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How is diabetic nephropathy diagnosed?

Urine tests are recommended once per year in people with type 1 diabetes, beginning about five years after diagnosis, and in people with type 2 diabetes, starting at the time of diagnosis.

The urine test is looking for a protein called albumin. If there is albumin (protein) in your urine, it means you have diabetic nephropathy. You may be told that you have “microalbuminuria.”┬áThat simply means that you have trace amounts of protein in your urine, but it still means that you have nephropathy, assuming you do not have kidney disease caused by another condition.

The same urine test that is used to diagnose diabetic nephropathy will also be used to monitor your condition over time.