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June 23, 1999

Complications

Question from Ontario, Canada:

My 15-year old daughter has had Type 1 diabetes since the age of 22 months. Recently she showed traces of protein in her urine and now must undergo another 24-hour urine test. Can you tell me what protein in the urine signifies?

Answer:

We now look for early signs of damage to the kidneys (nephropathy) caused by diabetes. We treat it at a very early stage to preserve kidney function. That’s the straight truth, albeit a bit frightening to hear.

Diabetes control matters; A1c should be as close to normal as possible without too many hypos. ACE inhibitors, a class of hypertension drugs, work.

LD