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April 4, 2001


Question from Ontario, Canada:

I have had type 1 diabetes for 20 years. I have had two children and basically an uneventful history, except for Graves' Disease after my second child five years ago. I have my regular checkups and all is well. Recently, and on other occasions, my urine is bright, bright clear (odourless) yellow. Kool-aid yellow. Is that an early indication of a kidney problem? Or merely from something I ate? The doctor doesn't seem concerned because I am fine otherwise. I find it disconcerting.


The most important follow-up test for evaluating your kidneys is the yearly determination of urine microalbumin excretion. The urine is a site of exit from the body for pigments of a variety of types, ingested with eating. The fact that your urine changes in color could be due to foods or medicines you have ingested and are not from diabetes-related changes to the kidney. Make sure to have your urine microalbumin excretion determined regularly.