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March 14, 2002


Question from Gilbert, Arizona, USA:

I'm scared. I'm 49 years old, I have type 2 diabetes diagnosed a couple of months ago, and I got my latest blood results in the mail today which said I have microalbuminuria and a random urine creatinine of 165. Are my renal veins leaking blood? I'm not going to get the chance to get ESRD because I'm going to have a heart attack and die before I get the chance to develop overt renal problems. So I researched on the web. What is Syndrome X? Why didn't my doctor or the American Diabetes Association website ever mention this? I'm sure I have this, even though I'm not hypertensive. Everything else fits. I'm really angry at my doctor and the ADA. Should I be this worried? I don't even get to go for diabetic education until the end of the month. I'm just winging this on my own using diet info from the web, and I'm positive I'm doing it all wrong. Isn't the diet different? I'm hoping for a quick answer but I know you're all busy. Hey, it helped just to let it out. I feel better already (but I'm still tempted to quit eating altogether. Starving to death sounds easier than having a heart attack or letting my kidneys bleed out all over my clean floor!)


Microalbuminuria does not necessarily mean a steady march to end-stage renal disease. It means get out there and work on the risks! It means better blood sugar control and an ACE inhibitor. There are some things that can cause false positive results, although your urine creatinine result of 165 is not likely to be false positive. However, poor blood sugar control can make albuminuria worse.

Take a deep breath. Get control here. You have the ability to do things that will help you lead a more healthy life. Lipid control, daily aspirin, ACE inhibitors, and good blood sugar control are all part of that. They cluster together. That is the impact of Syndrome X.

Known by other names, such as metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance syndrome, or Syndrome X, this description includes obesity, hypertension, increased lipids, irregular menses, risk of diabetes, and risk of cardiovascular disease. A report from the Journal of the American Medical Association earlier this month states that 25% of the population has this problem. Not all of them have diabetes. However, they are all at increased risk for these chronic diseases.

Find yourself a good diabetes doctor and education team. You can do something about this.