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March 7, 2001

Complications

Question from Middleburg, Florida, USA:

I am 59 and I have had diabetes, I guess type 2, although I am insulin dependent for the last six or seven years. Lately, I urinate much more often, and my urine smells very strong. I drink a lot of water, but it does not help. Should I worry? What are the symptoms of protein in the urine?

Answer:

There really are no symptoms of protein in the urine. You may be urinating more often because your glucose levels are too high, as this causes increased urination and increased thirst. The smell of the urine does not usually mean anything in particular.

The urine can be tested for protein [also called microalbumin], and the American Diabetes Association recommends that this be done yearly in people with diabetes. I would also recommend that you check with your diabetes care team about whether your diabetes needs to be better controlled.

ML