Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
June 15, 2000
Question from Franklin, Massachusetts, USA:
I'm a 42 year old female and have had Type 1 for 17 years. Recently, my doctor told me I had protein in my urine and prescribed blood pressure medication. Is this common and is this condition serious?
Protein in the urine (also called proteinuria, microalbuminuria, and macroalbuminuria, depending on how much of the protein albumin appears in the urine, is the first signal that diabetes may be causing damage to the kidneys. The mechanism lies in the ever-narrowing small vessels which begin to choke off the blood supply to small vessels of the kidney. As these areas die off, they leak small amounts of protein which we measure at the very beginning of the pathological process as microalbuminuria (very small amounts of albumin-protein in the urine). As larger amounts come down through the urine, it is much later and much bigger a problem. This is called then macroalbuminuria or simply proteinuria. Much of this has been felt to be due to small areas of high blood pressure in these individual small arteries.
The group of blood pressure medicines called ACE inhibitors seems to be very well suited to halt this process even in non-hypertensive diabetic patients (and very recently also in renal patients who do not have diabetes) even though other blood pressure medications are very useful as well. Treatment must begin early (according to some, even before problems are clinically identified) for best success.