? Depending on what the value was (different labs have different ranges for tests), protein in urine can indicate kidney damage. The best thing to do is speak with your doctor. He may want the test run again, or to do more extensive tests.

An A1c of 9.9 translates to an average BG of 237. Please do whatever you can to bring this down. That’s very high. Are you on insulin?

Well I haven’t talked to the doctor per say because the call back nurse called me. I was in total shock, but I do recall her saying something about kidneys. Yes I am on insulin…I’m trying to get on an insulin pump.

Jazz- It’s great that you’re taking this into ur hands and trying to take control. Keep working on it.
I was under the impression that protein in urine was blood? I’m honestly not sure, but I would guess minor kidney damage as well. Don’t freak. It’s usually repairable when lower BG results (A1c) are controlled.

Ugh, hate waiting for docs to call back.

Has your doctor discussed increasing your insulin doses or cutting back on carbs to lower your A1c?

Blood & protein in urine are two different things. Protein can indicate that the kidneys aren’t filtering as they should be.

Protien in the urine is a sign that there has be ketoacidosis (excuse the spelling) aka Ketone, the process in which the body looks for energy and uses fat to do so. A by product of this interaction is Ketones. Eventally if the ketones go untreated ( as in large ketones for more that 24 hrs.) they will cause the body to go toxic. Some signs of this are vomitting, increase anger, constant urination and/or bowel movements. All those of forms of the body’s attempt to remove the toxin.

Hope this was helpful.

Brian- Very helpful.

More signs: heartburn, blood feels like it’s burning, anxious, extreme thirst but inability to keep it down, aching muscles (sometimes to the point of total impairment), extreme tiredness.

You can check w ur local pharmacy for KetoStix. They’re $11 for a bottle of them without a prescription. If you see the ketones showing as LARGE, seek help from the ER or at the very least, call your doctor and demand assistance. Sometimes you can flush the ketones out by drinking lots of water. Other times, the ER and ICU can save you.

oh, yes. ketoacidosis. Yay. I remember that.

Protein in urine doesn’t necessarily mean ketoacidosis at all.

hahahahaha. We’re trying Gerri!

Jazz- Call ur doctor. He can explain.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Protein in urine (proteinuria), especially at higher levels, can indicate kidney disease or another serious condition. Protein in urine is usually discovered during a urinalysis — a test to analyze the content of your urine.

Your kidneys filter many substances, including waste products, from your blood. These waste products are then excreted in your urine. Normally, during this filtering process your kidneys retain components — including proteins — that your body needs. But some diseases and conditions can allow proteins to slip through the filters of your kidneys, causing protein in urine.

Low levels of protein in urine are normal, particularly in younger people after exercise or activity. Protein in urine discovered on a microalbumin test may often be the earliest sign of diabetic kidney damage.

“Proteinuria is a sign of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which can result from diabetes, high blood pressure, and diseases that cause inflammation in the kidneys. For this reason, testing for albumin in the urine is part of a routine medical assessment for everyone. Kidney disease is sometimes called renal disease. If CKD progresses, it can lead to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), when the kidneys fail completely. A person with ESRD must receive a kidney transplant or regular blood-cleansing treatments called dialysis.”

"Who is at risk for proteinuria?
People with diabetes, hypertension, or certain family backgrounds are at risk for proteinuria. In the United States, diabetes is the leading cause of ESRD.1 In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, albumin in the urine is one of the first signs of deteriorating kidney function. As kidney function declines, the amount of albumin in the urine increases.

Another risk factor for developing proteinuria is hypertension, or high blood pressure. Proteinuria in a person with high blood pressure is an indicator of declining kidney function. If the hypertension is not controlled, the person can progress to full kidney failure.

African Americans are more likely than Caucasians to have high blood pressure and to develop kidney problems from it, even when their blood pressure is only mildly elevated. In fact, African Americans are six times more likely than Caucasians to develop hypertension-related kidney failure.2

Other groups at risk for proteinuria are American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos, Pacific Islander Americans, older adults, and overweight people. These at-risk groups and people who have a family history of kidney disease should have their urine tested regularly."

Just don’t want Jazz upset by misinformation.

While all of this can be true. I am also dealing with the same thing. A lot will depend on how much protein and what kind of protein on how they will treat and/or test. Just after Christmas I had visible blood in my urine (during high fever with the flu). When going for the urinalysis the next day blood and protein both were present. I just saw a nephrologist and am currently doing a 24 hour urine collection. The parting words from the nephrologist was that yes, there is something going on but it is not going to do too much damage in the immediate future.

So, with that being said I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions or worry unnecessarily, that too will drive your numbers up. If it was too much they would have sent you to the hospital or had you come back in the office immediately. I would get an appt to discuss this with the doctor right away (i know it’s hard not to worry).

Right now he put me on some pills. He put me on high blood pressure pills (even though I don’t have high blood pressure). All the call back nurse said to me was to take those and come back in 6 weeks for more test. I have some Ketone test strips and I have very little Ketones in my urine so I don’t think it’s that. Thanks for all the information…I’m still kind of new to everything and been having alot of highs and lows. Hopefully everything will soon get under control.

Jazz- The protein could mean a number of things. I have had that for a few years, and I have Postural Proteinuria which just means my kidneys leak protein when I stand up and not when I lay down. That’s not a problem at all, it’s just something that I’ll grow out of.

However, if you have had diabetes for a while, with higher numbers especially, kidney damage isn’t out of the question. Definitely talk to your doctor and ask about seeing a kidney specialist.

An insulin pump is great, especially for bring the A1C down!

Yeah that’s what I heard about the insulin pumps that’s why I want it. Then on top of it I’m only 21 years old I work and go to college full time. I’m so busy half of the day that I not going to lie. I’m guilty of missing a couple of shots. Sometimes when I’m at work I can’t get lunch til after 3. Evidently they don’t give a damn that I need to eat. I’m hoping having the pump will also help me from feeling icky at work.

Here is another discussion about spilling protein: